What if, when WindClan attacked ThunderClan with RiverClan, ShadowClan had decided not to help? And what if there hadn't been an eclipse to break up the fight?
What if ThunderClan lost?
"You've got to help us!" Hollypaw shrieked desperately.
Blackstar looked at her from his nest, his eyes bored, "And why should we do that?"
Hollypaw took a breath, struggling to calm herself. "There have always been four Clans in the forest." she meowed evenly, "You can't just let ThunderClan be wiped out!"
Blackstar smirked, "Oh, but the thing is," he meowed smoothly, "I can."
Lionpaw slashed at the RiverClan warrior. Blood splattered across his face as a cut opened on her cheek, but she kept driving him forward with swiping claws that he barely managed to evade. He looked backwards, panicking. If she drove him up against a tree, she could claw at him until he was nothing but torn fur!
With a yowl, he dodged under her raking claws and swiped unsheathed claws across her belly. She let out a shriek of pain and dove off, towards the RiverClan border. Lionpaw smirked with satisfaction. Then his eyes widened as he heard a shriek. "Spiderleg!"
He dashed off through the forest to the main battle. His breath stopped as he saw the masses of RiverClan and WindClan warriors. He couldn't see a ThunderClan warrior at all, but from their pained cries, he knew they were in there somewhere.
StarClan help us! he prayed as he shot down the hillside, screeching a challenge.
"You should have told them,"
Sol turned, "Midnight," he greeted her.
The female badger advanced on him, but Sol's face showed no fear. He knew that the gentle badger would only attack if necessary.
"You warn ThunderClan about eclipse," she growled, "But not about other cats? Why?"
He shrugged, "They'll be okay. It's not like I care."
Midnight bared her teeth, "I told you secrets because you asked," she said, "Don't make me regret it."
Sol tipped his head, "So do I have to warn them about every little bump in the hill now?"
Midnight shook her broad head, "You don't understand." she grumbled, almost to herself.
"No," Sol said, "I don't. And frankly, I don't care. Now would you excuse me?"
He turned and dashed off, towards the mountains and hills beyond WindClan territory.
Midnight gave a little hiss, "Foolish cat," she growled, turning, "He has known what I know. And after this battle..." she shook her head, unable to go on.
"He should have told them," she muttered, helplessly lumbering away.
Hollypaw dashed back from ShadowClan camp. Ivytail and Kinkfur padded along slowly, behind her, just in sight. They wore identical smirks.
"It's so sad how ThunderClan's probably not going to last the night!" Kinkfur meowed, loud enough for Hollypaw to hear. Hollypaw flattened her ears, and kept running.
"Woah, woah!" Ivytail sped up, running until she stood in front of Hollypaw. Kinkfur followed her a moment later.'
"What do you want?" Hollypaw exploded, "My Clan is being attacked and I'm on your territory! Okay, so, just let me go home! Or tell me what you want?"
"My, my!" Ivytail meowed, she and Kinkfur walking backwards. Hollypaw stalked forward, hissing at their slow pace, "I mean, I know ThunderClan cats are touchy, but StarClan help this poor youngster who thinks she can badmouth us poor ShadowClanners-"
"Poor ShadowClanners?!" Hollypaw hissed, "You stuck-up little-"
"Be nice to your escort," Kinkfur meowed lazily, "You'd get stuck in the mud if it wasn't for us."
"At least I know when to swerve out of the way of a tree," Hollypaw meowed, her whiskers twitching.
"Wha-?" The two ShadowClan she-cats turned around and shrieked, ducking out of the way of two giant elms. They jumped back and stared at the trees as if they were monsters, fur fluffed out and eyes wide.
"Mouse-brains!" Hollypaw meowed, ducking away.
"Get back here!" Ivytail yowled.
"Blackstar's gonna kill us!" Kinkfur whined.
"Like I care," Hollypaw meowed, already scenting the border. She pelted over and shivered, already hearing the sounds of battle.
Hollypaw headed back to Brambleclaw's patrol where they were fighting by the Twoleg nest. She could hear noise coming from the WindClan border, but nothing from the direction of the lake. Was that good? Bad? Please let them be okay!
She entered the clearing by the abandoned Twoleg nest and almost immediately, she was almost flattened. She dodged out of the way as Mousewhisker, bleeding heavily from an eye wound, rolled past with a WindClan and a RiverClan cat claw tufts of fur off his flank. Hollypaw knew she had to tell Brambleclaw the news about ShadowClan, but she couldn't leave her Clanmate so desperately in need.
She lunged forward, ready to slash at the cats attacking her Clanmate. The RiverClan cat spun on her, and all she saw were amber eyes, wide and full of fury. Then she was knocked off her paws.
She scrabbled at the cats belly, unable to throw it off. Fishy breath drifted to her nose and she felt her belly lurch. Quick as a snake, she rolled out from under the cat and stood, panting. The RiverClan cat glared at her, then stalked off, deciding there were more opponents to fight, beside a pesky apprentice. Hollypaw turned, breathing hard. Where's Mousewhisker?
Her paws thudded back to where he had been wrestling. No sign. But then again, Hollypaw was one of the best trackers in the Clan. She scented the air and cursed the battle, the clashing scents of WindClan and RiverClan as well as the normal ThunderClan smell made this almost impossible. But then she noticed a red trail, leading into the bushes. Blood.
"StarClan, no!" she meowed, racing into the bushes. She was almost knocked over by the WindClan warrior pelting out of the bushes. He shoved past her, shaking blood from his claws as he dashed by. Hollypaw fought through the undergrowth and made her way into a small clearing.
