- 1 Prologue
- 2 Chapter One - Kode
- 3 Chapter 2 - Snowy
- 4 Chapter 3 - Kode
- 5 Chapter 4 - Snowy
- 6 Chapter 5 - Kode
- 7 Chapter 6 - Snowy
- 8 Chapter 7 - Kode
- 9 Chapter 8 - Snowy
- 10 Chapter 9 - Kode
- 11 Chapter 10 - Snowy
- 12 Chapter 11 - Kode
- 13 Chapter 12 - Snowy
- 14 Chapter 13 - Kode
- 15 Chapter 14 - Snowy
- 16 Note
"A she-kit!" The ThunderClan medicine cat, Cindercloud announced. "What are you going to name it?"
"Waterkit." Stormfeather answered, looking at her only kit.
"Let cats old enough to catch their own prey join beneath the Highledge for a Clan meeting!" Wavestar yowled. "We are going to tell the Clans that a kit has been born!" Cats streamed from their dens, and they followed their leader out to the island, traversing over steep slopes and pools of mud. Stormfeather's heart thrummed in her ears, and she let out a silent plea to her ancestors.
Please, StarClan, she begged inwardly, please let me stay with my kit. When they arrived at the tree bridge, they welcomed the Clans to meet.
Suddenly, there were echos. "River.....river....river..."
"It's officially RiverClan!" Wavestar yowled. Stormfeather grasped Waterkit in her jaws, stifling her tears, and carried it over to a RiverClan queen that she knew well, Dovefeather. RiverClan was leaving, the new kit among their numbers, and the kit was protesting in the RiverClan queen's jaws.
"What's her name?" Dovefeather meowed, giving her a pitying look. "Waterkit," Stormfeather breathed, her breath rattling in her frame. Dovefeather nodded, looking sympathetic. "I'll take good care of your kit."
Chapter One - Kode
Waterkit pounced on the moss-ball, a smile lighting up her gaze. She flashed a smile at her siblings - she knew they weren't her real siblings, but they were the only family she ever had.
"Good job!" Mossykit purred, waving her tail. "Thanks, Mossykit!" Waterkit squeaked, batting it towards Mossykit. It arced through the air, making a faint woosh sound. Waterkit pricked her ears to hear it.
"Ooh, my turn!" Snakekit yowled, jumping in front of Mossykit. The moss-ball hit her in the chest, and she fell, biting down on it. "Oof," She groaned, getting to her paws.
Waterkit giggled quietly. Snakekit shot her a glare. "Sorry, Snakekit, but that was funny!" She purred, rubbing her sister's shoulder. "Yeah," Snakekit meowed, looking miffed. "I know."
"Hey!" It was Sparkkit. "ShadowClan is invading the camp! We have to defend ourselves!" Waterkit shot to her paws. "Attack!" She screeched, twitching her whiskers into what she thought was a ferocious snarl.
The kits in the nursery swarmed out of the den, swarming on a hunting patrol that had just entered. "Filthy ShadowClan scum! We'll teach you to invade our territory!" Brackenkit yowled, throwing himself at Fadingsplash.
Waterkit slid under a large gray tom, pummeling at his underbelly with harmless paws. "A-ha! I've got you now!" She yelped, scooting out from under him and biting down on his tail.
"Kits!" Waterkit froze, dropping the tom's tail - she recognized him now, it was Stonetail. "Urgh, sorry, Stonetail
," She meowed, her shoulders slumping. She scrabbled to her paws, looking guiltily at Poolhollow.
"What has gotten into you?" The queen screeched, her ears flattened. "Everyone! Back to the nursery, now!" She barked. "Oh, I'm so sorry, Rainsky, I've no idea how to control them!" She wailed.
Rainsky laughed, setting the fish in his jaws down by his paws. "No harm, no foul," He chuckled. "They're ambitious, I'll give them that."
Waterkit puffed out her chest proudly. Ambitious, Rainsky had called her. "I'll be the best warrior in RiverClan!" She boasted.
"Yes, yes, I'm sure you will," Meowed a familiar voice. Waterkit's tail drooped at the sound of her mother's voice. "I didn't mean to, Dovefeather!" She meowed.
Dovefeather twitched her whiskers. "You're lucky you're not in trouble, Waterkit. All of you, back to the nursery," She fussed.
"I'm really sorry," Waterkit meowed, wilting. Dovefeather softened a bit. "Yes, I know you are. But don't do it again, Waterkit." She said sternly, though there was warmth shining in her eyes.
"I won't, I promise!" She chirped, running forward to catch up with her pseudo-littermates.
Chapter 2 - Snowy
That night, she was dreaming. "Come back here, mouse!" She tried to catch it, but the mouse scurried away.
"Hello, Waterkit." Boomed a voice.
Waterkit stiffened. "Who are you? How do you know my name?"
"I've been watching you." A gray tom appeared in the mist.
"Dovefeather! Poolhollow!" She screeched, running off.
"A spray of droplets will form a cloud that will dispel the darkness and bring forth the light," The gray tom mewed. Her vision blurred, to see a pale gray she-cat looming over her, her gaze worried.
"You were thrashing in your sleep!" She mewed, grooming her fur.
"It's nothing." Waterkit muttered, and Dovefeather's eyes narrowed.
"You have something on your mind, that's it. You need to tell me." Dovefeather gently mewed. "You need to trust me."
Waterkit shook her head. "There's nothing wrong with me, mommy!" She tried to smile as if nothing was wrong, but instead it turned into a frown. She sighed. "Fine, last night, a received a prophecy from a gray tom, and he said: 'A spray of droplets will form a cloud that will dispel the darkness and bring forth the light.'" She whispered into her mother's ear.
Dovefeather settled down next to her. "Let's tell Gorserun." She meowed, holding up a paw. She reached for it, and they went to Gorserun's den. Waterkit waited outside until Dovefeather popped her head out. "Kits! Waterk-"
"Don't tell anyone!" Waterkit hissed, flexing her claws. "This is a secret okay?"
