Author's Note -
A/N: This will include real users. Please comment if you'd like to be mentioned (as a main character or side character, both are fine). If your name is something like, "Dovewing306" or "Hollyleaf18", I'll change the name to something like Doveflight or Hollybranch. If you want a different name than your username, comment what you would like. I apologize if I included you without your permission. If you aren't comfortable with it, I'll take it out.
I don't mistrust you, I just don't trust you. - Lynx
Sunlight filtered in through the gaps in the leaves, waking me up instantly. My eyes flew open and I sat up, banging my head on a branch. It trembled precariously. I shuddered, not wanting to be on it when it fell.
Nimbly, I jumped off, landing neatly on my paws. I gave my chest fur a lick, then glanced around the glade I landed in. It smelled strongly of cat, fresh, too. I thought about it. It was about four cats, and they smelled of more. Perhaps a colony or a group. My heart soared at that thought. Sure, I had a few close friends, and I had ventured here with one of them, but she had turned back and gone back to our old territory.
Not me, though. I had wanted to explore. To stay. To live like a true wildcat. I winced at my foolishness. That had been almost a week ago. I had survived well on my own, but I craved company. I myself wasn't the social one, though. I was the one who hung around awkwardly as other cats introduced themselves to me. I wasn't what you would call 'friendly'.
Nor was I a hermit, I did socialize, from time to time. But I would never find a friend such as the one who had brought me here. No, she was really my best friend, the only one I trusted with the secrets I kept close to my heart. She trusted me, but she was angry when I wanted to stay. She visits now and then, but it's a long walk to this area.
I blinked back tears and inhaled sharply. There was no time for mourning. I needed to hunt. My expert eyes flitted around the glade. At first glance, it seemed perfect for prey. But there wasn't any. It only took me a moment to figure out why. Sure, if I was a squirrel or a rabbit, I'd most likely be dead. I wouldn't venture anywhere near a place where cats fell out of trees.
Cursing my foolishness, I crept back into the more shaded part of it, with more trees. I didn't look it, but I was fast. Faster than anyone who I'd met. I raced them. Sometimes for fun, sometimes for prey. I didn't use my speed for anything bad, except for when I was starving. Nothing wrong with that, was there?
I raked my claws on the nearest tree trunk as my stomach grumbled with hunger. It had been a while since I had eaten, and even then it wasn't much. I thought again of the scent of cat, and decided to follow it. Being a loner wasn't bad. I didn't dislike it, but I didn't like it either.
I followed the scent, making sure to stick to more shaded areas. I detested the sun, and heat. I also detested cold, although I could tolerate it. A rabbit crossed the path, either not seeing me or not caring. The hum of cicadas rang in my ears, making it twitch. The rabbit froze. I was drooling at the mouth.
Whatever, I thought in regard to the scent. I need food. I pounced sloppily, relishing the taste as I chewed. I devoured it quickly, not having eaten in days. Once I was comfortably full, I stretched. I picked up the scent again; as much as I hated to admit it, it was true: I was lonely. I heard a crackling noise behind me and froze. I got a whiff of cat, but not one of the cats on the trail I was following. Slowly, I turned around, claws unsheathed. "Hello," The cat said simply. "Who are you?"
I'm here to talk if you need it. - Bramblefire
Yawning, I padded out of the warriors den, well-rested. I grabbed a shrew from the fresh-kill pile, choosing to sit by myself. I abesntly took bites of the shrew, thinking of nothing in particular. "Bramblefire!" The shout caught my attention. I turned, seeing Aquafin staring at me with her piercing blue eyes.
I sighed, picking up the shrew in my jaws and padding over. "Yes?" I asked, sitting back down next to her. She nudged me in the ribs with her smoky blue tail. "How did it go?" She asked nervously. I took a bite, taking my time and swallowing before I replied. "How did what go?"
Aquafin shivered. "That bad, huh?" I fixated on her with a patronizing stare. "It was nothing, just a patrol." Aquafin nodded, unconvinced. "I see." I finished the shrew in silence, then stood up abruptly. "If you'll excuse me. I have duties to attend to." I walked away stiffly, knowing her gaze lingered on me until I was out of sight.
I poked my head into the apprentices' den. "Storkpaw! Get up, we're going to train." The gray apprentice sighed, stretching, and padded out, stifling a yawn. "Hunting?" "Sparring," I replied. "Mmm." Storkpaw replied. I gave her a look, then realized she was yawning again. I snorted, leading her out of the camp to the battle arena.
She pinned me down after a few tries, and it seemed all of her sleepiness was gone. "Good job," I purred, licking my chest fur once she got off me. She smiled. "Um.. thankyouIguess..." Storkpaw was a piece of work, although I didn't mean that in a bad way. Her take on the world was intriguing, and made me wonder what she thought of me.
