Love has no Boundries
Leader: Oakstar- small brown tabby tom with green eyes
Deputy: Scorchfire- black-and-white tom. Apprentice, Stormpaw.
Medicine cat: Sageheart- grey-and-silver she-cat with blue eyes.
Foxfoot- ginger tom with amber eyes. Apprentice, Whitepaw.
Snowstrike- pure white she-cat with green eyes.
Mousefang- broad-shouldered black tom with two large teeth.
Rainblossom- dark grey she-cat with dark blue eyes. Apprentice, Mudpaw.
Rowanflight- black she-cat with pale eyes.
Swiftstep- tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat.
Frogheart- gray tom with darker patches, blue eyes.
Stormpaw- black tom with a white underbelly and green eyes.
Whitepaw- pure white tom with green eyes, Snowstrike's brother.
Mudpaw- dark brown tabby tom.
Sweetbreeze- silver tabby she-cat (mother to Mousefang's kits: Wildkit- mottled black-and-pale-grey tom, Sedgekit- mottled grey-and-dark-brown she-kit)
Dewfall- dark grey tom with a lighter muzzle.
Leader: Shortstar- small brown tom with amber eyes
Deputy: Dapplestream- tabby she-cat with piercing blue gaze Apprentice: Bladepaw
Medicine Cat: Grassheart- dark grey she-cat with green eyes
Breezeheart- light grey tom with dark grey paws and navy eyes Apprentice: Grousepaw
Feathershine- ginger she-cat with dark grey stripes and green eyes
Sealfoot- brown tom with black paws and tail tip with amber eyes
Sparrowpool- light grey she-cat with white stripes, paws and tail tip and blue eyes Apprentice: Riverpaw
Silverbird- long furred light grey she-cat with white patches and green eyes
Eaglestripe- broad shouldered brown tom with white paws and golden stripes Apprentice: Slightpaw
Leanflower- cream colored she-cat with long limbs and blue eyes
Goldentail- dark gold she-cat with light gold stripes and tail tip
Bladepaw- dark grey she-cat with dull blue eyes
Grousepaw- black tom with amber eyes
Riverpaw- light grey she-cat with dark grey bluish "swirls" on her pelt
Slightpaw- ginger tom with green eyes
Shallowstream- grey she-cat with ginger patches and grey eyes *HAS NOT GIVEN BIRTH YET*
Stormfeather- dark grey almost black she-cat with yellow eyes Kits: Heartkit- brown she-cat, Lightkit- orange tom
Mallowpelt- aged she-cat with patched cream fur
Other allegiances coming soon.
Chapter 1- Foxfoot. (Blazey)
Foxfoot really hated mornings.
"Come one, Foxfoot!" Foxfoot groaned and blinked open his eyes. Whitepaw, his apprentice, was excitedly chasing his tail around the den. " Let's go!"
Foxfoot really hated apprentices.
He yawned and rolled over in his nest, until his belly was facing the roof. The bright morning light was making his eyes water. Suddenly, a sweet scent filled the den. Foxfoot flopped over, then felt heat rush through his fur. Standing at the entrance was Rainblossom, his friend since apprentice hood. Her dark fur seemed to catch the sunlight, and the tips seemed to be on fire. Her dark eyes sparkled, like an ember burning within a cloud of smoke.
" Get up, lazy. The dawn patrol's already left. We've got to go training." Her voice was deep and rich. Mudpaw, a dark brown tabby tom, peeked out from behind her. He spotted Whitepaw, and the two began to tussle playfully on the soft ground. Rainblossom nudged them, breaking up the right. " Don't get the den messy," she flicked her tail and hopped out of the den " you coming?"
" I suppose I must." Foxfoot growled and shook out his fur. He padded out of the den, into the ShadowClan camp. It was mostly empty, since the warriors had all left for their respective patrols.
" Foxfoot!" Foxfoot whirled around and spotedt a broad-shouldered black tom stalking towards him. Mousefang. My former mentor. What does he want? Mousefang's eyes are were of annoyance. It couldn't be good. " Foxfoot, please tell me when you are going to stop acting like a kit and start acting like a warrior!"
" What do you mean?" Foxfoot snorted, pelt bristling.
" You've missed all the dawn patrols this moon. You never bring back prey. You don't train Whitepaw. Why have you even been made a warrior?" Mousefang lashed his tail. Foxfoot cringed inwardly. His words stung, but he wouldn't let the senior warrior now. Instead, Foxfang put on a nonchalant look and rolled his eyes.
" What do I care? I get a scolding both ways."
" Then you are a disappointment," Mousefang dropped his head and slouched away. Bristling with indignation, Foxfoot stalked back to where Rainblossom was waiting. The elegant she-cat frowned, but Whitepaw bounded forwards first.
" Did you get scolded by your mentor? That's awesome!" Whitepaw purred. Foxfoot wished looks could kill. Rainblossom cuffed Whitepaw gently over the ear.
" Show some respect. Will you and Mudpaw head over to the training clearing? I need to have a word with Foxfoot."
" Sure!" tails waving, they bounded out of the entrance. Foxfoot turned to Rainblossom apprehensively.
" Don't act all 'mother-cat' on me," Foxfoot snarled.
" Why don't you try for once? Mousefang just wants you to be successful," Rainblossom pleaded.
" But how am I successful when all he does is scold?"
" He pushes you! Stop acting like an idiot!"
" Excuse me? Well, then, Rainstar. What can I do to prove than I'm not an idiot?"
" Train Whitepaw properly, for once." Rainblossom gestured towards the white tom, playing tag in the slender pine trees. Foxfoot rolled his eyes and called out to Whitepaw.
" Hey, Whitepaw! Let's see your hunting crouch."
" Um, Foxfoot? We're doing battle training today," Rainblossom twitched her long whiskers.
" Then battle crouches!"
" We're doing defense moves!" Rainblossom exhaled in annoyance. Foxfoot felt himself burn. Does she want me to do this or doesn't she?
" Maybe we should practice training out mentors!" Whitepaw laughed, rolling over and breaking pine needles under his weight. Foxfoot felt a growl rise up in his throat. He was about to give the apprentice a sharp rebuke, but was interrupted by Rainblossom's warning snarl. Her sharp blue gaze was trained deep into the pine trees, and her ears were pricked. Still growling, she flared his nostrils.
" ThunderClan," she warned.
" Where?" Foxfoot leapt to his paws and sniffed. The reek was stronger now. Rainblossom beckoned to both apprentices with her tail and warily padded forwards. Suddenly, she yowled.
" Intruder!" The pelts of all three cats flashed by Foxfoot as they hurled themselves at the patrol. He hared after them, then halted. It wasn't a patrol. It was one cat. And a very beautiful cat at that.
She was a light grey tabby with white patches all over her. Her eyes were a fiery green, blazing in the light. She dodged the attacks of Whitepaw and Mudpaw, long fur streaming out from behind her, leaving them crumpled on the floor. Then, she turned to attention to Rainblossom. The latter hissed and swiped at her muzzle. The ThunderClan she-cat dodges and rammed her head into Rainblossom's side. Rainblossom fell, but grabbed the she-cat's tail, dragging her down with her. The she-cat quickly recovered and flung Rainblossom a few fox-lengths away. The dark grey cat did not get up. With a satisfied smirk, the grey-and-white tossed her head like a horse.
" I always hunt where I want."
Then she noticed Foxfoot.
" Who are you?" they asked at the same time.
" I'm Silverbird-"
They answered at the same time, then burst into embarrassed purrs.
"Sorry!" Foxfoot and Silverbird said again in unison. Then Silverbird's eyes narrowed.
" Are you going to stop me?"
" I don't think so," Foxfoot gave her an amused look. Then, he began to pad away into the trees. Turning back over his shoulder, he called out to her again. " But leave before I have to."
