Fading

Deep down inside

There is love

Soar through the sky

Like a little dove

POV: Moonflight

When I heard about what happened to Thornstrike, I was astonished. I rushed over to my brother and meowed, "Are you alright?"

He was bleeding from a few wounds here and there, but he didn't look extremely hurt. Flarefoot was limping badly, and Rainsong was laying on the ground, a deep gash from her flank bleeding heavily. Her eyes were closed, and she was barely breathing.

Thornstrike gave her a quick nod, and took in a deep breath to say something. Before he could though, he turned and saw Rainsong.

"Rainsong!"

The dark brown tabby rushed forward, sinking in beside the light gray she-cat. I stared. Thornstrike had never shown particular interest in anyone, and now...

I turned away.

The three apprentices were huddling outside of the apprentices' den, their eyes wide with horror. Because my brother was busy fussing over Rainsong, I decided to treat the three apprentices.

"Birdsong!" I called the silver tabby she-cat. "Let's take the three apprentices out for hunting practice." They had yet to learn how to hunt.

Fogpaw's mentor nodded, and I told Tigerpaw she could come along too.

"Is Thornstrike coming?" They didn't look so tired anymore, and Tigerpaw was bouncing alongside them. "Is my mentor going to come too? Why is he leaning over Rainsong? What's wrong with him and Rainsong? Why won't he-"

"Shut up, Tigerpaw!" Fogpaw sighed.

Creampaw rolled her eyes, and I shot them both warning looks, "No, Thornstrike is not coming. He's hurt, and he's taking care of Rainsong. Let's go."

The three apprentices took off, and Birdsong and I trotted after them. I could remember such a time when I was a lively young apprentice.

"Hurry up!" Creampaw yowled from inside the thorny barrier of the entrance.

"Hey, you three, get out so I can get in." A gruff voice grumbled. Frogleap pushed his way in, sighing, "Those three apprentices are going to eat us alive!"

I laughed and meowed, "They will unless you teach them how to sleep the morning off."

The dark brown tom rolled his eyes and went back to camp, laden with prey. Tigerpaw stuck her head out from inside a bush. "Can we go now?"

Birdsong snorted in amusement, "We'll start here since you've decided that holly bush is your new home." Tigerpaw laughed and squeezed herself out.

"Okay so let's start with the hunters' crouch."

I showed them the crouch while Birdsong pointed out the biggest mistakes apprentices make when learning this crouch.

"I'm not going to make a mistake!" Tigerpaw squealed, crouching down with her tail high in the air.

I sighed, and walked over to straighten her out, "Did you notice how my tail was straight behind me, not bent or anything?"

She nodded.

"Well you want to there so you don't disturb anything around you. If you swish your tail, the mice will hear it because you'll be sweeping the leaves up behind you. If you have your tail up, you'll hit the low branches above your head and make noise."

Tigerpaw nodded earnestly, and so did Fogpaw and Creampaw. They caught on in no time, and Birdsong began to show them the other crouches.

When they had practiced enough, I purred, "Let's try your skills on real prey now."

Creampaw instantly perked up, and I admired her calm demeanor and affable personality. "I see a sparrow!" She whispered excitedly.

"Why don't you try to catch it?" I told her.

My apprentice stiffened, but relaxed as she drifted towards the sparrow, crouching low and remembering to keep her tail still. "Don't move, any of you." I warned Tigerpaw and Fogpaw, who were twitching in excitement, "Don't ruin your sister's moment."

The pale, cream colored she-cat shifted ever so slightly, disrupting a leaf. The sparrow looked up, and started to flap its wings.

Gritting her teeth, Creampaw launched herself up and clutched the sparrow tightly in her jaws, snapping its neck.

"Great catch!" I called out, and Creampaw beamed.

Tigerpaw instantly sniffed the air around her, desperate to find something. "I bet I can catch something bigger!"

Soon, all three apprentices were scampering about, trying to catch more prey than the other, "We won't run out of prey in leaf-bare with these three around now." Birdsong laughed.

I was about to reply back when I heard something rustle.

Sniffing the air cautiously, I glanced at the bush. A white head poked out. There was only undergrowth scent clinging to the bush, so the cat had disguised his scent.

I stared at the white head, then motioned for him to stay down.

Turning to Birdsong who hadn't noticed my confusion, I meowed, "I'm going to hunt over here for a bit too, okay?"

She nodded and meowed, "Don't hunt too much or we'll have too much to carry."

I slipped away, and hissed, "What are you doing here, Frostclaw?"

He shrugged, "I wanted to see you, and I heard you teaching a few apprentices about hunting." His green eyes gleamed. "I've missed you."

I looked away, "This isn't supposed to happen." I spat.

Frostclaw smirked, "But it's already happening. I know you don't want to admit it, but you've been wanting to see me to."

I didn't reply, even though I agreed with him.

"Tonight at the border?" Frostclaw asked softly, "Our first real meeting?"

I nodded.

"See you later." His tail brushed my muzzle, and I breathed in his soft scent before he disappeared. I check the bush, making sure there was none of his RushClan scent and quickly caught a few mice before joining back up with Birdsong.

The apprentices had each caught two pieces of prey, and Tigerpaw was lugging a fat squirrel. "I caught this by myself!" She boasted.

Fogpaw was merely carrying two mice, but he looked proud of himself. Creampaw had managed to catch a crow alongside her sparrow.

"Let's go back to camp." Birdsong purred, helping the apprentices with their catches. I was a bit dazed by the appearance of Frostclaw, and just followed along with the others.

~

"Frostclaw?"

"Moonflight, you came!" The white tom from RushClan purred, "I was worried that you wouldn't come tonight."

"Of course I came."

Frostclaw smiled, "Not so snarky now huh?"

"What do you mean?" I muttered, feeling a bit indignant that he would think that, "I'm just snarky with you now than I ever will be!"

"Lovely," Frostclaw smirked, "I'll have so much fun."

I laughed and leaned closer to him, "Why are we here anyways?" I hadn't even really sorted out my feelings for him.

The white tom pulled back, looking slightly hurt, "You don't know?"

"Know... what?" The way he said it made it sound extreme, as if he wanted to do something more than just play around at night.

Frostclaw blinked rapidly, "Well, I have...feelings for you." I narrowed my eyes slightly at his hesitation to answer.

"Feelings?" I snorted, "Am I supposed to be impressed?"

He didn't crack a smile. "I'm serious, Moonflight. You're a special she-cat. Your brother doesn't see it in you, and he never will. All he wants is to be deputy, and spend his days with that she-cat Rainsong. But I can see what potential you have."

"How do you know so much about my brother?"

"Oh, it's easy to know when you watch your enemies," the white tom smirked, though it didn't look so pleasant anymore, "And I realized how much I loved you."

He loves me?

Then I asked myself:

Do I love him?

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