"You can go now," I dipped my head. Her eyes lit up and she trotted off, probably to get some food in her system. Speaking of food. I turned, narrowing my eyes thoughtfully. I decided to tackle the woods surrounding the pond, there would be plenty of prey there.
Quietly, I made my way to the chosen location, eyes alert for any signs of movement. Once I got there, the first thing I spotted was a fat toad. I shrugged, the kits would enjoy it. I crouched carefully, eyes fixated on the bulbous creature. It croaked, it's lower lip expanding, and I cursed. It wasn't an edible one. Thank StarClan that it had croaked, showing her the beads of sweat that coated it's body.
I glanced at the pond, did I have the patience for fishing? I decided I didn't, choosing the land prey. Aside from the toad, at first glance, the pond area looked deserted. Upon closer inspection, however, I spotted a green and yellow lizard basking on a rock. It was one of the safe lizards to eat, so I crept closer, prepared to pounce.
I pounced, feeling the lizard writhe for a moment in my jaws before it stilled. "Brams?" The voice surprised me, this wasn't a very common hunting spot. I looked up. I recognized that voice.
Life is tougher when you're stupid. - Sparrowfang
It was a hazy morning, dry and humid. I glanced around, leaves littering the path I was treading. There was a strong scent of rabbit, and I swelled with pride, knowing how happy the clan would be if I brought a rabbit colony back.
No need to get overexcited, I thought to myself, stifling a purr. I followed the scent, trying to make as little noise as possible. It wasn't easy. With my slim frame and long fur, I was always bumping into something. Well, not always. Just most of the time.
The smell got stronger, as did my excitement. I sighed deeply, this required concentration. My expert eyes found where the squirrels were hiding; a hollowed out knob in a large maple tree. I unsheathed my claws and hung my paw in, swiping. Once I was sure I had gotten a sufficient number, I withdrew my paw.
There was one squirrel hooked on my claws. I nodded, laying it down on the ground in front of me. I then poked my head into the knob, picking up the six squirrels I had managed to get. I grabbed them by the tails and trotted back to camp, tail held high.
I was aware of Wetstar staring at me, and I chuckled to myself, laying them on the fresh-kill pile. I smiled at her, then retreated to the warrior's den. I sat in my nest and groomed myself. "Sparrowfang?" I looked up. "Yes?" I asked.
It was Leafdust. "I just wanted to congratulate you on those catches," He said, embarrassed, giving his chest fur a few quick licks. I purred. "Thank you." He smiled, then retreated back into his own nest.
That was random, I though, snorting. I saw Leafdust's eyes widen with hurt, and so I added, "Winterspeck," and pretended to be laughing at the memory of a joke my sister made. He settled back down, looking mollified.
I wondered why I cared about his feelings. Shrugging, I continued to groom myself. Deciding I was hungry, I was about to get a squirrel when he flopped down next to me, a shrew in his jaws. "Wanna share?" He offered.
A slow smile spread across my face. I nodded. "Yeah, sure." We ate in silence, but not an uncomfortable one. It was a warm, fuzzy type of silence.
Once I was done, I grinned at him. "You up for a spar?" I asked him. He chuckled. "'Course." I stood up, eyes twinkling. "Well, come on then, lazy paws." He jumped up, chasing me out. We raced, laughing all the while.
Keep your head low. - Hopefur
"Good. Now, with your front paw, sweep his legs out from underneath," I commanded. Dewpaw nodded, swiping. Toadpaw grimaced, landing on the ground with a thump. I winced, helping him up. "Good job, Dewpaw," I purred. I turned to Toadpaw. "Are you okay?"
He nodded. "Yes, just bruised my pride." I bristled. Everyone is ashamed at being taken down by my apprentice, seeing as she's much younger than she should be, and much smaller. I turned to Dewpaw, who wore an indifferent mask of calm on her features. "Toadpaw, you can go," I said glaring at him.
He shrugged, turning and trotting back towards the camp. As soon as he was gone, Dewpaw relaxed. "Everyone's so mean to me," She mumbled, getting in sparring position with me. I nodded. "Only because you're better than them." Dewpaw and her mother, Octavia, had joined the clan a few days ago. Dewpaw was only four moons, but Wetstar had been impressed with her skills.
Dewpaw sighed. "But I'm not." "You are, or Wetstar wouldn't have let you become an apprentice," I countered. Her shoulders slumped. "I only know how to hunt because I was a rogue..." "Wetstar is an excellent judge of character," I added. She looked up at me. "Really?" I nodded. "Really."
