THE FOLLOWING STORY IS AN EARLY FANFIC ATTEMPT OF MINE FROM WHEN I WAS FIRST BEGINNING TO WRITE. AS SUCH, IT HAS NUMEROUS PROBLEMS AND IS VERY EMBARRASSING. PLEASE READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. -Heartsky
Whitestar - Pure white tom with emerald eyes and long fur.
Rainpool - Dark grey tom with dark blue eyes and sleek fur.
Poolheart - Light gray she-cat with sleek fur and blue eyes.
Frostbreeze - White she cat with a gray paw and eyes, and sleek fur.
Stormcloud - Long-furred black she-cat with white paws, chest, ears and tail.
Limesplash - Sleek brownish-green tom with dark green eyes and a yellow tail.
Lemontang - sleek yellow tom with dark green eyes and a green tail.
Goldleaf - Sleek-furred gold she-cat with light blue eyes.
Whitepaw - Fluffy white she cat with light gray eyes.
Fogpaw - Dark gray tom with light gray eyes and smooth fur.
Mistpaw - Light gray she-cat with dark gray eyes and smooth fur.
Blackstar - sleek, black tom, with grey eyes, and 3 stripes across his flank and back.
Flamefur - Red she-cat with brown eyes.
Patchtail - Black she-cat with light green eyes and white feet, tail, muzzle, and ears.
Silversong - Beautiful silvery sleek furred she-cat with light blue eyes.
Sunsoil - Golden-brown sleek furred tom with dark green eyes.
Spotpelt - Sleek furred brown tom with dark brown eyes and black spots.
Sprinklelight - Long furred pink and purple she-cat with hot pink eyes.
Snowfire - White she-cat with long fur, blue eyes, and ginger paws and tail.
Stonespot - Gray she-cat with brown eyes and white chest and long fur.
Toothbite - Sleek white tom with black eyes and a scratch down his back.
Jawbreak - Sleek furred gray tom with light gray eyes.
Jewelpaw - Sleek very light gray she-cat with a golden chest and light blue eyes.
Quietpaw - Black she-cat with silver eyes.
Brightpaw - Gold tom with long fur, white tail, and green eyes.
All was quiet. As the evening sun was sinking below the horizon, it cast an orangeish glow over the lake. Close to the lake, a dark ginger she-cat walked on silent feet, leaving starry pawprints behind her. A dark brown tabby tom with glinting amber eyes walked toward her, also leaving behind starry pawprints. They sat down next to each other. Glancing back at the pawprints, the she-cat purred, “What Starclan said is true. We belong together.” The tom also purred. “I'll stay by your side no matter what.” Their tales twined.
Night fell. The two cats sat there, still as stone, all night.
Suddenly, in a flash of light, they were gone, and in their place was a ginger she-cat with a brown tail and mysterious white eyes. She walked foreward, and then she began to float, higher and higher, above the lake, trees, and even the clouds, until she became the sun rising in the dawn sky.
Brambleclaw woke up suddenly. He shook his head. He had that starry pawprints dream......again! It seemed that lately, that was the only dream he ever had. What could it mean?
The dream made him angry, because he was sure that the brown tom was him. And he was almost certain that the dark ginger she-cat was Squirrelflight, his mate, no, former mate. She had lied to him. Betrayed him. She told him that Jaykit, Hollykit, and Lionkit were their kits. But they were Squirrelflight's sister Leafpool's kits.
Leafpool was a medicine cat. She wasn't supposed to have kits. So they had kept the kits' true parents a secret. But the part that really made Brambleclaw mad was the fact that Squirrelflight hadn't trusted him enough to tell him. He would have helped her! Now the secret was out, Hollyleaf was dead, and Jayfeather and Lionblaze had to deal with the shocking secret that they themselves hadn't known for the longest time.
Brambleclaw hated that dream. He would never be Squirrelflight's mate again. But who was the ginger she-cat with white eyes that was in his dream? He had no idea.
Squirrelflight couldn't believe it. She had the weird dream. Again. She wished the dream was real. It was like the dream was taunting her, saying, "Ha Ha, you will never be with Brambleclaw again! Ha, ha!"
And what was worse, she just realized she was gaining weight........except she had barely been eating anything recently. She knew she was going to have kits. Brambleclaw's kits. She must have become pregnant a few moons ago, when she and Brambleclaw were still together. She was afraid.
