If love is pain...is pain not love?
Post Great Battle. IvyxBlossom. By Cypresswind.
Chapter 1 Edit
" Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad."
The war's over. The Clans won, the Dark Forest lost, and the war is over. It's been over for moons now. ThunderClan is thriving, all of the clans are. Border skirmishes are few and far between, and prey is abundant, even in leafbare.
But the war isn't truly over, not for me.
Every night, I'm dragged into the Dark Forest. Every night, I'm forced to commit murder. Every night, he's there, with his icy blue eyes, making me pay for my treason. I fear sleep like a ghost, because every night, I must fight another battle in this hopeless, never-ending war.
StarClan save me, I can't do this anymore.
"Ivypool!" The irritated voice jolts me out of my thoughts. My sister, Dovewing, sits beside me, looking annoyed. "I asked you for advice! What should I do about Bumblestripe? Our relationship isn't going well, he's so pushy about kits, and I love him, but he's not like-like Tigerheart." Dovewing moans, as if she had the worst problems in the entire world.
"Do you love him?" I ask softly, not meeting her eyes.
"Well, yes, but-"
"Then leave him." I say sharply, my dark blue eyes piercing her light green ones. Dovewing looks dumbstruck for a moment, before nodding her head, eyes widening with realization. "Yeah!" she says, almost angrily. "He's been a jerk, hasn't he? I deserve better than him!"
I shake my head. "Leave him Dovewing, because you don't love him as much as he loves you. Lead him on, and you'll only end up hurting him further."
Now Dovewing truly looks shocked, and just like before, that shock quickly truns to anger. Only this time, the anger is directed towards me.
"What! No! I'm not leading him on!" Dovewing snaps, "Stop making me look like the bad guy!" I frown, frustration starting to bubble beneath my skin. "You asked for my advice!" I shoot back, "Now you have it!"
Dovewing pouts. "You give the worst advice!" she whines. My temper is on the verge of snapping like a twig. "I don't care about your stupid problems!" I snarl, veins popping. "Stop worrying about such idiotic things!"
"Ha!" Dovewing laughs, like she has already won the arguement. "You're one to talk! You worry constantly about a war we aren't even fighting! You fear cats who don't exist!"
That does it. That one, utterly insensitive line brings forth an inferno of fury, and I know exactly why.
Because it's true.
My blood boils, my ears ring, and in that moment, I do what I never thought I would.
I raise my paw, and slam it across my sister's face.
Dovewing staggers backwards, blood trickling out of her mouth. She looks up at me with scared eyes, and I can see her trembling. She wasn't expecting that, and neither was I. We never hit eachother, even when we felt like ripping eachother's pelts off. Hitting had always been so taboo, we hadn't dared. Dovewing stares at me now in a way so painfully familiar. She stares at me the same way Flametail did, when I attacked him on his way to StarClan. Innocent and afraid.
I am not sorry.
I expect the rage to leave me, but it dosen't. The fire burns on inside my stomach, and it takes every ounce of my self-control not to hit her again. "Go and talk to Bumblestripe." I hiss, turning away. After a few heartbeats of silence, Dovewing speaks, hurt and venom edging her usually sweet voice. "You're bitter and lonely, Ivypool." she says, quietly. "I guess I shouldn't have asked you for love advice. You don't even know what love is."
I can hear her pawsteps fading away. I close my eyes, and sigh, because yet again, she's right. I don't know what love is, I don't know what sleep is, I don't know what peace of mind is.
I don't know what anything is anymore.
Chapter 2 Edit
There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, a single flashing, throbbing moment.*TRIGGER WARNING* For instances of self-harm
I trudge into camp, the scents of my clanmates assualting my nose like a hawk. Dovewing is nowhere to be seen, and good thing too. I don’t know how to approach her after what I just did. Sleep clouds my vision, but I shake the haze away.
Apparently, I don’t shake it out completely, because I fail to notice the she-cat approaching me from behind, until it’s too late.
“Hey, Ivypool,” Blossomfall says. My body is frozen, but my heart races inside my chest. “Could I talk to you, in private, for a second?” Her tone is light, but I can see anxiety behind her gaze. She can probably see the fear behind mine. We notice the cracks in eachothers facades, but while her cracks are sealing shut, mine seem to get bigger by the day.
