Hawkfire trotted in ThunderClan territory. She had lived here for moons. So far she has never been caught, because she discovered a trick. Everytime she left her tree hollow, she'd roll in one of the recent border lines. She then smelled like whoever had just put them out.
The tabby she-cat spotted a vole and immediately dropped into a hunting crouch. It was munching on a dry piece of grass. So innocent, yet she did not feel bad about killing it. The huntress pounced on her prey swiftly and killed it in a few heart beats. She trotted for a while and thought to her self.
Should I join their Clan? I've lived here for moons. No one knows that I'm here..
She was lucky. The dawn patrol would scent her out if she didn't roll in the border line, but all of that was about to change. Hawkfire tensed, hearing paw steps in the grass. She opened her jaws and let the cats' scent leak in her mouth. It was Lionheart, Tigerclaw, and Redtail. Frantic, she tucked in her tail between her legs and sprinted toward her den. The patrol had heard her. Not so sly this time. Lionheart was the first to spot her.
"Who are you?" Lionheart asked, concern and anger was obvious in his tone.
"I-I'm H-Hawkfire," She stuttered.
"A tresspasser," Tigerclaw muttered, "we'll report to Bluestar and have her killed.."
Lionheart's eyes grew wide. "Tigerclaw! How dare you think about killing a loner."
"Bluestar will decide what will happen to her," Redtail scolded Tigerclaw.
Hawkfire's fear scent was obvious. She has never been caught. Seen. Nothing. She followed them as Lionheart flicked his tail for her to follow. He seemed friendly. Hopefully she'd see him again in the fututre. Later, they arrived at the camp. Hawkfire trembled as all the cats glared at her.
"Bluestar!" Redtail called, "We have a loner."
The Blue she-cat slid out of her den. Hopping off the Highrock, she saw to them. "And you are?" She approached Hawkfire cautiously.
"Hawkfire," She replied, managing not to stutter.
Bluestar continued, "I've been told you have our scent. This shows how many moons you've been here-" She trailed off as Tigerclaw interrupted.
"What is her punishment?" He seemed to be anxious to hurt her. Hawkfire sensed that she would be sent off.
"She will have no punishment, Tigerclaw. But if we see her again, she will be attacked by a patrol. Hawkfire, you must leave your prey here and vanish our territory, "Bluestar commaned, her tone was strict.
"So we're just going to let her run off and shelter in another territory? RiverClan perhaps?!" Tigerclaw objected.
"Tigerclaw, I am the Clan leader. My punishment will go through as i tell it," Bluestar retorted.
Hawkfire dropped her prey hastily and trotted away, not looking back. She arrived at her den in minutes. Her stock of prey in her hollow was low, though she ate a plump finch she had caught earlier. I'm not leaving. This is my home, She said to herself, Bluestar's words echoing in her mind. Hawkfire hoped she would eventually have a friend. Living alone was not pleasant.
The tabby she-cat woke up abruptly in the morning. She was shocked to see Lionheart outside her den. She about to yowl, but Lionheart shushed her.
"I'm not supposeto be here," He explained, "While I'm out, we can catch prey.."
"Yes!" Hawkfire whispered loudly. She had the feeling that they had just become friends. She watched over Lionheart for all the time she has been liviving in ThunderClan. Just by that, she was beggining to like him. Though she would not admit it to herself, she truly loved him.
"Shh! We mustn't be found! C'mon," Lionheart whispered as he hushed her and found a tree filled with magpies, sparrows, and finches. Hawkfire spotted a rabbit eating juniper berries. She scolded herself for looking at him while he caught a number of birds, she couldn't help it. Distracted, she let the bunny wander away. When he looked as if he was done, she began hunting again. A vole was nearby, she killed it with a swift bite to the neck.
"How many have you caught?" Lionheart asked, dropping a brown sparrow.
"A vole," Hawkfire muttered, a bit ashamed.
"I need to put these in the fresh kill pile," He explained as Hawkfire sighed. She hoped he's give him some, but that did not matter. Lionheart picked up seven birds and began to bury them. The golden tom then sat beside her, making her feel uneasy.