" Okay," Silverbird vanished into the shadows. Foxfoot had the strange urge to go after her.
But I've got this feeling that I'll see her again.
Chapter 2- Sparrowpool. (Skye)
Sparrowpool's ears pricked. Her eyes scanned the clearing. A leaf rustled. She got down into a hunting crouch.
The leaves rustled again, and a tiny pink nose popped out, followed by a head and a body. Sparrowpool suppressed a purr.
Her tail flicked and she crept forward. One paw, then the next. The mouse flinched. Sparrowpool's body tensed. But the mouse didn't notice her and carried on.
She continued to stalk it. She was millimeters away. Her claws unsheathed. She prepared to jump...
The mouse squealed and shot behind a tree.
"Fox dung!" Sparrowpool cursed. She turned round to see who had disturbed her prey.
She caught a flash of white and grey.
Silverbird catapulted into the clearing, screeching to a halt in front of Sparrowpool.
Sparrowpool growled, "What do you thing you're doing? I was about to catch a mouse then!"
Silverbird stuck her nose defiantly in the air, "There's no need to worry you know. It's green-leaf." she looked at Sparrowpool, "You'll be able to catch more."
Sparrowpool snorted, "Not after you I won't!"
Silverbird pulled a face and started to groom her bedraggled fur. She mewled in disgust as she pried a pine leaf from her pelt. She flung it on the ground and continued licking her long fur.
Sparrowpool blinked at the pine leaf. It didn't disappear. She looked at Silverbird, grooming herself vigorously.
But pine leaves come from ShadowClan!
The long furred she-cat paused, "Hmm?"
Sparrowpool coughed, "Why were you running? Was it because there was some danger near the borders?"
Silverbird blushed, "No... no danger near the borders."
"Oh," Sparrowpool mewed, "I just wondered why you felt the need to go into ShadowClan territory!" she hissed menacingly at Silverbird.
Silverbird unsheathed her claws, "I can do what I want!"
"You're shaming ThunderClan. You're shaming yourself."
"I'm not stupid," Silverbird growled, "Of course I've considered those things." she flicked her tail arrogantly, "I don't care!"
Sparrowpool straightened, "Alright then, break the warrior code as much as you like. Just don't expect to see me in StarClan!"
Silverbird sneered at her and bounded of to the camp.
Sparrowpool sighed. Why did her friend always have to break the rules? She decided to take a walk round RiverClan border. The water calmed her.
Foxfoot stirred in his nest. He opened his eyes and yawned. The sleeping forms of his Clanmates were barely visible in the dark light. An owl hooted somewhere in the distance. Foxfoot closed his eyes and felt his thoughts return to the beautiful she-cat, Silverbird. Her eyes were the most stunning shade of green I've ever seen. Her fur was so wonderful in the soft sunlight.. Foxfoot sighed. He would probably never see her again. Suddenly, he shot upright in his nest. Tomorrow was the Gathering! Excitement churned in his belly. He'd see Silverbird there!
" Foxfoot?" a soft whisper came from across the den. He turned his head and spotted Rainblossom watching him. " Is something wrong?"
" No, nothing at all." Foxfoot said brusquely, eager to return to thoughts of Silverbird. Rainblossom huffed and he heard moss crackling as she settled back down. I have to do well tomorrow! I have to be chosen for the Gathering.
The next morning, Foxfoot was up early. He looked out at the golden sky. It was the crack of dawn. He turned and saw the outlines of warriors still sleeping. He turned to wake up Rainblossom, but found her already awake and grooming herself. She surveyed him out of approving dark eyes.
" Why are you up early?" he complained playfully. Rainblossom rolled her eyes.
" I'm just amazing that way, aren't I? Let's go get Whitepaw and Mudpaw," she meowed, getting out of her nest and arching her back in a stretch. Foxfoot flicked his tail and padded out of the entrance. The grass was still wet with dew beneath his paws. Rainblossom skipped across the clearing and poked her head under the yew bush that made the apprentices den. Foxfoot joined her and he nipped Whitepaw's shoulder gently. The snowy-white tom blinked sleepily. He saw Foxfoot and groaned.
" Training already?"
" Yes! Come on, up, up, up," Foxfoot nudged him.
" Fine," Whitepaw growled and stumbled to his paws. " What're we doing today?" Foxfoot looked to Rainblossom. The slender she-caat shrugged. Her dark eyes twinkles.
" Good question. What are we doing today, Foxfoot?" she meowed. Foxfoot puffed out his chest with authority.
" Let's do some hunting practice, okay? We'll start off with a race, to see who catches the most prey before sun high." Whitepaw and Mudpaw let out whoops of excitement and dashed for the entrance. Rainblossom watchedd them go, a purr rumbling in her throat. Foxfoot felt a little guilty about wanting to meet Silverbird, but he didn't say anything. Rainblossom got to her paws and began to head out of the entrance.
" Let's go watch them," she suggested. Foxfoot darted after her.
The pale pink dawn sky was above their heads as they exited camp. The dew was rapidly evaporating from the grass. The marshes were silent, but the cool morning air still hung in clouds around Foxfoot's head. A robin sang tentatively from a tree, only to be drowned out by the flapping of wings as a flock passed overhead. Rainblossom tipped her head back to watch them, allowing herself a brief moment of sentiment. " Sometimes I wonder what it's like to fly," she whispered. Foxfoot watched the birds streak across the horizon, cawing and turning in lazy loops. I'd be free, he realized. Suddenly, Rainblossom let out a screech. He whirled around and saw her paws stuck in thick mud. Foxfoot's eyes widened in horror. Quicksand! The mud was alive, gurgling and clawing at her legs, trying to drag her down. Rainblossom scrabbled frantically at the ground as it dragged her in. Grass tore beneath her claw. The dirt crumbled. It seemed like the world was giving up on her. Foxfoot was frozen in horror. He could only watch, helpless, as the mud pulled the grey cat closer and closer...
" Help me!" her frightened cry jolted Foxfoot to his senses. He lunged forwards and threw his paws around her shoulders. Fastening his teeth into her scruff, he hauled her upwards. Rainblossom snarled and bucked like a rabbit, trying to free herself from the mud.
" Relax!" Foxfoot was shocked at how calm his voice was. " I'll get you out." He saw the conviction in her eyes, the belief he would save her. So she obligingly went limp, but her flank still trembled. Foxfoot dug his claws into the reeds near the quicksand and pulled. His muscles screamed in protest, but he kept hauling. At last, Rainblossom burst free and tumbled to the ground alongside him. Both cats panted heavily, eyes next to each other's. Foxfoot stared deep into the dark blue depths of her eyes and saw something new there... respect? But it was more than respect. It was...
" Thank you," Rainblossom whispered, voice quavering. Foxfoot heaved himself up and gently nudged her to her paws. Rainblossom leaned on him for a moment, then got her grip and began to walk slowly, legs shaking. She turned back to look at him, her eyes like shining pebbles in the sunlight. " I'll tell Oakstar about you, Foxfoot," she murmured. " He's wrong. You are worthy to be a warrior. You are brave."
Foxfoot was ecstatic. He'd been chosen to go to the Gathering. Oakstar had called him a hero, and Mousefang had never looked so proud of him. His Clanmates were now heading for Fourtreees. Foxfoot felt each paw step carry happiness, and guilt. I'm going to meet with a ThunderClan she-cat, he thought to himself. I feel like I'm betraying them. To keep himself distracted, he focused on the looming shadow of Fourtrees. Even though he'd been to countless Gatherings since being a kit, the great oaks never failed to impress him. They seem to touch the clouds. Foxfoot and his Clanmates bounded down to the clearing. He could already smell the reeks of Wind and RiverClan, but no ThunderClan. Foxfoot growled in frustration. Not wanting to be drawn into by any of his Clanmates, especially Rainblossom, he ducked underneath a large fern and watched the horizon.
