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I Dont Mean To Be Mean by Jih-pun I Dont Mean To Be Mean by Jih-pun
headcanon that Needletail is actually super insecure about herself so she acts tough and aggressive to feel like something she's not. She was naturally solitary, spending most of her time alone as a kit, usually being brushed off as ordinary. However, in apprenticeship, she started to test going beyond boundaries and rules. Seeing her apprentice clanmates slowly start to respect her for her "daring" and "brave" personality, she feels like she's accepted and loved for once in her life. Each time she went out of her way to call out authority, other cats, and wreak minor havoc, the cats her age paid more and more attention to her, until she eventually was considered the "badass" and big-shot of all the ShadowClan apprentices. But it was never enough. She was never happy with herself. She felt the need to go bigger, being a nuisance much more. The cats her age were always so amazed by how bold she was, and little by little, they started to join in on her schemes and mischievous deeds. They all started to take in her personality, and become just like her: obnoxious, rebellious, and fearless. (This explains why many of the ShadowClan cats, seemingly all at once, have the same idea to rebel and lash out)
She never thought she could find someone romantically interested in her...someone who could like a cat so vile and rude. But Rain never once judged her for who she as become: someone every Clan would be ashamed of. She felt a real sense of belonging with him, and has never felt that way with anyone in the Clans. not even with her parents. The apprentices admired her for her bravery...but Rain admired her for everything that she felt she wasn't perfect at. She internally felt broken that she had to leave him, but she hid it from everyone around her with snarky remarks...as she usually does with her feelings.
This is why when she first heard Rain was in the forest, she had to see him. She wanted to feel the love that felt perfect once more. It was both her desire to please her friends and her interest in Rain that made her push to bring the rogues into the Clans.
She didn't somehow, suddenly decide she rejects StarClan, borders, the Warrior Code, and her authority figures. It was a sequence of praise and love from small events that increasingly expanded the more she was given attention for it- all the way down to believing and speaking out that the Clans do not need magic cats in the sky. The influence she brought- having every ShadowClan cat bow to her own ideas- made her feel pride at how much she sparked one Clan...and helped her mask the anxiety that she isn't good enough for anyone.

She didn't decide to reject all of the Clan's philosophies because she truly believed in them; she rejected them because that was what made her feel powerful.

Needletail has always had to create a false mask of a wild, obnoxious character to be loved. With Violetpaw, she could not break that internal mold to show her express feelings. Any effort Needletail could put into bonding with her, made her treat Violetpaw like she would to the apprentices. Like a friend, not a mentor. She never knew how to let go of her pride, and she almost felt guilt at herself when Violetpaw left her.

It's a simple art piece, but I tried to convey the feeling of her internal struggles. She was not born this way, she was created.
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:iconbountybreeder:
Bountybreeder Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I despise Needletail but your concept and headcanon is awesome!
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:iconshinxshade:
ShinxShade Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  New Deviant Student
*cries a puddle of tears as I read the description and loves needletail suddenly*
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:iconbountybreeder:
Bountybreeder Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oops.
She's annoying. She'd be one of the 'popular's' that think they're cool rebels and try to start fights and stuff.
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:iconfirestar159:
firestar159 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow I really love it
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:iconjih-pun:
Jih-pun Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2016  Student Digital Artist
thank you~!
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:iconpastelbunny0133:
PastelBunny0133 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
I love this! I love Needletail and this headcanon is amazing and very accurate. I would love to see her as a human! :)
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:iconpastelbunny0133:
PastelBunny0133 Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Don't worry about it! I can definitely see her like that! :)
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:iconjih-pun:
Jih-pun Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2016  Student Digital Artist
thank you so much! sorry for late repsonse<3 but yes!! i actually don't have an full image in mind of her as a human right now- but definitely I see her having messy (possibly short or medium length hair) and a sort of casual "i dont care"/"i woke up like this" kind of clothing style Neko Emoji-29 (Nyaa) [V2] 
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:iconjih-pun:
Jih-pun Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2016  Student Digital Artist
oh gosh, so sorry for late reply!!
thats actually exactly why i like her too! there have been a lot of characters in the past that have felt "fake", or their personalities/actions arent very realistic (ashfur, pinestar, rock, breezepelt, starclan in general) or very cliche characters (dovewing - typical young teenage girl, "the chosen one", wishing to be normal and saves the world anyways). in my opinion, i think Clear Sky and Needletail are the most realistic characters. not because they have the best personalities, but because of how flawed they are and how characters around them react to these traits. in fact, clear sky is one of my least favorite characters, but i love him specifically because of how real he feels, most especially in the first 3 books. Instead of being a villain literally just to be "powerful"(brokenstar, tigerstar, one eye, darktail, every villain ever), his anxiety to lead made him make all the wrong choices in the most misunderstood way. sorry for ranting!! i just really appreciate these two lol
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December 6, 2016
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