“S-sure,” I reply. I know what she wants to talk about, it’s been on both of our minds. Even so, I let her guide me away from camp, into a secluded spot, where the petals of newleaf flowers fall from the trees, catching on her tortoiseshell pelt, accenting her green eyes.
“Ivypool,” she begins, and I know the words before they leave her mouth. “I need to talk to you about what happened that night.”
That night. Oh that lovely, gorgeous night. The only night I ever appreciated the Dark Forest. It’s funny how your favorite memory and your worst nightmares can exist in the same place.
I don’t know what had done it, but Tigerstar didn’t make us train that night. Hawkfrost left me alone. The true cats of the Dark Forest seemed rather happy, everyone did.
That night was a celebration of a victory never earned, where everyone was drunk on their own youth. That night, it didn’t matter if the stars didn’t shine, because the stars existed in our eyes, and the brightness was overwhelming.
Blossomfall and I had managed to slip away from the crowd, deeper into the endless forest. We laid, faces buried in eachother’s fur in perfect unity.
“I love you,” she had whispered to me. And I, forgetting about the situation, forgetting about the horrors I’ve commited, forgetting about the war I’m going to wake up to, replied with the absolute truth.
“I love you too.”
We stayed like that for the longest time. It felt eternal, it felt endless, but it wasn’t. We woke up, and we haven’t spoken about it until now.
“Yeah…” I begin uneasily, not sure of what to say. Blossomfall saves me from my awkwardness, with her own words. “We’re more than just friends, Ivypool,” her tail tip touches my shoulder, and heat rises to my face as realize how close we are. “Ivypool, I love you. I love you, I can help you, I can heal you. Let me.” I know what she’s talking about. Apparently, the strain in my actions, my weight loss, and the dark circles under my eyes aren’t so subtle. Or maybe Blossomfall understands, so she can see it.
“I-I love you too, Blossomfall-” understatement of the century. I love you. You drive me crazy, I love you. You fix me, we fit. I love you. Help me, save me please. I love you. I would do anything for you. I love you. “-but-but,” she stops me before I say anything stupid, by touching her nose to mine. “Good,” she replies, and I can practically feel the relief coming off her in waves. I finally notice the petals in my fur, and I wonder if I look as gorgeous as her.
We stand there, tails twined, noses touching, with flower petals in our fur, like something straight out of a horomonal apprentice’s daydream. Blossomfall shines a light inside me, a light I haven’t seen for a long time, a refuge from my nightmares. Everything is perfect, until the harshness of logic and reality catches up to me.A she-cat in love with a she-cat? How will the clan take this? This is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
I pull away. “Blossomfall, they aren’t going to-” a flash of anger surges in her eyes, and for a second, I’m scared. “Who cares! Love is love!” I want to laugh at her naive ideals. Of course I feel the same, but would the clan?
You should have stayed with me, the voice of Hawkfrost whispers. My breathing quickens, and my eyes widen, as Blossomfall looks at me, concerned, and for good reason.If you hadn’t betrayed us, we would have won. I could have walked you through StarClan. We could have ruled both the living clans and the dead ones. We could have been invincible, love, but you ruined it. And now you are paying the price. Run all you want, but you cannot escape yourself.
I scream, and fall to the ground, the flower petals flying upwards as dust takes their place. That voice-it-it had been so real. So utterly real. Blossomfall is there, leaning over me, eyes wide with worry. I get up before she can speak. “Nothing. It was nothing.” She dosen’t believe me for a second. “Can you go, please?” I ask. “I need to think something over.” Blossomfall hesitates, before nodding, and running off.Excellent job. Ruining one of the best moments of your life, because of some stupid voices.
I run to the river. I need to wash this off. The dust, the sins. The cold water washes over me, it’s perfect. Until, of course, I step on something sharp. The object punctures my pad, and I wince in pain. Scarlet blood runs into the water, stinging slightly as the two liquids make contact. I deserve that. I’m terrible, they’re going to kick me out of StarClan. Suddenly, the blood dosen’t seem so bad. I gaze at it in wonder. I shift though the riverbed, until I find another sharp, blade-like rock.I don’t deserve Blossomfall. I deserve punishment.
Tenatively, I plunge the rock into my paw.
Chapter 3 Edit
Hurting someone is as easy as throwing a stone into the sea. But do you have any idea how deep that stone can go?It dosen't hurt.
