This is Season 1, episode 8 of Unstable Times, song is It's My Turn by Jeff williams Feat Casey Lee Williams, Ashpaw centered episode ;)
Enjoy, read, comment :)
When I was young...
If I just closed my eyes then I could go anywhere
Dream of any place, imagination set the pace
and my heart was happy there.
It was always one thing or another with Snowfire's clanmates. Either they want war or they complain about slights against Thunderclan, more often going hand in hand. Hawkflight himself kept trying to find any valid reason for attacking Darkstar and Shadowclan, any reason to create more needless bloodshed.
Snowfire was tired of it.
"For the last time, Hawkflight, no. If the situation does come up, you're the first one I'll tell about it, now please stop pestering me for once." She snapped heatedly.
The warriors around her stared at her in shock and surprise at this outburst. Emberleaf seemed taken aback, Hawkflight's eyes widened, Snowfire narrowed hers though, "Do you have anything else you need to report?" She growled dangerously.
"No, Snowfire." Hawkflight said flatly.
Snowfire flicked her tail at him, she then looked at the other warriors, "I understand your animosity, I get it! But pushing for a war that we just got out off is like asking for destruction, like asking us to disappear as a clan!" She said loudly, she then asked dangerously, "Do you really want that? Do you want to go back to that time?"
The warriors only bowed their heads nervously, Snowfire huffed, "Now, we have bigger things to worry about, prey to store, borders to reinforce, winter is coming, and we have more to worry about then outside forces like Shadowclan, who are also too busy preperaring for the upcoming winter."
They all backed away hurriedly, Snowfire turned to look at Emberleaf, who only nodded her head, and turned away to start border and hunting patrols.
Snowfire saw Vinespeck back away slowly from her, then retreat to the medicine cat den. Snowfire sighed, then jumped when Leafwind came up to her, her whiskers twitching calmly.
"Well, that was an outburst I haven't seen from you, I've seen that type of outburst from my sister before though." Leafwind joked.
"Sorry, it's just stressful and pressuring." Snowfire said calmly, then flicked her tail at Leafwind, who only twiched her whiskers.
"I understand, Snowfire, just try not to lose control, I know it's tough on you, with how young you are, but you need to keep a cool head," Leafwind mewed reassuringly, then nodded her head to the camp, "It's not just about one sole cat anymore, you're watching over all of us, while Starclan watches over you." She mewed.
Snowfire only bowed her head, "All right, I'll keep that in mind, where's Stonepaw?" She asked.
"He was telling the younger kits some stories, he's more like his father then he is me, I guess that's a good thing, his generation will continue what this generation is determined to rebuild, now as to if this generatoin will do so, or let the past blind them, is up to them at this point." Leafwind explained quietly.
Snowfire nodded, "All right, I'll go get him then, we got training to do." She laughed.
Leafwind nodded, then went to join one of the hunting patrols. Snowfire walked to the nursery, where Stonepaw was keeping the kits entertained.
"So there I was, in the dark of the night! I was tracking this succulent squirrel to it's own food stash! Until suddenly," he stopped for dramatic effect, the kittens leaned forward excitedly, he took in a breath, "Then, out of the shadows... A fox!" He said loudly, causing one of the kittens to squeak and fall forward.
"Naturally, me and the fox had our sights on the same prey, but I wasn't going to give up yet!" He said excitedly, "I wasn't going to be bested by a fox!" He said proudly.
Snowfire sat down, listening to the story.
Stonepaw took in another breath, "Me and the fox squared off! It was hard, it was grueling, and it was awesome. I won because I'm a good warrior." He said with a laugh.
Some of the kittens laughed as well and he continued, "That night, I brought a squirrel back to the camp, to which you all feasted upon."
The kittens cheered happily, while Stonepaw puffed out his chest proudly, Snowfire gave a small laugh, which caused Stonepaw to look back curiously. Snowfire laughed, "Well, all-mighty fox warrior, we need to go train."
Stonepaw laughed, "Okay, I'll tell you all another story later, okay?" He turned back to the kits, who nodded excitedly.
Snowfire led him out of the nursery and camp, and into the forest.
"So, what are we doing today, Snowfire?" He asked curiously.
