Briarlight slumped in her nest. Her legs dangled loosely, and she hissed in frustration. Then, Jayfeather sat next to her. She smiled. Jayfeather could always make her feel good.
Normally, Jayfeather was grumpy and snarky. But something seemed to make him sympathetic and kind.
"I just wish I could go hunting tomorrow," she said, sadly.
"I've always wanted to be a warrior," Jayfeather said.
Briarlight was happy to have Jayfeather to make up for all her crushed dreams. She wondered what the future would be like, and she drifted off to sleep.
Briarlight woke up. Time for another day of apprentice duties! She thought. She was about to jump to her feet, but she remembered. Her legs.
Jayfeather walked over to her.
"Today I'll help you with your exercises," he said.
"Are you sure?" She asked. "An apprentice can do it, if you want," she replied.
"Um, no. That's ok. I'll do it." He meowed. Wow, Briarlight thought. He's being nicer than usual.
Then, Twigkit walked in. "Jayfeather! Help! I got a thorn in my pad!" She meowed.
"You should be more careful, you foolish kit," he said. He bit down on the thorn, and plucked it out. Then, he rubbed a pulp on it to keep it from infecting. Twigpaw winced. The pulp obviously stung. The little cat quickly thanked Jayfeather, and scampered away.
"Silly kit," he muttered. But Briarlight saw something more in his eyes. Sadness? Longing? Maybe Jayfeather was lonely. Well, briarlight would always be there for him.
He tossed her the ball of moss, and she caught it in between her paws.
"Good catch!" He said.
"Not bad, eh?" She mewed. They played for a while longer, and then sat down.
"Why dont you go get a piece of fresh-kill?" Jayfeather said. "I need to sort some herbs," he said. Briarlight went to get a mouse.
She got one, and brought it back to Jayfeather's den. She munched on it, and watched him help her clan mates. A flash of admiration for him ran through her. She walked to her nest, but was interrupted by a fit of coughing. Jayfeather dropped the herbs he was sorting, and rushed to her side.
"Briarlight! Are you ok? Do you need some catmint?" He asked nervously.
"No, i just got some dust in my throat," she rasped, spitting out the dust that had gotten caught in her throat.
"Im fine," she mumbled.
"I just dont want to lose you," he mumbled.
"What?" She asked.
"Nothing," he mewed quickly. He went back to sorting herbs, and a new thought appeared in her mind. Did Jayfeather have feelings for her? And did she like him back? She pushed the thought away. No, he's a medicine cat, she thought. But that made her sad.
Jayfeather sensed Briarlight sleeping peacefully in her nest. She was so wonderful. Actually, he was glad that she couldnt be an apprentice. If she was, they could never see eachother.
He finished sorting herbs, noticed a chill in the air. The wind brushed over his nose, and he shook himself. Gingerly, he curled up beside Briarlight. She might laugh at him if she saw him.
Th chill breese was now blocked out. Like a sign.
What is forbidden
Will fight the wind
Jayfeather shivered as the sign appeared in his mind. What could this mean?
That night, he dreamt that he was walking in the woods. The breeze settled over him once again, but he saw something. A starry gray cat was padding over to him.
The cat had a broad face, and twinkling amber eyes.
"Yellowfang?" He breathed.
"Yes, Jayfeather. Its me," Yellowfang said. "I have a sign for you: what is forbidden will fight the wind," she told him.
"What does that mean? Why do you always have to speak in riddles?!" Jayfeather huffed.
Yellowfang began to fade away, her starry fur slowly disappearing.
"Wait, Yellowfang, you have to tell me what that means!" Jayfeather cried. But it was no use. He was meowing at air.
Then, the wind knocked him over. He could feel himself smothering from it. He got shoved into the snow, and breathed it in. Instead of a cold sharp scent, it was sweet and bliss.
Briarlight woke up with a sore belly. She moaned, and rolled over. She was only aware of how hungry she was. She also realized that she had been sitting on Jayfeather in her sleep. She jumped up, but noticed extra weight in her belly. Just bloated, she thought.