In fact, it’s calming, it’s nice. My fears flood into the water in the form of crimson stains. All wars have wounds don’t they? Even the silent ones that nobody hears about, nobody cares about.
I drag my paws up, and walk away from the riverbank, leaving behind a trail of scarlet. I should go immediately back to camp, but my emotions trump my logic, and I take the long way, as I’m pulled into the soft, black sea of my thoughts.
The forest is so dense here, a sea of trees. Nobody could hear you if you screamed. Nobody ever hears me scream, do they? I scream all the time, everyday, but no one can hear a thing.
Well, that’s not necessarily true. Blossomfall can hear it, piercing the sky, loud and clear. Whitewing can hear it, but only faintly. I think Dovewing can hear it too, maybe. They hear my cries for help, but only one answers.
I shake my head. I’m doing it again. Moping around like this only strengthens my nightmares, my hallucinations. I need to do something.
The first thing that comes to mind is cutting myself again. The action is both relief and punishment, it hurts but it feels great. But then again, I don’t want anyone to notice. Another lie. I think I do want someone to notice, to care, to help. I guess I have Blossomfall now. Someone to believe in, catch me, help me.
I smile for once, as I peel off a small piece of my flesh watching it bleed yet again. Having her now makes everything better. Having her means more discrimination, more slurs and insults thrown our way. But having her is more than I deserve, might as well cherish it, keep it secret.
I still have to apologize to Dovewing. The thought surfaces from the back of my head abruptly. Might as well, I shouldn’t have hit her.
By the time I reach camp, it’s sundown. I find my sister amidst the dispersing group, and she looks up at me with wounded green eyes.
“Hey-I-I’m sorry.” I manage to stutter out, embarrassed for not being able to speak properly, relieved that the stutter makes my apology seem heartfelt.
Dovewing looks at me for a second, as if contemplating whether or not she should scream in my face or accept my apology.
“It’s fine” she pauses, and I can’t tell if she’s sincere or sarcastic. “What happened to your paw?”
I cut myself, I want to say. Help me.
“I got into a fight with a bramble.” I joke, hoping she doesn’t see the grimace behind my grin.
Dovewing turns around, the soft glow of sunset setting her fur on fire. “I broke up with Bumblestripe, by the way.” she says, and I suddenly realize why her eyes had looked so wounded in the first place.
“I think you made the right choice.” I say gently.
“Good for you.”
She walks into the Warriors den, and I follow, an awkward tension suspended in the air between us. “Goodnight Dovewing.”
I lie down in the mossy nest next to Blossomfall, hoping for a dreamless sleep.
But the dreams come anyways.
Chapter 4 Edit
Alone with the thoughts of what should have been forgotten, I let myself be carried away into the silent screams of deliriumIt has been four weeks since I started cutting myself, four weeks since I officially was in love. The scars mark my paws, my pelt, my wounds from my silent war, from the cutting. But the love I’m experiencing makes it okay, bearable in the slightest. As long as she’s here, it’ll be fine, and I can go on fighting.
“What do you reckon will happen, Ivypool?” Blossomfall asks from my left side, smiling up at me with sparkling green eyes. We, along with a good portion of ThunderClan, walk towards the Island for a Gathering. The two of us get uneasy glances from the others, apparently a bit too close for “friends”. They think it’s wrong, what we have.
But how could something so beautiful be wrong?
“The kits, I bet. Bramblestar won’t shut up about them, I swear!” The leader’s mate had recently moved to the nursery, her kits strong and healthy. It must be a joy, a miracle even, to have life at your stomach when you were thought to be barren.
Blossomfall laughs, her voice ringing. “Sparkkit and Alderkit are so cute! They’ll be great warriors, someday.” I nod in agreement, but keep to myself the fact that Alderkit doesn’t seem like the Warrior type.
We are the first clan to reach the island and Blossomfall and I take a seat towards the center, waiting for the other clans to trickle in like water, and they do.
The leaders are waiting, waiting for something. Perhaps they’d like us to share tongues first? It makes sense, sometimes Gathering announcements cause such tension, the mood grows too foul to share tongues by the end of it.
Then I notice the quiet. It seeps in, slowly but surely, like a plague. All eyes are on Blossomfall and I, and a mean looking pale brown she-cat is pushing her way towards her. She must have quite the reputation, to silence a crowd like that.