"O-oh." Dewpaw said uncertainly. My posture relaxed. Seeing my weakness, she launched herself at me. I writhed under her iron grip, her sheathed claws at my throat. She released me, and I sprang up. "Excellent!" I purred. Her eyes shone. "Thanks, Hopefur!" I nodded, smiling. "Any time. Try that move again."
We practiced until dusk, Dewpaw gaining more confidence all the while. And even though she wasn't great at everything, I wouldn't have even considered that Dewpaw was younger than six moons, if not eight.
She yawned, licking at her hind leg. "Sorry, Hopefur," She said, sitting up again. "Just tired." I looked up, eyes wide. "Oh! I completely lost track of the time! You can go. Rest up." She nodded wearily. As she walked away I noticed she was limping. "If you're sore, ask Violetshade for some comfrey." I added. "Okay. Thank you, Hopefur!" She called over her shoulder.
I nodded, watching her go. By the time she was out of sight, the moon had risen, bathing me and the training clearing in milky white light. I breathed deeply, peace radiating from me. It was these stolen moments that brought me the most joy.
I scratched behind my ear, settling down, eyes trained on the moon. They never wavered. I sighed happily, eyes half closed, and watched the moon make its slow arch across the sky. As it dipped below the horizon, I rose, stretching. The moon was a part of me. It always had been, and it always would be.
His searing gaze left a blaze of heat on my cheeks. I looked away. "Is there something you need, Ashtrail?" He smiled softly. "I just want to ask one thing." I looked back at him desperately. "Yes?" I managed, a choked whisper. "Would you..." He flushed. "Er, doyoumaybewannagoonapatrolwithme?"
Nightfire smiled slowly. "Um, yes." Ashtrail sighed in relief. "Great! When would you like to go?" Nightfire shrugged. "Now, maybe?" Ashtrail nodded. "Okay," He padded after her, Nightfire smiling like an idiot. He's just a tom, she snapped at herself. Just a really, really really cute tom...
"What do you like about me?" Ashtrail asked quietly. Nightfire stared at him for a moment, choosing her words carefully. "You're empathetic, you treat everyone with respect. You honor tradition... and I really enjoy your company." She added quietly. He purred. "Thank you."
She nodded. "What do you like about me?" She finally asked. Ashtrail smiled. "You're one of the most beautiful and kind she-cats in the clan." She flushed. "You're also clever and creative, and you're forgiving of others." He added shyly.
She smiled. "I'm glad you think so." Ashtrail nodded, purring. "What else would I think?" He asked jovially. "Well... You don't think I'm grumpy or nonchalant?" She asked, cocking her head. "You aren't around me," He said. She frowned, embarrassed. "Was it that obvious?" He nodded. "Yeah."
He smiled at her. "Don't worry, it's fine. I don't think I would have asked you to go on patrol with me if I hadn't been sure you wanted to." She gave him a small smile. "Then it's okay." He nodded. "Yeah. It's okay."
It was an embarrassed silence until Nightfire caught a vole, then they were back to chatting. She smiled and nodded a lot, enjoying Ashtrail's company. She only hoped he felt the same way. It wasn't like she wanted him as a mate... except she really did.
As they were entering camp, Ashtrail stopped her, looking flushed. "Nightfire, I really like you..." He began. She stared at him warily. "And I was wondering..." He bit his lip. Nightfire nodded encouragingly. "Yes?" "Well..." He sighed. "Better get on with it," he mumbled.
"Will you be my mate?" This took Nightfire by surprise. "Ashtrail..." he flinched. "Yes. I'd love to be your mate." His jaw dropped. "Really?" She nodded. "Really." He purred, twining his tail with hers. "Thank you, Nightfire," He smiled. She laughed. "You're very welcome."
""Cedarvalley!" My head shot up and I squinted, disoriented, as I looked around. "Larksong?" I asked blearily. The seal-point she-cat walked over to me, a grin on her face. "Enjoy the night?" She teased. I shook my head. "Up until now, yes." She snorted. "Let's gooooo!" She groaned playfully. "Go where?" I blinked. "Dawn patrol," She rolled her eyes. "Come onnnnn!" "Fine, fine, coming..." I sighed, getting wearily to my paws.
"Hsdfkjdsfh," I muttered. Larksong snorted. "Wake up, dude!" I glanced around, fuzzy. There was something strange going on in the camp. Everyone looked tense, nervous. "What's going on?" I murmured to her, my sleepiness evaporating. Larksong hesitated. "Well... there might be a war." The words echoed around in my head. I didn't understand. "A war?" I asked. "A war." She echoed.
"Why?" I ask quietly.