About a Girl | Give Me a Second Go | It's Over, Casanova | What Makes You Beautiful | Kiss It All Better | Dark Side | Summer Love | Satellite | Over Again | Forever and Always | Paradise | Turning Tables

Part of the Songfic Series.

OA is Adele

Written by Red

Turning Tables

Close enough to start a war

All that I have is on the floor

Her slim body shaking with exertion, her sandy, speckled fur pulled taut over lean muscles, her shoulders quivering as she suppressed racking sobs. Nothing she could do could prevent the tears leaking from her eyes, as she sat in the clearing, just in front of the river, amber eyes gazing into its depths as though she could see the long-awaited solution to a problem she had been encountering far too often for her liking. A problem she desired in the beginning, but grew to hate. 

He was sitting opposite her, on the other side of the river, on his territory. His eyes raked her face, he willed her to look up, but she kept her eyes pointedly directed away from him. He wanted to apologize, but couldn't find it within himself. 

She looked up. Everything she had spilled, every secret of hers, every secret of her Clan's, was lying out in front of him like an array of prey, and she gazed at him, blank, almost as though trying to anticipate which piece of fresh-kill, which secret he would choose to divulge. What he would choose to say, which battle he would begin to fight. 

God only knows what we're fighting for

All that I say, you always say more

Only StarClan knew what brought them together, only StarClan knew what they saw in each other. She thought she could see warmth behind that cold, stone-gray pelt of his, if she dug deeper into those icy-blue eyes, she would find the charm of a hunter, the skill of a fighter, the desire of a lover. In the first few moons, he had been all that. Then another - clearly - had caught his eye, and she was no longer the most favorable. She fell out of his options, an opponent suddenly too weak to beat. 

He thought he could find something behind that facade of vibrance. He thought he could pick apart whatever force was keeping her closed, that he could break the dam blocking all true emotions holed up inside her heart. He had - and then she turned on him, bit at his tail every time hea sked a question. He knew that he wasn't her favorite anymore, there must have been another who was in higher esteem in her eyes. Someone more skilled at hunting, or a better figher. She wasn't his anymore, she was a bird flying just out of reach after an escape from his claws. 

I can't keep up with your turning tables

Under your thumb I can't breathe

"I'm done," she choked out, eyes raising to his level. She couldn't bear to speak to him, but if she didn't, he would keep pestering her, keep lurking about the border, waiting for the day on which she patrolled to pounce. Like a fox on a hare, stuck with the scent but unable to find its dinner. 

Everything he had given her, it was all gone. He went from that cold-hearted snob she'd seen at Gatherings, the most talented of deputies, to a warm, purring fool, running through the trees while she pushed herself to catch up, back to the same cat he'd always been. The charming tom had just been a facade, a trick, a delusion. He wanted to get her on his side, to pretend to take her under his wing, just to learn about her. He was deputy, there was nothing he wouldn't share with his own Clan leader. And she had fallen for it. She believed that he truly loved her - but love makes fools of us all, doesn't it?

So, I won't let you close enough to hurt me

No, I won't rescue you to just desert me

All she'd done, that false impression of a beautiful she-cat, who loved, who had emotions, who felt and understood and empathized; she was just a delusion, wasn't she? He had let her get close enough to him, he'd let his walls drop in favor of her, he'd torn down everything he'd striven to achieve, just for her. And she'd turned on him and betrayed him with a purr on her face. 

No, he wouldn't save her. If she had fallen into the river just then, even if she had been reaching across the stream to apologize, her face already softening as she opened her mouth in anticipation of the words about to come out, and the current dragged at her paw, pulling her off the soggy bank and into the roiling water below, he wouldn't have moved a paw. A cat who had ripped apart his own hear, who had hurt him worse than a swim down some silly little river could, didn't deserve to be saved from that very fate. A cat who had pulled at his emotions, toyed with them like a mouse before the kill, she deserved even worse. But he couldn't bring himself to harm her, not unless provoked, not unless she decided to say something, to apologize.

I can't give you the heart you think you gave me

It's time to say goodbye to turning tables

He might have expected love in return, now, that he had come crying back to her after his own she-cat probably decided she didn't love him. He might have expected her to hand him her heart on a green leaf, just as he thought he had done for her. But all he gave her was pity, was the delusion that he loved her, the delusion that he really cared. She couldn't give him kindness in return for all that he had done to her, that wouldn't be fair, it wouldn't be right. He wouldn't deserve it.