Or maybe it’s the fact that I’m leaning on Blssomfall’s shoulder, something I just noticed now.
“Stay away everyone!” the she-cat (RiverClan from the looks of it) announces satirically. “Or you might catch the disease of these two sickos!”
Suprisingly, I’m placid. I spend to much energy fighting at night to feel anything at all in the day.
The same does not apply to Blossomfall.
“What was that?” she says, although I know she heard everything perfectly. “Do you have a problem with our relationship?”
The pale brown cat sneers, “Have a problem? A she-cat and a she-cat isn’t natural, if you haven’t noticed.”
“Well, that’s nature’s problem.”
Everyone is staring now, and I can’t help but smile. Blossomfall’s developed quite the passive aggressive tongue since the Great Battle, and I love it.
The RiverClan she-cat scowls, before turning to me. “Why don’t you say something?” A cruel smile mutilates her otherwise fair features. “Or are you too broken to speak? They call you the dead cat walking, y’know, and you look the part. Serves you right, heartless piece of foxdung.”
I can see wisps of clouds beginning to cover the moon, and I’m not the only one. “Curlfeather…” someone calls out anxiously. Curlfeather. So that’s her name. I think I have heard of her, the cruel little RiverClan darling.
I don’t say anything. I’m little more than a skeleton, she’s right about that. Death’s muse, not pretty like her. But too broken to speak?
I’m far passed that point, I speak to one cat only, and she steps in front of me, her body a shield from anymore truths spewing from Curlfeather’s mouth.
“I’d suggest you stop,” she says, smiling but also trembling with rage. “This is a Gathering after all.”
Curlfeather laughs a horrid mix of amusement and malice.
And then she hits Blossomfall.
Her paw hitting the face of my mate, the sound of Blossomfall’s body hitting the ground, all of this sends feeling to my numbness, words to my lips, and a red haze to my eyes. A tiny voice in me screams at me to stop, all I ever do now is have angry outbursts or bouts of depression. A tiny voice in me knows I’m going to take it too far.
But I don’t listen, I never do.
I come crashing down on Curlfeather with a vengeance. I’m screaming, screaming and it’s all I hear. It’s such a raw, primal scream. Curlfeather is screaming too, the exact same kind of scream, but I snuffle it out by my paws around her neck. I don’t know what I’m doing, but all I know is she hurt Blossomfall and now I will hurt her. The entire island has erupted with panic, I can hear cats yelling at me to stop, but why should I?
Curlfeather’s eyes are wide with fear, and she’s struggling, shaking and thrashing violently.
But then she’s not.
I feel her go limp in my arms, and I don’t even know what I’ve done. Jayfeather pulls me off her, and shoves something into my mouth. Poppy seeds. The last thing I see is cats crowding around Curlfeather, before the blackness of sleep pulls me under.
Berries like drops of blood. Screaming, so much screaming. Black. Black and Red. I’m facing someone. It’s Tigerstar, the instigator. Then it becomes Hawkfrost, my former lover, my demon. Then Curlfeather, sad eyes replacing her evil smile. Blood explodes from her neck, and she’s gone, just like that. “I knew you’d go too far. Why do you keep fighting? Go silently into the night, Ivypool. Go silently.” Running. Running until my feet go numb, running from guilt that cannot be outrun. Screaming for all that went wrong. Why? Why? Why?
I wake with a jolt. Daylight filters through the medicine den, and everything is rather calm, as opposed to my fractured and terrifying dream. Memories from last night flood in. Curlfeather. Blossomfall.
“So you finally decided to wake up.” Leafpool remarks, her back to me, fiddling with some herbs. “What happened?” I ask, my mind still hazy.
“What do you remember?” “Blossomfall and Curlfeather got into a fight. But then Curlfeather hit Blossomfall and I attacked her, and Jayfeather did something, but-but that’s all I remember.”
Leafpool chuckles. Not a happy, cheerful chuckle, but a dry chuckle, as if a kit were gazing upon their dead mother and thinking them asleep.
“You killed her Ivypool. You strangled her to death and Jayfeather had to sedate you.”
