Ok, so Feather here... Nightshimmer didn't really like the story she was writing here for my contest and she gave it to me... so I will be writing Chapter 5 and forward. I will not judge what work I have done on this story, but I will judge the four chapters that Nighty wrote.
Chapters 1-4 of this story was written by Nighty for my contest.
Chapters 5+ are written by IcewrathXFeatherswirlXCraneheart
The queen gritted her teeth, her claws scraping the stone floor of the medicine cat's den. Her brown pelt twitched as sweat dripped from her creme paws from her exertion.
"You're doing good, Snowfoot," the medicine cat, who was the exact same color as the queen, murmured.
Snowfoot's blue eyes opened widely, then shut again, as she moaned. "Aspenpelt," she whispered faintly. Aspenpelt quickly fetched a stick from the side of the den and nudged it to her creme paws.
"Bite this when the pain comes," he replied.
She shot him a look, even through her pain. "It's already here," she mumbled. Aspenpelt smiled at his sister.
Snowfoot gasped, her eyes opening again, as she clutched the stick between her jaws, and bit down hard. A tiny bundle slid before the medicine cat. He expertly nipped the sack open and licked the kit's fur, unusually white for a PineClan cat, the wrong way furiously, getting no reaction. He silently cursed. Every litter, she has a stillborn. Every single litter.
The stick splintered between the kitting queen's jaws and another bundle slid out. Praying silently that this one wasn't stillborn, Aspenpelt nipped the sack and repeated the process he had done for the previous one. This kit, a tom, had dark brown, almost black fur. The kit squirmed and mewled as the medicine cat's heart leapt with joy. This one's alive. Finally.
Snowfoot dropped the stick from her jaws, the stone under her paws stained with her sweat. Aspenpelt gently placed the kit at his mother's stomach as the kit immediately began to suckle. He picked up the other gently. Snowfoot stared at him with dread in her eyes.
"W-what about that one?" she meowed, her voice almost a whisper.
Aspenpelt shook his head sadly. "I'm sorry Snowfoot. This kit is stillborn."
Snowfoot sighed, shaking her head in disbelief. "Every litter.." she murmured. "Every litter."
Aspenpelt pressed his head to his sister's, picking up poppy seeds and gently placing them at her paws. "Eat these to-"
"Help me sleep, I know," she replied with a faint smile. "I know this stuff from listening to you ramble on about it as a kit."
The medicine cat smiled gently and rubbed his tail along her flank. "You may move to the nursery tommorow. Oh, and by the way, the kit is a boy," he meowed. The new mother looked at the tiny kit- her tiny kit.
"If only Brackenclaw were here to see him," she meowed. Brackenclaw was her mate. He had been killed in battle a few months earlier.
"What will you name him?" Aspenpelt meowed quietly.
Snowfoot smiled. "Hawkkit. He'll be named Hawkkit."
Hawkkit grinned as he saw the group of she-kits sitting and chatting at the entrance to the nursery. Go time.
Smoothing down the tuft of fur between his ears, he swaggered up to the she-cats. "Hey guys," he meowed, sporting a grin. They giggled. Hawkkit licked a paw. "How's it going?"
"Good," answered a pretty brown-and-white speckled she-kit with blue eyes. Hawkkit flicked his tail, grinning widely.
Hawkkit was handsome. He knew he was, and he took advantage of it. By the time his eyes were open he had she-cats, even the apprentices, under his spell. Even though he didn't have a dark, glossy pelt or wasn't even six moons, he had what it took to become an idol among the Clan, atleast to the she-cats around his age. Plus, he was daring. No she-cat, no matter what they say, can resist a dashing, daring tom.
"Well, I'll see you guys around," he mewed, padding towards the fresh-kill pile with an airy flick of his tail. He could feel the stares of the she-kits burning his pelt, but they quickly resumed their gossip- escept for one.
Every cat in PineClan, including Hawkkit, knew that Twilightkit was not normal. She had this mad-ish glint in her yellow eyes that never went away, either didn't eat or wolfed down her food like a starving fox, and was once found behind the elder's den trying to eat a thistle. Nobody in the Clan liked her, except for her parents, but they were both dead so they didn't really count. Hawkkit didn't exactly loathe her, he hated her about the same level as everyone else. But he picked on her lots. The dark gray she-cat was an easy target for the handsome tom. Nobody really cared that Hawkkit bullied her, they just went along with him. Yes, Hawkkit was a jerk- but he was a handsome one, and that is a jerk most cats can tolerate, as absurd as the theory is.