Dovefeather tipped her head to one side. "I was calling them for a grooming." She mewed. Waterkit relaxed, and when she felt the rasp of her mother's tongue, she groaned. I was too focused on the prophecy I forgot how bad grooming is! She thought to herself.
After grooming, she settled beside the fresh-kill pile. She searched through the pile. Oh no! There's no more minnows! Then, her gaze traveled to a handsome tom eating a minnow on a rock. She bounced towards him. "Can we share?" She asked.
He looked surprised. "Sure!" He stammered, scooting to let her sit.
She bit into it and the flavor washed into her mouth. "Yum!" She exclaimed. "This is a good fish. Who caught it?"
Aspenpaw embarrassedly shuffled his paws. "Actually, it was me," He confessed, looking down.
"Well, quit being embarrassed and eat this minnow before I eat everything!" She purred.
"It's okay, you can have all of it." He mewed, and they ate together under the sunrise.
Chapter 3 - Kode
Waterkit gave her chest a few quick licks, trying not to be sloppy. Of course, on a day like this, nothing would be good enough for Dovefeather. "Oh, come here!" She she-cat said in exasperation, picking up Waterkit by the scruff and carrying her to their nest.
Waterkit flattened her ears as Dovefeather's tongue rasped over her fur; she'd prefer the lake, or even rain, to grooming! She let out a small squeak, slipping out of Dovefeather's grip.
"Waterkit, sit down." Dovefeather meowed testily, pinning her down to the nursery floor. Waterkit wriggled, but she was unable to escape. "Sit still, and it'll be over soon."
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Ivystar called the clan meeting. "Let all cats old enough to swim gather to hear my words!" He yowled, his words reverberating around the camp.
Dovefeather's grip slackened, and Waterkit darted away, skidding to a halt below the looming shadow oh Ivystar on the large willow stump besides the leader's den, staring up in awe.
He cleared his throat as cats slunk out of dens, pooling around Ivystar in a cluster. "Brackenkit, you have reached the age of six moons, and it is time for you to be apprenticed. From this day on, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Brackenpaw. Your mentor will be Fadingsplash. I hope she will pass down all she knows on to you."
"Snakekit, you have reached the age of six moons, and it is time for you to be apprenticed. From this day on, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Snakepaw. Your mentor will be Silverfire. I hope she will pass down all she knows on to you."
"Sparkkit, you have reached the age of six moons, and it is time for you to be apprenticed. From this day on, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Sparkpaw. Your mentor will be Stonetail. I hope he will pass down all he knows on to you."
"Mossykit, you have reached the age of six moons, and it is time for you to be apprenticed. From this day on, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Mossypaw. Your mentor will be Poppyfire. I hope he will pass down all he knows on to you."
"Finally, Waterkit. Waterkit, you have reached the age of six moons, and it is time for you to be apprenticed. From this day on, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Waterpaw. Your mentor will be me. I'll pass down all I know on to you."
"Brackenpaw! Snakepaw! Sparkpaw! Mossypaw! Waterpaw!" The clan yowled, weaving around the five newly-named apprentices, Waterpaw's ears filling with the clamor of an overjoyed clan.
"Clan dismissed." Ivystar yowled, bounding down from the willow's stump. He made his way over to Waterpaw in three bounds, giving her a nod. "Go speak with your family, I'll be giving you a tour soon." He meowed.
"Yes, Ivystar!" She meowed, her eyes wide. She scrambled back, scurrying over to Dovefeather, who nuzzled Waterpaw adoringly. "Oh, my kit, I'm so proud of you!" She purred.
Waterpaw wriggled free. "I'm not a kit anymore!" She meowed, puffing out her chest. "I'm an apprentice! That's an almost-warrior! Soon, I'll be defending the clan from ShadowClan and ThunderClan and WindClan!" She boasted.
Dovefeather laughed gently. "Yes, you will. Go on, Ivystar's waiting for you!" She added, nudging Waterpaw, looking forlorn, yet happy; a bittersweet mixture of emotions on her face.
Waterpaw pricked her ears, looking alarmed. "Oh, right!" She yelped, shaking out her fur. "I have to go! We're going to do a tour of the territories!" She twitched her whiskers excitedly.
Dovefeather nodded. "Yes, now go!"
Waterpaw scrambled to her paws, haring over to her mentor. "Okay, I'm back!" She exclaimed, swiping her tongue over her long whiskers. "What are we going to see?"
Ivystar laid his tail on Waterpaw's shoulder, looking as if he was trying not to laugh. "Calm down, we're just going for a walk around the territory to familiarize you with it." He meowed soothingly.
She shook out her fur. "Oh, okay!" She purred. "I can't wait!"
"Hey, Waterpaw!" It was Mossypaw, back from talking with her mentor. "Can you believe it? We're apprentices!! Ohh, I'm so excited. Ivystar's your mentor! Wow! Oh, Ivystar! Hi!" She jabbered, looking flummoxed.
Ivystar smiled. "Hello, Mossypaw. Waterpaw and I were just heading out. Come on, Waterpaw."
Chapter 4 - Snowy
Waterpaw stared wide-eyed at the Greenleaf Twolegplace. “That’s where Twolegs come on Greenleaf,” Ivystar explained.
“This is RiverClan territory!” She growled. “Let’s chase them off!”
Ivystar shook his head. “Twolegs are too powerful. They have big monsters that destroyed our old home in the forest.
“Did you ever live there?” She asked, her fur bristling with excitement.
“No, the last leader of RiverClan that lived in the old forest was Reedstar.” He mewed.
Ivystar led them to a river. “River!” Waterpaw squeaked breathlessly. When she got closer, she saw a Twoleg thingy. “Hey! It’s on our river!” Waterpaw growled.
Ivystar flicked his tail to it. “That’s the halfbridge. Twolegs don’t know how to swim, or get their fur wet, so they walk over that thingy.
Waterpaw could imagine a big, Twoleg marching over the river. “Do we catch fish here?” She asked, digging her claws into the ground as if it was a nice, jucy trout.