"Want to share tongues?" He asked to break the awkward silence.
"Sh-share tongues?" The she-cat asked, worried and confused.
"It's when we groom each other," He explained. Hawkfire exhaled a deep sigh in relief.
Lionheart began grooming near her shoulder blade. Feeling uncomfortable, she groomed his for legs and lower neck. When Lionheart stopped, he gave her a friendly lick on the ear.
"I must be going," He trailed off as he carried as much prey as he could possibly hold. The golden tom made two trips to get all the fresh-kill back to the camp. He then groomed himself throroughly so Hawkfire's scent was not abundant.
Hawkfire padded back to her den. Days passed, but every day Lionheart would come and visit her. A moon later, she was struggling to hide her feelings for him. The Clan only noticed his disappearance once, for he was very secrective about his small expeditions. Lionheart had trouble sleeping at night at the thoughts of someone finding out he was missing.
The next day, Lionheart showed up as usual. Hawkfire was already awake, accustomed to the time he'd visit her. Affection shone bright through his eyes. He looked into hers and noticed the same thing. Hawkfire couldn't help but purr as he rubbed his head against hers. They had both told each other about their feelings without words.
Suddenly Lionheart spoke. "Hawkfire, please, join my Clan. Bluestar will accept you. Please.." The young tom begged her.
"Lionheart, I can't," She explained, "everyone would be skeptical. I'm meant to be a loner.."
His golden pelt brushed against Hawkfire's as he gave an affectionate lick across her cheek. "Please, Hawkfire. The dawn patrol will be out soon," He pleaded once more.
"In a moon I will have my decision unless I come up with one sooner," She promised Lionheart.
Would she actually join the Clan? Would her SkyClan roots keep her from saying yes? Her love for Lionheart would not rest. But her fear of becoming a queen wouldnt rest either. His visits were frequent. Didi he ever get caught?
Lionheart padded into camp, his jaws full of prey. As he dropped them into the fresh kill pile, Tigerclaw padded up to him. Lionheart couldn't tell what emotions spilled through his eyes. "Lionheart, why have you been hunting alone at dawn?" Tigerclaw asked, his tone was sharp.
Lionheart's heart started beating faster at the question. He plainly lied to his Clanmate, "I've noticed the prey is more abundant at dawn break."
"I'll go and tell Redtail. Maybe we can start having hunting patrols going out at the same time as dawn patrols," Tigerclaw replied, Padding away.
Lionheart let out a small sigh of felief that he didn't figure out his secret. Thank StarClan he didn't question me any longer.. Yet, he couldn't hide his secret forever. Heartbeats later, he saw that Redtail and Tigerclaw were padding toward him.
"Why don't you two lead a hunting patrol?" Redtail suggested, though it was an order.
"I'll be glad to," Lionheart answered, "Whitestorm and Longpaw, would you like to come with us?" He asked.
"Both of them nodded and they headed off. Lionheart couldn't help but think about Hawkfire. They passed her hollow, her scent was stale. Tigerclaw lifted open his jaws to drink in her scent, "I'm glad that fur scrap left our territory! That piece of fox dung wouldn't have lasted here," He grumbled, taunting Lionheart.
"Yeah," Longpaw agreed, though he did not sound sure.
"Don't talk about her like that!" Lionheart exclaimed.
"Why not? Would you rather me kill her?" Scornful sarcasm was obvious in Tigerclaw's reply.
"No!" Lionheart yowled, jumping un front of him, "If you ever insult her again--" He lost words to say.
"Have you seen her?' Whitestorm asked, curiously, but Lionheart had to lie again.
"No.." He looked at the ground, pretending to scent prey.
After the hunting patrol, Lionheart grumpily dropped a plump rabbit and a mouse in the pile.
Why were they so suspicious of me? I don't want to cause harm. If Hawkfire joins, we could have another Warrior in the Clan..
Lionheart's mood did not improove throughout the day. More Clanmates took prey back to their den, walking past him as he gazed at the star filled sky. Oh, StarClan, please help me. After neglecting eating, Spottedleaf came up to him, her sweet scent filling the air.