She had to leave him - it was what was best. After all, if she didn't do it, others might follow her example. Try and break through that icy facade that made every tom so handsome. The demeanor that every she-cat adored, the careless apathy, the hating-the-world physique. All she-cats loved it, all she-cats loved him. It was natural, instinct. But she couldn't let anyone else fall for that trap. She couldn't let anyone else smell that flower, the beautiful petals, to be turned on and choked as the blossom smiled sadistically, fully conscious of its actions and taking pleasure in them.

To turning tables

Under haunted skies I see you

He glowered, his eyes hardening and his heart clenching at her tear-filled eyes. She was unjustified in feeling so upset; she hadn't been the one whose heart had been trampled by a herd of horses, whose heart had been wrenched apart and then pieced carelessly back together by a simple gesture. 

He'd never see her, not when the sky remained blue, the grass green, and the birds still chirping. He'd have to be dragged across burning coals, through a boulder-strewn minefield, beneath the hooves of cows, across mountains and through the skies to see her again. Never voluntarily would he want to see those amber eyes, sparkling with whether happiness or joy, or swimming with grief brought on by herself. Never would he nudge that golden-brown fur, flecked with darker tabby patches, glossy after a grooming or matted after a training session with her apprentice. 

Where love is lost your ghost is found

I braved a hundred storms to leave you

She gazed at him with barely suppressed fury now. There he was, looking disgusted at her tear-filled eyes, contemptuously glaring at her as though she had no right to be angry. As though she had no right to be angry, as though he was further justified. 

He didn't know what she'd done to get to him, to tell him that their relationship was over. Sure, it had taken only two words, but the strength she had had to muster to force those two words from her tongue, feeling their sharp, pointed edges scrape at her throat and spew forth from her mouth like some vile word vomit. She'd pushed herself out of camp, her paws carrying her towards this spot, she'd shoved past curious Clanmates returning to the camp with prey-filled jaws. She'd done everything to make sure their relationship didn't crash down around their ears, neither willing to end it.

He didn't know. He didn't, and never would, because he was a tom, and they never understood anything!

As hard as you try, no, I will never be knocked down

I can't keep up with your turning tables

Any words that came out of her mouth would probably later be deflected. They always were. Those I hate you!s and I never, ever, ever want to see you again!s were always false, they were always lies given to him after she realized she did need him. He knew he shouldn't listen to her - but he would, because he didn't want her to come crawling back to him now, not ever. She'd done too much to earn that right. 

He couldn't even keep up with all of her stories, all of those false pretexts he'd provided to cover up what she'd done. Who she was crushing on in her own Clan, why he had caught her charms. Why he was becoming more of a best friend, a confidant, in these times of toil. That was why he met her, she said, everyday, because he was loyal and they loved each other. Lovers didn't listen to each other's love problems. Lovers didn't have love problems, but at this point, he wasn't sure if they were lovers anymore. 

He didn't care what she said! He never would, because she was a she-cat, and whatever she said, it "didn't mean anything."

Under your thumb I can't breathe

So, I won't let you close enough to hurt me

It was all his fault. 

Whatever he did, it always hurt her. She couldn't bear it, with him controlling all of her movements, restricting who she could love in her Clan, who she could think was adorable, which apprentice she wished she could mentor. He was too controlling, too demanding. For StarClan's sake, he should just move to her Clan and build her her own little den of isolation! It wouldn't be any different for what he was doing now.

Her eyes hardened until they held the texture of the river in leaf-bare, as frozen, as hard, sparkling far beneath the surface with something foretelling a future. But her eyes held nothing to lead anyone to believe that she had hope. That she had a future. Because of him, she seemed a stuck-up brat above the affections of any tom in her Clan. No one could love her, because she was already taken, or so she appeared to her Clanmates. Because she already had a mate, though no one knew, or wanted to know, who the seemingly unlucky tom was. She was so spoiled she'd laze in the nursery all day, waiting for food to be brought to her.

And it was he who had caused this falsified impression. It was he who had ruined her entire life in the Clan!

No, I won't rescue you to just desert me

I can't give you the heart you think you gave me

She never loved him, did she? He was just a toy of hers. He wouldn't do anything to help her, not if she came crawling back as he knew she would. Because she had hurt him beyond belief, and it was her own fault, and she deserved that feeling. He couldn't return the affections she thought she had given him, because none of that was earned. All that time, that batting of eyelashes, that was just a lie, a deception to make him believe he was still held highest in her affection.