Brambleclaw would be really mad that they had kits. He hated her. She wished she could turn back time, but it was too late now. The damage was done. But she knew what she had to do: She needed to tell Brambleclaw she was going to have his kits. She had done enough lying. She hated lying.
She walked over to the fresh kill pile and ate a mouse. Then she noticed something. She saw a squirrel skittering around in some brambles. Then it got tangled and was trapped in them. Was it a sign?
Brambleclaw stared at the squirrel. It's not like he never saw an animal get stuck before, but he just had a strange feeling it meant something. Then he noticed Squirrelflight was staring at it too. He began to stalk away, but Squirrelflight said, "Wait! I know I'm the last cat you want to talk to, but I have to tell you something."
Brambleclaw stopped. She asked if they could talk in private. He sighed. He would have to face her sometime, wouldn't he? They walked into the woods and he faced her. "What is it?" Brambleclaw said, trying to keep his anger from bubbling up again.
Then he noticed the scared, hunted look on Squirrelflight's face. She stuttered, "I...you....we....I am going to have kits! Your kits!" She yowled. Brambleclaw gasped. He looked at her. She was getting pretty plump. Why hadn't he noticed before? Tears were streaming across her face.
Something stirred in Brambleclaw. She told him the truth even though she was scared. Maybe she was regretting her earlier lies. He felt the warm glow of love in his heart grow. It had never really left. He had just shooed it away and ignored it.
But now he was reminded of why he had loved her in the first place. And he couldn't control that glow of love in his heart. He didn't want to control it. She had lied before, but perhaps it was time to forgive and forget. She had grown so listless and unenthusiastic. She really did need Brambleclaw.
"I...I'm so sorry about lying before. I'll leave the clan if that's what you want." She said quietly. "NO!" Brambleclaw yelled. She jumped. "Sorry .I don't want you to leave. Truth is...I still love you. We will raise our kits together. Just promise to tell me if your in trouble from now on, okay?" She purred. "Okay." Brambleclaw also purred. Some of the mischeif was returning to Squirrelflight's green eyes. Perhaps the old Squirrelflight was returning, Brambleclaw thought happily.
Squirrelflight opened her eyes. She was near the moonpool. She was very confused for a moment. Why am I here? She wondered. Then she realized she must be dreaming. She looked around. Brambleclaw was standing nearby. A warm wave of affection swept over her. She sighed. Everything had been set right. They were together again. Forever.
She felt tired. She had moved to the queens den after they went back to camp. Everyone was surprised that she was having kits and didn't understand why they hadn't realized it before. They generally seemed pleased that she and Brambleclaw were together again.
A starry cat stepped out of the shadows. Ashfur! Squirrelflight's heart nearly stopped beating. Why was he visiting her? Fear swept over her. What if he was going to try killing her unborn kits?
Brambleclaw stepped protectevly in front of her. She felt a prick of annoyance, but decided not to say anything. I really can't protect myself right now. Not in my current condition. The thought irritated her. She didn't want to feel like a helpless kit.
As Ashfur neared, Squirrelflight noticed something. His eyes were not glinting with the evil, angry glint she had come to recognize. They were soft and even…..gentle! As he walked forward she noticed another cat following him.
This cat was a cream colored she-cat. But she didn’t have stars in her fur. Her fur was glowing with a beautiful white light. Squirrelflight was puzzled. Who is this cat?
Ashfur began to speak, “Greetings, Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw. I see you are together again.”
Brambleclaw hissed, “Yes, we are. And there is nothing you can do to change that!” Squirrelflight almost purred. He was such a loyal cat! I need to match his loyalty from now on. She said silently to herself.
Ashfur continued, “I wouldn’t want to change it. It is your destiny. I was such a fool before…..” He broke off.
The glowing cat cleared her throat as if to say, “Ahem, remember me?” “Oh, right.” Ashfur said. “You see, I have a message for you from StarClan……and Lightclan."
“Lightclan? What’s that?” Squirrelflight suddenly blurted out. Ashfur replied, “Lightclan are the ancestors of three clans that live near us. Sunclan lives in a forest just outside Thunderclan territory. The other two clans are Nightclan and Dawnclan.” Brambleclaw’s mind was racing. There were other clans?
"This the first leader of Dawnclan, Dawnlight. Her clan is going to face a huge danger soon. They don't know it yet. The clan could be destroyed unless they get help, for they are a very small clan."
