This is a fanfiction writen by Cinderstar for IcewratchXFeaterswirlXCraneheart's contest! :)
- 1 Characters
- 2 Chapter 1 - Berrypaw
- 3 Chapter 2 - Owlpaw
- 4 Chapter 3 - Berrypaw
- 5 Chapter 4 - Owlpaw
- 6 Chapter 5 - Berrysong
- 7 Chapter 6 - Owlgaze
- 8 Chapter 7 - Berrysong
- 9 Chapter 8 - Owlgaze
- 10 Chapter 9 - Berrysong
- 11 Chapter 10 - Owlgaze
- 12 Epilogue - Berrysong
Berrypaw: black she-cat with green eyes, secretly has a crush on the deputy of the Clan
Swiftwhisker: Black tom with blue eyes. Deputy.
Spiderstar: Gray tabby tom with long legs and amber eyes. Leader.
Darkshine: glossy furred smokey gray tabby tom with dark blue eyes. Berrypaw's father.
Petalpaw: Tortiseshell and white she-cat with green eyes. Berrypaw's sister.
Brackenpaw: Golden brown tabby tom with white paws and a ginger tailtip and amber eyes. Berrypaw's brother.
Birdsky: Blue gray she-cat with blue eyes. Medicine cat.
Watersplash: Blue gray tabby she-cat with white patechs and blue eyes. Formerly of RiverClan.
Eagleswoop: Brown and white tabby tom with green eyes and a long tail.
Owlpaw: tawny brown tom with huge amber eyes, very observant, is very quick and silent.
Rosepaw: Ginger she-cat with blue eyes.
Skycloud: White she-cat with blue eyes.
Brownhare: Dusy brown tabby tom with amber eyes.
Hawkstar: Gray she-cat with darker gray flecks and amber eyes.
Sagestar: White tom with gray tabby patches and amber eyes.
Sunflare: golden tabby she-cat with ginger stripes and amber eyes.
Spottedbird: Ginger she-cat with white patches and blue eyes.
Rabbitkit: Brown and white tom with green eyes.
Rushfeather: Red brown tabby tom with ember eyes.
Chapter 1 - Berrypaw
Berrypaw padded beside her mentor, Swiftwhisker. The black tom was a young cat, but was made a warrior early due to how quickly he had learned. Not long after that, Spiderstar had decided to give him an apprentice. Berrypaw was that apprentice. Swiftwhisker had been made deputy when the previous deputy, Sunflare, had died of greencough two sunrises ago. Swiftwhisker was only four seasons old.
Berrypaw's mouth was watering due to the plump rabbit that was in her jaws. She glowed with happiness when she remembered just how her mentor had praised her for catching it. She found Swiftwhisker the most handsome and kindest cat in the whole clan, and praise meant for from him to her then from any other cat.
"You'll be a warrior before you know it!" Swiftwhisker meowed. "The clan is lucky to have you. You're the best hunter in the clan since Sunflare died."
Barrypaw felt a prick of grief at the thought of the gentle warrior, but it was overpowered by the joy she felt at Swiftwhisker's words. It soon melted away when she entered the camp. Every warrior looked distraught. Sunflare hadn't been the only cat with greencough, over half the clan was still ill with it. A wave of dispair seemed to be washing over the camp. They had lost four cats in the last moon.
Berrypaw added her catch onto the small fresh-kill pile. Although her belly growled with hunger, she wanted to make sure all the sick cats could eat first.
Berrypaw's sister, Petalpaw, raced up to her. "Two more cat fell ill while you were out hunting." Petalpaw announced sadly. "Darkshine and Spiderstar."
Berrypaw's mouth opened in shock. Not only was their leader sick, but her father was as well. That made two family memebers ill, Darkshine, and their brother, Brackenpaw.
"Haw's Brackenpaw?" She asked.
"Worse." Petalpaw meowed sadly.
"Has Birdsky had any luck finding camint?" Berrypaw asked.
Petalpaw shook her head. "Not even a root. We'll have to wait for leaf-bare to end before we find anything growing."
"Why is the leaf-bare so long?" Berrypaw hissed. "According to Birdsky, it should already be newleaf!"
Petalpaw shook her head. "I don't know. I'm just as frustrated as you."
"Can't Birdsky ask the other medicine cats for catmint? Sagestar wasted no time at the last gathering boasting how much herbs RiverClan had managed to find during this harsh season." Berrypaw asked, but she already knew the answer.
