|Preceded by: |
|Echoing Hearts||Succeded by: |
This is Season 1 Episode 5 'Echoing Hearts' of Unstable Times, song used is Echo by Crusher-P, but I listened to Amalee's version mostly, they're both the same in lyrics anyways.
Enjoy, Read, comment.
The clock stopped ticking forever ago. How long have I been up?
I don't know, I can't get a grip but I can't let go.
There wasn't anything to hold onto though.
Snowfire called a meeting, many cats gathered from under her. She sighed, then mewed, "We have a couple of apprentices to make, as they have reached six moons. I know it's been a long time since we've had apprentices, this should be cause for celebration, Thunderclan is taking it's first steps to becoming what it once was."
The cats cheered in agreement. Snowfire sighed, "All right, Stonekit, Flamekit, and Mosskit, step forward."
Snowfire watched the three kittens bounce up to the front. Stonekit had an excited look on his face, Flamekit and Mosskit both looked calm and collected. Snowfire twitched her whiskers as the older cats whispered amongst themselves. She took in a breath, and looked up at the stars, Well, hope you're watching, father. She thought quickly, then looked back down at the apprentices.
"You have reached six moons, Flamekit, you will be now known as Flamepaw, your mentor will be Emberleaf." Snowfire murmured calmly.
She watched as a dark furred she-cat stepped up, her amber eyes rested on Snowfire, and she bowed her head. She touched noses with Flamepaw, and they both sat together. Snowfire twitched her tail, then mewed, "Mosskit, you will be now known as Mosspaw, Riverflight will be your mentor."
They repeated the same process, Snowfire looked down at Stonekit, who seemed to be shaking out of anticipation, Snowfire mewed, "Stonekit, you will now be known as Stonepaw," she hesitated, then mewed, "I'll be your mentor."
Stonepaw's eyes widened in shock, Thunderclan finally rose into a deafening cheer. The three siblings jumped around each-other out of excitement, Snowfire called over the crowd, "I know it's been quite an amount of time since I named a deputy, but I have now decided on who'll be the next deputy."
The clearing seemed to hush, Snowfire looked at Emberleaf, who was also Hawkfeather's apprentice at some point before Snowfire was born to Owlflight and Jaystar. Snowfire mewed, "I say these words before Starclan, so they can hear and approve my choice. Emberleaf is now the new deputy of Thunderclan."
The cats cheered, some seemed nervous though, Snowfire sighed, Of course, just because she was once a rogue, but she's a great warrior. She thought grimly. Emberleaf seemed modest at the cheers though, brushing off her friends praise. Snowfire blinked when Hawkflight spoke up, "What do you plan to do about Shadowclan?"
"Is there anything we can do? The war is long over, I don't want to furthur Thunderclan's destruction. I need you all to understand this, I get your animosity, but to act now would be setting our fate in stone." Snowfire answered calmly, she felt her claws unsheathe, but she ignored it. Hawkflight didn't seem satisfied but didn't argue furthur.
Emberleaf asked, "Well, then that's that, Snowfire, anything you need me to do in specific?"
"Yes, make sure the Windclan border is clear, the medicine cat gathering is soon, I just want to make sure everyone actually sticks to their word," she hesitated, then added, "Sootstar doesn't seem dangerous, but you can't be too careful, even if he lost a medicine cat during that war, he was bitter at the gathering, and he still might be."
All the cats nodded, Snowfire jumped down from the tree to meet Stonepaw, her first apprentice. She felt nervous, and thought, I was made a leader totally skipping deputy, and never given my own apprentice, I have to catch up, I need to show them I'm capable. They picked me after all, I'm not going to let them down.
Stonepaw asked quickly, "So what are we going to do? Hunt? Fight? I'm excited!"
Snowfire flicked her tail on his head, and smiled when Leafwind padded into the warriors den, her gaze was sad though. Snowfire frowned, but looked down at Stonepaw when he kept bouncing around her. She laughed, "Well, I guess I have to show you the territory so you don't get lost on patrols."
Stonepaw laughed as well, and ran out of the camp, Snowfire ran to catch up with him, she stopped by the training clearing. Snowfire stood in the clearing, imagining the times where Hawkfeather and her would train. Stonepaw seemed to notice his mentor's daydream. He asked, "Is this where apprentices train?"
