This is a story written by Holly.

Note: I want you guys to tell me if you think I've improved at writing, ok?

prologue

when the came to find you

did you hide

or did you stand in the open

prepared

for

them


Flames licked at the small black and white speckled kitten, causing it to press itself against the log, eyes wide in terror. The kitten's fur was singed in places, and shrill mews of horror erupted from its tiny mouth as it watched it's childhood ripped away by the fire, crumbling under the flames.

The kitten opened it's mouth to cry out in pain as it's paw got burned, the fur smoldering, but smoke entered its jaws, trying to pry the life out from it's mouth. 

The world blurred, and the kit came close to collapsing, to joining its home, to be found along with the wreckage buried under ashes, to have its friends and family mourn for it, for them to long for the kit's company again.

That would never happen.

That was the problem for living forever.

The problem with being an Eternal Guardian of the tribe.

The problem with being the chosen one.

If the kit's life was ripped away, the kit would still be alive, being forced into the harsh prophecy that it was born into all those seasons ago. 

The kit was one of the first leaders, a founder. The kit was large and sleek, with creamy tabby fur, at that time. Healthy, the kit was a leader, well known, thought of as the most important cat in history.

The kit was dead.

It had been dead so many times, that dieing again wouldn't matter, it would just happen again.

And again.

And Again.

Sadness.

Grief.

Regret.

All of these feelings washed over the kit as it felt the searing pain of the fire burning through its soul.

What kind of savior am I?

A terrible one.

The fire would kill the kit, cause it to lose its tiny life.

There was nothing that anyone could do about it.

And there was nothing anycat could do about it.

The claws of death dug into the kit's pelt, causing her to squeak in pain at everything.

Sleep.

A voice echoed in the kit's ear, and you know what?

The kit fell asleep.

chapter 1

when they spared you

did you cry

joyfully

"Wake up, Lilykit! Mother wants us in her cave-den!" a green-eyed kit squeaked. She had dark gray fur, and one white forepaw.

Lilykit, a small kit with black and white speckled fur, along with green eyes like her sister. Her ear twitched, and she groaned. "What does Mother want? I'm tired..."

"I don't know, she didn't tell me!" her dark fur was now fluffed up as she meowed it. "Anyway, it's almost sun-high, you should be up and about by now!"

"Rainkit..." she sat up, eyes narrowed, "Remember this moment, because tomorrow you'll still be sleeping while I'm playing with our denmates, all while you snore away here in the rest-cave.

Their tribe lived in the side of a mountain. They stayed inside of a huge network of tunnels. The nurses, queens, and kits stayed in one area, with their own main hub, which had dens for the nurses and queens, and a slightly bigger den for all of the kits to stay in together. The main hub was for show, really. Visitors marveled over it. The kits didn't use it for anything. There was a den with a pool of water, and another with food in it. There was a den for the nurses to do injury repairs and such in. Each nurse and queen had their own den, and they barely got near the kits, and so the kits usually were all together, a tightly knit group of playmates.

"I will not be asleep!" Rainkit retorted, "I'll be playing with Stonekit." she paused, "Your crush."

Lilykit rolled her eyes before heading to the exit to the den, "You're being immature. I don't have a crush, and never will. I will always be a loyal tribe member, I don't need a mate to be by my side." she flicked her tail, "I will have my friends, even if some of them are toms." she blushed, "Plus, I'd never think of Stonekit or any of the other toms that way, and you should know that."

The two emerged into the kit-hub, their main hub. A pool of sparkling water was in the middle of a chamber, with crystals around it. A ton of tunnels led off from the kit-hub. One led off to the nurses dens, where the nurses stayed. One that was next to it housed the queens who didn't have their kits yet. It was next to the nurses' den so nurses could get there quickly if someone was giving birth. One the other side of the nurses hall, the Infirmary tunnel was. It led to the Infirmary, where hurt nurses, queens, and kits went. 

"Are you sure you don't like Stonekit?" Rainkit grinned from ear to ear, "You act like you do, plus, you get mad when Snowkit is all flirty with him."

"I'm sure, Rainkit." Lilykit replied, a bit annoyed with her sister. She felt so tiny in the huge hub, it was so enormous.