"Tension is high between all the clans. WindClan, RiverClan and ShadowClan are upset with us already. If they knew we were as weak as we are, they'd waste no time in attacking." Petalpaw meowed. Berrypaw knew she was right. The clans had been unhappy at ThunderClan for sheltering a cat they considered to be a traitor. Watersplash had been driven out of RiverClan, accused of killing a clanmate. Watersplash, knowing how sympithetic ThunderClan was had come to plead for their help. She had not done what RiverClan had accused her of, and shared her explination, and ThunderClan took her in and made her a warrior.
Unfortunately, WindClan and ShadowClan had also found cats dead, and Sagestar had wasted no time in telling them it was Watersplash's fault. It wasn't long before a WindClan patrol had discovered Watersplash's new home. Soon all the other clans found out, and they considered ThunderClan a traitor for sheltering a "murderer".
"All we can do is pray to StarClan." Berrypaw sighed.
Chapter 2 - Owlpaw
Owlpaw smiled as he raced Rosepaw back to the camp. He was fast, even for a WindClan cat. And he had never lost a race.
He slowed to let Rosepaw catch up to him. The ginger she-cat was one moon older than him, and they were best friends. Rosepaw and Owlpaw had been the only two kits in the nursery for most of their kithood, seeing as Rosepaw had no littermates and Owlpaw's littermates had all died of greencough before he could remember them.
"You're so fast!" Rosepaw meowed, completely out of breath. Owlpaw smiled.
"Hey, wait up for us!" Skycloud, Rosepaw's mentor called. Skycloud's mate, and Owlpaw's mentor, Brownhare, was padding beside her.
"You're too slow!" Rosepaw teased back.
"Oh really?" Brownhare meowed, narrowing his eyes. "Let's race then, me and Skycloud against you and Owlpaw."
"You're on!" Rosepaw meowed.
Owlpaw raced ahead, running just slow enough that Rosepaw could keep up, but not so slow that their mentors would pass them.
"See? What did Rosepaw tell you?" Owlpaw called to Brownhare and Skycloud."
"All right, we admit it, you're faster than us." Skycloud called.
Owlpaw purred in amusement.
"Any signs of ThunderClan? Or Watersplash?" Hawkstar meowed, padding up to the two apprentices and their mentors.
"Nothing out of the ordinary." Brownhare reported. "Their keeping up their defences well."
Hawkstar dipped her head. "We will attack as soon as newleaf arrives." She meowed.
Owlpaw felt uneasy at Hawkstar's words. They only had he word of Sagestar that Watersplash and ThunderClan were traitors. And he felt the old RiverClan leader wasn't as sane as he used to be. He had heard elders tales of the great things he had done for all the clans, but some of the things he said didn't make sense. ThunderClan had always been a noble clan, well as noble as a rival clan could get. Also, he had heard his mother comment on hoe great a warrior Watersplash was, before her supposed betrayal. And there were no clan scent detectble when they found Spottedbird's body bleeding to death on the moor. There was no proof to any of Sagestar's accusations. Oh, and there was the fact that Sagestar had also claimed that Hawkstar had cought some disease, Bloodcough, he had called it. Owlpaw had overheard the two leaders talking at the last gethering.
His thoughts were inturupted by Rosepaw's voice. "Come on, lazybones, let's go get dinner." She meowed, flicking her tail at the rabbit-stocked fresh killpile. Owlpaw smiled and chose out a plump black rabbit for them to share.
As the last of the rabbit was polished off, and they began sharing tounges, Owlpaw's thoughts drifted into a peaceful, happy part of his mind. He thought of his friendship with Rosepaw. Somehow, it felt stronger than when they had started their apprenticeships, and he felt his heart feel all warm, like a sun-warmed rock, when he was near her. Did he feel something more than friendship for her? Rosepaw was his only friend, so there was no way to tell. It didn't matter at the moment anyways. Newleaf would be here soon, and he was nearing the end of his apprenticeship. Life was better than it ever had been before, and like many times before, Owlpaw felt proud to be a member of WindClan.