Mousewhisker's lithe body was carelessly left in the clearing, his gray and white tail flopped on the ground. Hollypaw let out a small squeak and rushed over to him.
His fur was matted with blood although all of it seemed to be other cats. But as Hollypaw checked him over, she noticed the neat gash in his throat. She looked helplessly at his body, one green eye shut and swollen grotesquely from the thorn wound, the other frozen forever in the fire of battle. She buried her nose in his pelt, murmuring goodbyes, then pushed her way back to the battle, her heart alight with hate.
She was searching the screeching, writhing mass of cats for an opponent before she remembered that she had to tell Brambleclaw about ShadowClan. Her father! She dashed through the battle, worry pulsing through her fur. Was he okay?
Brambleclaw was beside the Twolegs nest with Cloudtail, although the white warrior looked very bad. He leaned heavily against the Twoleg nest, barely able to flash out a white paw at anyone who came over. Brambleclaw crouched in front of him, swiping at any cat who came close. Hollypaw could sense her father's frustration, he longed to leap on a cat and then another, sending them all squealing back home. But he would never leave Cloudtail undefended like that.
With a screech, Hollypaw dove into the mob of cats surrounding the deputy and the wounded warrior. She clawed at anyone's pelt she could reach until she got over near to Brambleclaw.
"ShadowClan's not coming," she gasped, "I can take Cloudtail...you go get them!"
Brambleclaw couldn't hide the flash of fear in his eyes, but it was replaced with an almost frightening calm. "Okay," he said steadily, "Thanks!" He leapt at a WindClan warrior- Harespring?- and was blocked from Hollypaw's view.
Several cats still remained though and Hollypaw crouched over Cloudtail, hissing. But in her heart she was terrified.
How much longer can we hold?
What if they win?
"StarClan save us!" she hissed, sending Owlwhisker away with a bleeding nose.
Lionpaw lunged forward, clamping his teeth onto a WindClan cat's ear. The cat shrieked and tried to shake him off. Lionpaw felt a stab of sympathy as he recognized Whitetail. The small white she-cat had often been a friend to ThunderClan.
Unfortunately, she was also an experienced fighter. She flipped him, then pinned him to the ground, giving him a few warning pummels before backing off. Lionpaw jumped up, watching her slim shape disappear into the battle, wondering why she hadn't hurt him. Then, with a flash of rage, he realized. It was because he was an apprentice. The noble Whitetail didn't want to hurt an apprentice. Because apprentices were so-
"Lionpaw!" Lionpaw turned and saw Honeypaw fall, shrieking, to Breezepaw's paws. The WindClan apprentice was smirking as he savagely tore at Honeypaw and the ThunderClan she-ca was writhing in a vain effort to get free. But she was pinned to the ground. Lionpaw sprung at Breezepaw and with a hiss, began clawing at him. Breezepaw fought back, as fiercely and Lionpaw let out a hiss as Breezepaw got in a lucky hit and gave him a nasty shoulder wound.
I'm in the prophecy! I shouldn't be able to get hurt!
With a mighty shove, he tossed Breezepaw off of him. To his satisfaction, the smug WindClan apprentice seemed stunned and didn't get up. Lionpaw ran to Honeypaw, "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine," Honeypaw meowed. But there were silent tears streaking down her cheeks and Lionpaw could tell how much pain she was in.
"Go back to camp," he meowed, "Guard it." Honeypaw gave him a grateful nod and padded off, letting out sharp gasps of pain. Lionpaw would've liked to go with her, but he knew he was needed in the battle. So what, Breezepaw got in a lucky hit! My powers are still....developing. He smirked as he sped past the motionless apprentice. At least he'll regret it!
He quickly found another cat to fight, a RiverClan she-cat. He quickly sent her caterwauling away and turned, wondering if he should go to find Firestar. But he caught a glimpse of the flame colored warrior yowling encouragement to his Clan before plunging once again into battle.
Lionpaw felt a strange sense of joy. There seemed to be a lot less cats in the clearing, and most of them he had sent off squealing! He tipped his head. "WindClan must be sending all the warriors to the lake or the Twoleg nest," he told himself softly. But as he dove back into the fray, he continues thinking. Fighting was like second nature to him, so he didn't need to think much as he slashed and whirled around the clearing.
But why would WindClan ignore us? We're right on their border! And Firestar's here...if they really to defeat us, wouldn't they go after our leader? The thought of loosing Firestar sent a shiver down Lionpaw's spine and he shook his head, Ick, strategics are Hollypaw's business. I couldn't care less about which way is better to claw a fox, I just want to claw it!
The thought continues to bother him, but it soon drifted to the back of his mind as he traded blows with a RiverClan tom with a scarred muzzle. At least, it was there until there was a yowl from a clump of rocks near the border. Lionpaw groaned and the RiverClan tom slashed his cheek. Lionpaw spun around, slashing the tom with his back paws while looking at the rocks.
Crowfeather stood at the top, a swarm of warriors around him. With a flick of his tail, they surged forward and Lionpaw could hear several wails from the ThunderClan fighters as they were besieged by new enemies.
Lionpaw slashed a claw in his opponents face, then dived under his belly, raking his claws down the RiverClan cats stomach. The tom pelted away, howling. "Fat fish face!" Lionpaw yowled after him. A flash of light brown caught his eye and he turned, too late to spot everything. But he had an uneasy feeling. I know that pelt.
He searched the clearing, oblivious to the battle for the moment as his eyes peered through the fighting cats to the edge of the clearing where...he gasped.