Snowfire nodded, "Yep, this is the place. Come on, I'm going to show you the Shadowclan border first." She mewed darkly. Stonepaw didn't notice her tone shift, and only followed her intently through the forest.
They stopped by the Shadowclan border, Stonepaw sniffed the edge, and observed, "It smells like frogs."
"That is their main diet." Snowfire mewed calmly. She flicked her ears, and looked away from the border as Stonepaw continued his mini-patrol of the border. She thought, I don't know why I listened to Hawkfeather then, I shouldn't have ran, I was to be a warrior. I promised to protect the clan even if it meant my life, yet he told me to run.
Snowfire shook her head, her ears starting to ring with previous noises of battle. Stonepaw asked, "Who's the leader again?"
"Darkstar," Snowfire answered simply, and turned away from the Shadowclan border, she mewed, "Come on, let's walk along the lakeside to the Windclan border."
Stonepaw followed her every paw-step, it made her nervous, I was expecting for Jaystar to give me my first apprentice, I wasn't ready to give myself one. She thought quietly, they stopped by the Windclan border, which was lined with a river. Stonepaw got an awed look on his face as he sniffed the water.
Snowfire narrowed her eyes as he made random obeservations, Of course, I don't plan on letting Shadowclan get away with it that easily. I just need time. She thought.
"Hey! Snowfire!" Stonepaw mewed. Snowfire looked down at him curiously, he asked, "What are the gatherings like? Can I go to the next one, please?"
Snowfire twitched her whiskers, "I'll think about it, Stonepaw, they're not that fun, if I'm honest." She mewed. Stonepaw's tail drooped, he looked up at her with wide amber eyes. Snowfire could almost see Hawkfeather in the small stone grey tom, Stonepaw blinked, and asked, "What are you staring at? Is there something on me?"
Snowfire watched as he spun around, Snowfire stopped him with her paw, and mewed, "No, I was just thinking."
"My mom does that too." Stonepaw mewed thoughtfully.
"Leafwind?" Snowfire mused quietly. Stonepaw nodded quickly.
"Yeah, she says I remind her of my dad. I never met my dad, what's he like, Snowfire? Did you know him?" Stonepaw asked all of this rather quickly.
Snowfire frowned, she thought sadly, And to think, Leafwind, you always seemed so accepting of what happened, I never thought that you still aren't over it. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Stonepaw was still staring at her, and she sighed, "He was a great warrior of Thunderclan, and I'm sure you'll be a great warrior someday too."
Stonepaw bounced excitedly, Snowfire laughed, "All right, let's go back, you can tell Leafwind all about your day, I'm sure she'll enjoy that."
Stonepaw nodded, and led the way back to camp, Snowfire stared ahead thoughtfully. Her clanmates words were still ringing in her mind, she thought, I think I know what to do, Darkstar knows Thunderclan isn't the type to sit back, it's like he wants us to take action against him.
Snowfire narrowed her eyes, All I need is time to strengthen Thunderclan, then we'll see what to do about Shadowclan. My clan-mates might not wait that long though, I need to be careful. She thought darkly as they returned to camp.
Snowfire huffed when Emberleaf had already set out patrols, taking a load off Snowfire's shoulders. Snowfire twitched her whiskers, "Being deputy suits you, Emberleaf." She commented.
Emberleaf looked up, and mewed, "Does it? It doesn't feel any different, I'm honoured you picked me though, I know some of the other warriors were a bit hesitant due to my previous alignments." She shrugged calmly.
"I have never doubted your loyalty." Snowfire pointed out calmly.
Emberleaf twitched her whiskers, "I'm glad to hear that. I intend on remaining loyal to Thunderclan even when I'm long gone from this world." She mewed.
Snowfire watched as she continued her duties. Snowfire looked up at the leaders tree, and climbed up it.
She paced her den, and finally sat down. She curled up, and fell asleep as the day went on.
Why can't I see? Why can't I see all the colours that you see?
Please can I be, please can I be...
Colourful and free?
What is going on? Can someone tell me please?
Why I'm switching faster than the channels on T.V
I'm black, then I'm white, no something isn't right. My enemy is invisible
I don't know how to fight.