Ivystar curled his lip. “ShadowClan said that we couldn’t fish here anymore, since we scared all of their prey off. We were just catching fish! They could hunt somewhere else! But, at that time, ShadowClan attacked us, and we were forced to abandon our hunting spot there.”
“So now, you hunt in the lake.” Waterpaw guessed, remembering all the fish in it. Ivystar nodded.
She flopped on the ground. “We can go back to camp, if you want to,” Ivystar mewed gently. She shook her head. “Well, we can learn a new fighting move.” She immediately brightened up, sitting up straight.
“We’re going to learn the ‘Rushpaw Splash’” He meowed. “You need to do it like this.”
At dusk, she finally got the move right, but it still needed improving. Ivystar sighed. “Sure, your moves will be correct, but that won’t win battles. You need to put in more energy.”
When they got back to camp, she mewed excitedly to her littermates,
“I did the Rushpaw Splash!”
Chapter 5 - Kode
Waterpaw trudged into camp, her fur smeared with mud and dirt. She had a distinct wet smell; Ivystar had taken her to train near the water's edge, and she had slipped in.
"Here, Waterpaw; clean yourself off with this." Ivystar meowed, pushing a cluster of bracken towards her. Waterpaw nodded, rubbing the mud off her fur.
"Thanks, Ivystar." She meowed, stifling a yawn. They had been out training all day, and she was tired. She shook out her fur, content with the job the bracken had done.
"You did good today; you managed to knock me over." Ivystar purred, dislodging a piece of grit from between his paw pads. "I almost fell into the river. You'll be a great warrior. Let's work on your stance tomorrow." He meowed.
"Yes, Ivystar." Waterpaw meowed, sitting down. "Is there anything else I should do?" Her bones ached with exhaustion, but she couldn't let him see that; she had to prove to Ivystar that she could do anything! She was Waterpaw, apprentice of Ivystar, the RiverClan leader!
"No, not really. You might want to check into the medicine cats' den, maybe Gorserun would like you to collect some herbs or bring him a few mice. For mousebile, not for eating," He added, seeing the confused expression on Waterpaw's face.
"Okay!" She chirped, springing to her paws. The weariness she had felt had vanished, replaced by adrenaline. This would give her a chance to talk to Gorserun about the prophecy! If it was a prophecy, anyways.
She bounded over to the medicine den, poking her head through the overhanging curtain of moss that blocked out any birds or bugs. "Gorserun?" She asked, squinting. The moss also kept out most sunlight, and it was a bit diorienting to be plunged into darkness without a warning.
"In here," The tom called; Waterpaw made out a figure sorting herbs by a pool of water. She shoved through the moss, shivering as the temperature dropped suddenly. Gradually, her eyes adjusted to the darkness, and she saw Gorserun more clearly now, bent over a cluster of milky white globules.
"Ivystar sent me." She meowed confidently. "He said to check if you needed any mice for mousebile, or for me to collect some herbs for you, if you need them." Gorserun twitched an ear back, not saying anything for a moment. Waterpaw frowned. Had she sent something to insult the older feline?
"No," He said finally, and Waterpaw realized he had been trying to remember, not ignore her. "I've got all my herbs right now, but it would be a big help if you could soak some of that stinging nettle. It's about to dry." Gorserun meowed, angling his ears to a clump of thorny-looking vines.
"But be careful not to eat them," Gorserun warned. "You might get sick or vomit - though I did notice you walked in here with a limp. Here, try these." He pushed over one of the blue-white berries.
Waterpaw sniffed them, twitching her whiskers. "Smells foul," She commented. "What is it?" The berry shone slightly, even in darkness. Waterpaw didn't notice, mulling over the thought that Gorserun had noticed her limp. Was it that obvious? Ivystar must have been training her hard, so hard she hadn't even noticed herself.
"I'm not sure. I'm thinking of calling them 'moonberries'." Gorserun answered. "They aren't poisonous, I've tried them on some of the mice that crawl in here." He added, seeing Waterpaw's suddenly-panicked expression.
"Okay..." Waterpaw meowed. She lowered her head to sniff the berries again. She squeezed her eyes shut, they really did smell awful, like rotting fruit or a wilting flower.
"Don't eat it. Grind it into a pulp and then rub it on your shoulder." Gorserun meowed, looking puzzled. "Why would you eat moonberries?"
Waterpaw shrugged. "I don't know. I'm not a medicine cat, though." She meowed. "It's a bit chilly in here," She commented, smushing the berry under a paw.
"Yes, but I've grown used to it." Gorserun replied with a languid shrug. "Careful, don't let it get into that scrape. Let me do it," He said, sighing in exasperation.
Waterpaw scooted closer, and Gorserun's expert paws rubbed the berry juice onto her shoulder. He gently picked up a golden bundle in his jaws, then crushed them. Juices oozed out of the crushed herbs, and he extended his neck, letting the herb juices drip onto a small cut on Waterpaw's chest, courtesy of the day's lakeside training.
"Thank you, Gorserun." Waterpaw meowed gratefully once he was done. He looked over at her, giving her a small nod. "It really feels a lot better. Those moonberries worked wonderfully."
A smile twitched over Gorserun's muzzle for the briefest moment, then replaced with his normal blank look. He nodded again. "I'm glad. Tell Ivystar to stop training you so hard, or you'll open that cut again. You might even dislocate a paw."
He turned away, leaving Waterpaw staring at the rocky wall of the medicine den. "I'll tell him," She meowed airily. "But I don't think he'll listen." She waved her tail in farewell, pushing out of the mossy curtain.
Chapter 6 - Snowy
Sorry for the short Chapter, I had writer's block. ~ Snowy
Waterpaw groaned. She had broken a bone, due to the training. “I told you not to train her that hard!” Gorserun snapped, chewing up some herbs. She lay down on the moss, looking up at the roof.
She wrinkled her nose in disgust as Gorserun smudged a bit of moonberry pulp onto her paw. He glared at Ivystar, and snapped, “Get out. I need to treat her.” Then, she saw a flash of golden fur she knew well.
“Aspenpaw!” She rasped.