" ThunderClan!" a small RiverClan tom called out. Foxfoot snapped his head around and gazed at the torrent of cats thundering down into Fourtrees. There were so many, yet she stood out like a shining ember. Silver-and-white fur swept back in the wind, blue eyes narrowed and sparkling. Silver-bird. He mouthed each part of her name as though it were the sweetest thing he'd ever tasted. The ThunderClan leader, a small brown tom called Shortstar, jumped up to join the leaders on the Great Rock. His deputy followed, but Foxfoot only had eyes for Silverbird. She was sitting next to a light grey with white patches.
" Psst," Foxfoot whispered, though he was sure she couldn't hear. But, she did. Silverbird turned around, her eyes lighting up when she saw him. The grey cat followed her stare, then curled her lip and stalked away. Silverbird flicked her tail and rolled her eyes in an elegant fashion. Foxfoot's pulsed raced as she neared. Her beautiful, silky fur glowed in the moonlight. Her sweet scent threatened to overwhelm him as she settled down next to him.
" Thanks for letting me go," she said, but her tone was teasing. Foxfoot shrugged.
" You would've gotten away anyways, without me," he replied. Silverbird smirked and tossed her head.
" Of course. Someone who understands." she shifted so her pelt brushed his. " I hate rules. The warrior code... pshh! Don't kill cats, don't do this, can't do that, blah, blah, blah!" she scoured deep marks in the earth with her claws. Foxfoot remembered what Rainblossom had said earlier about birds.
" Do you wish you could fly?" he whispered. Silverbird looked at him in surprise. Then she shrugged.
" If I could get away from all this, yes. Fly away, leaving all the rules behind," her voice trailed into a wishful sigh. Foxfoot nodded. The leaders had begun to talk, but Foxfoot only had eyes for Silverbird. He only had ears to for her. They ignored the cats that had begun to mingle about them. Silverbird talked of her longing for freedom, of her ambitions to become a leader who would change the code. Foxfoot listened, each word like birdsong to him. Voices hushed, carrying on the wind, they spoke until the Gathering was over.
" Silverbird!" the grey cat from earlier darted up to them. Her eyes were wide with annoyance. " We have to go now!"
" Coming, Sparrowpool. Just give me a second," Silverbird rolled her eyes. Foxfoot spotted Oakstar assembling his own Clanmates. As Sparrowpool began to march away, Foxfoot got up and began to head towards his Clan. He felt a gentle tug on his tail, and saw Silverbird had wrapped her own around it.
" I have to go!" he said urgently. Silverbird let his tail go, but drew in and pressed her muzzle close to his ear.
" Meet me here, tomorrow night," she ordered and bounded away.
Heart singing, Foxfoot darted away, vowing silently to return.
Chapter 4 - Sparrowpool (Skye)
Sparrowpool marched through the forest, her gaze switching from the edge of four-trees to Silverbird. She was trotting a few rabbit lengths in front of Sparrowpool, a mischievous glint in her eye.
Shortstar yowled from the front of the patrol. Sparrowpool quickened her pace, matching it with Slverbird's.
Silverbird tossed her head to one side and snorted. Sparrowpool sighed, she was only trying to help.
And I will!
"You were talking to that ShadowClan tom at the gathering." Sparrowpool mewed quietly.
Silverbird sniffed but didn't reply.
"Why do you have to be so stubborn?!" the words were out of Sparrowpool's mouth before she knew what was happening.
Silverbird glared at Sparrowpool, "Why do you have to shove your nose into my own business?" she seethed.
"You knew that tom didn't you?"
"So what if I did? At least he understands me! He knows that I'm not doing anything wrong. Why can't you understand?" Silverbird raged, "You're supposed to be my sister!"
"Sometimes I think we got mixed at birth. We're silver and white and that's all that distinguishes us for sisters." Sparrowpool was close to tears.
"You know what? I hope there was a mistake. I would feel shamed to be related to some sort of fox-dung like you!" Silverbird spat, and she rushed at to the front of the patrol.
The sound of a rushing river filled Sparrowpool's ears. She sighed happily. Sometimes she wished she was in RiverClan. The sound of calming water... Glossier fur... No Silverbird!
She scouted the border, the fresh aroma of fish seeping through the trees.
The river rushed down the slope. Crashing over the barriers and spattering onto the ground below.
A drop of water landed on Sparrowpool's paw. She shook it of lazily and curled her tail round her front paws. She gazed into the sky. Birds were swooping in circles, cawing. Their wings flapped effortlessly as they flew through the trees and over the river.
What must it be like to fly? she thought. It must feel free. Feel the wind through her fur. Free of all the problems she was caught up in at the moment. No more Silverbird battling to break the warrior code.
"What do you think your doing?"
Sparrowpool jumped back in surprise. A tom was standing on the other side of the river. His face was curled into a sneer and his muscles were taut beneath his fur.
"I said, what do you think your doing?!" the tom snarled.
Sparrowpool scanned the border. She still hadn't passed it. "I'm still on my side of the border you know." she mewed, with a hint of distaste.
"I never suggested you crossed the border, I just wondered what you were doing." the tom smiled. "I'm Wolfheart."
Sparrowpool relaxed, "I'm Sparrowpool."
She looked closely at the tom. He was dark grey, almost black but his eyes were the most brilliant bright green she had ever seen. He jumped flawlessly over the river and approached her. Sparrowpool also noticed he had a white paw on his left hind leg.
Wolfheart stared at her, as if taking her all in. Sparrowpool blushed. The tom was handsome. She couldn't understand why he was looking at a boring she-cat like her .
"Why are you looking at me?" she mewed hesitantly.
"Because I understand you." Wolfheart mewed, "You always come here to clear your head don't you?"
Sparrowpool nodded, astounded.
He smiled again, "The same as me. We could be friends."
"Friends?" Sparrowpool couldn't believe what was happening to her.
"Yeah, but I better be getting back to my camp now."
"Wait!" Sparrowpool was desperate not for the tom to leave. "We could meet somewhere!"
Wolfheart brightened, "Yeah!" he thought for a moment. "At four-trees, tonight!"
Sparrowpool nodded and bounded of to camp feeling happy and lighter. But inside was the deep dark feeling of being a hypocrite.
Chapter 5- Foxfoot (Blazey)
Meet me here, tomorrow night, Silverbird's meow rang in Foxfoot's ears. He padded silently through the forest, enjoying the sunlight bathing his fur. Make that today night. A thrill ran through him.
" Foxfoot? Rainblossom says its time for training," Whitepaw appeared from behind a holly bush. His green eyes sparkled with mischief. Foxfoot's heart sank.
" Great," he grumbled and set off behind the frisking apprentice. Whitepaw's white pelt was clearly visible in the thick ferns. Foxfoot brushed them aside, the sounds of Rainblossom's voice echoing to his ears.
" ... so when you crouch, Mudpaw, you don't pound your hindpaws against the ground in excitement. That chases away all the prey and alerts the enemy- oh, hello Foxfoot," Rainblososm looked up as he entered the marshy area they were training in. Her dark eyes rested briefly on him before turning to Whitepaw. " What was he doing?"
" Daydreaming," the apprentice sniggered. Foxfoot rolled his eyes at the apprentice. He swept away some pine needles with his tail to clear a space for sitting.
" So, what are we doing?" Foxfoot tried to change the subject. Rainblossom shrugged.
" We were waiting for you to tell us that."
" Really?" Foxfoot said, surprised. Rainblossom's dark eyes glowed.
" Yes, Foxfoot. Why shouldn't you?"