Chapter 3 - Berrypaw
Berrypaw padded along the WindClan border, hunting. It was her final assessment, and she was determined to pass it. She was sniffing the air for prey, when she suddenly smelled a catscent. She recongnized it belonged to a WindClan apprentice she had met once at a gathering. She couldn't remember his name though. Another cat, whose scent she didn't recongnized, was with him. Judging by the scents, they were in her territory, and nearby to.
She stalking silently through the undergrowth, following the scent trail. Then, peeking through the ferns, she saw a tawny brown tom and a ginger she-cat.
"Caught it!" The she-cat meowed. "Owlpaw, let's go now before any ThunderClan sees us."
"We shouldn't be here in the first place." Owlpaw meowed, glancing warily over his shoulder, but not seeing Berrypaw. She could tell by his tone of voice he didn't want to tell the ginger she-cat off.
"No cat saw us." The ginger she-cat meowed.
"Oh really." Berrypaw meowed, stepping out of the undergrowth, and facing the WindClan apprentices.
"Rosepaw, head back home, I'll deal with this." Owlpaw meowed, not taking his eyes of Berrypaw. Rosepaw listened and raced off.
"Prey stealers!" Berrypaw hissed.
"I'm sorry, Rosepaw chased a rabbit over the border and was intent on following it. I couldn't persuade her not to or let her go alone." Owlpaw meowed.
"How do I know you're not trying to provoke us and start a war. WindClan aren't exactly happy with us right now." None of the clans are. Berrypaw thought with a sigh.
"I promise, I'm not." Owlpaw meowed, and Berrypaw could catch the seriousness in his gaze.
"You still stole prey." Berrypaw meowed. "Prey I was tracking down. I'm doing my assessment you know."
"Sorry." Owlpaw meowed. "It won't happen again."
Berrypaw narrowed her eyes, not sure whether to believe him or not. "Leave." She hissed.
Owlpaw nodded and turned around. Before he dashed back to his territory, he whispered. "I don't blame ThunderClan. I don't think Watersplash is guilty."
Berrypaw stared in amazement at Owlpaw's retreating back. There was more she wanted to ask him, but she knew Swiftwhisker was probably watching them, seeing as she was doing her assessment. I hope I can go to the gathering tomorrow night, and I hope he's there.
"From this moment on you will be known as Berrysong. StarClan honours your loyalty and determination." Spiderstar announced. He was only just well enough to perform the ceremony.
Berrysong smiled as the clan cheered her name and Petalflower's. Brackenpaw had been too ill to be made a warrior. She felt a pang of disappointment that he couldn't be well enough to share the moment, and become a warrior with her and theri sister.
As the cheering died down, Swiftwhisker padded to over her. "You'll be coming to the gathering tomorrow too." He told her. "You and Petalflower."
"Thanks!" Berrysong meowed. She only hoped that Owlpaw would be there too.
Chapter 4 - Owlpaw
Newleaf had arrived. Throughout the afternoon the snow had melted, and it had gotten warmer. It was the evening of the same day Owlpaw and Rosepaw had crossed the ThunderClan border.
Owlpaw swallowed the last bite of rabbit and looked around for Rosepaw. He saw her sitting at the top of a ridge, a short ways from camp. He could tell by the shape of her body and the faint ginger colour he could see that it was her. He raced as fast as he could towards her.
When he reached her, she was staring up at the stars.
"Do you think Spottedbird is up there?" She asked sadly. Spottedbird had been her mother, and her death had shaken her up.
"She would never stop looking after you, she loved you." Owlpaw replied. He put his tail on her flank. "Rabbitkit is probably up there too." Though he hadn't known his brother long enough to get to know him, Owlpaw still felt disappointed he hadn't had the chance to get to know him.
"I believe you." Rosepaw meowed. "You know, there's something I have to tell you."
Owlpaw's eyes lit up with curiousity.
"You're my best friend, you always have been." Rosepaw meowed. "You were there for me, no matter what. When we were kits, and I scratched your ear, when we snuck out of the camp and I fel down a rabbit hole, and you refused to leave me alone, even if it was to get help, when Spottedbird was killed..."
Owlpaw nodded, wondering where this was heading. "You're my best friend too."
Rosepaw dipped her head, then went on. "I'm starting to wonder, if through all those times, we've started to become something more than friends."
Owlpaw felt a jolt, a pleasent jolt, as he realized her words followed exactly where his thoughts had been in the past moon or so. And he realized where his heart lay, and that he wanted no other cat to spend the rest of his life as mates with. "I love you." Owlpaw meowed.