That was all she-cats did, wasn't it? Lie.

She glared at him, then, and he knew that she knew what he was thinking. And she knew - she thought - she didn't deserve what he would have given her. But he knew he was justified, he knew he wass right! She diidn't realize the extent of her...of her trickery, her sorcery. Because she-cats never did, they just expected that like it was a piece of prey, they took it for granted. They took affection for granted, because they were naturally so beautiful, naturally charming, naturally talented in dealing with toms and lies. 

It's time to say goodbye to turning tables

Turning tables

She was done with him. As done with him as a squirrel was with life once one of her Clanmates began to stalk it. Which is to say, sufficiently done

He was too fickle, too fickle in the most awful way possible. Proclaiming her beauty and cozying up to her one sunrise, and then the next one, declaring that she was too harsh, that she tried too hard, that she obviously had affections for a different tom. She would never love another. He was the only one she loved. When she lived in a world where she defied the norm, where she never wanted a mate, he was the only one who was the perfect tom. He was wonderful, he was beautiful, she'd done all she had, she'd given everything to him. And he'd tossed it all in the lake.

She was finished. 

Next time I'll be braver

I'll be my own savior

As he scowled across the river, his eyes as steely as flint, gazing into her own, she bit her lip, kneading the grassy bank with her paws as though debating whether to turn tail and flee. She couldn't flee! But it was typical of her, wasn't it, he thought, she always fled from her problems. Never mind if they were self-inflicted, she was too cowardly to face them alone. Well, he wasn't. He could deal with his own problems - which were basically hers, there really was no difference. 

He could save himself next time.

He wouldn't need her frivolous, so-called, self-proclaimed beauty to get him out of bad situations with her Clan or his own. He was a warrior, and he didn't need some pretty little she-cat to fight his battles for him - those seemed to be the only battles she could fight. Ones that weren't her own!

The patter of paws met his ears. 

When the thunder calls for me

Next time I'll be braver I'll be my own savior

She fled. 

She couldn't bear to see the hatred lighting up like flames behind his eyes, his strong, lean stance, no longer friendly or defensive, but offensive, ready to attack her. He wasn't defending her anymore, he had transformed into a whole different cat. He hated her now. She would be the offending end of his claws, a place she had never wanted to be, even when they were apprentices in rival Clans.

Racing through the forest, she wished she could have heard his voice again. Her paws thrumming against the smooth grass, that was a sensation she associated with the anticipation of seeing  him again. Now, it was with the hopes to never see him again. 

But next time she wouldn't have to flee. Next time, she'd stand and fight. Fight the tom who had ruined her reputation, who had ruined her heart, who had ruined her life. She wouldn't be the same weak she-cat he'd taken advantage of. She'd have her own strength, and the strength of her Clanmates behind her. 

Standing on my own two feet

I won't let you close enough to hurt me

She had hurt him too much already. But he wasn't going to go after her. That was a mark of cowardice. A true warrior didn't need to seek revenge. He was content to be rid of his problems; he need not end them. She was gone. For good, he hoped, but he most definitely could not be sure.

What he was sure of was that he would never let her close to him again. He'd never see her again, whether at Gatherings or on patrols, he would never allow himself to fall prey to those leaf-green eyes. To the charm she possessed, no, he was stronger than that. The heart of his she had ripped out, it was only strengthened. What didn't kill him made him stronger - and his broken heart only resurrected itself. To be stronger, with an armor of stone. 

No she-cat, beautiful or not, could penetrate him anymore. He knew that, and he would never let anyone close enough to him to even attempt such a crime. 

No, I won't rescue you to just desert me

I can't give you the heart you think you gave me Each in separate camps now, they dragged themselves into the warriors' den, not caring who they trampled or how the moonlight illuminated their pelts moving amongst their Clanmates. They both settled for spaces near the back in their respective camps, circled their nests for a moment, then sat down, mirroring each other with tails curled over noses. Though both closed their eyes, neither could sleep. 

Both thought of the other. Alone. She dragged herself to the realization she abandoned him. He knew now that he had mistrusted her. They understood that they had brought the problems on each other, and in receiving a problem, had restored equilibrium. But now they were apart, each with the perception that neither wanted to see the other again. That both hated each other.  

It's time to say goodbye to turning tables

To turning tables

They were wrong.

Turning tables...

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