So now when Hawkkit discovered that Twilightkit was following him to the fresh-kill pile, he seized the opportunity. Slowly turning around, he saw the she-kit standing there, looking at him, her eyes begging for him to give her a piece of prey. Another thing about Twilightkit was that she has a huge crush on Hawkkit, and he knew it. And because of her love for him, Hawkkit not only abused her, he used her too.
"Twilightkit. Hello," he meowed cooly. Her yellow eyes lit up as he spoke to her. "Want a mouse?" Hawkkit tossed her one.
She picked it up in her teeth, edging closer to sit beside the tom. Closer and closer. She was almost beside him- when he tripped her. She fell hard, sprawling when she hit the ground, the mouse flying from her jaws. The cats filling the camp sniggered at him. Twilightkit's yellow eyes welled with tears as she struggled to her paws, falling back to the ground once or twice, snatched up the mouse, and jerkily ran out of the central camp area to her familiar spot behind the elders' den.
For the first time since he had started teasing her, Hawkkit felt a tinge of regret. Before, she had been humiliated, but she'd never cried. Stop getting soft on yourself. She deserves it for being so weird. But that whole day, no matter how he tried, he couldn't get the image of Twilightkit, tears streaming down her face, running jerkily from the jeering Clanmates before her.
"Hawkkit, are you ready to take on the challenges of becoming a PineClan apprentice?"
"Yes, Wingstar," Hawkkit replied solemly to the slender but intimidating golden tabby she-cat before him.
Wingstar stared into his eyes, green meeting blue. "Then by the powers of StarClan, you shall be named Hawkpaw until you recieve your warrior name. Your mentor will be Needlefang."
Hawkpaw touched noses with his new mentor, Needlefang, a kinky-furred gray splotched tom with bright green eyes. The new apprentice inwardly cheered. Needlefang is the best fighter in the Clan, and I'm his apprentice! This is gonna be so awesome!
The mentor and apprentice stepped away from the Tall Pine, PineClan's meeting place, Twilightkit, Sandkit, and Windkit began their ceremonies.
"So what do we do now?" Hawkpaw meowed boredly to Needlefang.
Needlefang shot him a look and jerked his head towards the three soon-to-be-apprentices, indicating he wanted Hawkpaw to pay attention. The dark tom rolled his eyes and stared blankly at the cats ahead of him.
The three finished their ceremonies and immediately ran over to Hawkpaw. Twilightpaw ran over to him too, but a little more self-conscious and slower than normal.
"Hawkpaw! Isn't it so cool that we're all apprentices now?" Sandpaw meowed, batting her eyes.
"Yeah, Hawkpaw! I'm so glad that we are!" Windpaw agreed, licking a paw in an "attractive" way.
"I guess, yeah," he replied boredly. Sandpaw giggled and twirled a whisker while Windpaw kept licking her paw, now grooming it fiercely because she had actually found something to groom on it. Twilightpaw just sat behind the two flirtatious she-cats, somehow managing to look as awkward as possible.
Needlefang padded over to his new apprentice, kindly casting gazes over the she-cats. Despite his fearsome appearance, the kink-furred tom was a gentle cat. Of course when battle rolled around Needlefang became the cat the Clans normally saw- a ruthless fighter with cutting precision, a cat to be feared and respected.
"Sorry girls, but I'm going to have to borrow Hawkpaw," he meowed gently, tapping Hawkpaw on the back with his fluffy tail.
The she-cats reluctantly got up, lending the apprentice to his mentor. With another tail-pat on the back to Hawkpaw, the two left the camp through the entrance woven with pine needles. They padded along for a while, Hawkpaw broiling with excitement.
We're going to do something awesome! I can tell!? Hawkpaw thought with excitement. Needlefang stopped and his apprentice nearly ran into his butt.
"Well, Hawkpaw, we're here," Needlefang meowed. Hawkpaw nearly bounced with excitement. Luckily, he remembered at the last second to keep his cool but inside was buzzing with excitement.? I bet we'll battle-train, or hunt or something, or maybe invade StreamClan!?
"Okay, what will we do now?" Hawkpaw meowed, fighting to keep his voice from reaching an excited squeal. Needlefang grinned slyly.