"Lionheart, you must eat," She said, her tone soft, "you were hunting all this morning, not to mention the border patrol."
She handed him the mouse he had caught this sunrise. "Thanks, Spottedleaf." She walked away as he headed twoard his den. Would Hawkfire really join? The question entered his mind and left as he ate his prey, staying in the back of his mind. Sleep had overcome him as he buried the bones and collapsed back into his nest, his eyelids heavy. Hawkfire's wonderful scent filled his nostrils as he padded in a lush forest, trees and undergrowth of all types. Three other apprentices, almost Warriors walked among her as Spottedleaf appeared.
"I know you love her, Lionheart," Spottedleaf mewed.
"You do? How?"
"I'm not sheilded from love if I can't have any, Lionheart. I know you're leaving at dawn to visit her, but I will not stop that. She will join the Clan, and so will these three." The tortiseshell flicked her lushous tail at the three apprentices, following his mate. "They are Fatepaw, Amberpaw, and Oakpaw. You will discover soon." When she finished her image drivted away, along with the other four cats.
"Hawkfire!" The tom called out in vain, "Don't go!"
The break of dawn had warmed Lionhearts magnificent pelt, wakening him. Spotted leaf ran over. Her eyes met his.
"Lionheart, see her. Now," She insisted.
At that moment, he leaped off his paws and darted to her hollow. Dodging the trees and thorns that came in his way. "Hawkfire!" He yelled, scent ing her.
"Lionheart!" She exclaimed happily, dashing toward him, "I will join," She panted.
"You will?" Lionheart asked the tabby, astonished. Spottedleaf was right.
"Yes, to share my love in the open. So I can serve your Clan," She replied.
"I will go and get Bluestar. I hope she will accept you."
Lionheart padded back to the camp, dodging the same trees. As he arrived, nervousness filled him. Would she even say yes? The golden tom jumped onto the Highrock and peered into the blue leader's den.
"Yes, Lionheart?" She asked, seeing him look in. She beckoned him in with her tail.
"I have a possible new member for the Clan, Bluestar."
"You do now? Is it Hawkfire?" Bluestar replied.
"Yes. How did you know?" He asked.
"Spottedleaf told me you would ask. I will come with you. Show me her den."
Both of the cats exited the den and jumped off the Highrock. Lionheart took lead, finding it awkward he was in front of his own leader. They left the camp through the thorns and curved around a large oak, sheltering Hawkfire's hollow. Her scent was stale, but the remains of dirty moss were scattered outside of her den. She was collecting moss.
"Hawkfire!" Lionheart called.
"Yes, dear?" She replied, coming out from the path of braken ten tail-lengths away. Surprised in seeing the leader, she looked at Lionheart in alarm.
"Do not fret, loner. I have come to accept you into our Clan. The Gathering is tonight, and you are welcome to join us as Lionheart is already sceduled. But it is not accoustomed," Bluestar greeted.
Hawkfire's eyes were still wide. "I will come with you."
The three cats walked, Bluestar leading. Lionheart's pelt brushed Hawkfire's, she was happy. As they entered the camp, yowls arose.
"This scum?! We should kill her!"
Protesting yowls outburst from the camp. It was Darkstripe and Tigerclaw. Bluestar and Lionheart had become uncomfortable in the moment, and Hawkfire had developed fear.
"Tigerclaw, this is my decision, Redtail and I have talked it over and we think she's worthy. How can you call yourselves Warriors if you do not respect the Clan leader's decisions?" Bluestar responded.
Redtail had come up, "You two will sit in your dens until sunrise. At sunrise you will clean out the elder's den. You may not be apprentices, but I can treat you like them," Redtail scolded them, a somewhat happy glint in his eyes.
"Hawkfire," Bluestar began, "I am pleased to have you join our Clan. You will get full respect as any Warrior has had. Don't let other's opinions worry you. Lionheart, help her settle in," Bluestar finished, walking away with the flick of her tail.
The tabby she-cat looked around in astonishment, not knowing what to think. Her green eyes were wide with fear, happiness, and curiosity. "Lionheart," She sighed, "You're suppose to help me?"