"I love you too." Rosepaw purred. "I'm glad you feel the same way."
"Shall we run?" Owlpaw asked, wanting to stretch his legs but unwilling to go back to camp quite yet.
"Wake up sleepyhead!" Rosepaw purred. nudging Owlpaw.
Owlpaw blinked open his eyes and looked into her playful eyes. The previous night they hadn't returned to camp. They had run and played until they were too tired to put one paw in front of the other. They had curled up on the soft grass and fallen asleep.
"Brownhare and Skycloud will be wondering where we are." Rosepaw purred. "I enjoyed last night though."
"Me too." Owlpaw purred. He sat up and shook out his tawny pelt. "Let's go."
As they padded along the moor, Owlpaw caught scent of a fox. "Fox!" He hissed at Rosepaw.
"We should get out of this area before..." Rosepaw began but was trailed off when the two apprentices came face to face with a young fox, eyeing them hungrily.
The fox lunged at Rosepaw. "No!" Owlpaw hissed, and leapt at the fox and swiped it acoss the face. The fox winced and sent a splash of blood on the moorland. It lunged and bit down on Owlpaw's shouler, or at least attempted to. Owlpaw dodged out of reach of the russet jaws just in time. Rospaw joined in the fight.
This continued on for a while, until Owlpaw and Rosepaw began to getting tired. The fox was gaining the upper hand.
Then Owlpaw saw a flash of white and another of duty brown. Skycloud and Brownhare had come to their rescue, with a whole patrol of warriors behind them.
"Go back to camp!" Skycloud yowled at the apprentices. They didn't protest, and raced back to camp.
"You two did a good job fighting the fox." Hawkstar commented. "It's time you were made warriors." She summoned the clan.
"It's time for Rosepaw and Owlpaw to become warriors. I spoke to Skycloud and Brownhare, and they both agree." Hawkstar meowed. "Rosepaw, Owlpaw, do you proise to uphold the warrior code and defend it, even at the cost of your life?"
"I do." Rosepaw promised.
"I do." Owlpaw mewed.
"Then by the powers of StarClan, Rosepaw, you will now be known as Rosewing. StarClan honours your intelligence and courage. Owlpaw, you will now be known as Owlgaze. StarClan honours your speed and bravery." Hawkstar meowed.
"Rosewing! Owlgaze! Rosewing! Owlgaze!" The clan cheered. After last night, Owlgaze felt like the happiest cat in the world.
Chapter 5 - Berrysong
Berrysong glanced aroud the island. It was her first gathering as a warrior, and she was excited. Only one shadow dampened the mood. Brackenpaw had gotten worse, and no cat, not even Birdsky expected him to make it through, not unless they could get a hold of catmint. After loosing a life, Spiderstar seemed to have recovered a lot, and performed the ceremony of giving a dying apprentice a warrior name, because he more than deserved it. He was Brackenthorn now.
Berrysong had just caught sight of Owlpaw and was about to make her way towards him when she felt Petalflower brush against her.
"Isn't this exciting?" Petalflower meowed excitedly. "We're warriors now! We're equal to almost every cat here! Who are you going to talk to first."
Berrysong shifted her paws uncomfortably. She didn't want her sister do overhear their conversation.
"Oh look, there's Blackpaw, from ShadowClan. I wonder if he's been made a warrior, he was apprenticed about the same time as us." Petalflower meowed. "I'm going to go talk to him, want to come?"
"There's something I need to do first." Berrysong meowed. "Go ahead, I"ll join you later."
"Okay." Petalflower meowed and walked over to Blackpaw. Mow Berrysong was free to go talk to Owlpaw. She padded over to him.
"Hi Owlpaw!" She meowed.
"Actually, I'm not Owlpaw anymore, I'm Owlgaze." Owlgaze said calmly, though Berrysong could see the excitement and pride in his eyes.
"Congratulations! I'm a warrior now too, I'm Berrysong now." She announced proudly.
"Congrats." Owlgaze meowed.
"So, do you really believe Watersplash isn't guilty?" Berrysong whispered.
Owlgaze nodded. "Sagestar is turning into a crazy old badger, any cat can see that. And there's nothing to suggest Spottedbird was killed by Watersplash, same goes for the other murdered cats."
Berrysong nodded in agreement. "Do the rest of WindClan agree with you."