"Oh," Foxfoot fumbled. He glared at Whitepaw and Mudpaw as the two apprentice exchanged odd glance. He observed their surroundings, a lump of dry ground floating on the sticky mud of a marsh." We could practice testing the ground for quicksand? Becau-" Foxfoot stopped as he saw Rainblossom's eyes flash. She nearly died yesterday in quicksand. Does she think I called her stupid? " Not that you're stupid or anything-"
" Who said I was stupid, mousehead? Come on, Mudpaw. Let's see if you can get a better crouch that Whitepaw," the grey she-cat ordered and turned her back on Foxfoot. He sighed and absently picked at a beetle roaming around the grass stems. It doesn't matter. You're meeting Silverbird! Immediatly, all thoughts of Rainblossom were banished from his mind. All places exept for one. It was a nagging conscience that said:
Why were there any thoughts about her in the first place?
Foxfoot's paws were trembling with excitment as he crept down to Fourtrees. The tall oaks stood gracefully, the moon looming at their backs. As Foxfoot bounded down into the clearing, he spotted a light grey shape streaking across the space. Silverbird's name welled up in his throat, but before he could call out, another shape bounded out of the bracken to meet her. The black shape twined with the silver one, and then both shapes fell to the ground play fighting.
Foxfoot felt a sharp jab in the throat as if some cat had poked him. His stomach turned and anger rushed up to his skull. Silverbird is cheating on me!
" Foxfoot!" a happy purr rose from behind him. He turned and saw Silverbird watching him, her green eyes sparkling in the moonlight. Confusion battled with rage inside of him.
" Silverbird?" he gasped. The she-cat stepped closer, her long silky fur sparkling and her eyes sparkling like stars. Her sweet scent washed over him. She stretched out her tail to twine it with his, but he stepped back.
" Oh, are you going to go all 'Warrior Code' on me?" the she-cat growled.
" No!" Foxfoot cried. " It's just, you're over...there." He nodded his head at the two shapes in the clearing below. Silverbird's green eyes narrowed. She barged past him, snorting
" Of course I'm not over there! What do you mean by-" she stopped dead in her tracks. The green eyes blazed with a new fire as she fixed her gaze on the she-cat and tom below. Foxfoot came to her side, but she was already hurtling down towards them, screeching out " Sparrowpool!" Sparrowpool! Of course, they were sisters! Numb with shock, Foxfoot followed in Silverbird's wake. The two grey cats were facing each other, lips curled in disgust.
" You filthy hypocrite!" Silverbird yowled. Sparrowpool flattened her ears and hissed defensively.
" I'm no hypocrite! Wolfheart and I are just friends! And if you can be all high and mighty, breaking the Warrior Code, then so can I!" Sparrowpool hissed. Wolfheart, who must have been the black tom, lashed his tail. His green eyes were sparking dangerously.
" Oh really? You have the honour of a vixen!"
" And you might as well be a slimy snake!"
" You're a vixen, taking up with this toad!" Silverbird screeched. A low growl rumbled in Sparrowpool and Wolfheart's throats.
" Stop insulting her!" Wolfheart snarled and launched himself at the she-cat. In a flash, Foxfoot leapt for him. He pinned the hefty tom down with his footpaw. Meanwhile, Silverbird and Sparrowpool had begun grappling on the ground. The shock of their encounter had begun to wear off, and Foxfoot realized how silly they were being. He let go of Wolfheart and seperated the fighting she-cats. Silverbird and Sparrowpool glared hostily at each other over Foxfoot's shoulder.
" Stop fighting and listen to me," Foxfoot said " Sparrowpool, we won't tell on you and Wolfheart if you don't tell on us. Deal?" Silverbird panted heavily, her eyes narrowed to slits. Sparrowpool exchanged a swift glance with Wolfheart.
" D-deal," she stammered. Foxfoot nodded and stepped aside.
" We'll leave you, then," he nodded coolly to both cats. Silverbird huffed and whipped past him, her tail stinging his nostril. Foxfoot hurried after her. Silverbird was waiting where he had met her, pacing furiously. Her features were sharp in anger. She looked up when she saw him and her expression softened.
" Can you believe her nerve? Telling me ' don't break the Warrior Code. Blah, blah, blah' and doing it behnd my back all the time!" Silverbird ranted. " I hate the Warrior Code! I hate my sister! Hate it, hate it, hate it!" Silverbird ground her clawas into the ground. Foxfoot sympathized with her, though he felt she was overreacting. Trying to get her mind off of pulverizing Sparrowpool, he sat down and invited her to sit beside him.
" We can find a way to work around it, " he suggested. Silverbird cocked her head to one side thoughtfully.
" The code says that cats from different Clans can't be mates with each other..." her eyes brightened and she shot up " That's it!"
" That's what?" Foxfoot said warily. Silverbird purred and wound herself around him, brushing her tail teasingly over his muzzle.
" You'll join my Clan!" she announced. Foxfoot felt cold water wash over him.
" You'll join ThunderClan," she repeated, fixing him with her brilliant gaze. Foxfoot had never heard something more outrageous, but it slowly began to make sense. His heart began to race. I could be with Silverbird! I could get away from my Clanmates, who think I'm useless... Foxfoot let out a purr.
" You're right! It could work..." his voice died away as he pictured a dark grey she-cat with blue eyes.
" Then will you join?" Silverbird wrapped her tail around his. " Meeting in secret is pretty thrilling, but it would be so much better in my Clan!" Foxfoot felt her tongue rasp across his fur. Enjoying the soothing sensation, he closed his eyes and murmured
" I will join, but not now. Maybe later?"
" Of course," Silverbird stopped her washing and looked at him tauntingly. " Bet you can't catch me!"
" Bet I can!" Foxfoot growled mockingly and raced after her vanishing tail-tip.
Unbeknownst to Foxfoot, far away from Fourtrees, a group of badgers were preparing to attack the ShadowClan camp.
Chapter 6 - Sparrowpool (Skye)
Sparrowpool yawned groggily and sat up. She scanned the camp for Silverbird, then saw her sister snoozing at the far side of the den.
Sparrowpool sighed in relief, but her stomach was full of butterflies. Today she was making a choice that would change her life in many ways.
She was going to join RiverClan.
It all made perfect sense! She loved Wolfheart and she was pretty sure he felt the same way about her. She had decided to join his Clan so she didn't have feel torn between him and the warrior code. That way, she could be loyal again.
She padded into the clearing, looking from side to side.
She whipped her head around to see Breezeheart staring at her. She gulped, "Ugh, hey Breezeheat."
The grey tom padded over to her, "What are you doing?" he queried.
"Just going for a walk." she mewed uncertainly, edging away slowly.
Breezeheart looked unconvinced, "Oh, well. I suppose you won't mind if I go with you then." he smiled.
Sparrowpool shook her head desperately, "No, Breezeheart. Go back to the den." she meowed.
"Why?" Breezeheart challenged her. He stared at her defiantly, but somehow Sparrowpool didn't feel scared.
"You may never see me again." Sparrowpool mewed simply before turning away.
"Wait! What does that mean!?" Breezeheart called.
Sparrowpool allowed herself one look back and saw Breezeheart staring at her. He looked mournful, but Sparrowpool barely noticed.
She thundered out the camp and through the forest until she heard rushing water. She halted by the lake, took a deep breath, then leaped across it.
Sparrowpool marched determinedly into the middle of RiverClan camp. Cats were peering curiously out of dens. Some warriors stared at her, their gazes filled with hostility.
"What do you want?" a muscular brown tom spat.
"I wish to see Rosestar." Sparrowpool mewed. Her voice shook.
"Did someone say they wanted to speak to me?" a cream colored she-cat emerged from behind a giant rock.
Sparrowpool looked at her, suddenly scared, "Y-yes." she mewed.
"Sparrowpool?" Wolfheart pushed his way through the crowd, "Sparrowpool! What are you doing here?"
Sparrowpool through him a look.
"What brings you here?" Rosestar snapped.
"I wish to join RiverClan."
A few cats sniggered. Rosestar didn't look impressed. "Why should we let you join? For all we know, ThunderClan may have sent you here to spy."