Gorserun sighed. “I guess you can hang out with your buddy.” She saw Gorserun shoulder his way out of the den, and to the fresh-kill pile.
“Are you okay?” Aspenpaw asked in a worried tone.
“I’m fine,” Waterpaw mewed. “Now go and get your warrior name!” Aspenpaw hesitated, then looked at her. “Go on,” Waterpaw prompted.
“Let cats old enough to swim gather to hear my words!” Ivystar yowled. “Aspenpaw, Fox, Dewpaw, and Sweetpaw. Do you promise to uphold the warrior code, even at the cost of your life?”
“I do,” Aspenpaw mewed calmly, slowly followed by the other apprentices.
“Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior names. Aspenpaw, from now on you shall be known as Aspenstalk. StarClan honors your prowess in hunting and natural strength, and we welcome you as a full warrior of RiverClan!”
“Aspenstalk! Aspenstalk!” The Clan cheered, Waterpaw above the rest. She was too happy for him that she hardly heard the others.
“Aspenstalk! Sweetbreeze! Foxwhisker! Dewflurry!”
Aspenstalk bounded up to Waterpaw, his eyes bright with euphoria and excitement.
"Congratulations!" Waterpaw purred, lifting her head. "Aspenstalk," She added, trying out his new name. A shy smile unfolded over his face,and he laughed.
"It's too bad you broke your leg, though." He meowed, looking suddenly disappointed. "Do you think we'll have to put off your assessment?" He asked.
"That's not any time soon; I'm sure Gorserun will have me fixed up by then." Waterpaw answered tightly. Her throat constricted at the thought of becoming a warrior after her siblings. The humiliation!
"Of course." Aspenstalk nodded. "You'll be better by then."
Chapter 7 - Kode
Waterpaw watched, tears slowly forming in the corners of her eyes, as her four siblings gathered around the willow tree, circled by proud clanmates and family members.
"Do you four swear to fight for and protect your clan, hunt for your clan, and do anything for your clan, even at the cost of your life?" Ivystar asked, staring solemnly down at them.
"I do," Sparkpaw whispered, followed quickly by the other three apprentices that were to be made warriors today. Brackenpaw's eyes shone, but Mossypaw sent a horrified glance back at Waterpaw, who hung her head.
"Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior names. Sparkpaw, from this moment forward you shall be known as..." The whole clan held its breath. "Sparkstorm! StarClan honors your firey energy and your curiosity, and we welcome you as a full warrior of RiverClan." Ivystar finished.
"Mossypaw, from this moment on, you shall be known as Mossystone! StarClan honors your swiftness and your caring nature, and we welcome you as a full warrior of RiverClan."
And on it went. Finally, all four of them had been made warriors. Before the clan, could cheer, however, Ivystair raised his tail for silence.
"Wait," He meowed, and his eyes found Waterpaw's. "There is a fifth apprentice who deserves to be made a warrior today. Waterpaw, do you swear on StarClan to defend your clan and protect them, providing them with the knowledge that they require, even on the cost of your life?" He asked.
All was silent throughout the RiverClan camp. Cold seeped into Waterpaw's bones, freezing her in place. She managed to choke out a single word; "Yes."
"Then by the powers of StarClan, you shall be known as Watercloud, for your dilligence and resillience, even in the face of an injury."
"Welcome, Sparkstorm, Mossystone, Brackencrunch, Snakepelt, and Watercloud!" He yowled, throwing back his head.
The clan let out jubilant cheers, yowling their new names to the stars.
"Sparkstorm, Mossystone, Brackencrunch, Snakepelt, and Watercloud!" They yowled, until Ivystar could get a word in. "Congratulations, all of you. May StarClan light each of your paths, and may fish leap into your paws. Clan dismissed."
Many cats crowded around Watercloud, congratulating her, but only five stood out. Sparkstorm, Mossystone, Brackencrunch, Snakepelt... and Aspenstalk.
"Congrats," He purred, nuzzling her gently. "Thanks!" Watercloud answered, blinking warmly at the handsome golden tom. "I wasn't expecting this."
Aspenstalk let out a purr of laughter. "Who was?"
Chapter 8 - Snowy
Watercloud purred. The sun had finally rose, and she couldn't wait to take a catnap. "Hey Watercloud!" Aspenstalk called. "You want to hunt after your vigil?" Watercloud opened her mouth to reply, then closed it. She nodded.
Mossystone smiled at her. He mouthed some words. "Seems like Aspenstalk is padding after you." Watercloud blushed.
Ivystar poked his head out of his den. "Your vigils over!" He called. Watercloud heaved a sigh.
"Time to go hunting!" Aspenstalk called. She had totally forgot about that. She quickly padded to Aspenstalk. "I'm sorry, but could you let me take a catnap first, because I'm tired," Before Aspenstalk could look dissapointed, she quickly added, "We could hunt after my catnap." Aspenstalk nodded in understanding, and rushed off with a patrol.
Watercloud yawned. She lay down next to her littermates in the warrior's den and fell asleep. "A spray of droplets will form a cloud and bring forth the light." A cat meowed. "A spray of droplets will form a cloud and bring forth the light." Another cat echoed. She immediately woke up. She shook her head. Why did she always dream of that!
She saw Aspenstalk pacing back and forth near the camp entrance. "Let's go!" She meowed, and they ran off together.
When they reached the lake, Aspenstalk meowed, "You know, from when you were a kit and you shared a minnow with me all the way to now, I...." Aspenstalk seemed lost for words. "Would you be my mate?" He breathed out, touching his muzzle to hers.
Watercloud stared at him with shock, but slowly recovered. "I don't know but for now let's be friends," Watercloud murmured. But, how could she take a mate while this prophecy would never leave her mind?
After they hunted, it was dusk. They carried their catch's and went to the warrior's den. She could hear Aspenstalk's breathing slow down, and he closed his eyes. Watercloud stared at the ceiling. "What could I do?" She murmured quietly to herself. She stood up, and walked the long trek to the Moonpool.