Owlgaze shook his head. He looked upset and as if he was hiding something. Dread filled Berrysong.
"They're not going to attack, are they?" Berrysong whispered, unable to keep the fear out of her mew.
Chapter 6 - Owlgaze
Owlgaze stiffened. What would he do now? He couldn't betray his clan, but could he lie? She seemed so afraid.
Berrysong narrowed her eyes. "You are." She whispered.
"Please, don't tell any cat!" Owlgaze meowed desprately. "I'll be in big trouble with my clan. I don't want to fight!"
Berrysong dipped her head. "I understand."
Owlgaze blinked gratefully at her. "Thanks." The moon was shining down on her black fur, giving it a pretty shine. He admired her spirit, and the way she was willing to keep this a secret.
"So how did Watersplash get in all this trouble?" He asked.
Berrysong opened her mouth to reply, but before she could, Swiftwhisker padded up to her. "COme on, the gathering's about to start."
"Okay, bye Owlgaze!" She meowed, than glanced at Swiftwhisker with a look full of love.
Owlgaze felt a jolt of a strong emotion go through him. Was it jelousy? He watched her and the ThunderClan deputy pad away.
Just then Rosewing padded up to him. "Were you just talking to that ThunderClan furball?" She meowed. "I can't wait to show them the true meaning of revenge! Especially Watersplash!" She began to delve into one of her rants.
Owlgaze looked at her. "Doesn't matter, she didn' say much." Rosewing hated the other clans, and felt a strong loyalty to WindClan. She hated RiverClan for not getting rid of Watersplash properly, ThunderClan for sheltering her, and ShadowClan for "not getting of their lazy tails and forming an alliance with WindClan to get revenge".
Yet Owlgaze loved her. And he realized he loved Berrysong too. How could he love two she-cats at once? And which oone wouldhe choose? Rosewing was the obvious choice. They'd already had a great start to their relationship, thanks to the previous night, and it wouldn't be breaking the warrior code to be with her. Berrysong was already in love with a ThunderClan cat, and it'd be a big risk to be with her.
But if Leafpool and Crowfeather hadn't broken the warrior code, where would the clans be now? He pushed the thought away. If StarClan really havesome need for a special cats, they can easily come up with another way to help them come into being. Besides, what if one of us gets punished like Mapleshade did...
Rosewing broke out of her rant. "You okay, Owlgaze?" She asked.
"Yup." Owlgaze meowed. He was saved from any more conversation from the call to start the gathering.
Chapter 7 - Berrysong
"Wake up Berrysong, you're coming hunting with me!" Swiftwhisker called, breaking her sleep. It was the day after the gathering. None of the leaders had mentioned anything important, just a few new apprentices and warriors, including Blacktail, who Petalflower had spoken to at the gathering.
"Coming!" She yawned. She stretched, and stood up. Shaking the moss from her pelt she padded out.
"Is anyone else coming with us?" Berrysong asked.
"No, just us." Swiftwhisker meowed.
Berrysong began to feel excited. "Do we leave now?"
Swiftwhisker nodded and padded out of the camp, and Berrysong followed close behind him.
They hunted together for a while, then once they had accumulated a reasonable amount of fresh-kill, Swiftwhisker turned to her.
"The reason I wanted to go hunting with you is, well, that I want to talk to you." Swiftwhisker meowed.
Berrysong stepped closer, curious as to what he had to say. It was not often he was at a loss for words.
"I decided to wait until after you were made a warrior to tell you this, because I knew it'd make training awkward..." Swiftwhisker meowed. "But I really like you, and I want you to be my mate someday."
"I-I love you too." Berrysong meowed, smiling. "I didn't think you loved me back."
Swiftwhisker smiled back. "Well I do."
Berrysong purred and pressed her muzzle against her mate's chest.
Swifwhisker licked her forehead.
"Do you want to go for a walk down by the lakeshore?" Berrysong asked. Swiftwhisker nodded and the two cats padded off.
Chapter 8 - Owlgaze
Owlgaze's thoughts were filled with Berrysong for the next moon. He loved her, he was sure of it. But he loved Rosewing too, just as much as he loved Berrysong. And would he ever get the opurtunity to be together with Berrysong? Was it possible he wouldn't have to make a desicion? Could he bear it if he never got the chence to be together with Berrysong?