Ashpaw was still reeling from his encounter. He wasn't sure who to talk to about it, Not Fogheart, he'd laugh or scold me. Darkstar wouldn't believe me? The elders maybe? The actual medicine cat? Littleleaf is old, she's seen tons of stuff like that. Yeah, I'll go to her about it! He thought quickly, and padded towards the medicine cat den.
There was a small amount of activity in the camp, he watched as Fogheart walked up to Darkstar, and asked darkly, "Have you thought of how to deal with Thunderclan yet? If at all?"
Darkstar frowned, "You're never satisfied, are you? I have no reason to attack them, I just need time to think, once I've decided, then I'll tell you." He growled darkly, and waved Fogheart away. Fogheart stalked away, clearly unsatisfied.
Ashpaw blinked, and pushed his way though the ferns to the medicine cat den. The old Shadowclan cat looked up curiously, and asked, "Ashpaw? What do you want? Are you hurt?"
Ashpaw sat down, and mewed, "Actually, I need your help."
"A warrior apprentice wanting a medicine cats help or advice? Haven't seen this one before." Littleleaf joked, she sighed, then mewed, "What is on your mind, Ashpaw?"
Ashpaw scuffled the dirt with his paws, and asked slowly, "Have you ever seen something that should have been a dream, but was real? Like..." he hesitated, then added, "Like seeing a cat that's supposed to be dead."
Littleleaf widened her eyes, "Why? Did you have an experience like that?" She asked in surprise.
Ashpaw huffed, "Well, I guess, I still think I was imagining things, and you can't tell Fogheart, or Darkstar." He mewed nervously. Littleleaf sat down, and nodded for him to continue.
"I chased this hawk through our territory, and I ended up in a cave, I know it wasn't the moonpool, because that's inbetween Thunderclan and Windclan. I saw... Someone." He mused quietly.
"Who?" Littleleaf asked.
Ashpaw looked up at her, then whispered, "I saw the old Thudnerclan deputy," he sighed, then continued, "I saw Hawkfeather."
Littleleaf gave a soft laugh, "I do believe you, Ashpaw, but I don't understand what reason he might have to visit a Shadowclan apprentice, and not someone from his own clan, did he say anything to you?" She asked softly.
Ashpaw huffed, and answered, "He said that Shadowclan deserves a second chance."
Littleleaf looked up at the sky, "Well, he's always been quite understanding and open-minded, I guess he gets that from the cat who raised him." She mewed thoughtfully.
Ashpaw asked, "You knew him? What was he like?"
"When I first met him, he was very distraught over the loss of a clan-mate, it hurt to see someone be thrown over the edge like that. As time went on and he slowly began to accept what happened, he became more energetic, yet not as forgiving as he was, and certainly not as relaxed about everything. Fogheart almost never came back from his encounter with him. He may have had a sense of humour, but he was more dangerous than Darkstar and Fogheart combined." Littleleaf answered carefully.
Ashpaw blinked, and she continued, "He came with Jaystar one day, even though at the time, he was known as Jayfang, even then, he had the air of a leader, a better one than Yewstar ever was, the leader before him. He told us that he was not accusing us of anything, he just wanted our side of the story, both Gorsestar and Darkstar grew to respect him for that small action. Since at the time, we were patronized and insulted, he was the first cat to not look down at us, but to stare at us as equals."
Ashpaw widened his eyes, Littleleaf whispered, "I gave Hawkfeather something to relieve the pain he was feeling."
"Who was it? Who did Thunderclan assumed we killed?" Ashpaw asked, and flicked his tail excitedly.
Littleleaf murmured, "The previous Thunderclan medicine cat, his name was Sunpelt. Yewstar claimed that we attacked their patrol, and Sunpelt sacrificed his life for Yewstar to live."
Ashpaw flicked his ears, "Did we?" He asked.
Littleleaf shook her head, "No, I knew Gorsestar, he would never harm a medicine cat if his nine lives depended on it, however, whether cats did it behind his back, it's too late to say." She murmured.
"Did Sunpelt even die?" Ashpaw asked quietly.
Littleleaf stared down at him, "I guess at some point in your life, you'll figure that one out on your own, but for now, I think you should reflect on what Hawkfeather said to you, he came to you for a reason. Not to a Thunderclan cat, but to you, he must think you're special." She pointed out quietly.