Nearly a day later, Watercloud reached the Moonpool. The starry surface was still, small ripples hitting the rocky sides. The whole might of the stars was reflected in the pool, like a single eye. Watercloud wasn't a medicine cat, but she knew what to do. Tentatively, she padded closer to the pool, small drops of the starry water landing on her fur and sending warmth deep into her body.
She touched her nose to Moonpool. "Welcome, Watercloud." She tipped her head to one side. "Stormfeather!" She cried. "You have the power to change things."
Watercloud hurried to Ivystar's den, and told her all about it. "Let cats old enough to swim gather to hear my words!" Ivystar yowled.
The only elder, Blossomsong, grumbled, "What does Ivystar want us now?"
"Watercloud had received a sign from StarClan, and it means that our cats will no longer bring out kits to gatherings." One of the expecting kits, Silverfire, sighed with relief.
Over the past few moons, they no longer gave away their kits, and one day, the ShadowClan leader, Sootstar asked Ivystar, "I heard that you no longer gave your kits away." He narrowed his eyes. Watercloud gasped. Who told them that?
Chapter 9 - Kode
The loud bustling sounds of morning in the RiverClan camp woke Watercloud almost immediately. She rolled out of her nest, the softly padded moss jarringly replaced with cold frost-earth.
She rose, stretching out her paws in front of her. He whiskers were bent from sleeping, but she shook them out and they straightened.
"Good morning, Watercloud!" A cheerful voice purred. Watercloud turned to see Foxwhisker, a russet tom with darker paws. He padded up to her, smiling broadly.
"Morning, Foxwhisker." She greeted him with a friendly nod; she still wasn't used to sleeping in the warrior's den.
Foxwhisker twitched his whiskers. "Great StarClan, it's cold today!" He remarked. "Will we be hunting today, do you think?"
Watercloud shook her head. "I don't think so. It's so cold, all the fish will be huddling under mud or staying in their dens to keep themselves warm!" She let out a purr of amusement at the thought.
Foxwhiker chuckled. "Yeah, you're right. I'd better go check on the elders, then, since it's so cold. See you, Watercloud!" He meowed, getting to his paws.
Watercloud nodded with a smile, watching him go. Two cats walked past her, and she pricked her ears in interest.
"Kits sure are great, don't you think?" Rainsky asked, fluffing his dewy gray fur out against the cold. "Not really," Sweetbreeze answered, looking slightly annoyed.
"Do you think there will be any kits born soon?" Rainsky asked, undeterred. "It's so great to see young liters scurrying around."
Watercloud shrunk back, flattening her ears to prevent hearing any more. Rainsky had been padding after Sweetbreeze since their apprenticeship moons ago, but Sweetbreeze was decidedly not interested.
Their relationship reminded Watercloud of Aspenstalk's and her's... friendship? Acquaintanceship? She let out a hiss, shoving away those thoughts - she wasn't going to spend time mulling over a tom.
As if StarClan had heard her thoughts and denials, a meow rang in Watercloud's ears, and she turned her head briefly to see Ivystar, her former mentor. She rose, her paws itching with desire to get out of the camp.
"Ivystar!" She exclaimed, bounding towards him. He flicked his ears back. "Come on, Watercloud, you've got border patrol with Fadingsplash and Aspenstalk."
Aspenstalk! Dismayed, Watercloud followed Ivystar towards the other two felines waiting at the entrance to camp - she knew better than to argue with her clan leader, however unhappy she might be with his decisions.
Aspenstalk nodded at her, his eyes bright with recognition, and his meow was warm. "You'll be setting the border marks with us today, right?" He asked, tipping his head to the side.
Watercloud nodded, trying to keep herself from doing anything irrational. "Yes, we will. At least, I think so - I might just watch or try to hunt, if Ivystar wants me to?" She angled her ears to Ivystar.
Aspenstalk looked mildly curious. "Hunt? Good luck in this weather." He meowed in amusement. "Though I suppose if anyone were to catch a fish or a bird right now, It'd be you."
A puzzled expression flitted over Watercloud's face, and she frowned. "What do you mean?" She asked curiously, frowning at Aspenstalk. Had he just complimented her or insulted her?
"You're one of the best hunters in the clan!" Aspenstalk exclaimed, looking surprised that she herself didn't notice. "You brought down that huge trout alone!"
Watercloud's ear tips burned with embarrassment. "That was nothing! It wasn't as big as it seemed, and Ivystar helped me; I wasn't alone." She flicked an ear back, wondering why Aspenstalk had noticed this.
"Yes, but what about those egrets? You caught them in mid-air, even though one tried to take you back to its roost!" Aspenstalk pressed. "That was impressive!"
Watercloud twitched her whiskers. "It was hurt! One of its wings wasn't working properly!" She meowed, her ear tips burning even brighter. "It couldn't have taken me to its nest if it had tried!"
Aspenstalk laughed. "Okay, and the three rabbits? I was there when you caught them, and they were all large and you were alone." He recited. "You pinned them all under you - they didn't stand a chance!"
Watercloud flattened her ears. "You were there?" She asked, her mouth going dry. Did this mean Aspenstalk knew about... her secret? She remembered that day and catch too, but for a different reason.
Aspenstalk nodded. "Yes, I was there. I was going hunting because Blossomsong said she was hungry, and the warrior code says queens and elders must be fed first."
Watercloud twitched her whiskers in a panic. "How- how much did you see?" She asked, trying to sound casual. Her fur was puffed up on the ridge of her back, but it was leaf-bare, hopefully he'd think she was cold.
"I saw you catch the rabbits and disappear into the brush that lines our territory; but then a vole passed by and I got distracted." Aspenstalk admitted sheepishly. "Hey, what were you doing in the brush?"
Watercloud felt like her whole body was being submerged into the freezing lake, and it was freezing around her, trapping her in place. "H- Hunting," She said, her voice higher-pitched than usual. "I thought I saw a shrew in there, but I was wrong."
"Oh." Aspenstalk meowed, looking mildly curious. "What was it? If it looked like a shrew, but it wasn't?" She was saved from having to answer by Ivystar.
