Author's Note

AU Fanfic: What is Firestar had been a she-cat? I think this would have a large impact on the way things occured, and things would have changed a lot. (Plot, storyline, romantic interests, etc.)

Allegiances:

THUNDERCLAN

LEADER BLUESTAR— blue-gray she-cat, tinged with silver around her muzzle.

DEPUTY REDTAIL— small tortoiseshell tom with a distinctive ginger tail.

APPRENTICE, DUSTPAW

MEDICINE CAT SPOTTEDLEAF— beautiful dark tortoiseshell she-cat with a distinctive dappled coat.

WARRIORS (toms and she-cats without kits)

LIONHEART— magnificent golden tabby tom with thick fur like a lion’s mane.

APPRENTICE, GRAYPAW

TIGERCLAW— big dark brown tabby tom with unusually long front claws.

APPRENTICE, RAVENPAW

WHITESTORM— big white tom.

APPRENTICE, SANDPAW

DARKSTRIPE— sleek black-and-gray tabby tom.

LONGTAIL— pale tabby tom with dark black stripes.

RUNNINGWIND— swift tabby tom.

WILLOWPELT— very pale gray she-cat with unusual blue eyes.

MOUSEFUR— small dusky brown she-cat.

APPRENTICES (more than six moons old, in training to become warriors)

DUSTPAW— dark brown tabby tom.

GRAYPAW— long-haired solid gray tom.

RAVENPAW— small, skinny black tom with a tiny white dash on his chest, and whitetipped tail

SANDPAW— pale ginger she-cat. FIREPAW— handsome ginger tom.

QUEENS (she-cats expecting or nursing kits) 

FROSTFUR— beautiful white coat and blue eyes.

BRINDLEFACE— pretty tabby.

GOLDENFLOWER— pale ginger coat.

SPECKLETAIL— pale tabby, and the oldest nursery queen.

ELDERS (former warriors and queens, now retired)

HALFTAIL— big dark brown tabby tom with part of his tail missing.

SMALLEAR— gray tom with very small ears. The oldest tom in ThunderClan.

PATCHPELT— small black-and-white tom.

ONE-EYE— pale gray she-cat, the oldest cat in ThunderClan. Virtually blind and deaf.

DAPPLETAIL— once-pretty tortoiseshell she-cat with a lovely dappled coat.

SHADOWCLAN

LEADER BROKENSTAR— long-haired dark brown tabby.

DEPUTY BLACKFOOT— large white tom with huge jet-black paws.

MEDICINE CAT RUNNINGNOSE— small gray-and-white tom.

WARRIORS STUMPYTAIL— brown tabby tom.

APPRENTICE, BROWNPAW

BOULDER— silver tabby tom.

APPRENTICE, WETPAW

CLAWFACE —battle-scarred brown tom.

APPRENTICE, LITTLEPAW

NIGHTPELT— black tom.

QUEENS

DAWNCLOUD— small tabby.

BRIGHTFLOWER— black-and-white she-cat.

ELDERS ASHFUR— thin gray tom.

WINDCLAN

LEADER TALLSTAR— a black-and-white tom with a very long tail.

DEPUTY DEADFOOT— a lean black tom with an unusable, twisted paw.

WARRIORS

ASHFOOT— a dark gray she-cat with darker gray speckles.

RIVERCLAN

LEADER CROOKEDSTAR— a huge light-colored tabby with a twisted jaw.

DEPUTY OAKHEART— a reddish brown tom.

CATS OUTSIDE CLANS

YELLOWFANG— old dark gray she-cat with a broad, flattened face.

SMUDGE— plump, friendly black-and-white kitten who lives in a house at the edge of the forest.

BARLEY— black-and-white tom who lives on a farm close to the forest

Prologue

As the ThunderClan warriors slept through the night, wounds stinging and pride bruised, Bluestar padded out into a washed-out clearing. The moon's light was gray and filmy, seemingly still, like a lukewarm pond. 

It was empty, Spottedleaf had yet to arrive. She sighed in through her nose, her breath crystallizing before her eyes.

"Mousefur has healed." Spottedleaf announced. Bluestar twitched an ear in surprise, it seemed Spottedleaf had arrived out of nowhere. "I see."  

"StarClan sent me another message." Spottedleaf's eyes were troubled as she spoke. 

"What?" Bluestar demanded, for once staring at the tortoiseshell she-cat. Spottedleaf nodded.  