A big tunnel led off to the the actual main hub, that led to all the other cats dens and all. The kits weren't allowed to go there. A tunnel led off to the prey-pile and the water-room. Another led off to the place where newborn kits, the ones that still drank milk, and their mothers lived in dens. When the kits were old enough to eat meat, they moved into the rest-cave with the older kits, and the mothers get their own den. Once the kits become apprentices, the mothers move back to their old dens in the warriors' or apprentices' wings, and the kits move to the apprentices' wing.

"Ok, then you won't mind if I flirt at him tomorrow." Rainkit giggled.

They passed another tunnel, and could hear their denmates giggles and squeals. They were passing the play-tunnel. A couple more steps and they were at the entrance to the queen dens.

"Not at all." Lillykit meowed.

"You know I'm just joking, right?" Rainkit meowed, a smile on her face. "It's hard to tell what you're thinking, you're so serious all the time."

"You know I don't like him, and yet you tease me saying that I do..." Lilykit paused, eyes confused, "Why?"

Rainkit laughed, "Because that's what siblings do!"

"The other kits don't do that to one another, besides, tomorrow you'll say I like Redkit, or Snakekit." Lilykit flicked her tail.

"Probably will." Rainkit giggled.

Lilykit rolled her eyes, "Let's go, or Mother will be mad."

Rainkit nodded, "Fine, fine, ruin the fun."

They approached the queens' tunnel, and entered. Dens with leaves as doorways lined the hall, and they quickly entered one, emerging into a small chamber. 

Sunlight filtered into the room like it did in all the other rooms, through a slit in the ceiling. A nest was in the corner of the den, filled with moss and feathers.

Their mother was sitting in her nest, grooming herself. "Welcome, Rainkit and Lilykit. I've missed you both, though I missed Lilykit more since I didn't see her this morning." she meowed teasingly to Rainkit.

Their mother had long, dark fur, with a white muzzle, tail-tip, and paws. Her eyes were a light amber color, and shone even without the sunlight.

"I missed you too, Mother." Lilykit purred, stepping forward and quickly licking her cheek before stepping back.

Their Mother wrapped her tail round her paws, calmly looking at the two. "You both have grown so much since I gave birth to you..." she paused, as though lost in thought before continuing, "You both are getting so old, how long has it been since I gave birth to you?" she asked, eyes clouded.

"Almost 10 moons, Mother." Lilykit meowed, eyes on the ground. Neither of them had been able to begin an apprenticeship yet, and it was all Lilykit's fault.

"Yes, well, kits, soon you will both be apprentices!" their Mother purred before continuing, "And so you two should decide what your apprenticeship will be in!"

Lilykit's eyes widened in excitement. She could train to be a hunter, a nurse, a captain, a fighter, a scout, the list goes on and on through her head, swarming her thoughts, "Does that mean that we will finally learn who our father is?" she asked, almost bouncing in place, or at least bouncing mentally.

Rainkit nodded, "Yeah, will the 'huge' secret finally be revealed?" she actually was bouncing in place. Lilykit was glad she could control herself in a better manner than her sister could.

Lilykit almost thought that she had seen a flash of regret in her Mother's eyes, but it was gone quickly and she couldn't tell if it was her imagination or not, "Oh, well, yes, you will meet your father."

Lilykit pinned back her ears, eyes clouded, "Is father a good cat? Is he a fighter? A hunter?" 

Their Mother looked at the ceiling of the chamber, not wanting to meet their eyes, "Your father is..." she paused, as though thinking or choosing the best word to explain the mystery tom that was her kit's father, her mate, "He's important, special even."

Rainkit tilted her head, eyes confused and even a bit sad, "Mother, why hasn't Father ever visited us before? All of the other kits have met their fathers!"

"Stop asking about your father, please!" Mother hissed, eyes furious and wild, "He is busy, that's all." she sighed, the sudden spark of anger leaving her, "He saw you two when you were both kits, he helped me to choose your names."

"Doesn't he like us?" Lilykit whispered, a bit distressed by her mother's vagueness and anger.

"No, no, no, he loves you very much..." the older cat meowed, seeming to get irritated again.

"Did he--" Rainkit began, before being cut off by her mother, who was filled with rage.

"Just get out of my den, enough talking about your father! J-just think about what you guys want to train to be!" she hissed, eyes wide with a sudden wave of fury, "Just get out, now!" tears were in her eyes as she herded the kits out of the den, and disappearing into her den, leaving them alone in the hall-tunnel.

chapter 2

or did you

wilt

in sadness

and

pain


Lilykit and Rainkit were back in the hallway, kicked out of their mother's den.