"Watercloud! Aspenstalk!" He meowed, marching over to them. "Come on, what are you two doing lazing about? We've got to scent the scent markings; and maybe we'll catch something."
"Sorry, Ivystar." Aspenstalk meowed, looking up at Watercloud's mentor. "We just got caught up in a conversation." Watercloud nodded, trying not to look nervous.
"Well, come on then!" Ivystar meowed impatiently, his tail flicking. "We haven't got all day." Sending a silent prayer up to StarClan, Watercloud hurried after her former mentor.
Chapter 10 - Snowy
"Sweetbreeze, Rainsky, and Watercloud!" The deputy, Mallowthicket called. "You're going hunting near the lake."
Watercloud flicked her tail to the two cats, and they followed, though Sweetbreeze didn't seem happy to be on patrol with Rainsky. When they arrived to the river, Sweetbreeze exclaimed, "I see some fish there! I'm sure I can catch them!" She launched herself on the frozen sheet of ice.
About three fox-tails off from the shore, Sweetbreeze froze. Suddenly, the ice broke, and she was thrashing wildly in the river.
"Sweetbreeze!" Watercloud heard Rainsky's panicked mew.
"Wait-" But she was cut off by Rainsky, who was already running.
Rainsky launched himself into the lake, cracks sprouting up wherever he put his paws. By some miracle of StarClan, he managed to drag Sweetbreeze out of the lake and onto the chilly shore.
"Help me drag her," Rainsky demanded. Watercloud grabbed Sweetbreeze's scruff in her jaws. "Sweetbreeze?" Rainsky asked, crouching over her wet body.
Sweetbreeze's eyes fluttered open, and she coughed up a pawful of water. "Get Gorserun," Rainsky demanded, covering Sweetbreeze with comforting licks.
Watercloud hurried to camp. "Sweetbreeze nearly drowned!" She gasped, heaving for breath. Gorserun immediately appeared out of his den, running faster than a WindClan warrior.
Together, the two of them carried the she-cat to camp.
Sweetbreeze's parents, Stonetail and Swallowdawn, hurried to the medicine den to see her daughter. Sweetbreeze groaned.
"Rainsky." She rasped. Rainsky shouldered his way in front of the two cats.
"What's wrong?" He asked gently.
"Thank you for saving me." She croaked, lapping up the herbs that Gorserun put down in front of her.
Rainsky nuzzled Sweetbreeze. Watercloud thrust her way out of the medicine den. She couldn't stand watching those two lovebirds together. She hurried behind a reed, and vomited from the trauma and stress - she couldn't stand the lovey-dovey in the air, either.
Suddenly, out of no where, Aspenstalk appeared. "Are you ok?" He asked, reaching his muzzle to hers. She jerked away, and spat with disgust.
"It's fine." He meowed, but Watercloud could hear the disappointment in his mew. "I'll give you some space." He backed away slowly, and ran.
She stayed in the medicine den longer, until Gorserun kicked her out. "She needs rest," The crabby medicine cat fussed. "All of you, out!"
She padded into camp, and she saw Aspenstalk's golden pelt. "Look...I'm s-" Her voice broke when she saw Aspenstalk talking to Sparkstorm, and he nuzzled her.
Jealousy pricked her pelt as she ran into the forest. "Why, oh, why did I be so mean to him?" She asked, praying to StarClan that this was a dream.
She sighed unhappily, resting below a large elm tree.
Suddenly, anger washed over her, and she let out a snarl. "If you want to be with Sparkstorm, then be like that!" She yowled into the forest, the birds on the trees fluttering away.
Chapter 11 - Kode
Watercloud trudged back to camp, her body aching with exhaustion. She and her patrol had been out all day, trying to find something for the clan to eat. The food on the prey pile was minuscule, and it was starting to show on her Clanmates.
"Watercloud!" It was Foxwhisker. Watercloud turned to him; she was the leader of the hunting patrol. "Did you find anything?" He asked, pausing in front of her.
She nodded. "Three minnows, but they're small. Snakefur, take two and give them to the queens, and Poppyfire, take the third to Blossomsong, she'll be hungry."
Her clanamtes ambled off to do their tasks, and she heaved a breath. "I'm worried," She confessed to Foxwhisker. "The clan is going hungry, and all the fish are hidden under the ice. We've been fishing in the tide pools, because the ice is easier to break."
Foxwhisker nodded. "Yes, I'm worried too. But Aspenstalk and Sparkstorm brought back a large trout, and Sweetbreeze said she spotted a few more in the rivers. Hopefully, we won't be hungry for much longer." He meowed.
"Sparkstorm and Aspenstalk went hunting together?" Watercloud asked, trying to sound casual. "I'm surprised they didn't ask to join my patrol." She added, hoping to come across as curious, not jealous.
Foxwhisker shrugged. "I'm not sure. They do seem awfully close, maybe we'll have some kits that we can actually keep this leaf-bare, since Ivystar said we weren't to give them away anymore."
"Yes, I noticed that too. I'm happy for Sparkstorm, though." Watercloud meowed, forcing a purr. It cracked, but Foxwhisker didn't seem to notice.
Foxwhisker nodded. "She's your sister, right? Makes sense - though I suppose I always thought that it would be you and Aspenstalk to become mates. You're friends, aren't you?"
Watercloud shrugged, feeling like tiny pieces of her heart were splintering. "Yes, Sparkstorm's my sister." She meowed, avoiding the question about their friendship.
"Whatever the case, RiverClan needs some new warriors. We're awfully small for this time of leaf-bare, maybe the smallest clan right now." Foxwhisker remarked.
Watercloud nodded; and it came naturally this time. "I agree with you, but I doubt there will be any new kits in leaf-bare. It's almost over, though; we can look forward to newleaf."
"Watercloud, may I speak with you?" It was Gorserun, interrrupting her conversation with Foxwhisker. He flicked an ear impatiently; he couldn't wait.