Sparrowpool shook her head, "No. I just feel that ThunderClan isn't the right place for me." she mewed.
Rosestar considered for a moment, "Okay," she mewed, "But you shall have to pass all our tests."
Sparrowpool gulped. She didn't like the sound of tests.
Chapter 7- Foxfoot ( Blazey)
Rainblossom flattened her ears to block out the sound of rain pounding on the den roof. Cats tossed and turned restlessly around her, murmuring in their sleep. She shivered as a gust of wind blew and chilled her to the bone. I hope the kits are okay in this, she thought to herself. But no doubt Sageheart's with them. And Sweetbreeze's litter are tough things. I hope to mentor one, especially Wildkit, when they reach six moons. The dark grey cat rested her head on her paws as she mused.
" Mouse!" Rainblossom's head shot up as a warrior cried out in his sleep. She shook her head and sighed. I don't know why I feel so jittery. Foxfoot's supposed to be on guard, he's a good warrior. Some don't think so, but he has it in him. She pictured the orange tom's cocky face and felt a purr rise in her throat. He'd been her friend since kithood... and maybe, something more than that. Still, something's wrong. I'd better go check on Foxfoot. Rainblossom stood up in her nest and shook out her fur. Yawning, she stepped between nests and burst out into the cold world outside
" C-c-old..." her teeth chattered as the rain and wind lashed down on her back. Within moment, she was soaked. Rainblossom dashed towards the entrance. " Fox-f-foot? F-foxfoot?" No reply. Feeling worried now, Rainblossom peered into the gloom. A pair of beady eyes met her stare. That's not Foxfoot! Rainblossom began to take steps backwards. " Foxfoot?" a low snarl greeted her words. Realization dawned upon Rainblossom like a slap in the face. She whirled around and raced towards camp.
" Badgers! Everycat awake! Badgers!"
Foxfoot raced through the forest as the rain came pouring down in torrents. He was still mulling over Silverbird's proposel to join ThunderClan. It could work. None of them would miss me; they all think I'm useless. Foxfoot halted in front of the path that led to camp. He sniffed. Something wasn't right. It smells rancid, like...
" Everycat awake! Badgers!" someone yowled. Foxfoot felt the blood in his veins turn to ice. Badgers. No. Oh, no. Foxfoot yowled and burst into camp.
Warriors exploded from their dens, snarling and roaring. Like striped ghosts, the badgers thundered through the entrance into camp. Foxfoot was supposed to be on guard duty. Did the badgers kill him? Rainblossom's heart numbed at the thought.
" ShadowClaaaaan!" she cried and flung herself at a big male one. He was tearing at the warriors den, trying to get past the brambles and at the cats inside. He reared up as Rainblossom's claws pierced his skin. She gasped as her world rushed past her and she hit the floor. Pain jolted up through her spine.
" Off my warriors!" a cat hissed and brown fur flashed past her in the rain. Oakstar!
" Sweetbreeze!" Mousefang's cry pierced the air. Sweetbreeze! My sister! Rainblossom streaked off in the direction Mousefang was calling. The rain was blinding her vision. She couldn't see the badgers, she could only hear rough growls and angry shrieks. Soon, the familiar scent of her sister was near. Rainblossom squinted through the rain, seeing a badger rear up near the nursery, about to bring it down with its paws. Before Rainblossom could leap, Mousefang hurled himself in the badger's path.
" Mousefang! Stop!" Sweetbreeze sobbed. The badger swiped at Mousefang and hurled him aside like a bundle of moss. Rainblossom's mind went blank. Mousefang. It killed my sister's mate. Then Rainblossom screeched out her battle cry and fung herself at the creature's face.
" ShadowClaaaaan!" she wailed. In the torrent, she could only see the striped fur. She swiped out blindly with her paws, and was rewarded with a massive roar. Blood, horrible warm and sticky, washed over her paws. Rainblossom looked up and met the creature's eyes. The yellow brightness began to dull. Cold understanding swept over her. I killed it. The badger moaned one last time and thumped to the ground.
" Why? Why?" Sweetbreeze sobbed. The silver tabby rushed to her mate's body and cradled it, stroking her tail across it's flank. Rainblossom forced her trembling legs to move. She curled her bloodsoaked tail around her sister and pressed against the matted fur.
" I killed it. You're safe," she choked.
" You were too late!" Sweetbreeze wailed, and suddenly whirled around and scratched Rainblossom's nose. The dark grey cat reeled back, confusion battling with pain. " Mousefang is dead, do you not understand?"
" I understand," Rainblossom whimpered, almost feeling her sister's grief and agony flowing over her in waves.
" No, you don't! You have never loved. You just want to be a warrior, Rainblossom! Mother was right when she said you would never find love, for your heart was to shielded by a warrior's promises."
" You are saying I cannot love?" Rainblossom howled and struck back at her sister. Sweetbreeze retailated with a swift kick. " I saved your life! And I-I..." Rainblossom trailed off. Sweetbreeze's eyes glowed with anger and she raked her claws across Rainblossom's ears.
" Rainblossom, stop! You do not understand. Life is not the most important thing on earth, do you hear me? I would have rather died then lived without Mousefang!" the grief-stricken she-cat swiped at Rainblossom again. Wracked with pain and shock, Rainblossom allowed the claws to connect with her fur. Blood trickled from where the claws had barely missed her neck. Panting and sobbing, Sweetbreeze halted and stared at Rainblossom with wide eyes.
" I hope you are satisfied," Rainblossom growled, voice dripping with bitterness and hurt. " If you think I cannot love, if you think that I risk my life for my Clan for fun, if you think that my care for you was nothing..." Rainblossom paused, fighting down the roaring anger inside of her. "... then never, ever, speak to me again." Rainblossom turned tail and raced away back into the fight, body nerveless with the pain her sister had inflicted with her words.
When Foxfoot arrived, he hurled himself at a badger trying to snap at Rowanflight and Swiftstep. The two she-cats joined him in driving the male back to the exit. Suddenly, a roar sounded from the clearing. Rowanflight abandoned the fight and raced to see what is was. She ran back, eyes bright.
" Someone killed a badger!" she cried. Foxfoot gave the big male one last swipe and joined her. The shower was beginning to dwindle, and he could make out four hulking shapes. They crowded around a limp mound of fur, moaning. Then, one by one they turned and barged through the camp barries. The last badger grabbed the dead ones neck and began to haul the corpse away. The bramble barrier splintered and shattered as the heavy corpse was dragged through it.
Silence reigned in camp.
Then, Oakstar stepped forwards. His front claws had been ripped out, and his green eyes were blazing with rage.
" Who. Was on. Guard. Duty?" he thundered. Cats muttered amongst themselves. It wasn't... oh no. Foxfoot cringed. It was me!
" Foxfoot!" a harsh voice growled. " He was on guard duty! He brought this upon us!" Foxfoot saw the speaker and gasped. It was Rainblossom! Her fur was saturated in rain and blood, and her eyes were hollow and pained. All the warriors turned to stare at him, eyes wide in disbelief. Foxfoot felt his stomach churn. Betrayal and fury welled up inside of him as he met the stare of the cat he thought was his best friend.
" Rainblossom, count the dead," he ordered, voice taunt with anger. Foxfoot closed his eyes to avoid being consumed in Oakstar's raging stare. This was all my fault!
" Six dead, Oakstar," Rainblossom said unemotionally.
" Names?" Oakstar growled.
" M-mousefang, Mudpaw, Frogheart, Dewfall, Whitepaw and Snowstrike," Rainblossom's voice quivered. Whitepaw! Foxfoot's breath caught in his throat. A million words and images rushed into his head of the lively apprentice, the cat he had never appreciated. Foxfoot's limbs shook and he sank to the ground. Oakstar's flanks heaved and his eyes blazed even fiercer.