Ashpaw huffed, then mused quietly, "I'm not special though."
"Everyone is special in the grand scheme thing of things, you got to remember that Ashpaw," Littleleaf whispered softly, "We all have our roles to play, whether a leader, a medicine cat, a warrior, we are all the same because we serve our clan and the ones we love."
Ashpaw stared at the old medicine cat, he nodded, and mewed honestly, "Thanks for the words of wisdom."
Littleleaf bowed her head, "Any time, Ashpaw." She mewed happily. Ashpaw bounded out of the medicine cat with a new hop in his step. Fogheart had returned to the medicine cat den, while Darkstar sat silently in the clearing, staring up at the stars with a wistful look on his face. Ashpaw flicked his tail nervously.
Maybe I should ask him about what Fogheart is doing, I don't understand why they want to displace him, doesn't everyone make mistakes? He thought curiously.
Hawkfeather's words rang through his head, Shadowclan deserves a second chance... Shadowclan deserves a second chance... Ashpaw widened his eyes, and thought suddenly, Of course, everyone deserves a second chance! He hopped a bit in place, and walked up to Darkstar, before being halted by Fogheart himself.
"Ashpaw, why were you in the medicine cat den?" He asked coldly.
Ashpaw stared at him in disbelief, Fogheart raised an eye-brow, "Well? Squirrel got your tongue?" He asked.
Ashpaw thought quickly, I can't tell him! He killed Hawkfeather! He probably wouldn't care what he had to say and think I've gone out of my mind or something.
Ashpaw lied in his best Fogheart impression, "Oh, I think I had a thorn in my paw, but she gave me something for it. It's no problem."
Fogheart stared down at him, Ashpaw flicked his tail nervously, Fogheart shrugged, "If you say so, then stay away from thorn bushes." He mewed.
Ashpaw watched him walk away. Ashpaw let out a breath, and laughed quietly, "Huh, that was easy." He mewed, and walked back to the apprentices den. Yewpaw was sleeping rather soundly, her fur fluffed out against the Shadowclan muggyness.
Ashpaw curled up in the nest next to her, and sighed.
Do we really deserve a second chance? All I've ever been told is that we're liars and possibly cold blooded killers. I'm not that, right? Hawkfeather wouldn't have came to me if he did. He thought nervously, he never felt this nervous about anything.
I'm going to burn my house down into a dark black
I'm going to run away now and never look back
What is going on? Can't someone tell me please?
Why I'm switching faster than the channels on T.V?
"Ravenwing? You've been off your game lately. Are you okay?" Ivyblossom asked worriedly, her tail waved in the wind that rushed through the heather as they watched as a couple rabbits retreated. Ravenwing's tail drooped, then he looked back at Ivyblossom.
He joked half-heartedly, "Ah, you're right, it's an off day, it's nothing to worry about, Ivyblossom." He waved his tail, then sniffed the air. Ivyblossom wasn't ready to give up just that.
She pushed, "Do you want to talk about it? You've been acting oddly lately since I caught you at your brother's grave. I don't think you've fully gotten over it, everybody would understand." She pointed out as gently as she could. Ravenwing ignored her though as he continued to look for more prey.
He mewed, "Ivyblossom, you can go ahead of me, no worries, I just don't want to hold you back because I'm just not having a great day, go on." He flicked his tail.
Ivyblossom stared at him with a look of disbelief, she sighed in defeat, "All right, Ravenwing, I'll talk to you later."
Ravenwing watched her walk away, he thought sadly, Sorry. He padded by the hillside, and stopped for a breather. He saw two rabbits greeting each-other in the heather, but he didn't bother starting the chase. His legs felt like they were being filled with rock, he thought, Just off my edge, I need to try though, can't have the clan going hungry. He thought with a last ditch at determination.
He finally stood up, and crouched, he put his paw back, ready to begin the chase. The rabbits seemed to sense the impending danger, and froze, their tiny little noses twitching fearfully. Ravenwing padded forward as quietly as he could, he watched as the rabbits began to move slowly back into the heather.
Not this time, rabbits. He thought with a laugh.