"Yes, of course, Gorserun." Watercloud meowed. With a nod at Foxwhisker, she followed Gorserun into the medicine den. "Is something wrong, Gorserun?" Watercloud asked, peering at the black tom.
"Nothing is wrong, per se. Er, could you fetch me some moonberries? They grow down by the lake; I've found a few even in leaf-bare. And then I need to discuss something with you." He meowed.
"We can't talk before I get your herbs?" Watercloud asked, tipping her head to the side. "Since I'm already here, it'd be a waste to send me all the way to the lake and back for herbs."
"No, the herbs are important." Gorserun shook his head. "I asked the other medicine cats, it only grows on our territory, but I'd never seen them before your apprenticeship. I believe they're a sign from StarClan."
Watercloud stifled a sigh of exasperation. Medicine cats and StarClan! She nodded at Gorserun. "Alright, Gorserun, I'll get your moonberries, and then we can talk."
Gorserun nodded, turning away. Watercloud turned her head, about to leave, when something caught her eye. "Gorserun, you've got moonberries right here!" She exclaimed, nosing them towards Gorserun.
He nodded. "Yes, but not enough. StarClan sent me a message last night, and I need as much of the berries as I can get. Marigold and comfrey, too. Cobwebs and moss would also be helpful," He listed.
His words sent a shiver of Watercloud's spine. She wasn't a medicine cat, but she knew enough about herbs to know that those were herbs to treat injuries.
"Did they say a battle was coming?" She pressed, sitting back down and wrapping her tail around her paws patiently. "What did StarClan say?"
Gorserun only shook his head. "Get the moonberries first," He meowed firmly. "And then we can talk. This is important, Watercloud, can't you see? Something bad is coming, and StarClan is warning me about it!"
Chapter 12 - Snowy
Leaves brushed Watercloud's pelt as she trudged on, trying to find some moonberries. She reached a point when she sighed. This was the place where she and Aspenstalk were hunting when she just became a warrior, but that will never happen again. Never.
She was scavenging for herbs until sunhigh. "Here's your herbs!" She meowed, exhaustion overwhelming her. She dropped the moonberries, bundled in a large fern, at Gorserun's paws. "Thanks," He meowed. Before he could speak again, Aspenstalk interrupted them.
"You're tired just because you went searching for herbs?" Teased Aspenstalk, Sparkstorm following him. "I think I've sprained my paw, Gorserun." Sparkstorm meowed.
"Why don't you try it?" Watercloud snapped, flopping down to rest near the pool of water. Aspenstorm's eyes widened, and he exchanged a glance with Sparkstorm. "Here, bind your paw with these." Gorserun pushed reeds towards Sparkstorm and turned away.
The two padded away, Sparkstorm's paw now bandaged in rushes. Watercloud let out an angry huff. Those mousebrains had no idea what was so important about the moonberries!
"It's time for a gathering!" Ivystar called from his perch on the willow stump. He proceeded to name the felines who would be going to the gathering, Watercloud and Aspenstalk among them.
That night, at the gathering, Wavestar made an announcement. "We have a new warrior!" He meowed. "He joined us as a rogue, but he has proven his skill." The clans cheered for him, and he seemed to shrink smaller.
Timberfall, an exceptionally handsome tom, was sitting near Watercloud; she decided to go talk with him. "Hi!" She meowed warmly, padding over to him. "I'm Watercloud. I'm from RiverClan. You must be Timberfall."
"Yes, I am." He meowed, nodding at her. "It's nice to meet you, Watercloud. It's so strange here, I've never been around so many cats before." He confided.
Watercloud nodded, her expression friendly. "Don't worry," She purred warmly, "You'll get used to us. We're not all that bad," She said with a laugh.
Timberfall chuckled. "No, from what I've seen of RiverClan, you really aren't." He said, with a shy smile. "You're actually really nice."
Watercloud smiled at him. "Thanks."
He nodded. "Let's meet secretly at night, by the border." She whispered. He nodded again. Her paws felt as light as feathers when they were going back to camp.
When every cat was sound asleep, she got up, and quietly sneaked out of the camp. While she was sneaking out of camp, she wasn't wary of Aspenstalk's amber eyes locked on her.
Timberfall!" She purred, rubbing her muzzle on his. "Thanks for coming."
Suddenly, she heard some grass rustle, and out appeared a golden tom she knew well. "Aspenstalk!" She hissed, bracing her muscles to attack.
"You shouldn't meet again, for the sake of your own lives." Aspenstalk growled, head and tail high.
"Well if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be meeting with him! No offense, Timberfall, this isn't your fault." She growled back. "You shattered my heart, but now, I've got a nicer tom, a tom that'll be nicer than you forever!"
"If you ever meet again, I'll tell Ivystar." He challenged, hackles raised high. "I'll wait for you here tomorrow." She whispered to Timberfall. "I've got to leave." He nodded in understanding.
She charged after the golden tom, her former friend.
Chapter 13 - Kode
"You were with him." Aspenstalk growled, his eyes shining in the darkness of the warrior's den. His tone was angry, but also worried.
"Yes." Watercloud answered, raising her chin. "So go ahead and tell Ivystar. I don't care anymore."
Aspenstalk stared at her angrily for a moment. He let out a snort-growl, a mix between the two. "Whatever." He snarled. "But don't try and talk to me again."
"Why would I talk to you?" She scoffed, pushing past him.
She curled up in her nest and let herself dream, squeezing her eyes shut. If Aspenstalk wanted to be selfish and petty, that was his fault.
"A spray of droplets will form a cloud and bring forth the light." Came the hollow meow from around her. Watercloud raised her head, but she was still in the warrior's den. How was this possible?
She got to her paws, looking around. There were no warriors in their nests, only a large gray tom - the one who had visited her as a kit.
Watercloud tried to pad out of the den, but she felt her body turn around. Sparkstorm, Timberfall, and Aspenstorm were in front of her. Timberfall and Aspenstalk had large gashes in their throats.
Sparkstorm's face was contorted with horror. "You can only save one," The gray tom rumbled. "Make your choice, Watercloud. Your sister will save the other."