" Mudpaw. M-my son," Oakstar whispered, trembling visibly. " My son has been murdered! My son is dead!"
" I-I..." Foxfoot croaked, feeling pain too great to live with. Oakstar tipped back his head and howled.
" You are the cause of the death of my son!" the leader raged. " Why weren't you on guard duty? Where were you? Why did you let this happen?" Rainblossom gently pushed past the leader and crouched in front of Foxfoot. He met her once beautiful stare, which was now marred by sorrow.
" Mousefang was my sister's mate. Dewfall was my father. Snowstrike was a friend I fought alongside with. Frogheart was a warrior who trained me in the ways of a warrior. They are all gone. And do you know why?" she growled. Foxfoot's head swayed side to side, flattening his ears to block out the sound...
" Because of you!" she hissed. " I am not Oakstar, but I can order you to do one thing. Get out of my sight, and never return!"
Foxfoot could not bear to look at hear. Stumbling, mind dead, he hobbled to the entrance. Mournful howls sounded in his trail, and Foxfoot was fighting to be free of them. He crashed through the marshes, aiming for his only hope. Silverbird and ThunderClan.
Chapter 8 - Sparrowpool (Skye)
Sparrowpool sighed, resting her head on her paws. The birds cawed. She watched as they swooped about in circles, almost hypnotising her.
Wolfheart approached her, his face serious. "I know you're worried about this test thing, but there's no need."
Sparrowpool sniffed, "No need? Really?"
Wolfheart nodded, "All it'll be is catching some fish and swimming. All RiverClan stuff."
"Yeah, but I'm no good at RiverClan stuff!" Sparrowpool retorted angrily.
Wolfheart looked taken aback, flattening his ears.
Sparrowpool looked shamefully at the ground, "I didn't mean that." She mewed sorrowfully.
She felt Wolfheart's tongue rasp over her ear and suppressed a purr.
"I knew you didn't." He mewed, "I'm sorry, I should've have understood. I'll teach you how to swim and catch fish."
Sparrowpool looked him in the eyes, "Oh yeah?" she mewed, "There's no way anyone will be able to teach me to be a RiverClan cat."
Wolfheart's eyes glittered, "Well, you're gonna be a RiverClan cat soon." He teased playfully.
"I won't be a RiverClan cat if I fail these stupid tests." Sparrowpool mumbled.
Wolfheart sighed, "Stop being so grumpy. If you're scared you're gonna fail these tests, then do something about it."
"I'll teach you mouse-brain."
Sparrowpool looked unconvinced, but got up all the same. Wolfheart brightened and flicked his tail happily. He gestured to her and then turned to race away towards the river.
Reluctantly, she followed him, skidding to a halt at the riverbank.
"Now," Wolfheart mewed, "Focus on were the sun is. You don't want your shadow to cast onto the lake. If it does, the fish will know something's up and swim away."
Sparrowpool looked up. The sun blared into her eyes, making them water. She blinked then shifted her position. Her shadow fell onto the grass.
Wolfheart nodded approvingly, "Good. Now crouch down and keep your eyes on the river"
Sparrowpool got in to a hunting crouch and focused on the water. Wolfheart moved back so she got a clear view.
"You need patience," he whispered into her ear, "Wait until you hear a splashing sound. When you do, swipe your paw into the river and hook the fish onto your claws." He instructed.
After a while, there was a faint splash. Sparrowpool strained her ears. It sounded again.
"Now's your chance." Wolfheart mewed, "Get it!"
Sparrowpool's paw shot into the water, claws unsheathed. She flung the fish into the air. It landed with a slap on the riverbed and flapped around, desperate to get back into the water. She killed it with a swift bite.
Wolfheart nodded approvingly, "Good job." He meowed, "You're gonna pass these tests easily."
Sparrowpool bit her lip. She didn't think so.
Chapter 9- Foxfoot (Blazey)
Foxfoot stumbled through the shrubbery, halting when the acrid scent of the Thunderpath hit his nostrils. The rain gradually began to receded, until it was only a soft drizzle. Pale dawn light was smeared across the horizon. Foxfoot shuddered. I was responsible. I cause all those deaths! Something jabbed at his belly as he thought of Rainblossom. Quickly, Foxfoot pushed the though away.
All I have to do now is find Silverbird.
Flattening his ears, Foxfoot raced across the Thunderpath. Heart pounding, he slunk into the bushes on the other side. Voices sounded from behind the trees. Foxfoot shrank back, hoping it wasn't the wrong cat that found him.
" Do any of you smell that?" a deep voice hissed.
" ShadowClan!" a higher voice yelped.
" It's coming from there," Silverbird. He recognized her voice. " I'll check it out."
" Okay. Come back to camp when you're done. I think Shortstar wants us to check that old badger set out."
" Yes, O mighty Breezeheart," Silverbird said mockingly. Foxfoot heard leaves crunch under her paws as she neared. He stretched his muzzle forwards, praying she wouldn't kick him out. " What are you doing here?" Silverbirdd hissed. She shoved her face into the bushes in front of him.
" Never mind that," Foxfoot said. He gently brushed her aside and emerged from the undergrowth. "I've come to join ThunderClan."
" Really?" Silverbird gasped, eyes lighting up. She purred and rubbed her cheek against his. " That's wonderful! You see... we've lost a warrior lately."
" Lost a warrior?" Foxfoot echoed, surprised. " What do you mean by that?"
" My sister," Silverbird spat, gaze clouding over. " She left. I think she went to RiverClan to that tom. Good riddance, I say." Foxfoot could see that she didn't really mean her tough words. Worry was shadowing her expression.
" Take me to Shortstar," he said, twining his tail with hers. " I want to ask her if I can stay."
Rainblossom let the water clear the dirt from her paws.
Her Clanmates had just buried the dead. Mousefang, Dewfall, Whitepaw, Mudpaw, Snowstrike, Frogheart... Rainblossom felt pain build up in her chest. And worst of all... Foxfoot. She had been so angry... she'd banished him... but why...
She sighed and withdrew her paws, wiping them on the grass. The small stream wound around the pine trunks and vanished underground. Suddenly, a sound came from the ferns to her right. It was like... sobbing. Rainblososm pricked her ears and approached the ferns, parted the stalks with her claws. It revealed the huddled shape of a light grey she-cat, heaving and sobbing.
" Sweetbreeze?" Rainblossom called softly.
" R-rainblossom?" the she-cat lifted her head, eyes clouded in anguish. They snapped with anger. " Go away."
" No," Rainblossom shot back, her old fury surging back. " You listen to me. Do you even care a foxdung's worth for me? No, sister. You're so selfish, wrapped up in our own grief, letting your kits cry without you, leaving your whole Clan worried about you. Do you know what I feel? Our father is dead. You don't bother to ask me how I'm dealing with that. My apprentice is dead. He was like a son to me. You're the selfish one. Not me."
Sweetbreeze stared at her, eyes blazing.
" My mate died. He was everything to me. My kits... they don't matter anymore. There's nothing worth living for. Mousefang is dead."
" And I don't matter?" Rainblossom cried, hurt. " I can't believe it! You just giving up on your kits like that!"
" You wouldn't understand," Sweetbreeze said boldly, but guilt was etched across her face. " You never-"
"-knew love," Rainblossom mocked. " Well, sister, let me tell you something. Our mother may have thought she was the wise one, but she wasn't. I didn't choose the nursery, like you, but a warrior can feel love. I loved our father, I loved-love- all my Clanmates."
" Psh!" Sweetbreeze spat. The she-cat rose to her feet, stepping forwards so her muzzle brushed Rainblossom's. " I mean the love a cat has for their mate. You will never feel that, and before you accuse me of not caring, feel that love and feel it wrenched from you. Feel it tear your soul apart!" her voice rose to a shrill squeak.