At first I want to yell. Yell about anything really. The irony, the unfairness, the cruelty. But I’m done screaming. I laugh instead. Not an evil laugh or an insane laugh, but a laugh that transcended crying or screaming. I laugh at how much I hate myself, how much this hurts, how I swore I wouldn’t hurt anyone again and I did just that. I laugh and laugh and laugh. I can’t stand, can’t move, all I can do is laugh and sound like a psychopath. I’m shaking too. Laughing, shaking, cutting and killing is what I’ve been reduced too. Soon I run out of breath for laughing, so I cough, then I wheeze.
Leafpool is stroking my fur, whispering words I cannot hear. I think Blossomfall rushes in, and she’s by my side, doing the same.
When I find my strength again, I’m going to run into the woods and cut my paws until the skin’s all gone, replaced by a sea of scarlet. I’m going to take Blossomfall and never let her go. I’m going to find Curlfeather in StarClan and beg for her forgiveness. I’m never going to let see Sparkkit and Alderkit see my face, a killer’s face.
But for now, I just stare.
Chapter 5 Edit
And now you've lost the only thing that made you feel aliveWords can’t hurt you, is one of the biggest lies ever told. Words can hurt more than actions. Words can kill. Curlfeather is a perfect example. Her own words killed her.
Oh wait, that was me.
The leaders of the four clans are gathered in Bramblestar’s den, and I can hear their arguing from the clearing in camp. They’re talking about me, about Curlfeather, about Blossomfall. What’s right and what’s wrong, atonement and punishment. Mistystar is here because I killed Curlfeather. Onestar is here because of Blossomfall and I. Rowanstar is here for the sake of it.
Blossomfall leans in close to my ear. “Don’t worry, Ivypool. It’ll be fine.”
I wish she didn’t lie to me.
I look up into her sharp green eyes, green eyes I could drown in, and I see love. Love that could weather anything. Love that cannot be bruised or broken.
I am a monster. Last night, I killed, but unlike the other times, it was not because I was forced to. I killed of my own volition. I caused a battle that cost Russetfur her life. I could have fed more information about the Dark Forest to the clans, but I didn’t, and I don’t know why. I cannot let go of a fight long past. I am nothing but bursts of anger and bouts of depression. I’m envious of everything. I have done nothing to deserve the striking she-cat who is now at my side.
I am a monster, but she loves me regardless.
I lean back into her shoulder, closing my eyes. I can hear the pawsteps of three leaders pushing their way through the gorse, and I can feel the tension in the air, scampering between cats like prey. I open my eyes, to see Bramblestar padding into the nursery. I doubt anything serious happened, if he isn’t calling a clan meeting.
“Yo, Ivypool!” Jayfeather calls, making his way over to me, a bundle of leaves in his mouth. “I need you to eat these, just in case.” I open the bubdle of leaves, and wince at what I see inside. More poppy seeds. But I see Blossomfall’s eyes joining Jayfeather’s, and I know I can’t get out of this.
Blossomfall walks me to the den, and I swallow the seeds, passing out on the spot.
This time I’m in a meadow, and it would be pretty, but the world is on fire. The grounds are charred, flowers of flame the only thing that grows. Smoke fills the air, and with this much smog, I should be dead. This makes it clear I’m dreaming.
“How are you, Ivypool?”
I already know who it is, I can feel his icy blue eyes burning deep into the back of my head. Perhaps I’ll be lucky, maybe I can walk away unscathed, maybe he’ll go away.
“Not even a reply? You should have some more manners, Ivypool.”
Suddenly he throws me to the ground, strangling me. “Isn’t this how you killed Curlfeather?” Hawkfrost purrs, voice like silk. “You loved it, didn’t you?” I’m struggling under his grip. I know what happens next. I black out, wake up screaming. Sleep. Dream. Wake up. Scream. Repeat. That’s how it is, night after night, and I’m so utterly helpless to stop it.
Or am I?
I see blackness dotting my vision as air is ripped from my lungs, but I feel…strong. I can end this, right here, right now. I can fight the Dark Forest, I can win this war. This is my head, these are my dreams, I have the power here.
I will no longer fall prey in the realm where ghosts forever walk.
With a sudden bout of energy, I kick Hawkfrost in the stomach, knocking him off me. His eyes bulge, but I don’t wait for him to get up. I’m on top of him now, and I’m going to kill him. He took everything from me. My innocence. My sanity. My reputation. Hollyleaf. Hawkfrost deserves nothing more than death. I consider saying something before he dies, but decide against it. Words will only ruin this for me.
But then I realize, I’m not in the meadow anymore.