"Just a routine border patrol, hunting training, maybe fighting training." Snowfire explained, which caused Stonepaw to jump in excitement. Snowfire first led him to the Windclan border. Sootstar had been quiet last gathering, Snowfire wasn't sure how to feel about it. I think Windclan is getting into rocky times... She thought grimly, while Stonepaw sniffed the border.
"Just smells like rabbits, a hint of fox?" Stonepaw mused, Snowfire nodded.
Snowfire turned towards the Shadowclan border, "Come on, let's check our other border." She mewed calmly. Stonepaw followed slowly.
"What's going on with Shadowclan?" He asked mildly.
"Nothing, for now." Snowfire answered.
Stonepaw said quickly, "Hawkflight says that they're getting too nosey."
"Yeah, well, Hawkflight needs to keep his pride in check." Snowfire mumbled in frustration as they reached the Shadowclan border.
Stonepaw put his ears back nervously, Snowfire sniffed the air, and huffed, "As I thought, nothing out of the ordinary, they're checking their borders and staying in them."
Stonepaw had went silent, Snowfire huffed, "Come on, let's go."
What a shame that you came around and told me
Said my dreams can't come true
For once, Ashpaw felt a twinge of anger and frustration, he had pushed it down. He had returned to camp much to everyone's surprise, especially Fogheart's. Ashpaw had regaled the tale to Pinepaw, only omitting some details, like the mysterious cat saving his life. He mewed, "Yeah, dogs are actually kind of mouse-brained, it wasn't that hard or scary."
"Oh! Cool!" Pinepaw mewed excitedly.
Darkstar laughed, "Well, I'm glad you made out of that alive."
Ashpaw watched his leader walk away, then turned to Fogheart, who had his eyes narrowed, Pinepaw retreated as well, leaving mentor and apprentice alone.
"How did you really escape that beast, Ashpaw?" Fogheart asked carefully.
"Well, considering you ran and left me to die, I had to improvise somehow, I've gotten good at it I like to think." Ashpaw quipped, flicking his tail back and forth.
Fogheart huffed, "Right, well, your assessment is going to be soon, you'll be a warrior soon enough." He flicked his tail calmly.
Ashpaw stared at him, then declared, "I want to lead."
Fogheart turned back to him, "Excuse me?"
Ashpaw looked up at him determinedly, "I want to lead," he repeated calmly, "I want to lead Shadowclan someday."
Fogheart stared at him in surprise, then he laughed, "Wow, first you go from scatter-brained kit and apprentice, to a leader? Kit, it takes more then that to become a leader." He pointed out.
Ashpaw frowned, "As if you're any better?" He asked curiously, "You want to take the cheatsy way."
Fogheart stared down at him, "Ashpaw, you will learn. Not everyone is destined for it." He mewed calmly.
Ashpaw watched him walk away in surprise. He put his ears back, and looked at Darkstar, who was in deep conversation with Littleleaf, who was shaking her head grimly. Darkstar looked a little bit thinner then he usually did, Ashpaw narrowed his eyes, then looked up at the stars curiously.
Does destiny even exist? If that's the case, wasn't Shadowclan destined to be the darkness of the clans? I don't want to believe that, I can't believe that, everyone has good in their hearts, right? He thought grimly.
He repeated to himself, "I will lead this clan. I will lead them out of the dark stereotype, a clan that's equal to the other clans not out of fear, but out of respect, everyone has a little darkness and light in their hearts." He said quietly.
"Don't be foolish, give up your wish
Big things aren't for you"
And how you'd scold and chide me
forever criticize me
Ravenwing was surprised, Sootstar wasn't having any of his clanmates ignorance this winter. Ivyblssom was one of the more vocal ones. Ravenwing could feel the tense atmosphere, he finally joined Sootstar on the rock, and mewed, "We shouldn't be acting like this, we've been stable until now, what's causing it?"
Sootstar turned away from his clanmates, "In our ignorance, we've become complacent, I know I should be more active, but Sparrowstar showed me that if you can balance it, your clan will stand through hardship." He explained darkly.
"Come on, Sooty," Ravenwing pointed out, "The war is over, the chances of another one being started is very low, we've all been through a lot enough to know not to repeat the mistakes."
