blue / tiger


RECAP: Tortured by his memories of growing up with Tigerlily, a heartbroken Bluefang gave up trying to pretend things were normal, risking a dangerous expedition into ShadowClan territory to try to bring back his old friend. But he was discovered, and in the chaos that followed, badly wounded, leaving Tigerlily at a loss as to whether he was alive or dead. To make matters worse, the she-cat finally realized that she does love her long-time companion, only is it too late?

I still remember the look on your face

Lit through the darkness at 1:58

I sit alone in the middle of the ThunderClan camp, tail wrapped around my paws, ears pinned to the sides of my head. Most of my Clanmates are in their dens, quietly discussing the day's events: the ThunderClan intruder, the enemy raid that came to break him out, and the ensuing fight. Most are fuming, plotting how to get back at Quailstar by the next Gathering.

Obviously, I don't join it. It's not lost on me that most ShadowClan warriors think it's my fault that any of this happened. After all, Bluefang wouldn't have come if it weren't for-


Just his name is enough to make my heart wrench. After he collapsed, I never had a chance to come close to him, to see if he was okay. That horrid she-cat, Owlstep, and her Clanmates had taken his body away immediately, being escorted by a couple of suspicious, hostile ShadowClan warriors. Oakstar had them taken to the border, and issued a strict warning for them to give to Quailstar. 

I wasn't chosen for the escort patrol, of course. Even my own father mistrusted me.

Worst of all, I don't even know if Bluefang is alive or not.

The words that you whispered

For just us to know

The only light in my heart right now, amidst all this darkness, is the last look Bluefang gave me before leaping into the ShadowClan-ThunderClan fight to help his Clanmates. 

"I'll always love you," he'd whispered, his beautiful blue eyes warm as he gazed at me. And then he was gone.

You told me you loved me

So why did you go away?


"Tigerlily," a brisk voice says, demanding my attention. I look up and see Mothleap, the ShadowClan deputy. She looks at me, eyebrows raised. "What are you still doing out here?"

Does she really need to ask that? 

"Are you grieving? For who?"

I open my mouth, then shut it again. It's true that I don't know for certain if Bluefang is dead (even thinking about the possibility makes my heart ache) but I do have a right to grieve. I'm mourning what could have been... what I lost when I turned my back on ThunderClan.

No. No, I lost it the day I learned who I really was.

What a bitter reality. Knowing where you came from was supposed to strengthen you, make your life better. Instead, it had torn my life apart.

Oh, Bluefang... I need you. I can't figure this out on my own. I need his gentle voice, calming me down and reassuring me. I need his soft blue eyes and his comforting scent, reminding me of home. Not necessarily ThunderClan... Bluefang was home, regardless of Clan. Why couldn't I have realized that sooner?

Why couldn't he be with me right now?

I do recall now the smell of the rain

Fresh on the pavement

I ran off the plane

"The other cats are doubting you, you know," says Mothleap. "You might want to go into the warriors' den and shut them up--as a new warrior, you can't afford to have them spreading rumors about you like that."

"Let them say what they want," I say dully. "They're the ones who attacked Bluefang so viciously."

Mothleap frowns, about to say something, but another cat lays his tail on her shoulder. "Go," Oakstar says quietly. "I can talk to her."

I don't say anything as my father sits down beside me, careful to keep a little space between us. Like he's not even sure of his right to talk to me as a Clan leader, let alone as my parent.

"Tigerlily, I want to tell you a story. It's not one you've ever heard before, but it's a story that has been the foundation for your life--literally."

I stare at him, his tough, no-nonsense expression and bulky, muscular form. It's easy to see why he's the leader of ShadowClan; he was born for this position, and it's evident in every part of how he holds himself. Just for now though, there's a little vulnerability in his eyes. A mixture of guilt, shame, and rememberance.

I realize what he's going to say right as he says it. "I'm going to tell you the story of myself and Wrenswoop. Your father and your mother."

Part of me wants to run away. If he wants to use this story as a lecture about inter-Clan relationships, I'm not interested.

But I've never heard this story. I want to know. If my life has to be upheaved like this, I should at least know the love that was strong enough to cause it. 

So I sit tight and wait, watching Oakstar's eyes grow bright as the world fades around him, as he recalls the she-cat who stole his heart, all those moons ago.

That July 9th

The beat of your heart

"It was greenleaf. I was a young, impulsive tom who wandered away from my border patrol. I still remember the first time I saw her. I was being nosy, crouched in a bush trying to 'spy' on ThunderClan. I thought I was being really sneaky, but she turned the joke on me by pouncing on me and scaring me out of my fur. I was about to pulverize this ThunderClan enemy, but then I saw her. She was absolutely gorgeous, sparkling eyes and laugh... and I realized that instead of attacking me while I was distracted, she'd only given me a scare for her own amusement. I was a serious, narrow-minded tom, and it boggled my mind that a warrior could be so flippant and carefree."