He finally leaped, one of the rabbits dashed away, but he focused on one rabbit, he chased it through the heather. It made him feel free and part of the wind that rushed through his clan. Ravenwing flinched when the rabbit was once again heading for the supposed safety of Riverclan territory.
Silvershade will never let me live this down if I end up losing it to her territory again. He thought darkly, and sped up. He leaped on the rabbit, killing it swiftly, skidding to a halt on the Riverclan border.
Ravenwing laughed, "Well, looks like you're not pulling that trick on me again."
He stared down at the rabbit, and thought, Thank you, Starclan, for the meal.
He looked back at Riverlcan territory, expecting to see Silvershade standing there. She wasn't, he sighed, "Guess she's busy."
"Who's busy?" A female voice asked calmly.
Ravenwing looked up, Silvershade had padded out of the reeds, her fur very wet from a swim. She shook out her fur, and joked gently, "We seem to meet whenever you almost lose to a rabbit."
Ravenwing puffed out his chest in mock offense, "It probably doesn't take nearly as much effort to catch a slimy fish." He grunted with a laugh.
Silvershade only shook her head, "Are you usually this sloppy?" She asked carefully, and stared back at the river.
"No, why?" Ravenwing mused, Silvershade closed her eyes, as if remembering something painful.
She turned back to him, "Is there something on your mind, hunters like you aren't that reckless unless something more important is bugging them." She pointed out carefully.
Ravenwing stared at her, he felt his fur slowly bristle, he shrugged, "Ah, it's nothing."
Silvershade narrowed her eyes, "I know that might work on your clan-mates, but it won't work on me, you've been weird since our last conversation, I'm not a mouse-brain." She pointed out darkly.
He mewed, "It's... Well, I guess it's just my brother is on my mind."
Silvershade tipped her head, and mused carefully, "That would explain your unnatural sense of humour."
Ravenwing stared at her, and Silvershade joked grimly, "I just found it hard to believe anyone could be that cheerful during these times, no matter who they are."
He frowned, "I just didn't see the point, everyone else was being down in the dumps, I didn't want to be a part of that. Life isn't so bad, and the cats that left us wouldn't want us to go about life like that," he pointed out, then added, "I don't think they sacrificed everything they were just so we can go about life as if it was the end of us each and everyday."
Silvershade seemed to consider him, "I think there's a difference between trying to be happy for others sake, and repressing what you feel because you don't want to except the harsh reality." She mewed.
Ravenwing blinked, then laughed softly, "I guess you're right."
"I lost someone I cared deeply about once," Silvershade explained, "I told you that already, I understand how you feel, and for the longest time I was just off my game as a warrior. I wasn't able to catch fish as well as I could be, or fight as well as I should. Whenever other cats would talk to me, I'd put on a brave face, and pretend that the one I lost didn't feel like my own heart got torn in two."
Ravenwing only bowed his head, then Silvershade mewed, "But, you need to remember, there's still cats here that need you, that care for you. You need to trek through the hard times with them, you won't feel as alone as that way, and you'll find the pain more easier to bear if you can accept others into your heart without fear of losing them as well." She explained.
Ravenwing twitched his whiskers, and she asked, "I know this might be hard to ask, but, how did your brother die? Who?"
Ravenwing thought for a long time, and he mewed, "It was a blur, Shadowclan decided to trek through Thunderclan just to get at us, Thunderclan put up such a huge fight, and lost so many. My brother went to go save a Shadowclan cat, everyone saw that coming, that's why most of the Windclan cats nearby stopped fighting, but a Shadowclan cat didn't seem to understand what was going on, and assumed he just was going to finish him off."
He sighed, "I watched my brother get struck down without any thought, I still sometimes can't get the image out of my head." He explained.
Silvershade twitched her whiskers sadly, "I never even got to see Blackpaw one last time, the last words he said to me was 'Trust me, I got this.' then they brought him back, and he was gone." She whispered.
Ravenwing finally crossed the border, and bumped her head with his, "I'm sure he gave it his all, just like my brother did, they were both brave." He mewed.
Silvershade twitched her whiskers, "Now we need to be brave now for them."
Ravenwing nodded, and looked back at the rabbit, "I might as well go bring that back, I'll talk to you later, okay?" He asked.
"That's just fine with me." Silvershade laughed, Ravenwing picked up the rabbit, and retreated into the heather.