The golden tom looked at her, shaking his head, "Oh yes! We'll settle you in the Warrior's den, next to my nest. Then we'll have a patrol all to our own. How does that sound, dear?"
Hawkfire nodded, purring affectionately, "That sounds lovely."
The couple walked away, pelts brushing into the Warrior's den, when two sets of eyes glared at them.
"If it isn't the loner!" Tigerclaw spat in mock.
"Oh, yes! The pretty kittypet and her soft mate!" Darkstripe joined in, chuckling.
"If you two don't stop, your throats will be slit in two by moonhigh!" Lionheart retorted, glaring at them both. Hawkfire's pelt bristled in fear and defence. If they provoked her anymore, a fight would arise.
Redtail happened to walk by, "If you two don't stop, you'll sleep with the apprentices!" He shouted.
The two toms silenced, still eyeing the she-cat. "Stop," She mewed, "I have had enough of you."
Lionheart gathered fresh moss and made a nest, overlapping his. "We'll sleep together everynight, Hawkfire," He said out of ear shot from the opposing toms.
"That sounds good, Lionheart," Hawkfire smiled in reply.
The two Warriors walked out of camp to go on a private patrol, permission of Bluestar. She wanted Hawkfire to be as used to their territory as possible, starting with the Sunning Rocks. "Hawkfire, RiverClan and ThunderClan have fought over these rocks for many moons, we are proud to own them in this land," He started breaking off as Hawkfire interrupted.
"Lionheart," She aske nervously, "d-do you think we'll ever--" She stopped, ashamed to ask.
"Ever what?" He was confused.
Do you think we'll ever have kits? She thought to herself. He'd make a great father.
"Do you think we'll ever be accepted as a pair?' She saved herself.
"Overtime, yes," He answered, soothing her.
I love him so much. But I don't want to rush it, or push it. I'll ask him in one moon, she vowed.
Hawkfire had awoken in the night, Silverpelt's stars were shining bright. She could not sleep, though she had been in ThunderClan for over half a moon. The fawn hued tabby got up from her nest, wrapping her salmon tongue around Lionheart's muzzle affectionately, but he was deep in sleep. Thank StarClan, she thought in relief, he didn't wake up. Hawkfire rounded the corner to the dirt place, concealed in old brambles and bushes. The she-cat had sighed to herself at the thought of actually being alone. So many cats had crowded around her in the den because of the tight squeeze since she had joined. Hawkfire was accoustomed to the loner life, no one to worry about..
Hawkfire's ears flicked as she had become stiff. Cats were around her. Their footprints seemed to echo in her ears. She opened her jaws to let the scents leak in, it was Tigerclaw and Darkstripe. The female Warrior bristled as the cats came out of the thicket.
"So you're all alone, your pitiful self, standing there, bristling like a kittypet queen. Hm?" Tigerclaw insulted, a scornful glimmer in his glare.
"Yes," Darkstripe began, circling her, "so defencless without proper Warrior training now aren't you?" Tigerclaw and Darkstripe trapped her from escape.
"You think you're so clever, trying to annihilate me secretly? Aren't you?" She spat back, a dash of sacrcasm was in her tone.
After she said that, they charged at her from both ends, unsheathing their claw and lashing at her eyes and throat. Hawkfire dodged, yowling for help, attempting to draw attention. She yowled once more in vain. Nothing. StarClan help me now. Please..
The she-cat raked her claws down their backs, causing them to yowl, hopefully drawing more attention. Blood stained the floor of the dirt place. If I wasn't forgiving, I'd slit their throats now.. Cat dirt flailed in the air, covering the quarreling cats with its stench.
Lionheart awoke in his den, faint yowls were in the distance. He shot up, worry filling him. Hawkfire's den was cold, along with Tigerclaw and Darkstripe. I knew I couldn't trust them.. He ran toward the yowls, heading towards the dirt place. What an excellent place to kill someone. In cat dirt..? Thoughts filled his head while sprinting to the dirt place. He ran in, dodging the thorns to discover Hawkfire, Tigerclaw, and Darkstripe battling. He charged at Tigerclaw who was pinning Hawkfire down while she was kicking the muscular tabby tom. The golden Warrior had saved his mate from an attack that could have ended her life.