Oakstar swallows, shutting his eyes as if fighting off the pain that comes with my mother's memory. "I decided to talk to her instead of driving her off our border. We became friends. It was the best season of my young life, meeting with her in secret. In my heart, I knew it was wrong, but I didn't want to listen. I kept telling myself that it wasn't wrong to be friends with cat from another Clan, as long as I didn't let it go out of paw. I kept telling myself that I didn't feel half as strongly about Wrenswoop as I thought I did."

"And, well, you can guess the rest. I was wrong. I actually felt twice as strongly about her as I thought I did. I had fallen completely in love with her; there wasn't a part of my heart that didn't belong to her."

I curl my tail around my paws. "And you had me."

"Yeah. A half-Clan daughter. Falling in love with Wrenswoop... it was the biggest mistake of my life."

I freeze. "What?"

He gives me a stricken look. "Not--not like that! I'm glad you're a warrior now, Tigerlily, honestly. It's just that... it was a bad idea in the first place, you know? It jeopardized my chances of becoming deputy. I eventually had to cut my relationship short, because I needed more time to serve and prove myself to my Clan. Because my heart... ShadowClan is what rules my heart. I can't live with it any other way."

His eyes are strict but gentle. "You have to make that choice for yourself, Tigerlily. You have to decide where your heart lies."

It jumps through your shirt

I can still feel your arms

"It... it doesn't even matter. Not really. Even if Bluefang isn't dead, I have to stay away from him. You get that, don't you, Oakstar? I'll destroy him. I'm wrong for him. He's too good, and he's already been ripped apart for my sake. It's all my fault. He never would've come here if it weren't for me."

And I break down. Wholly and completely. I crumple against Oakstar and he catches me, and suddenly it doesn't matter, who we are to the world--a leader and a half-Clan she-cat who ruins everything--because we are father and daughter. Father and daughter, and only we understand each other's broken souls, the fact that our better selves are only contained in the love Wrenswoop and Bluefang had for us.

We have lost it. I can only ever have the memory of Bluefang, I can never have him again. The knowledge squeezes my chest like a vise, till I can't breathe and I'm gasping and sobbing. I remember everything all too well: his soft eyes, his scent, the murmur of his voice. The everlasting faith he'd had in me since we were kits, always content to ride along on the next adventure I planned, always ready to protect me if thngs went wrong, always there to pick up the pieces when the world blew apart. 

The world. What world had I cared about so much that I'd been willing to leave him for it? I see now that it is him: he has always been my world. Now, on the verge of losing him forever, dangling off a cliff headfirst as I stare into the eyes of darkness and death, now it is that I realize it truly. 

But now I'll go sit on the floor

Wearing your clothes


I wake in the warriors' den. Hawkpelt is standing over me, his green eyes stoic and unreadable.

A wave of pain rushes through me. I turn away from him.

I feel him jerk towards me involuntarily, as if reaching out to comfort me. Then he seems to pull himself back. "Forgive me for the disturbance. Will you be free for a hunting patrol this afternoon? Mothleap asked me to put one together."

"Why are you asking me?" My voice is as brittle and cold as ice.

"You're a good hunter. Why else would I ask you?" A note of asperity enters his voice.

I whirl on him, and he steps back, his ears lowering as our gazes lock. The pretense of being in command falls away as my fire breaks through. "Tigerlily, I--"

"How dare you come and talk to me like this? Do you even know what you've done?"

All that I know is

I don't know how to be something you miss

Defiance colors his cheeks. "It wasn't me. I would never have... Look, I get it. I know why you're angry with me. But look into your own heart. Aren't you angrier with yourself?"

"Yes. What's your point?"

"I don't like seeing you like this."

"Good. Then leave."

Hawkpelt swallows, hard. "You're better than this, Tigerlily. It's why I--it's why Bluefang loves you. You need to pull yourself together."

"You don't get it. Bluefang is all the better parts of me. I can only be kind, compassionate, worthy of any kind of love when I'm around him. Without him, I'm lost. Without him, there's nothing left." My voice cracks. "It should be me lying in the medicine cat's den, not him battling for his life. I should be leaving, not him. I don't know how he ever loved me, I don't get it!" My voice rises to a scream, then catches and falls back down to a whisper. "I don't know anything anymore."

I never thought we'd have a last kiss

Never imagined we'd end like this

Your name, forever the name on my lips

Hawkpelt lets out a soft, strained noise, and his guardedness disappears. I feel his soft fur brush against my shoulder. With a rasping, dry sob, I bury my nose in his side and collapse against him.