I’m not in the meadow, I’m in the warriors den, empty, save myself and the cat at my paws, who I do not see, for I am looking up.
The cat at my paws.
If I was dreaming, why is there a cat at my paws? There is only one cat who would stand beside me as I sleep, protecting me. I pray to StarClan, hoping this isn’t real, hoping that when I look down, I will not see who I expect. But StarClan dosen’t listen, why should they? I slowly look down, and what I see shatters me.
The cat at my paws is Blossomfall.
I almost killed Blossomfall.
The world goes silent. I can’t look at her, I can’t hear her. I run. Everything is a blur, and rain pounds on my back, the sunset painting the sky red, like blood. Blood I could’ve spilled. It was still morning when I took the poppy seeds. How much time has passed? How long was she sitting next to me? Next to the cat who almost ended her?
I’m running like world’s going to end, maybe it already has, I don’t know. I’m by the river again, and I dig out my sharp stone. I slam my paw in, so different from the little cuts I’m used to. I scream because it hurts, but I deserve this.
I turn to look at Blossomfall, who’s panting behind me. Her eyes are filled with love and pain. Are they not the same thing?
I can’t defy her, so instead I crumple like a leaf. She is walking towards me, about to place her tail on my spine-
Blossomfall’s eyes widen, and she backs up a bit.
“Are you alright? I’m not hurt Ivypool, it’s okay-”
“I can’t do this anymore.”
I can almost see Blossomfall’s blood running cold.
“Can’t do what?”
“This. Us. You know exactly what I mean, Blossomfall.”
Blossomfall looks at me as if I’ve gone crazy (have I?).
“Wait. I thought we were good. Better than good! What is it? Tell me what’s wrong, I’ll fix it!”
I can feel my heart crumbling. I don’t want to do this, but I have too. This is for her sake. What is it they always say? If you really love someone, let them go. I hope she sees this as an act of love. I’m sorry, Blossomfall. I don’t mean this. I’m sorry.
“You aren’t right for me.”
Blossomfall winces as if she’s been striked.
Why does she have to make this so hard?
“I don’t want to hurt you, and even if I get over whatever I’m going through, just being with you would hurt you. Others think our love isn’t right. That makes you a target.”
Blossomfall looks angry now. Not directed at anyone, just angry.
“That dosen’t matter! If it’s us against the world, so be it! What kind of logic are you using, Ivypool!”
“The kind of logic that’s going to protect you.”
“So you’re trying to stop me from getting hurt, by hurting me?”
Blossomfall’s rage is fading now, leaving only and empty look of defeat.
“Fine,” she whispers, and now I wish she’d yell again. “That’s just fine.”
She looks at me one more time, and I try to fit all my emotions into my gaze. All the I-love-you’s and I-have-to-do-this-I’m-sorry.
All I can do is hope she understands, as Blossomfall walks out of my sight and out of my life.
Chapter 6 Edit
Isn’t it sad when you get hurt so much, you can finally say “I’m used to it”.Sometimes I wish there wasn’t so much good in the world, because it stops me from doing what must be done.
I’ll sit in the forest, hesitating and hesitating, before screaming in frustration and running away.
The weeks blur together, and I lose track of time.
I see Blossomfall everyday, but it’s like we’re strangers. I haven’t spoken to her since our breakup, but she still looks like a muse of StarClan, and I can almost smell the sunshine on her fur.
I cannot outrun the regret that comes with abandoning a love so precious, so willingly.
“Why did you leave Blossomfall?” Alderkit, now Alderpaw, asks one day.
How do I explain to him that I’ve lost the will to live, that I must sever all ties to do what I plan to do?
“It’s a long story.” I reply sadly.
“Was it because of the other clans? Mother said they didn’t like a she-cat being mates with another she-cat”
“A little bit.”
Alderpaw looks confused, but he’s adamant, and continues to question me.
“Is it bad, to love someone of your own gender?” he whispers, eyes darting around wildly as if he dosen’t want anyone to hear.
“Why do you ask?” I reply, mildly interested.
“Well-um, Mother was te-telling us about Firestar, and I said that I’d wanna be mates with Firestar, and Sparkpaw said that was gross, ’cause toms are supposed to love she-cats, not other toms.”
I knew it.