"What did it say?" Bluestar mewed. 

Spottedleaf glanced up at the claw-moon looking anguished. "It said," She cleared her throat. "Blazing fire will save the clan, but power may tempt their heated rage."

Bluestar shook her head, staring at the moon. "It seems StarClan is willing to help us with a cost." She finally mewed.

"It would seem so, wouldn't it."

Bluestar heaved a large sigh. "I just hope this isn't a sign that I'm not fit to be leader."

Spottedleaf smiled. "You are, Bluestar."

Bluestar smiled back at the younger she-cat. "Very well. These old bones require rest," She joked, before padding off.

As she went, she got the feeling Spottedleaf was watching her go.

One

Rusty crouched under the bush, tail twitching ever so slightly.

A scrabbling noise came from the bush next to her.

She flicked her ear, and she heard it: the faint pounding of a mouse's heart.

She unsheathed her claws quietly and pounced.

The mouse shrieked for a second before she killed it.

The warm blood and the rich flavor exploded across her tongue, and she had to stifle a purr of pleasure.

The Stubtails rung her bell, signaling it was time for her meal.

She rolled her eyes. Stubtail food was gross and stale, flavorless.

She snuggled up, finishing her mouse.

The Stubtails rung it again.

Rolling her eyes, she got up and padded inside their den.

The dream ended there.

She groaned, relishing the faint taste of mouse on her lips.

She hadn't ever tasted mouse, of course, but her imagination supplied all the details she needed to be extremely fed up with their bland, tasteless food.

The shiny floor was cold under her paws.

One of the Stubtails reached down and scratched her under the chin. She purred, half-closing her eyes.

The female Stubtail patted her head, and the Stubtail kit giggled gleefully, hand in hand with her mother.

Rusty ate up the Stubtail food gradually, her mouth and stomach complaining with each bite.

She sighed through her nose, wrapping her tail neatly around her small paws.

She swiveled her head around to gaze at the window, but there was no sign of Smudge, her close friend from the next den over.

Her thoughts wandered to the forest surrounding the wall.

It was dark, with rumors of homeless cats that ate bones for breakfast.

Probably better than Stubtail food, Rusty thought with a lash of her ginger tail.

Her green eyes sparked as an idea came to her.

She stood, then realized she wouldn't be able to execute the plan until morning.

The Stubtail kit began to cry. Rusty flicked her ear in disbelief. Would that kit never stop yowling?

She growled, padding to her soft gray pillow in the corner and sinking down into it.

She hissed.

It wasn't normal. None of it was.

Her eyes refused to shut close until much later, when even the kit had been subdued.

Her eyes opened wide she began to wail, a low caterwaul that woke the Stubtails immediately.

The tom ran downstairs blearily and flung the invisible barricade open, leaving Rusty free to run out. She did so, aware of the Stubtail slamming it shut behind her.

With a powerful leap of her haunches, she landed on the fence.

She gazed out at the forest, losing herself in her thoughts.

"Rusty!" Smudge purred. She turned her head and smiled at the black and white tom. "Hello, Smudge." She mewed.

"What were you doing?" He asked, peering at the forest.

She shrugged. "Wondering."

Smudge chuckled. "About what? There's nothing out there but fleas."

"Cats," She mewed in reply.

Smudge nodded. "Ah."

"Did you hear?" She suddenly asked, turning to face Smudge again. "They took Henry to the cutter."

Smudge blanched. "That sounds awful."

"It is," Rusty nodded. "He's so... lazy now. All he does is watch butterflies in his garden." Rusty whispered.

Smudge blinked. "That's weird."

"You think they did something to him?" Rusty murmured, lowering her voice.

Smudge shook his head. "I doubt it."

She looked keenly at the brush, then smiled. "I'm going in."

Two

Smudge stared at her. "What?"

She nodded. "It can't be that bad," She mewed, tensing to jump off the fence.

"Rusty..." Smudge rolled his eyes. "Fine. But don't go far."

Rusty hit the ground with a thump. It was different, damp and cold, but something about it seemed so familiar.

She smiled, stifling a small purr. She placed one ginger paw in front of the other, and slowly began to make her way out from the fence.

"Rusty!" Smudge mewed.

She turned to face him, green eyes gleaming. "What?" She snapped.

"Come back! I saw something," The tom whimpered.

Rusty rolled her eyes, turning and facing the forest.

more soon

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