She quickly gobbled down a mouse. But that wasn't enough, so she also had a black bird. Poppyfrost saw her eating the two pieces of fresh-kill, and gave her a wierd look. Briarlight walked away awkwardly.
Jayfeather sat up. "What's wrong?" He asked her.
"Just a belly ache," she mumbled.
"Do you need some medicine?" He asked.
"No, I'll be fine," she said. "We should start your exercises," Jayfeather mewed. He tossed her the ball of moss, but she was unbalanced. She tripped, and fell on her belly.
"You OK?" Jayfeather asked.
"Fine. Im just fine," she snapped. Jayfeather flinched, and her gaze softened. "Sorry, I'm just a little bit bloated today," she apologized. He nodded.
Her belly made it hard to play with the moss ball. She didnt have energy, either. It was as if she was sick. She hoped not. Then, she saw Squirrelflight, Cloudtail, Birchfall, and Rosepetal run to Bramblestar's den.
They looked furious. Their fur was bristling, and their eyes shone with anger. A moment later, Bramblestar walked out of his den.
"Let all cat old enough to catch their own prey gather here to hear what I have to say!"
Everyone gathered over to the clearing. "It has been brought to my attention that WindClan is trying to take more of our territory." Bramblestar yowled. "We can't let that happen! We will fight, even though our Clan is desperately in need of more warriors!" He meowed. "Squirrelflight, I need you to increase the patrols," he told his mate.
"I will!" She growled. "We will not let WindClan win!" He meowed. Briarlight saw Jayfeather tense up. Then, she felt a pain in her belly. A new thought entered her mind.
Was she expecting Jayfeather's kits?
She couldnt be! Her condition meant she couldnt have kits! But it was as if her condition wasnt as deadly as it seemed. Maybe the tree hadn't hurt her as bad as she thought. It seemed like she was going to have to find out.
Jayfeather stared up at Bramblestar in disbelief. Could this have something to do with the prophecy? Leafbare was approaching, and they needed warriors to help them survive.
He looked around at Briarlight, who was squirming around uncomfortably. He wondered what was wrong with her. She was bloated, hungry, and lacked energy.
Something was definitely wrong. Prey was disappearing already, and one cat was already sick! Jayfeather knew he would have to work hard to save his clan.
Once everyone was dismissed, he went to the fresh kill pile and nibbled on a shrew. But it turned to saw dust in his mouth. He watched as Briarlight dragged herself to his den.
She grunted, and rolled over. In frustration, he left his shrew and went to his den. Briarlight was already asleep. Jayfeather touched his nose to her fur, and fell asleep beside her.
That night, he dreamt that he saw a tiny little kit. She had blue eyes and brown fur. She purred as she looked up at him, but then a gust of wind blew against him.
He struggled to walk, but the little kit had no trouble. Another kit joined, and the wind disappeared. The prophecy rang in his head once again: what is forbidden will fight the wind.
The next morning, Briarlight was sure of it. She was expecting Jayfeather's kits. All the other cats overestimated her injury. She knew she had to tell Jayfeather.
"Jayfeather? Can I talk to you?" She asked nervously.
"Sure. Why?" Jayfeather asked.
"Just come," she said, leading him behind the den. "Jayfeather," she began. "I'm expecting kits," she sighed. "
"Who's are they?" He asked, frowning. "Yours," she said. Jayfeather's blind eyes grew wide, and he pressed his muzzle against hers.
She purred, but she was sad on the inside.
"How will we keep it secret that you're their father?" She asked Jayfeather.
"We'll keep them safe, no matter what it takes. She felt a kick in her belly, and she staggered to the side.
"Lie down," Jayfeather instructed. She layed down.
Jayfeather pressed his paws on her stomach, and looked at her.
"We will be blessed with two kits," he said. Briarlight pressed her muzzle against his flank. She was going to take care of her kits, and nothing would stop her.
Jayfeather woke up to the sound of groaning. He looked behind him, and saw Briarlight rolling around, her belly big and round. The kits would come any day, obviously.
Then, he heard crying. Poppyfrost walked into the den, followed by Berrynose and Brackenfur. On her side was a red claw mark.