“I don’t think that’s bad. I like toms and she-cats, but mostly she-cats. I had a crush on a tom when I was an apprentice, and I used to be mates with Blossomfall.”
Alderpaw’s eyes widen, and he breaks into a grin.
“You’re allowed to like toms and she-cats! That’s so cool!”
“Do you like both?”
Alderpaw shrugs, “Nah, just toms.”
“That’s fine too. I believe love is love, no matter whom recieves it.”
Alderpaw looks ready to faint from excitement. “Yeah! Me too! Thanks a lot, Ivypool!”
Alderpaw runs off to who knows where, and I’m left with my heart feeling a bit lighter, but also heavier than an old oak tree.
This is the good in the world that keeps me from leaving it.
I can see Blossomfall watching Alderpaw from a distance, and I bet she heard every word of our conversation.
I want to tell her I still love her, that I never stopped loving her, but I know I cannot.
If people do not care about me, they will not be sad when I take my life.
So instead I just stare at her and wish and think, hoping she can miraculously read my mind.
She stares back at me, and both of us are searching for a love given up.
“Wake up, lazybones! I nice day of sunshine and homophobia awaits!”
I groggily bat at Blossomfall’s nose, but I plan to get up. Last night’s sleep had been dreamless, and that was a sign of a good day to come.
“Yay! I sure do love homophobia!”
We giggle, and walk out of the den.
“Brokenstar has never had eyes for any she cat ever.” Blossomfall says, on border patrol.
“Oh my gosh, I want to disagree so bad” I reply.
“Dunno, sometimes he’d sit just a bit too close to Tigerstar…”
“Are you confusing Brokenstar for Darkstripe?
“Darkstripe too. He had a super obvious crush on Tigerstar, that’s like, the only reason he stayed in the Dark Forest.”
“The one true love triangle…OF EVIL.”
I sigh, and tear my gaze away from the beautiful tortoiseshell, absentmindedly pawing my uneaten mouse. I don’t really eat much anymore, not because I don’t want to, but because it really just seems unecessary.
“Love hurts, huh?”
I look behind me, annoyed. A barely visible she-cat is sneering at me, with an I-told-you-so expression on her face.
“Can you not leave me alone? You’ve won, Mapleshade, just go away. You’re just a hallucination.”
It’s Mapleshade’s turn to look annoyed.
“I’m not a hallucination, idiot.”
“Yes you are. If not, I’d be dead already.”
“You wound me, Ivypool.”
“I could say the same.”
“I’m not here to hurt you. All I want to do is talk.”
Cats are starting to stare at me, so I walk into the forest and away from prying eyes.
“Do you see the price for betraying us, Ivypool?”
“Heck yes. I’ve lost my sanity and everyone who ever cared about me.”
“Do you want me to make it stop?” Mapleshades cooes, with a voice like honey.
“Nah. I’m planning to do that myself, thanks.”
“I must say, killing yourself is the permanent solution. If you actually go through with it, then know that I’m impressed with your courage.”
“I don’t want you to be impressed with anything I do.”
“Too bad. I never had the guts to kill myself. I was weak.”
“Suicide is the ultimate sign of weakness, but I’m beyond weak.”
“You don’t even seem to care that one of your demons has come to haunt you. You’re broken.”
“Love can do that.”
“Yeah, love and PTSD.”
Both of us laugh a dry laugh. The laugh of someone who is so hurt they cannot be wounded any further.
“So why did you want to talk to me.” I ask nonchalantly.
“Well, I thought I’d just scare you, but you seem unfazed.”
“It’s the last stage of my grief, I guess. First I denied it, then I was angry, then depressed and now I’m just done.”
I blink, and she’s gone.
Perhaps I was hallucinating again. I can’t even tell the difference between real life and my dreams anymore.
I wander the forest, for a bit, imagining lives for the mice I see. One’s a father struggling to protect his mate and children. One’s travelling the world. One has a friendship with a kittypet.
“…I’ve always loved you.”
I pause. The voice belongs to Thornclaw. Wonder who he’s talking too.
I follow the voice, but what I see makes me cringe.
Thornclaw is dramatically confessing his love to a stone-faced Blossomfall.
I see no love in her eyes as the words “I feel the same way.” come out of her mouth. I know how this is going to go, I’ve seen so many other do the same thing. She’ll pretend to love him, comfort for her broken heart. Then she’ll leave him, and the vicious cycle will continue.