Yet at the same time, these feeling felt awkward. He didn't want to be disloyal to Rosewing, who was already his mate. If she found out his feelings for Berrysong, he'd be crowfood. Besides, he didn't want to break the warrior code.
Just as he shook his head to clear his thoughts, Rosewing padded up to him. "Hawkstar's ready to leave. We attack ThunderClan tonight, remember?"
Owlgaze nodded, but he was worried, what if he had to fight Berrysong? He knew ThunderClan had done o wrong, was it really okay to fight them? Berrysong seemed so worried at the gathering...
"Come on lazy furball!" Rosewing exclaimed. Owlgaze sighed and followed her to the battle patrol.
"You found him?" Hawkstar asked. "Good, let's go, the time has come to avenge Spottedbird." The rest of the patrol meowed their agreement.
Hawkstar burst into a run and raced over the moorland. the patrol trailed behind her. Owlgaze longed to race ahead of the patrol, and warn Barrysong, but he knew he'd never be disloyal to his clan, or Rosewing. Rosewing would hate him for warning the enemy. At the same time, guilt weighed down his paws. He felt guilty at attcking an innocent clan. Who was really to blame for the deaths? Watersplash didn't do it, so who did?
"You okay?" Rosewing asked concern flashed in her blue eyes. "Come on, it's time to get revenge! This is the moment we've been waiting for. Time for revenge! against Watersplash! Against the whole of ThunderClan!"
"But what if Watersplash didn't kill Spottedbird. What if we're attacking innocent cats." Owlgaze whispered. The words tumbles out of his mouth before he could stop them.
Rosewing looked at Owlgaze in suprise. She opened her mouth to reply, but before she could, Hawkstar signalled with her tail for silence. Rosewing's expression became unreadable, and she was staring into the forest.
Anxiety clawed at his belly as he wondered if he said the wrong thing. Was Rosewing mad at him? It was impossible to tell.
The anxiety only grew as they padded through the forest. What terrible things would happen in this StarClan-forsaken battle, especially if WindClan cats were yowling for Watersplash's death.
Chapter 9 - Berrysong
Berrysong felt as light as a cloud as she padded out of the medicine cats' den. She had some great news for Swiftwhisker, and was overjoyed when she spotted him sitting a little ways away. She had completely forgotten the threat of attack from WindClan, she had just been so caught up in her relationship with Swiftwhisker.
"Guess what Swiftwhisker!" Berrysong meowed excitedly. "I'm expecting kits!"
"That's great news!" Swiftwhisker purred. "They'll be the best kits in the whole world!"
Berrysong began to purr so loudly, she was sure the whole clan could hear her. Then she heard the crack of a twig, and she saw a WindClan battle patrol at the entrance to the camp. Hawkstar was in the lead, and she glared down at the cats sharing toungues in the camp. Every ThunderClan cat's gaze was on the WindClan leader.
"What do you think you're doing here?" Spiderstar meowed, padding up to the WindClan patrol.
"Wee're here to bring justice." Hawkstar hissed. "Hand over Watersplash, and you can avoid a battle."
"Watersplash is a ThunderClan warrior." Spiderstar hissed. "We will not hand her over, she did not commit the crimes she is accused of."
Berrysong glanced at Watersplash, and saw that the former RiverClan warrior was terrified.
"Lies!" Hawkstar hissed. "The time has come to avenge Spottedbird! WindClan, attack!"
The camp was suddenly filled with fighting cats. Berrysong felt Swiftwhisker rub against her. "Let's get you to the nursery." He whisered to her.
"I want to fight!" Berrysong meowed, forgetting for the moment that she was expecting kits. "Why can't I fight?"
"Do you want to endanger our kits lives?" Swiftwhisker asked calmly.
Berrysong shook her head. "You have a point. Let's go."
As she and Swiftwhisker dashed for the nursery, Berrysong caught sight of Owlgaze fighting Petalflower, and Brackenthorn, who whad now recovered, like the rest of ThunderClan, was fighting Rosewing, although he was weak.
When she was safely in the nursery, Berrysong gazed into Swiftwhisker's eyes. "Be careful." She whispered, and rubbed her muzzle against his. "I love you."
"I love you too." Swiftwhisker purred. "Don't worry, I'll come back."