Sootstar didn't seem convinced, "I've tried talking to them, but they're so sure we're untouchable now, Thunderclan is not the force it once was. Shadowclan is cowering, Riverclan is about to take a shift of leadership and who knows if they'll make it out of that one the same power they were." He pointed out.
Ravenwing couldn't help but think of Silvershade, he mewed defensively, "You never know, new blood is always good, Sparrowstar is getting on in moons. I've talked with his deputy, she seems wise for her age."
Sootstar raised his whiskers at him, "You speak very highly of Riverclan these days," he mewed with a twitch of his tail, he closed his eyes happily, "Ah, it's a good thing though, it's about time we show each-other respect."
Ravenwing and Sootstar looked at the disgruntled warriors below them, Sootstar sighed, "Heatherstar was passive, didn't really have an opinion on the events that unfolded. She was forced into the war, trying to halt what none of us could stop, I do not want to make the same mistakes she did."
Ravenwing huffed, "I'm glad Sparrowstar took it with good grace. Our warriors lost their tempers too quick." He said rather loudly, causing some of the warrior to look up in surprise, Ravenwing shrugged, and twitched his whiskers, Sootstar laughed.
"I guess old and wise is very real. I respect Sparrowstar," Sootstar declared, then looked over his warriors, "We should all show respect, he is the oldest living leader for the clans, the oldest since the war, Jaystar was taken from us too quickly, Heatherstar died of old age. We need the new blood like Snowfire."
Ravenwing laughed, "Anyways, I have a border patrol to get too."
Sootstar nodded at him, Ravenwing jumped off the rock, and ran into the heather, his destination obvious.
I think I know the truth
Silvershade was doing her regular Windclan patrol, she had convinced Sandsplash that she wouldn't need help, and to not follow her. Sandsplash begrudgingly agreed.
She sat there, waiting and watching. Soon enough, the familiar black coat of Ravenwing popped out of the heather, he waved his tail in greeting. Silvreshade bumped heads with him playfully, Ravenwing laughed, "So, oh Riverclan deputy?" He bowed low, which caused Silvershade to flick her tail in amusement, "How's your day been?" He asked politely.
Silvershade mewed calmly, "Well, Sparrowstar is still going strong, I'm surprised."
Ravenwing twitched his whiskers, "You can tell me the truth, I ain't going to tell ol' Sooty or something." He joked.
"Sooty?" Silvershade asked in confusion.
"Sootstar, my leader, he's my best friend." Ravenwing explained quickly.
Silvershade nodded her head in understanding, then huffed, "Well, he is still going strong, but he's weakened considerably since the war, all the participants have in some form." She admitted.
Ravenwing sat down and nodded, "Yeah, Windclan ain't doing so hot either, if I'm going to be honest." He mewed.
Silvershade asked, "What's going on?"
Ravenwing looked up at the darkening sky, "Well, we're tearing each-other apart, we're on the edge of being at each-other's throats, and not in the metaphorical way." He explained.
"Why?" Silvershade asked curiously.
Ravenwing sighed, "Differing opinions, strong opinions. From what Snowfire said last gathering, seems Thunderclan is going down the same route, as if they need to finish Shadowclan's job." He shrugged.
Silvershade nodded, "Right, she had warned Darkstar then that her clan wanted justice, I'm surprised Darkstar took it as well as he did." She mewed, and watched the stars as well.
Ravenwing let out a laugh, "Darkstar went passive after the war, guess he regrets what he did."
Silvershade nodded, listening as the tom went on, she felt her tail curling around his in comfort as he talked, even though he didn't seem to notice.
Silvershade didn't mind, she thought grimly, Already, Sparrowstar is losing his last fight, he's hanging on to make sure I'm ready and prepared, but I'm ready. I am prepared. I will not let anyone down ever again.
You were the one
Who held me down and told me I was heading nowhere
"You should know your place, accept your fate, show good face
and be thankful that you're there"
Ashpaw was running the past through his mind, back when he almost looked up to Fogheart, he wasn't stupid now, he was especially not scatter-brained anymore. Fogheart's plans didn't give him the luxury. All he ever did was degrade me, even when I did something right... He thought quietly to himself.