Heartbeats later, Hawkfire and Lionheart had lured the blood thirsty toms into camp to find Bluestar's disapproving glare sinking in to Tigerclaw and Darksrtipe's dark eyes.
"What were you two doing, attacking our newcomer? Do you understand the punishment you two will go through?" Bluestar warned, solemn concern was in her voice.
Lionheart stared at Bluestar, her flaming gaze burned at Tigerclaw and Darkstripe. "I might as well put you two into exile, but for this I do not have the heart. You two will be treated as apprentices for the next moon, sleeping with them and individually doing all their duties. No warrior shall help you. Do you understand?"
Both of the Warriors nodded their heads curtly, partly in shame. Lionheart look at Hawkfire, both of them exchanging worried glances briskly.
"Lionheart," Bluestar began, "I expect you to futher train Hawkfire with hunting and battle skills, you will have less patrols now that you are considered her mentor."
"Yes, Bluestar," Lionheart replied.
"Bluestar," Tigerclaw called out, "how does this loner already have a warrior name? Has she already been in another Clan out of our knowledge?"
The cats of the Clan all began to stare at Hawkfire, as though she had committed murder. Lionheart too, began to become nervous. He had never asked her how or why she has a warrior name. Where did she get it? How long has she had it?
"I-I did come from another Clan," Hawkfire confessed, "I'm from a Clan known as SkyClan. I got captured by Twolegs, and I ran as far away from them as I could, until I got here."
Lionheart's eyes widened, "Really?!" He muttered, astonished. How had he not expected anything at all? The Clan became filled with shocked murmurs and disapproving glares.
"SkyClan?" One of them shouted.
"Yes, a Clan that got driven out. I gave myself my name after being captured as an apprentice, I felt like I deserved one at the time, for being the last one left," Hawkfire explained.
"That will not stop me from accepting you, the Clan will need to learn that too," Bluestar announced, giving a glance at Tigerclaw and Darkstripe. "Go to sleep we all need our rest," Bluestar said, ending the Clan meeting. The cats began to got to their dens. Lionheart walked up to Hawkfire.
"Hawkfire.." Lionheart said.
"What?" She looked at her paws, ashamed.
"Why didn't you even tell me?" He asked, trying to be comforting, yet failing.
"I was nervous, everything is happening so fast, and so is this relationship," She replied.
His eyes widened slightly, "What do you mean?"
"I don't know if I'm ready to be in one, I've heard about being hurt by toms.."
"I'm not like that!" He answered, worried.
"I know, I'm just afraid. Let's just catch some sleep and worry about this in the morning," Hawkfire ended the conversation, walking into the warriors' den. Lionheart followed her. They both crept into the den, noticing their nests were off to the side, pushed over. I guess they are casting us out.. Hawkfire and Lionheart fixed the nests and went to sleep, further apart then they had been before.
Lionheart drifted into slumber, Sunstar stood before him. Lionheart quickly began to be nervous. Another omen? Oh no..
"Lionheart, your future may trouble you, but don't let it discourage you. Three kits will be your happiness in your long wait," Sunstar said, fading away.
Lionheart looked around, noticing there were no more StarClan cats. His dream slowly faded away. Opening his eyes, he noticed daylight was shinging through the den, yet the other warriors were asleep.
"Hawkfire," Lionheart proded her with his tail.
"What?" She replied, sleepily.
"Let's train," he answered, getting up and out of the den. Hawkfire followed him to the training hollow.
"Why do I need to train? I've been an apprentice before! I know my hunting and fighting moves," Hawkfire complained.
"You need to learn the skills of the forest, not whatever SkyClan's were. Plus, Bluestar told us to," he explained, "let's see that hunting crouch!"
Hawkfire dropped into her hunting crouch, tail raised, belly up, nothing brushing against the crisp leaves of the forest.
"Perfect," he complimented her. Not like you aren't already...
"Thanks," she responded, "should we catch some prey now? I think the Clan might be angry if we don't."
"Yeah, most likely," he replied, dropping into his hunting crouch.