This happened every time they asked their mother about their father and Rainkit was used to it, but Lilykit wasn’t. She stared at the leaves that swished into place, blocking their venting mother from sight. They’d been asking the same question for ten moons, but still their mother avoided answering it. She used to be able to redirect the young cats’ thoughts with another topic, but as they grew older they grew more persistent.

Rainkit was already padding back down the tunnel, towards the main kit hub. He fluffy tail swished back and forth as she walked. When she had reached the end of the passage she glanced back at Lilykit, seemingly unfazed. “You coming or not?” She asked, lopsidedly grinning.

“How can you possibly be so happy?” Lilykit asked, padding after her, eyes somewhat unfocused. “We still have no idea about who our father is, even though all the other kits do!” And it was all her fault. If she hadn’t ever gone out of camp… Or really if she’d never let her sister go, then it’d all be better, right?

“Mom probably has a reason to keep our father’s identity a secret from us.” Rainkit pointed out, fluffing up her fur as she leaped out of the tunnel and into the brighter light of the kit hub. “Maybe he’s really important, and can’t be around us in case the other kits get jealous.”

“We’re hardly kits.” Lilykit pointed out, “We could’ve… Or should’ve, really, been apprenticed four moons ago!” She raced after her long legged sister, somewhat agitated, “What if he’s really a bad cat? Maybe that’s why Mom won’t tell us who he is. Or maybe… Maybe Dad’s dead.”

Rainkit was silent for a moment before she whipped around, her usually easygoing face contorted with an unreasonable amount of pain. “How could you say that? Even if you don’t, I still believe Mom,” she spluttered, obviously hurt by the idea, “She’d never lie to us without reason.”

“We hardly ever see Mom! She’s always blocking us out, probably so we have less chances to ask her about our father!” Lilykit meowed, fur on end, “I don’t understand how you could stand up for a cat we’ve never even met, just because Mom says he exists and that he loves us.”

Rainkit opened her mouth, as if to make a sharp retort, but just shook her head. “I’m going to go to the sleeping den.” She took a few steps forward, turning away, “I trust Mom because she loves us, even if you can’t see that. She tries her hardest; it’s tribe law that she can’t be around us all the time, even if she wants to be.”

Lilykit felt a pang of grief as her sister padded away towards the sleeping den. What was she going to do without her? Maybe she could go to the play-den and hang out with the other kits. She flexed her muscles, lost in thought, and whispered, “Tribe law…” Tribe law said that kits couldn’t leave the kit hub and dens unless directed by the leader. The tribe law could also had plenty of rules about relationships… Maybe that was why her mother couldn’t tell them about their father! She turned her head, forgetting that her sister was gone and thinking that she could tell her about the breakthrough.

The sound of an older cat padding into the hub made her rip her gaze away from the ground, her ears perked up excitedly.

The cat, a tom she hadn’t seen before, was limping slightly. He had a long gash down his side, oozing blood. It wasn’t unusual for an injured cat to come to this part of the camp to see the nurses, but most cats she’d seen weren’t that hurt. He had short, well-groomed gray tabby fur, which had spots of white flecked on it. His shining blue eyes were determined along with the rest of his expression.

A nurse raced out of the somewhat small wing of the nursery-hub that led to the kit-hub and ran up to him, eyes wide with worry. Unnaturally worried, for usually the nurses were cool and collected with their work. She was carrying a bundle of medicine herbs, and seemed to be trying to get a good look at the wound, but he wouldn’t let her.

Why’s she so worried? Lilykit wondered, eyes on the shecat, narrowed.  Are they mates? No, they couldn’t be… I’ve seen her before… She’s one of the head nurses. They aren’t allowed to have a mate according to the tribe code.

When she looked closer at the tom she realized that the tom seemed flustered, and kept motioning towards the queen dens.  The nurse kept shaking her head and saying what seemed to be the same thing from the way her mouth was moving. The tom didn’t seem to care, and with a final word inaudible to Lilykit he stalked off into the tunnel, leaving the nurse behind, staring at him and obviously annoyed by his behavior.

Lilykit, even if she knew it was rude, wanted to follow him and learn what was so important that he couldn’t wait to get herbs on his wound first. When the nurse turned away she raced over to the tunnel, using her quietness to her advantage. She scrambled through the tunnel’s entrance, looking around. The tom was nowhere to be seen! He must have disappeared into one of the dens… She stalked down the hallway, following the wild scent of the tom.

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