Dawnlight looked at them with pleading eyes. "Please come to my clan. You are our only hope." "WHAT!!!" Squirrelflight yowled. "We can't just leave ThunderClan! What if they are in trouble while we are gone?!" Brambleclaw stifled a purr and nudged her as if to say, "Calm down!"
Suddenly a cat they all knew and trusted emerged. Bluestar! Bluestar nodded towards them and said, "ThunderClan is at peace. Nothing will happen while you are gone. It is both Lightclan and StarClan's will that you do this. We will tell you when you are to return to ThunderClan."
Brambleclaw could hardly believe this. "But Squirrelflight is going to have kits soon! You must know that. How can she travel in her condition? Shouldn't we wait till they are born at least?"
Bluestar looked at them and said, "I understand your concerns. But you need to leave as soon as possible. You can travel slowly and carefully and take many breaks, but you do need to leave now. Your kits have to join you on this quest. It may be easier to travel while they are all contained instead of trying to take the little kits with when they are so weak and hard to keep track of."
Somehow Brambleclaw couldn't argue. He just nodded. Dawnlight told them how to reach the camp. They would need to travel towards the moonpool, then continue following the river through a forest. They would pass a foxes den on the way. Then the river would join another one. They should continue following the same river into a brown, grassy moorland until they passed a large hill. That was Dawnclan's camp.
The cats faded. Brambleclaw woke up to the birds singing. I have to tell Firestar, he thought. He walked towards the leader's den, dreading what he had to do.
This was it. It was official now, Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw were leaving. Everyone had been upset at first, but some of the cats remembered when Firestar left to rebuild SkyClan and understood why they had to go.
Firestar had offered the temperary deputy position to Graystripe, but he said, "No, choose someone else. I wouldn't be the best leader, and I would confuse everyone trying to organize patrols." So Firestar had chosen Cinderheart to be temporary deputy. She was nervous but very proud of her new position, even if it wasn't permanant.
And now it was time. Time for Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw to leave their lives behind and help this mysterious clan that they had never heard of before. Squirrelflight took a deep breath. She smiled at everyone saying goodbye to her and Brambleclaw. Then they set off.
They walked towards the moonpool. The forest was quiet. Nothing stirred. It was all rather eerie. Squirrelflight shivered nervously. Brambleclaw touched her head with his tail, to reassure her that he would protect her. She sighed. She appreciated him protecting her, but she really, really hated feeling so helpless. But her kits were weighing her down. She was afraid that they might be born before they got to Dawnclan. How would they manage without a medicine cat?
They got to the moonpool. Squirrelflight was thirsty, so she bent over and lapped up the water. She couldn't believe how icy cool it was! She had never tasted such cool, pure water before. She fell into a deep sleep.
Squirrelflight found herself in a huge field of grass, and saw a dappled cat coming towards her. As the cat neared her she realized it was Spottedleaf. "Don't worry, dear. If you are to have your kits before you arrive in Dawnclan, I will be there to help...." Spottedleaf's clear, calm, almost birdlike voice sang out. Squirrelflight felt too tired to reply. She just relaxed in the grass as Spottedleaf faded away......
Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw traveled to the edge of ThunderClan territory the next morning. They slept for the rest of the day, because Squirrelflight wasn't feeling up to traveling. They woke up the next day feeling rested.
Squirrelflight gratefully ate the shrew that Brambleclaw caught for her. Brambleclaw ate a mouse, also caught by him. As they finished, he got up and said, "Are you sure you'll be able to handle traveling?" "Of course!" Squirrelflight said, quickly getting up.
They crept up to the border. Brambleclaw took a deep breath. "So this is it. This is where our adventure really begins." Squirrelflight looked at him. Was that a hint of worry in his face? "Are you worried?" She asked him. He sighed, "Yes. Not for myself. For my clanmates. For you. For the cats who need our help. So much could go wrong..."
Squirrelflight replied, "It's okay. We'll be fine." She took a step over the border. "See? This will be fun. Just like when we found the lake." Brambleclaw looked a little less worried. He trotted up to her. They walked side by side, into the unknown land.
They had been walking for a few minutes when Brambleclaw froze. "I smell fox." he said, his eyes growing wide. Squirrelflight felt fear grip her. Suddenly a fox broke out of the bushes, hissing. It took a step towards Squirrelflight, but Brambleclaw shouted, "You won't touch a hair on her pelt!" and launched himself towards the fox. Squirrelflight wanted to scream, but her voice went dry. How could Brambleclaw face the fox alone? Then, she got mad. Really mad. She was not going to stand here, watching Brambleclaw die. She didn't care what Jayfeather had said about taking it easy.