He looked out of the apprentice den, Fogheart was talking with another warrior, Ashpaw frowned, the first training fight they had Fogheart had decimated Ashpaw, as expected for a new apprentice, but Fogheart had been disappointed. The moment Ashpaw had started to argue back, Fogheart immediately scolded him, told him he was just an apprentice.
Ashpaw huffed, "What a joke, and I know plenty of good jokes."
Ashpaw leaned forwards he spotted Darkstar on the rock, watching Fogheart carefully, If you're suspicious, why don't you do something about it? He thought curiously.
Ashpaw looked down at his paws.
That was so long ago when you owned me, I believed it was true
Bend me, shape me
Build me, break me
Why was I your fool?
Ashpaw looked back at Pinepaw, who was sleeping peacefully. Ashpaw turned back to the warriors, watching them carefully. Ashpaw sighed, Fogheart has influenced me, instead of learning how to hunt and fight honorably, I only know how to lie and manipulate others to make things easier for me. He thought sadly.
He shook his head quickly, That's not me. It's not. That's not Shadowclan either, we're capable of honor. He thought determinedly.
Hawkfeather's words ran through his mind, Ashpaw felt his tail flick in anticipation. I don't want to be involved anymore, I want to tell Darkstar, but... He thought fearfully, I'm afraid, I'm not brave, I'm a coward, a coward like he is.
Ashpaw jumped when a hawk landed above him in a tree, and watched him with wide eyes.
Ashpaw widened his eyes when Hawkfeathers voice rang through his head again.
You are brave. Bravery isn't just a Thunderclan trait, it's in all of us, bravery isn't about being fearless, being brave is showing courage even when you're afraid, you're willing to fight past your fear to do the right thing.
Ashpaw sheathed and unsheathed his claws, "That cat was brave to face that dog." He observed quietly to himself.
He sighed, "I do owe that cat my life, might as well not waste the chance he's given me."
He swore he could hear Hawkfeather laughing.
Now I'm so much stronger, I'm not yours any longer
I've got a message here for you!
Time for you to learn
It's my turn!
Ashpaw stood up, causing Pinepaw to stir. "Ashpaw? Where are you going?" She mused tiredly.
"The right thing." Ashpaw mumbled determinedly.
He walked out of the apprentices den, he eyed Fogheart carefully, who paid him no mind, he looked up at Darkstar, who only stared down at him back.
Ashpaw took in a breath, he felt his fur begin to shiver, he murmured, "Darkstar?"
Darkstar bounded off the rock to meet the apprentice, Fogheart finally turned to see what was happening, he seemed to be watching Ashpaw carefully. Ashpaw looked at his mentor, and narrowed his eyes, he began, "I..." He stopped, Fogheart's gaze was almost too much, Ashpaw finally huffed, "Fogheart thinks that you're not fit to lead."
The camp went silent, Fogheart unsheathed his claws, Darkstar turned to him, "Is this true?"
"He's an apprentice, he doesn't know what he's talking about." Fogheart mewed dismissively.
I won't be held down any longer!
I've waited all my life and finally it's here
It all begins, a chance to win
Darkstar stared at Ashpaw, Ashpaw finally growled, "You're a liar. You're a liar and you know it, everyone here is a liar in some way. You were meeting with that Thunderclan cat with a plan to overthrow Darkstar by killing him," he finally sneered much like Fogheart did, "How's that for paying attention?"
Fogheart stared at Ashpaw in surprise, Darkstar narrowed his eyes, "I have been getting reports that there have been a strong Thunderclan scent over the border, I thought it was Snowfire trying to intimidate me, but I guess that's not the case, if what Ashpaw says is true." He mewed calmly.
Fogheart turned around fully rather calmly, Ashpaw readied himself.
A dream that's been a lifetime
An endless vast uphill climb
The day I waited for is drawing near
"Well, Ashpaw? Are you telling the truth?" Darkstar asked, "I want the honest truth, whatever you say now, if I find out it's a lie..." He mewed dangerously.
Ashpaw stared down his mentor, "What I am saying is the truth, they were going to use Snowfire to take you down. Fogheart left me with the dog, I had to be rescued." He growled.
Darkstar turned to Fogheart as well, "Do you deny this?" He asked carefully.
"Of course I deny it," Fogheart spat, "He's just an apprentice, barely a warrior." Ashpaw watched as he turned around with a dismissive flick of his tail.