"Hawkpaw, how do you like collecting moss?"
Hawkpaw was a lucky cat. It was only his first day as an apprentice and he was already allowed to go to his first gathering. He waited anxiously in the center of camp, surrounded by older aprentices, warriors, and Flightstar.
"PineClan, to the Gathering!"
The PineClan cats lurched forward, dashing out of camp. Hawkpaw struggled to keep up with the fleet-footed warriors and older apprentices. Even as athletic as he was it took all of his strength to stay with the Clan.
After a few minutes of running, PineClan reached the Gathering place, a clearing in the woods ringed with huge rocks sporting a tiny, gnarled tree in the middle of it. StreamClan was already there- he could tell by the mass of silvery-white cats mingling quietly. Hawkpaw bounded over a medium-sized rock and followed his Clan into the throng of cats.
Hawkpaw sat down, surrounded by his usual entourage of giggling she-cats. The group widened as she-cats from StreamClan nervously came to sit with the entourage. All were sitting around him- except for one. Hawkpaw frowned and peered over the she-cats' heads to see her.
She was sitting with a cluster of warriors even though she was clearly an apprentice. Her neatly groomed light-gray pelt shone in the moonlight, her small paws resting behind her short-haired tail flicking back and forth gently as she conversed. The she-cat wasn't quite beautiful. The better word for her was sturdy and smart-looking. Every hair on her pelt was groomed neatly into place, every whisker straightened, every paw cleaned. Her blue-lilac eyes shone as she talked to the warriors, betraying her sharp intelligence. Hawkpaw could tell how the way that she looked poised, at ease, and happy they were talking about something she liked.
The dark brown apprentice forced his waythrough the throng of admirers and stopped a few fox-lengths away from her, trying to think of what to say. He couldn't just flash a mischevious smile and a flick of her tail to woo her- no, she wasn't one of those cats. He would have to be more strategic.
Giving his pelt a final groom, he stepped up to her, ignoring the disapproval in her eyes. "Hey," he meowed smoothly with a small smile, "what're you talking about?"
She sat, staring at him for a moment with an expression the equivalent of shock, then burst out laughing. Hawkpaw's tail swept between his legs. "What? Why are you laughing?"
She hooted a bit longer and took a few deep breaths, still giggling a little. "You're trying to woo me? Do I look like one of those airheads?" She waved her tail at the fangirls behind him, all grinning and giggling madly.
Hawkpaw's blue eyes narrowed. "Can I at least know your name?"
She sighed. "Lilacpaw of StreamClan. Pleased to meet you," she said sarcastically, holding out her paw for a mock handshake.
The tom batted her paw back to her side in frustration. "Well, Lilacpaw, Hawkpaw at your service," he spat, bowing venemously.
A smile tugged at Lilacpaw's lips. "Have fun with your fangirls," she meowed sarcastically, but a bit more playful and a bit less harsh than the first time, as if she had found a fellow sarcasm-commiter.
Hawkpaw turned away, but her image was burned into his brain, it seemed. Lilacpaw was arrogant and way smarter than him, but...beautiful.
Shaking his head to clear it of the thought of this stiff-upper-lip apprentice, he reentered the throng of giggling she-cats, flirting with each individually.
Alas, Hawkpaw didn't know that Twilightpaw wasn't amongst his fans. She behind a rock covered in scrubby moss, watching Lilacpaw and her crush's quick, heavily sarcastic conversation, her yellow eyes narrowed. She didn't like him with that she-cat-- no, she didn't like it at all.
A month after the Gathering, Hawkpaw was still thinking about her, how she was doing, what she was doing. Needlefang came up beside him quietly, so quietly that Hawkpaw didn't know he was there until he looked up. The brown apprentice jumped in surprise, then sat back down with a couple embarrassed licks to his chestfur.
"Oh, um, hi Needlefang," he meowed, staring at his paws. Needlefang grinned devilishly.
"Wanna have some fun?"
Hawkpaw's ears pricked. "Uh, um, sure. Catch or no catch?"
Hawkpaw sighed. "What is it?"
"The elders need someone to clean out their moss, and you're going to do it," the mentor meowed with a lick to his paw. Hawkpaw huffed and got up, heading out of camp to get some moss.