Brambleclaw had a deep gash in his leg. He was lying near the fox, breathing heavily. The fox was slowly walking towards him, preparing to attack once again. Squirrelflight's temper exploded. "Get away, you fox dung! You good-for nothing lump of fur!" The foxes' eyes glittered, as if they were challenging her to attack. She leapt, claws unsheathed, and pinned the fox down.
The fox let out a yelp and tried to bite her ear, but she moved her head out of the way. Then she scratched the fox's muzzle. The fox wriggled from her grasp, and bit her tail. She cried out in pain, and the fox prepared to bite her neck. Was this the end?
"What is the meaning of this?" Brambleclaw saw a dark grey tom standing nearby. He must have been the one who yowled. A few other cats trotted up beside him. There was a yellow-furred tom with a green tail, and gold she-cat.
Brambleclaw gathered enough strength to shout, "Please help us! The fox is trying to kill my mate!" The yellow tom said, "Why should we help you? You're tresspassers!" The gold she-cat said, "Lemontang, be kind. They probably don't even know this is our territory. We have to help them." The larger dark grey tom, who seemed to be the leader, said, "Goldleaf's right." The cats who were apparantly named Rainpool, Goldleaf, and Lemontang were running towards the fox.
Since Lemontang knew he had to help the strangers, he fought the fox unrelentlessly. He scratched it's already injured muzzle. It began to whimper. Lemontang was about to bite it, but Rainpool said, "That's enough, Lemontang." The fox ran off. Lemontang muttered, "If you would have just let me kill it, we would have one less fox to worry about..."
Rainpool's dark blue eyes glinted in the sunlight. "Enough blood has been spilt today. Remember your place, Lemontang. You do not make the decisions." Lemontang muttered, loud enough for everyone to hear, "Last time I looked, you were the deputy, not clan leader."
Rainpool ignored him. He turned to Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw. "What are you two doing here?" Then they explained everything, how they had lived in another clan, how they had been told by StarClan and Lightclan that Dawnclan needed their help.
Lemontang said, "Rainpool, we should hold them prisoners. Then Dawnclan will become weak from the trouble that is coming and we could take it over." Rainpool said, "No. Dawnclan must remain strong. We have no grudge against them." he turned to Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight. "We wil take you to our camp to be treated by our medicine cat. Then we will lead you to the Dawnclan border. We are Sunclan, by the way." Brambleclaw nodded.
The cats traveled through the forest toward the camp, listening to Lemontang complain about how he should be the deputy the whole way there.
Squirrelflight looked around at the wonderful cats of Sunclan who had done so much for her. She couldn't believe that it was already time to leave them.
She and Brambleclaw had marveled at the beautiful, sunny meadow that the cats lived in. They had been introduced to the kind medicine cat, Poolheart. She was Rainpool's sister. They had been led into the cool, underground cave that was the medicine den and Poolheart had treated their injuries. They had fallen asleep there, in the den. And now it was morning, time to leave.
It had been decided that Rainpool, Goldleaf, and Lemontang would lead them to the Dawnclan border. The cats set out through the forest. Then they reached the Dawnclan border. Squirrelflight marveled at the brown-grassed hills in the territory. They looked beautiful.
She turned to say goodbye. She looked at Lemontang. He was trying to act as if he didn't care that they were leaving, but she saw right through him. Somehow she and Lemontang had become good friends. She knew he was holding back tears.
Brambleclaw coughed, as if to remind her that they needed to get going. Squirrelflight said, "Goodbye, Rainpool. You'll be a great leader someday. Goodbye, Goldleaf. Thank you for being so kind to us. Goodbye, Lemontang. Perhaps we will meet again someday."
The two trotted off into the hills. Brambleclaw said, "Squirrelflight, I know you became friends with Lemontang, but I was wondering if there was something more....." Squirrelflight let out a purr. "Of course not, Brambleclaw. And Lemontang told me that there is actually a pretty she-cat in Sunclan that he has been hoping for..." They laughed.
"Who are you?" They turned to see a white she-cat with ginger paws on the moor.