"WindClan has been getting vicious!" Berrynose hissed. "They gave Poppyfrost a pretty bad mark," Brackenfur meowed.
Poppyfrost moaned, and Jayfeather ran to get some cobwebs and chervil root. While his back was turned, he heard Poppyfrost asking Briarlight why her stomach was so plump.
"Er,um...i-i just..." Briarlight stammered.
"She's just bloated," Jayfeather jumped in. Briarlight looked at him thankfully. Jayfeather quickly treated Poppyfrost's wound.
"You should avoid doing warrior duties, and don't move your side to much," he said. Poppyfrost sighed.
"But I'll get bored!" She complained.
"Too bad," Jayfeather snapped. Poppyfrost huffed, and left the den.
But on his way out, Brackenfur began coughing. His back arched as he hacked violently. Jayfeather walked over to him, and checked for fever.
"You have a fever. You should stay in my den. You might be sick," Jayfeather said.
Brackenfur nodded reluctantly, and lay down next to Briarlight. She turned over awkwardly, hiding her swollen belly. Jayfeather wondered what it would be like to be a father. If nobody knew he was one, he would have to pretend he wasn't. Medicine cats weren't allowed to have kits
Each day from then on, a warrior would come in wounded from WindClan. Since it was leafbare, the warriors would also come in with green cough. Nothing seemed to be going right. But somehow, Jayfeather knew that something would change that.
Later in the night, Briarlight awoke to a terrible pain in her belly. Then, it hit her. The kits were coming! She sat up, and dragged herself around all the sick cats. She silently nudged Jayfeather, and he sat up.
"What's wrong?" He whispered.
"The kits are coming!" she whispered back. Jayfeather got to his feet, and escorted Briarlight to the back of the den.
"OK, just push," he said.
She pushed, and bit back a cry. The pain was washing over her like a wave! She pushed again, but she was weak.
"One kit is stuck!" Jayfeather whispered in alarm. Briarlight let her head fall back.
Everything was going dark. But then, she felt strong paws on her belly, and the first kit came. She was a small brown kit with blue eyes. She saw Jayfeather gasp. He's so delighted, Briarlight thought.
Then, the next kit came. He was a big gray tabby with amber eyes.
"They're beautiful," Jayfeather uttered. Briarlight nodded, and she felt fierce love for her kits. She would never let them get hurt.
"I love you, babies," she whispered.
She pressed her nose against their soft feathery fur.
"What should we name them?" Jayfeather asked. Briarlight touched her tail to the she-kit.
"This one will be Love kit." Then, she touched the tom with her tail. "This one will be Fiercekit."
The kits nursed for a while, and Jayfeather and Briarlight decided that they would say they found the kits in the woods, all alone. A queen in the nursery would probably nurse them from then on. No matter what, the kits would be safe.
Jayfeather carried the kits back to camp. Briarlight was exhausted, and flopped down on her side. Jayfeather walked anxiously up to Bramblestar's den.
"Bramblestar, we found these kits lost in the woods, all alone. We can't let them starve," Jayfeather explained, showing the leader his kits.
"You're right. We can give them to Lilyheart to nurse. Do you have names for them?" Bramblestar asked.
"Yes, their names are Lovekit and Fiercekit. They need lots of care," Jayfeather meowed firmly.
Bramblestar gave him a weird look, then took the kits and left his den.
"Lilyheart!" He called. Lilyheart stuck her head out of the nursery. Bramblestar began whispering urgently to her, and she nodded quietly. He gave her the tiny mewling bundles, and Jayfeather walked away. He couldn't keep the kits- his Clan was more important. If the other cats knew who the kits' parents were, he probably wouldn't be able to be a medicine cat anymore.
When he entered the den, he saw pain and weariness in Briarlight's eyes. As a mother, she was very worried about her kits.
"Don't worry, Briarlight, Lilyheart is caring for them. She won't let anything happen to them," He tried to comfort her. Briarlight nodded mutely, then laid down in her nest. On the inside, Jayfeather felt the same. He didn't want to give his kits up, either.