I'm black, then I'm white
No! Something isn't right
My enemy is invisible, I don't know how to fight.
The trembling fear, is more than I can take
When I'm up against the echo in the mirror
Silvershade had made her way back through the reeds of Riverclan. She spotted Sandsplash nearby the river's edge, fishing. For once, she saw a focused look on her friends face, and made her way towards her. She mused, "Something on your mind? What's wrong?"
Silvershade watched as Sandsplash stopped, she sighed, "Rockfur didn't make it through the night. We lost him when you went on your patrol."
Silvershade gaped, then she asked hurriedly, "He was Sparrowstar's best friend! How is he taking this?!"
Sandsplash twitched her ears, and shook her head, "About as well as Blackpaw's death, he's holed himself up in the leaders den, cats are lost. We need a deputy soon, and Sparrowstar shows no signs of recovery this time." She mewed sadly.
Silvershade bit her tongue, and looked up at the sky, she growled, "I'm going back to camp."
"Why?" Sandsplash asked.
Silvershade had already turned around, but answered, "Not again, I'm not going to watch Sparrowstar relapse and have our clan suffer for it." She walked away from Sandsplash, who continued fishing.
She padded into the camp, some of the kits were huddled in a corner, shadowed by Reedclaw, their father. Mothkit was among them, a small, beige, she-kit. Silvershade looked at the small rock formation that was Sparrowstar's den, where he was huddling in a dark corner. Cats had already prepared Rockfur's vigil.
Silvershade didn't close her eyes, she sent a quick thought to Starclan, then turned to the leaders den.
"Sparrowstar!" She yowled.
Her clanmates looked at her in surprise, Silvershade stood tall as Sparrowstar stalked out, his belly close to the ground. She stared down at him, and growled, "What is there to gain to hide? Is that not what you told everyone when the war first took it's toll?"
Sparrowstar stood up fully and growled, "You don't have much to scold me, Silvershade, you still have many things to see."
"I've seen enough." Silvershade stared at him evenly, the cats around them seemed to shiver in excitement.
Sparrowstar looked around at his clanmates, he huffed wearily, and they all watched as he jumped onto the rock formation overlooking all the clearing. He cleared his throat, and looked down at them all.
"There is something you all must understand, we are not Thunderclan, but the way we're going, we soon will be. Rockfur was my best friend, the only one I trusted to hold the deputy position," he explained, which caused some cats to gape. He added begrudgingly, "I am too old for this, I can feel my time passing, I've seen cats rise and fall, I've seen innocent blood spilt for our own ruthless aspirations."
He looked at Reedclaw's kittens, "Mothkit, Thistlekit, Pebblekit, step forward to receive your apprentice names." He mewed calmly.
Silvershade watched the three kittens step forward hesitantly, she spotted Sandsplash return in time for the ceremony, the two she-cats sat together, and stared up at Sparrowstar.
"Mothkit, you will be known as Mothpaw, Silvershade will be your mentor." Sparrowstar mumbled.
Silvershade felt her heart soar, Mothpaw stepped towards her shyly, Silvershade flicked her flank with her tail, and the ceremony continued. Sparrowstar gave Pebblepaw to Sandsplash, and Thistlekit to a young female warrior named Larchflight. The cheers were almost overwhelming.
Sparrowstar finally laughed tiredly, "Many cats have risen and fallen long before I entered this world. I may still see a few more cats rise to the challenge facing them in the future."
"Silvershade, step forward." He mewed calmly.
Silvershade froze up in shock, Sandsplash twitched her whiskers, all the cats seemed to share her excitement. Silvershade felt herself step forward.
"I am old, Rockfur is no longer with me, you are the one cat he taught, and now I feel like I can finally trust another cat with this." He mewed calmly.
Sparrowstar looked up at the stars, "I call upon my warrior ancestors, so that they hear and approve my choice. Silvershade, I name you the new deputy of Riverclan." He grumbled.
Silvershade looked back at her clan, who started to cheer happily. Silvershade twitched her whiskers, while Sparrowstar bowed his head.
I can... I can finally make a difference, I swear I won't make the same mistakes. Silvershade thought determindly as she turned back to Sparrowstar, who stared down at her expectantly.