"There, there," he whispers, steady as a rock upon which to anchor my trembling body. It's true, Hawkpelt has been my rock since I came to ShadowClan. We connect; he understands my drive and determination. He expects nothing less than my very all in everything that I do, and is there every step of every journey to make sure I don't give up. Without him, I don't know where I'd be, if I could have even managed to cling on until warriorhood in ShadowClan.

Yes, Hawkpelt is my rock. But Bluefang--StarClan help me, I can't deny it--is my kryptonite.

I do remember the swing of your step

The life of the party, you're showing off again

"Oakstar, please."

My father looks at me with sad eyes. I can see his internal conflict as clearly as if he'd spoken aloud. He is torn between protecting me from my own heart and breaking it.

"I have to know," I whisper.

"Tigerlily... I can't let you come to the Gathering. Things are going to be tense enough as it is; I doubt Quailstar has forgotten all of our recent altercations. If she sees you talking to one of her warriors--"

"I just need to ask one of them how he is. Oakstar, I don't even know if he's alive." My voice cracks.

He looks at me steadily. I cast my eyes down, unable to meet his gaze. The truth is, if he says no, I'm finally going to do what I've been fighting the urge to do since the awful night Bluefang was injured: sneak into ThunderClan territory and find out for myself what happened. The only reason I've managed to hold myself back for the past three days is the knowledge that the Gathering is a much safer way to check on Bluefang, a way that won't guarantee flat-out war between ShadowClan and ThunderClan. 

And I roll my eyes and then

You pull me in

"Okay," Oakstar relents at last. "The patrol is waiting at the exit; tell Mothleap I'll be out soon."

Overcome with emotion, I dart forward and press against him, purring warmly, "Thank you. Thank you so much. I love you."

I feel him stiffen with shock. Then he lets out an answering purr. Between all that's happened in our family's history, it's no small wonder that we forget that we're father and daughter, that we seldom act like we are. But for a rare moment, my heart lifts off the ground, soars above the tangled treetops and Clan boundaries, and lights on the warriors' den in ThunderClan where Wrenswoop sleeps. I feel all three of our hearts connect.

I know Oakstar feels it too, because he whispers in my ear, "Tigerlily, I've made countless mistakes, and I know what happened with your mother was wrong, but I wouldn't change it--I'm so glad StarClan allowed me to have you."

I'm not much for dancing

But for you I did

"You're coming to the Gathering?" Thistlewhisker asks as I join the waiting group.

I nod, feeling a small pang of relief as I look around and don't see Hawkpelt. He's supportive in his own way--inviting me out for hunts, talking with me--but I know this would be crossing the line in his eyes. He wants me to move on. But I can't, not until I know that I haven't caused something I won't be able to live with.

Usually, I rarely go to Gatherings. I attended my first one ever as an apprentice with Bluefang, and though the few I've been to since then are hazy (I don't really pay attention) I remember that one as clearly as if it were yesterday. Bluefang, then still a 'paw, had gotten it into his head that we needed to become more "cultured" and learn more about other Clans, so we'd spent a while talking to a pair of WindClan apprentices. Long story short, I and them got into a heated argument, during which I called them "a pair of stick-legged rabbit-chasers." Moonfeather made me sit outside the Gathering Field until the other ThunderClan warriors were ready to leave, since I was "unable to act civilized," and poor Bluepaw had to wait outside with me. So much for our attempts to be cultured.

I find myself trying to hide a small smile at the memory. The twinge of happiness feels strange; it's been so long. No one has ever given me as much joy as Bluefang

Because I love your handshake, meeting my father

I love how you walk with your hands in your pockets

How you kissed me when I was in the middle of saying something

There's not a day I don't miss those rude interruptions

And I'll go sit on the floor

Wearing your clothes

All that I know is

I don't know how to be something you miss

Never thought we'd have a last kiss

Never imagined we'd end like this

Your name, forever the name on my lips

So I'll watch your life in pictures like I used to watch you sleep

And I feel you forget me like I used to feel you breathe

And I keep up with our old friends just to ask them how you are

Hope it's nice where you are

And I hope the sun shines

And it's a beautiful day

And something reminds you

You wish you had stayed

You can plan for a change in weather and time

But I never planned on you changing your mind

So I'll go sit on the floor

Wearing your clothes

All that I know is

I don't know how to be something you miss

Never thought we'd have a last kiss

Never imagined we'd end like this

Your name, forever the name on my lips

Just like our last kiss

Forever the name on my lips

Forever the name on my lips

Just like our last...

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