What if Longtail wound up in the dark forest concept
WARRIORS humanisation fic
Longtail Darkstripe and Tigerstar
Longtail's POV second person POV
He's just as he was when he was younger. Pale skin, dark eyes, hair tied back into a bun. He's still got his custom markings, soot circles rubbed under his eyes and below his bottom lip, extending to the base of his chin. He's not wearing armour, just his trademark white tank top and leggings, non formal attire. His face is free of the lines that come with old age, and he's shorter, leaner than you remember, less packed with muscle, like he must have been as a young warrior. An ugly pink mark stretches across his throat, the knife wound from where Greystripe killed him, and you're appalled to see thick black liquid still oozing out of the gash, like it's fresh, like he hasn't been dead longer than most of the people alive now. He's sitting next to another warrior, one you also remember. A thrill of fear shoots up your spine the same time disgust spoils in your stomach when you see the wound that killed him, sliced down his neck, past his collar bone to settle just between his hip bones, not quite reaching the dip of his pants. He's younger too, his light brown skin almost bronze, amber eyes bright, lips pulled into a grimace you remember so well from your childhood. His fawn hair falls free in curls around his head as he bows his neck to stare at something he's fiddling with in his hands. He's dressed similarly to his companion, and you watch in horrified curiosity as black blood stains his shirt, only to fade, over and over again.
He addresses you without looking up, and you startle in alarm. Darkstripe looks up as well, and you know he's surprised to see you here from the way his lips part into an O, eyes widening.
“Tigerstar, Darkstripe,” curt, short.
Tigerstar's lips split into a grin and he looks up, amber eyes alight with a boyish sort of amusement.
“I didn't expect to ever see you here. You'd already sold your soul to Starclan by the time I left the clan.”
“You were exiled,” you correct him, curling your lip as you step into the clearing they relax in, “I wasn't going to leave with a pathetic traitor.”
There was a time when you admired him, looked up to him with pride and envy. You do no such thing now. If he's taken aback by the hostility in your voice and the aggression in your stance he doesn't show it.
“Of course,” he purrs, and it makes you sick, makes you physically ill to actually hear his voice in that tone again, after years of silence from his part.
“You shouldn't be here,” Darkstripe speaks up, fingers curling into the dust as he stares at you, “you were supposed to be better than us, you were supposed to live on, to do great things! What did you ever do to deserve such a fate?”
You hear the raw sorrow in his voice, the pity and desperation. He's not the same, you know that now, years of anguish and regret have finally broken him. A sob chokes past his lips and Tigerstar clouts him over the head like he's a child crying for his mother. You swallow your anger so you can answer his question. It's the least you can do.
“You're right, I shouldn't be here. I felt ashamed after being your friend, Tigerstar. Bluestar could never have trusted me again, because that terror you had embedded in her messed with her mind, and suddenly I wasn't the person who had told you no, or the scared teenager whose friend had just been exiled, I was the enemy. Swiftpaw was killed thanks to Bluestars foolishness, and then when the clan found out what you had done to poor Brindleface they were horrified. You continued to endanger the clan, and after you were killed not even the knowledge that we were free of you was a comfort, because you had brought something even more deadly into the forest – Bloodclan. I left after the battle with Bloodclan, after Darkstripe was killed. There was nothing left for me there. I started life as a rogue, first into Bloodclan territory, and then travelling far, far away. You can't imagine how furious I was that the clans moved to where I was, what you know as the lake. I had been peaceful for many years, and the idea that I was being forced to move away again because I had no desire to be a part of clan life anymore was sickening to me. I stayed close, but never too far because I didn't want to make another long journey to get away. I strayed to far one day. Windclan extended their territory, and I guess I never realized, because one day I was seen by a patrol. Onewhisker – star, now, was leading the patrol and recognized me. We spoke for a while, before he let me go, obviously curious but unwilling to ask. Well, he must have passed the news onto Thunderclan because they came looking for me. They found me alright. I had gotten in a fight with another rogue over drugs and he collapsed halfway through– too high to really fight, and a Thunderclan patrol appeared the second I dropped him. There was an apprentice in the patrol. They attacked without question, and that was when I saw Firestar and another warrior I didn't know rounding the hill. They assumed I had started attacking the apprentice, and broke into a run. In a panic I fought to get out of the girls grip, and I..” he paused then, taking a sharp breath, “I stabbed her in the stomach. Still coming off from my high, I didn't even think about it. The warrior Firestar was with killed me, I think, in a bought of rage. It was all a bit hazy.”
They had both stayed silent throughout, only when they are sure you are finished do they speak.
“Drugs, seriously? How the mighty have fallen,” Tigerstar snickers, seeming amused by the whole thing.
“You can talk,” You snap back, baring your teeth.
“Where?” Darkstripe is much more observant, brows furrowed as he looks you up and down, “where's the mark?”
Tigerstars head snaps up so he can stare at you.
You take a quick step back, furrowing your brows in confusion.
“What mark?” You ask.
“The wound that killed you. Your mark,” Tigerstar juts his chin up, showing off the gash leading down his throat, “everyone has one. Even Brokenstar, who was poisoned – when he spits it's a mix of blood and foam, because it's internal. Where's yours, if you were murdered?”
“Maybe I just don't have one,” you growl out.
You know where it is, actually, but you're loathe to say because Darkstripe will pity you and Tigerstar will mock you.
“I bet you were lying,” Tigerstar drawls, getting to his feet just so he can pull you down by your shoulders, “what was it, instead? Overdose, starvation? Your story seems pretty far fetched.”
He starts to tug your sweater down over one shoulder, and you start to panic, flailing in his grip, fighting like you did like when you were an apprentice.
“C'mon man, leave him alone,” Darkstripe whines, getting to his feet like he's going to help, but you know he can't stop Tigerstar, not really.
He never could before.
“Let him go, Tigerstar, he obviously doesn't want to show you just yet.”
You look up at the new voice, seeing a dark skinned woman standing over you, black and orange dyed dreadlocks pulled back into a loose pony tail. She has her hands on her hips, dressed in warrior attire. Scars run down her neck and her face, and she's bleeding that same black substance from numerous open wounds along her stomach, breasts and shoulders. She must have died from excessive bleeding, you realize. She's so faded you can see the outline of trees behind her. Tigerstar grimaces, standing to face the warrior.
“What do you want, Mapleshade?”
She purses her lips, a hostile look on her face.
“Just here to welcome the new comer,” she holds out her hand, and you shake it, “good to meet you, Longtail. Welcome to the rest of your death.”