Panic edged up Watercloud's paws, and her throat felt thick. Her vision was warped, tunneling on the two toms bleeding out on the floor of the warrior's den.
"Aspenstalk," She whispered, padding forward and pressing her nose into his golden pelt. Sparkstorm let out a gasp, and Watercloud rose again. The wound on Aspenstalk's throat was closing.
Sparkstorm padded over to Timberfall, tentatively nosing him. He let out a peaceful sigh and opened his eyes. Sparkstorm let out another gasp, stunned by his radiance.
"You have made your choice," The gray tom meowed. "And she has made hers. Hurry, Watercloud. You must save your clan. You must change the ways of the clans."
"What do you mean?" Watercloud asked, her voice barbed with panic. "How can I change the clans? I'm only a warrior! And I have so many flaws," She said, a sob forcing its way out of her throat.
"All warriors have flaws." The tom surprised her by speaking. "You more than most. But this will save you. It saved him, did it not?" The tom tipped his head towards Aspenstalk.
"You- You mean, I did this?" Watercloud meowed in disbelief. "But I'm asleep! I'm dreaming! This is a dream!" She froze, a thought coming to her in the moment. "Right...?"
"Right." The tom meowed, and he sounded disappointed. "You cannot do it alone, Watercloud. One from each clan must aid you on your quest to change the ways."
Watercloud gasped. "What do you mean?" She asked, but the tom was already fading away. "Do not lose faith, Watercloud." The fading tom murmured. "StarClan is always watching over you."
"No! Don't leave me, please!" Watercloud begged. "You can't leave me! I have so many questions!" She yowled, but the tom was gone.
"Watercloud? Watercloud!" A voice stabbed into her dream, and it wavered for a moment, before vanishing.
She opened her eyes groggily, letting out a startled hiss when she saw Sparkstorm standing over her. "Are you alright?" Her sister asked. "You were thrashing like a fox!"
"Yes, I'm fine." Watercloud meowed, nuzzling her sister briefly. "I was just having a bad dream, that's all." She answered, giving her sister a lick.
Chapter 14 - Snowy
"Are you sure you're okay?" Sparkstorm asked, nuzzling her again. "You seemed really agitated. What was that dream about, anyways? It seemed really awful," She meowed.
"Er... I don't remember." Watercloud lied. "I'm better now, I promise. Thanks for waking me up, though." She added.
"Oh, Aspenstalk. She was having a nightmare, and she seemed really freaked out." Sparkstorm reported - she expected an answer, but Aspenstalk just brushed her comment away.
Watercloud gasped when Aspenstalk ignored Sparkstorm. Aspenstalk had never ignored Sparkstorm before! She flattened her ears, looking away, but he shouldered his way past the cats to her.
"Look....I'm-" Aspenstalk began, looking sheepish.
Watercloud turned away from him. "Don't." She slapped her tail over his mouth, and hurried to catch up to a patrol that was just leaving. She glanced back at Aspenstalk, but he'd disappeared.
When she was on her patrol, her mind whirled with thoughts. What was Aspenstalk trying to tell her? What did the gray cat mean? Had Aspenstalk been in that dream, too, or was it a vision from StarClan?
"What are you thinking?" Rainsky snapped, and she jumped at his voice. "There's clearly badger scent here, and you're not even paying attention!"
She rolled her eyes, though a pang of guilt hit her. She was letting Aspenstalk get in the way of protecting her clan! "Because you're afraid that the badger will attack the camp!" He hissed at her silence.
The scent strayed onto ShadowClan territory. "See!" She challenged. "It's not even here! Let ShadowClan deal with it, it's not our problem anymore."
"Well, you always need to be prepared." Rainsky retorted.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, the badger lumbered to where the cats were, letting out a ferocious roar of defiance as its pawsteps shook the earth. "Attack!" Rainsky screeched, battling the big beast.
Out of the bushes came Aspenstalk. "Go!" He yowled. "I'll take care of this." Somehow Aspenstalk managed to drive the beast across the halfbridge and into ShadowClan territory. Without a second thought, Watercloud leapt into the fray, fighting side-by-side with Aspenstalk.
Watercloud was panting. Hard. Blood oozed from a wound on her leg, and her paw was definitely broken. "Thanks." She managed to gasp the words out to Aspenstalk, even though they had the argument.
"Well, I need to say thank you for choosing me over that ThunderClan warrior." Aspenstalk meowed, licking his scratches.
"You were there!?" She exclaimed, surprised, but then she collapsed on the ground. Her vision blurred, and the last thing she heard was Aspenstalk's panicked mew.
She woke up to smell the stink of the moonberries. "You're awake!" Aspenstalk meowed.
"Why do you care about me so much now?" She asked, wincing at the pain of her scratches.
Aspenstalk curled his lip. "Sparkstorm now meets with that Timbersomething guy at night. She cares more about him than me. I told you, I wasn't the only one who'd notice you sneaking off at night."
"Timberfall." She corrected him.
"Whatever." He growled, looking away.
"How did you know we were in trouble?" She asked, gasping for breath. Her lungs ached, and each lungful of air was excruciatingly painful. She let out a small moan.
By this time Aspenstalk was shifting his paws embarrassedly. "Well, you see, I followed you to see what you were doing, and then the badger came, and I couldn't let my Clanmates die, especially you."
She flinched. She knew that Aspenstalk cared about her, but love? She wasn't ready yet. "Uh, thanks." She mumbled, dropping her gaze.
"Don't you trust me?" She asked.
"Well, I thought you were going to meet Timberguy."
"I was on a patrol!" She heaved a sigh. "And It's Timberfall."
He shrugged, but Watercloud barreled on. "And like you said, Sparkstorm meets with Timberfall now. He couldn't have forgiven me because I chose you over him."
"Well, you might still like Timberfall." This time Aspenstalk got it right.
"I don't." She retorted, staring up at the ceiling. "You might just leave me in peace." He nodded, thrusting his way to the entrance.
All the good parts were written by Kode, and all the bad parts were written by me.
Sequel coming soon! ~ Righting the Wrongs