They soon learned that her name was Snowfire. She was the deputy of Dawnclan. They found out that Dawnclan had been warned of their coming. They had been told that a dark ginger she cat and a dark brown tabby tom would come, and would eventually save them from a great danger.
They were welcomed into Dawnclan, and met the leader, Sprinklelight. They also met Snowfire's mate, Jawbreak, Snowfire and Jawbreak's daughter, Stonespot the medicine cat, and Jawbreak's brother Toothbite.
"Aren't there any apprentices?" Brambleclaw asked curiously. Sprinklelight smiled. "We train our apprentices differently than your clans do. When a cat becomes an apprentice, they leave their clan and live in a place called the Apprentices Training Area, where they train with apprentices from the other clans."
"Who mentors them?" Brambleclaw questioned her. "One Warrior from each clan is chosen to go to the Training Area and be a mentor. They teach the cats in groups, and each moon we change the mentor at the gathering. That way many cats get a chance to be a mentor."
"Anyway, when an apprentice has trained for six moons and passed their assessment, they become a young warrior. They take on the prefix -path during that time, to signify they must choose their path soon. They help with hunting and stay at the training area for one more moon. After that moon, they decide which clan they want to be in. The mentor from the clan they choose escorts them to the camp of that clan. There they go through a full warrior ceremony and pledge their allegiance to the clan."
Brambleclaw nodded, although he was still confused. But he was tired, so he went to bed. He figured that, in time, he would understand these strange customs.
Squirrelflight felt pain convulse through her. Stonespot, the medicine cat, was standing near her, helping her have her kits. Squirrelflight had always known that having kits would hurt, but she never realized it would hurt this much. She knew Brambleclaw was standing outside, pacing nervously.
She had grown to love this kind, caring clan. They had welcomed her and Brambleclaw into their clan, and helped them feel like they belonged. Her heart would always be with Thunderclan, but living here for now wouldn't be so bad.
Another pain went through her body. She could see Spottedleaf's spirit standing nearby, and she could hear her voice, "I am with you. You have not one, but two medicine cats helping you"
The first kit was born then, it was a tan tom with pale green eyes. Patches of fur on his head were missing. The next kit to come was yellow furred with bright green eyes and a red stripe running along his back. Stonespot announced, "They are both healthy toms!"
Stonespot announced, "There are two more coming!" Squirrelflight groaned. She still had to birth two kits? She didn't know how much longer she could hold out. But somehow she did. The next kit was a brown tom with dark grey feet, a black chest, and amber eyes. Then, with a heave, the last kit was born. It was a blue-gray she-cat with dark blue eyes.
Stonespot went outside the tunnel that was the queens den and announced to Brambleclaw that he had three sons and a daughter, all healthy, and his mate was fine. He quickly came in.
Pride was showing on his face. "What should we name them?" he asked her. Squirrelflight looked to the oldest tom. "How about Smoothkit for that one? Because his head is smooth in the places without fur." She giggled. Brambleclaw nodded. He looked at his only daughter. "How about Bluekit for her?" Squirrelflight nodded in agreement. Then she said, "How about Redkit for the yellow tom? Because of the red stripe on his back?" Brambleclaw purred. Then Squirrelflight turned and said, "What about the youngest tom?" Brambeclaw stood silent for a few minutes, then said, "I have a feeling if we wait he will reveal his true name to us." Squirrelflight agreed, "I have the same feeling".
Squirrelflight heard Spottedleaf murmur, "I am going to make a promise to you now. I promise to watch you and your sister, and your kits and grandkits, forever. And I also promise to leave Firestar alone. If he needs guidance or comfort, he has Sandstorm." There was sadness in her voice. "Please tell Sandstorm I am sorry." And with that she disappeared.
Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw's unnamed kit had snuck out of the nursery. He found a bush, with many thorns in it. Being just a kit, he began playing in them. But a thorn caught on his shoulder and he yowled in pain. Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw came running to him. They were able to get him untangled from them but there was a cut on his shoulder. Bramblclaw looked up and said, "His name has been revealed to us. He will be Thornkit." He looked at Squirrelflight for approval. She nodded. Brambleclaw walked to the medicine cat's den, which was in a tunnel. He saw Stonespot sorting herbs in the corner. "One of our kits got a cut from the thorn bush. Can you help with the bleeding?" She nodded and went outside. She applied cobwebs to the cut and said, "It will stop bleeding, but a scar will remain on his shoulder for a long time, it may never completely heal." So that is how Thornkit got his name.