Hey! Wait! Turn and show your face
I got a lot to say and you're not going anywhere
You lose; the time you ruled me's through
I'm in control, I own my soul and I'll never go back there!
Ashpaw snapped, "Hey!"
Fogheart only looked back, Ashpaw arched his back and took out his claws, "You think you're so great? You think you're so great that you think cheating and lying your way up to leader will get rid of the bloodstain Shadowclan has caused? You'll make it worse, if I'm not destined to be leader, you're definately not." Ashpaw retorted.
Fogheart fully turned to him, "Is that a challenge? Ashpaw, your word, against mine?" He asked.
Ashpaw looked back at Darkstar, who had unsheathed his claws as well, Ashpaw growled, "If you think so, how about actually fighting me. One on one." He added the last bit with a hiss.
Fogheart laughed, "All right, kit," he said degradingly, "Consider this your warrior assessment then."
Ashpaw watched as the bigger tom ran towards him.
Wasted years that I spent never knowing
I was kept, I was used
Now I just refuse!
Ashpaw dodged all his swipes, Fogheart seemed to get frustrated as Ashpaw called as they fought, "All you've done is step on me! I'm actually tired of it, good job! You've managed to anger me! A scatter-brained apprentice apparently too mouse-brained to know otherwise."
Ashpaw flinched when Fogheart managed to pin him, but he gasped when Ashpaw kicked him off, Ashpaw rolled back on his feet, and snarled at his mentor. Darkstar looked like he wanted to intervene, but hadn't.
Ashpaw finally leapt towards Fogheart, using confusion tactics against him. Fogheart bashed him on the head though, he hissed, "Are you sure this is worth it? Ashpaw? Are you sure this is worth your life?"
Ashpaw looked up at him with wide eyes.
I don't care what it costs me, I know I almost lost me
Won't spend another day confused!
You rose; I fell
Made my life hell
Ashpaw narrowly dodged another swipe, and actually managed to swipe Fogheart across the eye, the older cat yowled in pain, the looked at Ashpaw angrily.
Ashpaw growled, "You... You used me for your own gain, making my life hard in the process. I was innocent once, I was free once. I looked up to you, I thought you were a great warrior."
Fogheart narrowed his eyes, Ashpaw leaped at Fogheart again, and they took swipes at each-other, all the while dodging said swipes.
Anything to crush my soul, anything to feel control
Finally free I've come so far
Finally see how sick you are!
"I finally found the courage to stand up for myself." Ashpaw quipped as he pushed Fogheart back.
Fogheart spat, "Just now? You should have sooner, you wouldn't be in this situation if you were."
Ashpaw huffed, "You wanted to feel control, you want to be leader to satisfy your ambitions, not to lead a clan." He spat back.
Darkstar finally stepped off as Ashpaw gained the upper hand, he still hadn't managed to pin Fogheart, but he had other plans, other tactics. He was going to get Fogheart down eventually.
I spent my life degraded
But I won't leave here jaded
I'll start again and finally prove
Time for you to learn, it's my turn
"I won't follow you blindly anymore, you're right, I should have done it sooner." Ashpaw admitted as he took another swipe.
Fogheart jumped back at another swipe, Ashpaw flinched when Fogheart tripped him, effectively pinning him down on the ground. Fogheart laughed, "Well, for once you surprise me, I didn't think you were capable of being anything but a tiny little kitten."
I won't be held down any longer
I've waited all my life and finally it's here
Ashpaw finally brought his back legs up, claws outstretched, Fogheart grunted when Ashpaw threw him away, Ashpaw ran up to him, claws outstretched, Ashpaw was trying his best to overpower the bigger warrior.
Fogheart seemed to be tired though, Ashpaw finally bowled into him, they rolled past Darkstar, who stepped to the side, Ashpaw finally pinned Fogheart, his claws on his neck.
Ashpaw felt his heart beating wildly and excitedly, his spine was even bristling in excitement.
It all begins, a chance to win
A dream that's been a lifetime, an endless vast uphill climb
The day I waited for is drawing near...
Fogheart looked up at Ashpaw in surprise, Ashpaw twitched his whiskers and sneered.
He leaned towards Fogheart, and asked with a laugh, "How's that for a simple, scatter-brained apprentice?"