I know their love isn’t real.
I know that for both of us, there will never be another.
I know that she loves me as much as I do her.
I run anyway
Chapter 7 Edit
Trigger Warning: Suicide and mentions of an abusive relationship
And in the end we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.I’ve reached a point where I’m ready to make it end.
I’ve reached a point where I can’t go on, it’s hard, too hard.
I’ve reached a point where I’m sitting in front of a clump of deathberries, because death must be better, anything is better than this.
I wish I could say something. Tell the people I love goodbye. But I can’t, I can’t.
What would I even say?
Dear Birchfall, You should have been disappointed when you saw your daughter in the Dark Forest. But I was crushed when you accepted it willingly.
Dear Whitewing, You cared, but not enough.
Dear Dovewing, I could never compete with you.
Dear Hawkfrost, I’m never going to forget you, or the scars that you gave me. If you were to rip out my throat, I’d probably apologize for getting blood on you. I hate you, but I hate you with passion, because you made me feel more alive then I’ve ever been.
And that’s not always a good thing.
Dear Darkstripe, Get a backbone, ya pushover.
Dear Thornclaw, She’s playing you. You’re four times her age. Just go away.
Dear Alderpaw, That ShadowClan tom, Strikepaw? He flirts with all those she-cats as a form of denial.
Talk to him.
Dear Bramblestar, I’m glad you didn’t make me deputy. I’ve fallen from grace, and I would’ve dragged the clan with me.
Dear Jayfeather, Nothing runs through your veins but sarcasm. I’ll miss you.
Dear Hollyleaf, You recovered. I didn’t. Please be happy in StarClan, you deserve it.
Dear Hollowflight, There are better ways for dealing with bullies. No killing bite needed.
Dear Curlfeather, I don’t know if you deserved it or not, but I’m sorry.
Dear Tigerstar, I’ve tried many times to edify you, make you seem like an actual being, with thoughts and feelings.
Dear Lionblaze, I don’t know what to say to you. I’m sorry.
Dear Mapleshade, What exactly did you do to get in the Dark Forest? Maybe when I die, I’ll find out.
Dear Blossomfall, You are the only one there ever was. You’re more than envy, more than spite. You are everything, more than I can ever fit into my thoughts. You made my life worth it, kept me going for so long. What I’m doing is not your fault.
I love you, never forget that.
I breathe. This is it. I’m about to do it. “Begin the great adventure” as the elders say. I know there will be no StarClan waiting for me, nor a forest devoid of light. I really don’t know what awaits me, perhaps this truly is the next great adventure.
Will it hurt?
Will I writhe and scream, or will I go quietly, silently, eating death like honey?
This is not how I’d imagined my death, but this death is not weak.
It is defiance.
It is defiance of StarClan, proving I can end this life whenever I choose, because it is my life, and mine alone.
It is defiance of the Dark Forest, because the cannot make me surrender – I quit.
This is the end I choose. Not a cowards death, but a heroes, because the only real difference between the two is the amount of publicity.
I will go down with defiance in my bones, screaming at whatever lies beyond that I’m not broken, I’m just done with this mouse brained idea called life.
But deep down I know I’m just denying that I am a coward, about to die a cowards death. A broken cat that cannot be fixed.
“You win, Hawkfrost.” I whisper, grief clogging what may as well be my last words. “You win.”
Then I shove death into my mouth
Alderpaw finds her first. Ivypool is laying on the ground, with foam dancing on the edge of her mouth and a swelled stomach. Her eyes are bags of acid, and Alderpaw cannot read her final expression.
The clan comes rushing in. They all do the same.
Whitewing is sobbing, Birchfall is stoic, Dovewing is despondent.
Blossomfall is dead.
She knows it, for it is impossible not to know if the best part of you has been violently ripped away. The world is silent. There is no sound, no light. Thornclaw is saying something, but she pushes him away, he is nothing in comparison to her.
It is like being submerged in water, unable to breathe.
It will never be the same.
Seven deathberries, is what Jayfeather said. Seven deathberries, consumed willingly. A martyr. That’s what she is, in Blossomfall’s eyes. A beautiful, broken martyr, forged from fire and smothered by shadows.
“Come back to me.” Blossomfall whispers, leaning over her lover’s body, the only lover there ever truly was.
“Come back to me.”
But she doesn’t.