The forest was quiet as daylight filtered through the gaps in the pines onto the needle-laden ground. Hawkpaw hurried along, not noticing the forest's beauty--he just wanted to fix the elders' den and relax in camp. There had been no rest for anyone as endless hunting patrols were sent out, preparing for leaf-bare. He finally found a swath of moss against a pine beside the border between StreamClan.
Clawing it up quickly, he looked up and saw a squirrel race over the border into PineClan territory. It stopped, and sat at the base of a tree, its back to Hawkpaw.
He grinned and slipped into a hunting crouch, gently placing his paws one in front of the other. Hawkpaw was about to pounce when a fierce yowl sounded, and the alerted squirrel dashed off. Hawkpaw cursed under his breath as he saw a small party of three StreamClan cats barrel towards him, hissing. Was that Lilacpaw among the hissing warriors?
"That was our squirrel!" one, a scrawny orange she-cat spat, fur fluffed up. The other, a blue-gray tom, growled deeply at Hawkpaw from beside her.
"It was over the border!" Hawkpaw protested, glaring the she-cat right in the eye. She wasn't detered.
"It was still ours! That squirrel was born and raised in a StreamClan tree!" she snarled, her blue eyes flashing.
"Well it's gone now," Hawkpaw replied venemously. "Go find your own prey, fleabeds!"
Lilacpaw stepped forward at his insult, her eyes flashing as her unsheathed claws scored the ground like she was holding back leaping over the border and ripping his face off. "We don't want to fight you, Hawkpaw." She fought to keep her voice under control. "Just admit it was our squirrel."
"It's nobody's squirrel!" he screeched. "It's gone now!"
"Raaaagh!" The she-cat attacked Hawkpaw in a blur of claws and teeth. Hawkpaw's claws slid out and he struck her across the face, four parallel lines of blood appearing on her cheek. The tom snarled and leapt towards him too, overpowering Hawkpaw. He was big and burly, and had the apprentice pinned down easily. The tom raised his paw to strike the final blow.
The brown apprentice shook with fear. "I'm sorry!" he squeaked. "It was your squirrel!"
The burly tom let him up, and Hawkpaw scampered a few fox-lengths away as the StreamClan cats stepped over the border. Lilacpaw paused, and meowed something to the she-cat. Reluctantly, the warrior nodded, and Lilacpaw dashed over to Hawkpaw.
"You are one lucky cat," she murmured to him. "Stonepelt and Flameheart would've ripped you to pieces if you hadn't apologized."
Hawkpaw was once again mesmerized by her. "Uh huh," he mubled, staring at her big violet-blue eyes. She sighed and flicked her tail.
"Since you have such an obvious crush on me-"
"What? N-no." Hawkpaw blinked profusely, trying to mask his embarrassment. Lilacpaw rolled her eyes, but in a playful way.
"Just meet me tonight at the border."
Hawkpaw blinked. Lilacpaw looked like such a rules-y cat, and she wanted them to meet up? Something was addling her brain. Not like he was going to reject her or anything.
"Sure. I'll be there." Hawkpaw turned tail and claw a few shreds of moss from the tree and raced back to camp, his heart pumping a million beats a minute.
Hawkpaw slunk out of the apprentices den, moonlight making pale patches in the PineClan camp. Spying a guard sitting at the camp entrance, he slipped through a bramble bush ringing the PineClan central camp area. As soon as he was away from the camp, Hawkpaw broke into a run, his tail streaming out from behind him. Skidding to a halt, he smelled the border up ahead. Lilacpaw should be here.
The dark brown tom crept up to the border, keeping alert. He drank in the cool night air, sifting through it for the scent of another cat. Nothing was there-he was alone. Had Lilacpaw lied to him? Was this an ambush?
How can I be so stupid? She doesn't want to meet you! Lilacpaw set up a trap for me!
Suddenly, a slim figure stepped towards him from downwind. The violet-blue eyes that shone like stars told Hawkpaw that it was Lilacpaw.
"This is a trap, isn't it?" he hissed, his claws out.
Lilacpaw laughed. "No, it isn't. Chill out."
Hawkpaw untensed a little, but kept his claws unsheathed, scanning the surrounding trees rapid-fire for a pair of eyes blinking back at him, or a snarl and the rip of claw against flesh. But the night was silent and still, the only sound in the distance the tell-tale bark of a fox and a bird calling out. The only smells were of Lilacpaw and the pine trees flanking him. Her name is Nighty And she starts the trends! 00:07, December 5, 2012 (UTC)