" I have felt it, sister," Rainblossom dropped her meow to an icy whisper. " I did love a cat as a mate. But I felt it worse than you. I loved a cat who didn't love me back." Ignoring her sister, Rainblossom raced away.
In the ThunderClan camp, Foxfoot stood nervously awaiting Shortstar's arrival. Silverbird stood to one side, feigning indifference, but occasionally shot him a warm look. Suddenly, the sedge rustled and Shortstar stepped in.
" So here is the ShadowClan cat," the brown tabby snarled and stalked towards him. " Well?"
" I-I want to join ThunderClan," Foxfoot stammered.
" ShadowClan's just not the place for me anymore," Foxfoot answered truthfully.
" I see. Well, we can't turn down an offer for a warrior, as Sparrowpool is missing. However..." he thrust his muzzle closer " I'll be putting you through a series of tests to see how you do. If you fail... back to ShadowClan for you."
" Okay," he chocked.
" Good," Shortstar meowed. " We'll start now."
Chapter 10 - Skye (Sparrowpool)
Sparrowpool choked for breath as the water threatened to swallow her up. Her paws churned in front of her as she made her way steadily across the river.
For her first test, she had been asked to catch fish. That had been pretty easy. After Wolfheart's help, she had got the knack. Even Rosestar looked impressed.
Second task was a little harder. Patrolling the river. It sounded easy, but she had had to swim across to the other side every two seconds, making her out of breath by the time it was over.
Third task was hard. Sparrowpool had to fight in water with opponents twice her side. Only her agility helped her win.
Fourth task was still in progress. Swimming the full length of the river then back again.
"RiverClan cats do it all the time." Rosestar had said. Sparrowpool knew she was lying.
But still, Sparrowpool was swimming as hard as she could across the river. After everything she had been through, she was not going back now.
"Sparrowpool! Sparrowpool!" Wolfheart called from the side of the river.
Sparrowpool smiled. Winning would definitely be worth it.
Paws aching, she allowed herself to stop for a moment to get her breath back. She could see Rosestar sitting sternly a few fox lengths away. Next to her was Wolfheart, still yowling for her to carry on.
Sparrowpool took a deep breath and swam forward again. They were so close! She could make it!
She let herself drift into a dream. Maybe if she thought long enough, and distracted her mind away from the race, she would be there in seconds...
Sparrowpool yowled in alarm. Her head had hit something in front of her. Then she realised, it was the riverbank!
A fierce determination overtook her, and she scrambled out of the river, her fur clinging to her skin.
Rosestar looked undeniably annoyed as she looked Sparrowpool up and down. She sighed, "I suppose you passed all of our tests." She mewed dryly.
Sparrowpool nodded eagerly.
"Then we welcome you as a full member of RiverClan."
Everyone cheered, Wolfheart loudest of them all. Sparrowpool shone with pride. Her home was with the one she loved. At last.
Everyone's gaze tuned back to Rosestar. She was staring, somewhat angrily, at Sparrowpool.
"There is one last condition." She mewed, her voice crisp and intense. "Sparrowpool, you are now a RiverClan cat,"
"Yes," Sparrowpool mewed shakily. There couldn't be more tests, could there?
"Your name still resembles that of a ThunderClan cat." Rosestar mewed through gritted teeth, "Yes, your home is now by the river, but everyone will know you as Sparrowpool of ThunderClan."
She leant close to Sparrowpool, her amber eyes shining, "The point is, your name needs to be changed."
Sparrowpool gasped. Changed? But that couldn't be!
"I can't!" she protested, "I can't! I'm Sparrowpool! I have always been Sparrowpool, right since when I was Sparrowkit! You can't change me now. This is who I am!"
"Yes, but you're not you anymore, are you?" Rosestar hissed. She straightened herself, "From this day on, you shall be known as Heartstorm. StarClan honours your strength and agility and we welcome you as a full member of RiverClan."
"Heartstorm, Heartstorm!" Everyone cheered.
Sparrowpool felt tears well up in her eyes.
She turned to see Wolfheart smiling at her. "Congrats"! He mewed.
Sparrowpool sniffed, "I'm not Heartstorm. I'm Sparrowpool, always have been, always will be."
Wolfheart frowned, "No, Sparrowpool was an annoying she-cat who always did what she was told. You are not her. You are Heartstorm, powerful warrior of RiverClan."
Sparrowpool stared at him, "But wasn't Sparrowpool the cat you fell in love with?"
"No, I fell in love with the cat inside. Heartstorm." He turned away.
Sparrowpool turned restlessly inside her moss bed. It must be nearly midnight.
A rustling sound caught her attention. She whipped her head around to see Wolfheart standing up and stretching.
"Wolfheart?" She mewed.
"Wolfheart?" she mewed again.
Wolfheart turned around. "Hearstorm, you must get some sleep. I'll see you in the morning." He quickly exited the den.
Sparrowpool cocked her head. No longer did she trust her "mate". She got up and went to follow him.
His scent trail took her deep to into the forest, until at last, it stopped at the side of the river. When the sound of approaching pawsteps echoed around the trees, she retreated into the shadows.
A brown she-cat appeared from out of the trees. Rosestar. Followed by Wolfheart.
"You did good," she mewed.
"She was easy." Shrugged Wolfheart, "Didn't I say I wouldn't let you down?"
Rosestar nodded, "Well, your next target is just up there." she mewed, flicking her tail up towards the border marker between RiverClan and ThunderClan. A she-cat was sat there, gazing at the stars.
Sparrowpool squinted at her. There was no mistaking who she was.
Chapter 11- Foxfoot (Blazey)
Rainblossom strode through the long grass, flicking her tail to signal to the patrol behind her.
Rowanflight, Swifstep, and Stormwind (who had been Stormpaw up until the badger attack) padded behind her. All four of them bore traces of the badger attack on their bodies. Rain blossom twisted her head to see the long pink scar that ran across her flank.
Sometimes I wonder if that scar is just on the outside.
She squeezed her eyes shut as memories of Sweetbreeze's anguished face filled her eyes. The angry words between the sisters made her stomach twist with revulsion and fury. She knew she should be sorry for her sister, but she couldn't be. Not after she said I couldn't love. What right does she have to tell me what I feel? The dark grey cat growled.
" Smelt something?" Rowanflight asked. Rainblossom lowered her fur and flicked her tail again to show that it was nothing. But is it nothing? Snarling, black-and-white faces loomed in her vision. She shivered.
" Hang on," Swiftstep meowed, lifting her head. " Is that badger?"
" Bader?" Stormwind growled, unsheathing his claws. His eyes were wild and haunted. Rainblossom knew why. His two training-mates died in that attack. Grief rose in her heart. Oh, Mudpaw. Why did you have to die? She sniffed the air, but found it old and stale.
" Old and stale," she confirmed. " Oakstar may want to know about this." She said it nonchalantly, but her heart was beating faster now. Rainblossom had smelt something else... something that was definitely not badger.
" Would he?" Rowan flight muttered darkly. " He doesn't seem very interested in Clan goings-on nowadays."
In a flash, Rainblossom had whirled around and fixed the she-cat with her most furious stare.
" He lost a son, for StarClan's sake!" she spat. " Show some understanding, and don't ever let me hear you disrespecting our leader again!" Rowanflight took a cautious step back.
" Alright, alright," she growled. Rainblossom sighed.
" Just get back to camp and tell him. There's something I need to check." Without waiting for an answer, she stalked away. The cats turned to stare at her but she ignored them, vanishing into the thick holly bushes. They scratched her legs but Rainblossom didn't care. She was intent on following the trail she had picked up, the trail of someone she knew.
Abruptly, she halted. The pine trees had thinned and become oaks. Rainblossom shrank back, tail-tip twitching warily. I'm near the border to ThunderClan. She was surprised he had come this far, and she highly doubted he would go onto enemy territory. So then where did he go?