"Wanna play with the moss ball?" Jayfeather suggested. She had to do so etching to get her mind off of her kits. Briarlight shook her head.
"Are you hungry?" He asked. She shook her head again. He nuzzled her cheek, then took a nap.
During his nap, Jayfeather had another dream. He dreamt that ThunderClan was fighting swift lean WindClan cats. One warrior was fighting particularly good. He was swift, strong, fast, and skilled. His fur was gray tabby, and his eyes were amber. Jayfeather knew this cat- but from where? The prophecy still lingered over him like rain. What is forbidden will fight the wind.
The next morning, Rosepetal came in with a bloody foot.
"WindClan?" Jayfeather asked. Rosepetal nodded. He treated the wound, and sent her away. Then, he sat next to Briarlight.
"Want me to go check on the kits?" He asked. Briarlight nodded great fully. He padded to the nursery. When he entered, he saw his kits playing with a leaf. He felt a deep sensation of love for them.
"Coming to visit your kits?" Lilyheart asked. For a moment, Jayfeather thought Lilyheart knew the truth. His heart began to pound, and he opened mouth to say something. But Lilyheart spoke first.
"This little one," she touched her tail to the brown she-kit with blue eyes," Can't stop talking about how she wants to be just like you. It's a good thing you found them. They will be a benefit to the clan," she meowed. Was Lilyheart saying that Lovekit wanted to be a medicine cat?
That would be great! At least he would be able to spend time with one of his kits. He ran back to the medicine den.
"How are they?" Briarlight demanded.
"They're great. Guess what?" He meowed, excitedly.
"What?" Briarlight meowed.
"I think Lovekit wants to be a medicine cat!" He said.
"Jayfeather, that's wonderful!" Briarlight cheered. He purred, and noticed wind running against his fur. Leafbare, he thought. Leafbare is coming.
The kits grew quickly. Lovekit was now Lovepaw, and Fiercekit was Fiercepaw. Briarlight was glad that Lovepaw was Jayfeather's apprentice. She had a gift for medicines. Fiercepaw, was a brilliant fighter. He could fight very well. But each day was not perfect. Each day she would hear sick cats coughing, and warriors moaning from scratches from WindClan. Then, Jayfeather got up.
"Briarlight, can I talk to you?" He asked.
"Sure," Briarlight meowed. She wondered what this was about. There were enough troubles already. She followed Jayfeather to the back of the medicine den.
"What's wrong?" she asked. Jayfeather cleared his throat.
"I've received a prophecy. What is forbidden will fight the wind." He said. Briarlight tilted her head to the side.
"What does that mean?" She asked.
"I don't know," he admitted. "But I think it has to do with..our kits. They're forbidden," he meowed.
Briarlight nodded. But what did wind mean? Storms? She had no idea. She looked inside the den. Lovepaw was treating a scratch carefully.
"But our kits our wonderful!" She said.
"I know. But they could still have something to do with the prophecy," Jayfeather mewed. Briarlight sighed. She loved her kits so much! It would be tragic if they were in any danger concerning the prophecy.
She yawned. "I need to take a nap," she said. Anything was better than worrying about her kits.
"OK," Jayfeather said. They went to the den, and Briarlight tried to sleep. But the prophecy was already glued to her mind. She heard another fit of backing from a sick cat. The stench of sickness filled the den.
Then, Fiercepaw came in. Briarlight couldn't control herself.
"Hi, Fiercepaw! How did your training go? Did you have fun?" She asked her secret son.
"Yup! I like battle! I mean, not like fighting and blood, but its a good way of exercise!" He meowed eagerly. Briarlight purred. Her son liked battle, but he wasn't bloodthirsty. He just liked exercise.
Then, Lovepaw walked over to her.
"Wanna do your exercises?" She mewed. "Sure!" Briarlight meowed. Her daughter was quiet, thoughtful, and loving. They played with the moss ball for a while, and then Lovepaw began to groom her pretty brown pelt.
Briarlight noticed that her daughter was a perfect image of her. Brown short fur, pretty eyes. Briarlight would protect her kits always.
