With new hope
Count the stars
Up and above
"Moonflight, we're on the next hunting patrol, get up you lazy lump of fur." I heard my brother purr, "Let's go!" He sighed when I didn't respond.
I felt a paw poke my side, "Honestly, Moonflight, you're just as bad as Frogleap! He never gets out on time for the dawn patrol, and you know how fed up Fawnsky is with him! You don't want the same reputation, do you?" I rolled my eyes and sat up.
Stretching, I tried to meet Thornstrike's gaze. He averted his amber eyes at the last second, and I narrowed my own blue eyes.
It wasn't like Thornstrike to avoid my gaze.
"Who else is on the patrol?" I asked nonchalantly, trying not to let my brother's coldness bother me. There was obviously something he was worried- or StarClan forbid angry-about something, presumably something to do with me.
"Fawnsky, Shatterpaw, Flarefoot, and Smokepaw." Thornstrike ranted out the names, "After we're done, it'll be Tigerkit, Fogkit, and Creamkit's apprentice ceremony." His tail flicked excitedly.
"Snowstar's letting you mentor one isn't she?" I purred, linking my tail with his before quickly pulling away. I preferred not to touch other cats, but Thornstrike was different.
He emitted his own little purr and laughed, "You know me too well," he sighed, "But she did say she's giving me Tigerkit."
"That's awesome! Just don't let that little she-cat wear you out."
Thornstrike rolled his eyes before straightening, "I forgot about our patrol!" Then he streaked out to the join the deputy and the rest of the patrol.
I snorted and plodded after him, the impatient but kind deputy waiting for me, her eyebrow raised, "Are we having trouble waking up now?"
"Indeed," I purred, my eyes alight with humor, "I think I've been sleeping in the same den as Frogleap for too long that I'm becoming just like him."
She merely snorted and turned around to lead the way out of camp. It was just a normal day.
Thornstrike fell in step beside me, his pelt barely brushing mine. Still, I pulled away, and Thornstrike shot me a questioning glance. Sometimes he didn't understand why I hated physical contact with others, and sometimes he forgot that I didn't like it.
"Alright, let's break into pairs and hunt." Fawnsky mewed, flicking her tail, "I'll take Shatterpaw obviously because he's my apprentice, and Flarefoot will take Smokepaw." Her green eyes turned to me and my brother. "So that leaves you two sleepyheads with each other."
"Hey!" Thornstrike laughed, "Moonflight was the one who overslept, not me!"
"As if you don't do it too." I rolled my eyes, stalking towards the river, "Let's just go."
He trotted after me, and I stopped him quickly as I scented squirrel. "You go-" Before I could finish my instructions, Thornstrike shot off after the squirrel.
I sighed obnoxiously and allowed myself some time to think while my brother made a fool out of himself trying to chase a squirrel down.
I started, then stared behind me at a white tom who was grooming his tail. "Oh, it's you again." I mumbled, aware of the sudden color rushing to my cheeks.
"You don't sound so excited to see me." Frostclaw laughed, though his voice was soft, and his green eyes were mesmerizing.
"Well, you are from RushClan." I pointed out.
Frostclaw eyed me carefully, "It's just another Clan, I'm no different from you."
"So? That doesn't mean I have to be happy to see you. You're practically my enemy, remember? Or do you not remember the warrior code or the fact that StormClan and RushClan are on the brink of war."
He smirked, "It's so amusing when you insist on being so difficult." I heard rustling behind me and stiffened visibly.
Frostclaw noticed it too, so he whispered, "See you soon."
When Thornstrike came back, he sniffed loudly, "RushClan scent!" I realized that he wasn't carrying the squirrel, although I was aware of Frostclaw's scent pooling over to our side of the border.
"There was a cat here recently," the dark brown tabby insisted, "Do you know who it was?"
This time I was the one avoiding his gaze. Trying to act casual, I eyed the border, "Well, I just got here to investigate, so I just noticed the scent too."
"Well, we need to inform Snowstar about this immediately!"
"Of course," I murmured, casting a longingly look at where Frostclaw disappeared, "Of course."
When we arrived back at camp, Thornstrike was quick to drag me to Snowstar's den. I brushed his tail off quickly when we reached the outside of the thorny barrier of the leader's den, conscious that his tail was making me nervous.
He looked back as I shook off his tail, his eyes wide. Then he looked away, as if remembering now that I did not like physical contact.
"Snowstar?" my brother called out, "This is of utmost importance! Can we come in?" I rolled my eyes at his urgency. The problem at hand wasn't the most important thing we could come up with.
Thornstrike immediately stormed in, and I followed, knowing he would disapprove of me standing outside or ditching him in such an "important" matter.
"What's wrong?" Snowstar sat up, her white pelt sleek and well-groomed, "If it's about Tigerkit-"
"No," Thornstrike interrupted her, "It's about a border incident while Moonflight and I were hunting." His tail flicked.
Snowstar raised an eyebrow, "Oh? So that's why you two didn't come back with the original patrol. Fawnsky thought you two got lost or fell asleep out in the woods."
Of course she would think that.
Thornstrike twitched his whiskers in amusement, then turned serious, "Moonflight...?" He turned to me, his amber eyes focusing on me.
I shuffled forward and mumbled, "I was hunting around the RushClan border, not too close but not too far, and a RushClan warrior scent flooded over me and-"
"And we both got there at the same time and we found RushClan scent really close to the border," Thornstrike cut me off, "He or she had been there for quite awhile, and I found that quite suspicious. I think we should just call the war."
I gaped at him.
Thornstrike's gaze swept right past me, and he focused on Snowstar instead, "What do you say?" He growled, when she just sat there.
"A war would be a huge risk, Thornstrike," she warned, "But yes, this is important, a RushClan warrior snooping around out borders is a terribly bad thing. I'll have patrols keep an eye on any enemies lying in wait at our borders."
My brother dipped his head, "Thank you."
He backed away, and Snowstar chuckled, "He's a strong, young tom, Moonflight, he'll make a good deputy one day."
I didn't speak back as I backed out, dipping my head to her before running after my brother, processing these thoughts.
All I knew was that a war against RushClan would be a very bad thing.
And I had to stop it.