" Smell that?" a deep, husky voice growled. Shortstar! Rainblossom was immediately alarmed. Why was the leader himself on patrol?
" Someone you know?" a silkier voice hissed. Rainblossom narrowed her eyes. She didn't seem to be talking to Shortstar. The cat murmured something unintelligible. This provoked a purr from the silky voice.
" Of course!" the other voice growled suddenly.
" Are you sure?" Shortstar's voice rang out again.
" Absolutely. I'm glad I left ShadowClan."
A million emotions suddenly clashed inside Rainblossom. Anger, betrayal, fury, pride, sorrow. She knew that voice, now. How could she not.
Foxfoot. He joined ThunderClan!
Foxfoot trotted nervously behind Shorstar, his heart beating. The trees in ThunderClan were so... different, but he didn't want to be anywhere else. As long as he was with Silverbird... he shot the beautiful cat an affectionate glance. When Shortstar looked away, she licked his cheek and briefly twined her tail with his.
They were on an assessment with Shorstar, so he could see how well Foxfoot would adapt to ThunderClan life. The leader halted so abruptly, Foxfoot had to leap back to avoid crashing into him.
" Fast reactions," the leader observed, sounding pleased. " Well, Foxfoot. How well can you hunt?"
" Fair-fairly well," he said, remembering Mousefang's disgusted look.
" Can you climb trees?"
" Never tried." His throat was dry.
" It's never too late to try," Shortstar said, suddenly. He gestured to an old birch tree with a gnarly trunk. " Why don't you try that one?"
" S-sure," Foxfoot replied, sheathing and unsheathing his claws. He was aware of Silverbird's luminous eyes fixed on him as he approached the trunk. Nervously, he reared up and jabbed his claws into the bark. He grunted with effort, pulling himself up and fixing his claws into gabs in the bark. Although he'd only climbed a bit, the ground seemed too far away. He closed his eyes. Think of Silverblossom. Wait, what? Silverbird. Not Silver-blossom.
Fox foot opened his eyes and looked up at the trunk. A calm feeling had settled over him. I think I can keep my grip by jabbing my claws into the gnarly-bits. Also, If I manage to get on the branches, I can get to the top easier. Pleased with his scheme, Foxfoot began to climb again. He soon reached the first branch, and hauled himself up. It didn't seem to take very long. Before he knew it, he was at the top.
" Not bad," Shortstar observed. " Silverbird, help him get down."
" I'd better, or he'll be stuck there all day," she purred. Foxfoot marveled at how quick she scampered up the trunk. Like a squirrel. Only, a thousand times prettier. Shielded by the leaves, she brushed her fur against his.
" Keep yourself sideways, or your weight away from the bottom. Otherwise, you might loose your balance and tumble down. Head first," she instructed. Foxfoot nodded dumbly, overcome by her scent. She guided his paws, teasing him the whole time. When his feet reached the bottom, he barely realized it. His eyes were fixed on her.
" Let's keep going," Shortstar announced, heading away. Silverbird shot him a teasing glance and trotted behind her leader, silver pelt vanishing into the shadows. Foxfoot jumped after her, surprised at how softly he moved. There are no pine needles on the ground. Only dead leaves... and those are a lot less painful to step on. But they make a greater noise. Shaking his head in wonder at his surroundings, Foxfoot kept on going after Shortstar.
An odd tingling began to rise in his pelt as they continued. It felt like a pull, some cat tugging halfheartedly on his belly fur. What is it? He sniffed, and could barely suppress a purr. It smelled so... good. It was the scent that brought back memories of his kithood, sweet memories, sad memories... It was the scent of the pines and ShadowClan. Foxfoot halted in horror.
Stop! You can't think about that anymore!
" Are-are we near the border?" he gulped, trying not to appear nervous.
" Yes." Shortstar's eyes narrowed. Taking a deep breath, Foxfoot sheathed his claws and adopted a non-caring look. " Smell that?" The smell of a ShadowClan cat hung in the air.
" Someone you know?" Silverbird purred silkily. Quietly, she meowed. " Check the border." She's testing my loyalty!
" Okay. I'll find the cat. Scratch them." Foxfoot winced. It made him sound like an oaf. To his surprise, Silverbird purred and wound herself around him. He shivered with pleasure. Shortstar narrowed his eyes at this affection, but didn't say anything.
" Are you sure you wouldn't mind seeing some old friends again?" Shortstar hissed.
" Of course!" Foxfoot growled.
" Absolutely! I'm glad I left ShadowClan!"
" Good," the leader said curtly, jerking his head towards the border. " Now go tell that cat to get away."
" Yes, Shortstar," he meowed, struggling to keep his fur flat. He purposely didn't try and sniff it closely, not wanting to identify the scent. The badger attack rushed back to him, burning shame and guilt washing over him and pounding in his ears. The dead leaves crunched under his paws as he neared the border. Thrusting his head over the foliage, he saw two pairs of bright eyes watching him.
He suddenly found it hard to breathe.
With a snarl, she leapt out of the bushes and crashed into him. Letting out a loud yelp, he fell back on the bush. The branches dug into his flank as Rainblossom heaved him away from it and flung him into the ground. Terrified, he stared up at her. Her eyes were wild and furious, fangs shining as she bared the over his face. " What are you doing?" he hissed, struggling to writhe free of her iron grasp. As apprentices, she had always been the better fighter, ready to help correct his technique. Now she was using her skill against him.
" You filthy traitor!" she gasped. " You left us... for ThunderClan?"
" You banished me!" he shot back. " Useless Foxfoot. Isn't it a relief not to have him around?" Bitterness and anger coated his words. Rainblossom snarled, looking twice as dangerous. But pain burned within her eyes, and everlasting ember.
" You think you were a burden to me?" she snarled, lashing her tail. All of a sudden, he felt her grip go slack. Fox foot was still wary. He lifted his head cautiously.
" Well, what was I to you?" he was afraid of the answer. Somehow, he knew it would hurt. Rainblossom opened her jaws to reply, but the scent of Silverbird and Shortstar made her freeze. Both cats erupted from the foliage, pelts bristling and lips curled back. Silverbird rushed to Foxfoot and nudged him to his feet, pressing herself against his side. Rainblossom stared straight at him, eyes widening. Anger began to rise in the dark depths, and her spine arched.
Too late, Foxfoot realized she was staring at Silverbird and him.
" Get off of our land, trespasser," Shortstar growled. Rainblossom didn't budge. Her eyes were fixed on Foxfoot. He could see the muscles on her legs contracting. While she was looking away, the ThunderClan leader took the oppurtunity to slam into her and throw her backwards. Taken by surprise, she fell flat against the ground. Shortstar bounded forwards, head butting her flank. She whimpered, and Foxfoot could see the wind taken out of her.
And the fight.
Silverbird left his side. The leaves flew beneath her paws as she ran forwards and clamped Rainblossom's tail in her jaws. The dark grey warrior let out a snarl, pushing out with her hind legs and kicking Silverbird. The grey-and-white cat dodged as Shortstar held her down. They both met the dark cat's attempts with clawing and snarling.
Foxfoot supposed he should have helped, but all he could do was watch them cruelly beat up his former Clanmate. As she finally turned to flee, he met her eyes as she looked back. Before he could register any emotion in them, she turned away and fled into the pines of ShadowClan.
" Well done," Shortstar said, turning to smooth down his rumpled fur.
" She was no match for you," Silverbird said, rubbing her flank against his. " You are truly our Classmate."
He watched as Shortstop and Silverbird purred at him, welcoming him to their Clan. Silverbird began to groom his flank as she twined her tail with his. Shortstar merely looked amused at the gestures. Foxfoot should have been elated, but a heaviness hung over his heart. He tried to shake it away, returning Silverbird's licks.
I belong in ThunderClan now.