Soon, both kits had earned their full names. Jayfeather had decided to call Lovepaw Lovecloud, and she was a wonderful medicine cat. Fiercepaw had become Fierceflash, and was the best fighter in the clan. Jayfeather and Briarlight had been extremely proud. Jayfeather heard another sick cat cough. It was Thornclaw. He hunched his back, hacking terribly.
"Oh no. I need to do something!" He muttered anxiously, pacing around his den. "I tried the other herbs, but they won't work!" Lovecloud mewed in a panicked voice.
Then, Brackenfur joined in. He tried to cough, but his body was so tired, that he only gave a wheeze. My clanmates are dying, Jayfeather thought. This was not good. Then, Lovecloud spoke up.
"I need to go to the abandoned twoleg nest. Its the only place where catmint is available." Jayfeather gasped. That was past WindClan territory!
"No, Lovecloud. You can't. You might meet a WindClan patrol!" Jayfeather argued.
"I'm sorry, but I have to," she confirmed. She ran off. Briarlight tried to stop her, but it was no use.
Then, Bramblestar yowled across the clearing.
"Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather here beneath highledge for a clan meeting!" Jayfeather and Briarlight went out to the clearing, but Jayfeather was still very worried about Lovecloud. Surely, she would get shredded! Bramblestar looked at his clan.
"As you all know, WindClan and Leafbare have been causing ThunderClan a lot of trouble. I've decided that we need to fight WindClan. If this feud goes on any longer, our clan could be in worse shape than it is right now. The battle will be right now, as well," he meowed.
"The following cats will come with me; Squirrelflight, Berrynose, Cloudtail, Cinderheart, Lionblaze, Poppyfrost, Hollytuft, Fierceflash, Dovewing, Sorrelstripe, and Ivypool," he meowed. He heard Briarlight gasp, and he silently agreed. Those were all the warriors in the camp, other than the sick cats!
He couldn't take it any longer. Jayfeather quietly followed Bramblestar and his patrol to WindClan camp. He needed to make sure his kits were safe. A while after walking, he heard Bramblestar yowl the battle cry. The fight was on.
Cloudtail hurled himself onto a strong brown tabby. Poppyfrost was raking a white she-cat's shoulders. Then, Jayfeather saw his son. A big black tom tried to jump on him, but Fierceflash dodged, raking the cat's shoulders in the action.
The big cat hissed, and tried to bite Fierceflash's leg, but Fierceflash jumped on his back. He raked his back fur, and sent the powerful tom fleeing away. Then, Jayfeather saw something that terrified him. Lovecloud was running back to camp, but a ginger tom was clawing at her. Then, Fierceflash jumped in.
"Leave my sister alone!" He screeched. The ginger tom snarled, and pounced on him. Lovecloud ran back to camp. My kits have saved the clan, Jayfeather thought. Lovecloud for fighting Leafbare, and Fierceflash for fighting WindClan.
Then, everything fell into place. What is forbidden will fight the wind! The kits were forbidden, and they were both fighting Wind! Fierceflash fought WindClan, and Lovecloud was fighting Leafbare, which also meant Wind!
After the battle, which ThunderClan had won, Jayfeather returned to camp to find that Lovecloud had fed all the sick cats catmint.
"Good job, Lovecloud. You did it," he meowed happily. Then, Fierceflash entered the den.
"You both did a wonderful job," Briarlight purred.
"Thanks!" They purred. Then, Bramblestar came in.
"Jayfeather, can I talk to you?" He asked. Jayfeather nodded, and followed Bramblestar into his den.
"So," Bramblestar meowed, sitting in his nest, " Fierceflash was a brilliant fighter."he said.
"I know," Jayfeather agreed.
"And Lovecloud was very brave to risk her life finding herbs for her clanmates," Bramblestar continued.
"She is a wonderful medicine cat," Jayfeather replied.
"I just want to say, thank you for bringing those kits into ThunderClan. They have truly saved us," Bramblestar meowed. "They have your determination, and Briarlight's courage. They are wonderful," he said.
"I know," Jayfeather said.
"That's because they are our kits."