Wordcount: 414 words
Summary: Softpaw makes a choice.
NOTE: This is the first draft of a story, so it will most likely contain plot holes, retcons, and other inconsistencies. I’ll come back and fix things once the story (or arc) is complete!
Softpaw and Claire
May had expected Softpaw to turn up as soon as Claire’s foxhawk realized they had survived, but the foxhawk was not with either of the groups that came over to the camp. She worried that the foxhawk had died and the Claire would pause in whatever she was doing and look up every time a foxhawk passed her.
It was not until Swift returned, limping but still full of himself and overjoyed to fin Jeffery that they learned she had chosen to stay with the warren.
“But, she knows I am alive, right?” Claire asked and Swift tried to find a way to say what she did not want to hear.
“She’s not coming back.” He paused. “She thought you were dead—“
“But I am not!”
“She thought you were dead and it hurt too much. She will not believe us, will not change that. You’re dead and she’s mourning you.” Swift tried to find the right words. “I think she broke.”
“That is not the right words.” Dog chided.
“But if she sees me, will not that fix everything? I am not dead!” Claire pleaded.
“The elders don’t think so, I am sorry.” Swift nudged her and she slapped his beak away.
“I don’t care if you’re sorry, I care that I get to see her!”
“The elders think that would make it worse. They told me,” Swift wavered in the face of her anger. “They told me to tell you she died– it’s not the truth, but it’s true.”
“So they will not let Claire see her?” May asked, incredulous.
“If you ask them, they will say she’s dead.” Swift said apologetically. “There are other foxhawks Claire, you will be a foxknight still. These things happen in war.”
“No,” snarled Claire, “no I will not. Go back and tell them if she wants me dead, I am dead.” She glared at all the foxhawks, who shifted uncomfortably. “I am dead to all of you, you horrible, horrible creatures. Leave me alone.” And with that, she stormed out of the camp, ignoring May and Jeffery’s calls.
“Well that went well.” Swift said sadly.
“It was not going to,” Dog pointed out. “Did you get a chance to see her?”
Swift shook his head, “they won’t let anyone in to see her.”
“How is that going to help?” May asked.
“It won’t help, but it won’t hurt.” Swift said. “Right now all they care about is keeping as many alive as they can.”