Berrysong watched him as he raced out of the nursery and disappeared in the swarm of fighting cats. She couldn't bear to watch what was happening without doing anything, so she settled down in an empty nest and pressed her muzzle into the moss. She closed her eyes, hoping sleep would come, but it didn't. The yowls and screeches of battle echoed in her ears.
It felt like moons were passing by while she waited. Was Swiftwhisker okay?? He promised he'd come back. She told herself.? I'll see him when the battle's over.? Those words gave her comfort, and she soon fell alseep.
She woke up to a chilling and familier yowl. "Swiftwhisker!" She yowled, and sprang to her paws. She padded to the entrance to the nursery and peered out. She saw Hawkstar had the ThunderClan deputy pinned down just outside the nursery.
"We'll be even after this." A crazy light shone in Hawkstar's eyes, as if nothing mattered more than getting revenge. "A life for a life."
Berrysong could do nothing but watch in horror as the WindClan leader lunged for Swiftwhisker's throat. A ywol of grief peirced the air as Hawkstar raised her head once more, teeth stained red, and Swiftwhisker's body was tossed at Berrysong's feet bleeding into the dust. That's when she realized the yowl was her own.
She dragged Swiftwhisker's body into the nursery. She was scarcely aware of the battle that raged on harder in the camp.? He promised! He can't be dead, he promised he'd come back!?
She started licking Swiftwhisker's pelt. Then she realized he was still breathing. "Hang in there! We'll get Birdsky!" She meowed desprately.
"Berrysong." Swiftwhisker rasped. "It's too late. I'm sorry. I'm going to StarClan."
Berrysong felt her heart break. "You can't. You promised." She said in a shattered voice.
"You'll make a great mother... I regret not meeting our kits..." Swiftwhisker meowed. "I love you... One day we'll walk the skies of StarClan together...forever." Then the life in his eyes faded.
"I love you too." Was all Berrysong could manage to say.
Chapter 10 - Owlgaze
Owlgaze stared in horror at his leader. How could she purposely kill another cat. Had she gone as crazy as Sagestar? Then he remembered the romour he had heard, that Sagestar and Hawkstar were siblings, and that both were half clan. insanity must run in the family.
But worse than the shock was the pain of seeing Berrysong's grief. She must be expecting Swiftwhisker's kits, that was the only logical reason she wasn't fighting in the battle. It must be terrible for her.
But now she's free to take another mate. A small voice in his head told him. he suppressed it with a shiver of horror. He couldn't think like that. He wanted Berrysong to be happy. He didn't mind if he was her mate or not, as long as she was happy. And she'd be so offended if Owlgaze asked her to break the warrior code to be with him, especially so soon after loosing her mate.
"Hey, Rabbit breath, have you forgotten how to fight?" A hiss from a ThunderClan tom Owlgaze didn't know jolted him out of his thoughts.
"Of course not, traitors!" He knew he had to act like he agreed with his leader, even if he didn't.
He tussled around with the ThunderClan cat for a while, before driving his to the medicine cat's den. He glanced around the camp.
Hawkstar was fighting Spiderstar in the center of the camp. The two cats seemed to be fighting well, and reluctant to admit defeat.
Then a flash of ginger fur caught his eye. Rosewing was struggling under the claws of a ThunderClan she-cat who looked a lot like Swiftwhisker. Owlgaze guessed she was his sister.
He saw the she-cat's jaws clamp around Rosewing's neck, bite down, and let go. "That's for Swiftwhisker." the she-cat spat.
Owlgaze was hardly aware of his paws as he ran towards his mate. "No!!!" He yowled, his voice laced with grief. He stared at Rosewing's body, hardly believing this was real. That's when he noticed her belly was swollen a tiny bit. She must have been expecting his kits!
The grief doubled as he realized he had not only lost his mate, but his kits as well. Now he knew how Berrysong felt. Rosewing never should have fought in this battle.
Then a commosion caught his attention. All the cats had stopped fighting, even Hawkstar and Spiderstar. In fact, Hawkstar was standing over the limp body of Spiderstar. The ThunderClan leader was loosing a life.
Moons seemed to have past before Spiderstar reopened his eyes. In a flash he pinned down Hawkstar.
"You." Spiderstar hissed at Hawkstar. "You and Sagestar are the cats to blame, not Watersplash."
"How'd you know?" The Hawkstar seemed to shocked to fight back.
"StarClan has shown me the truth, and with Watersplash's story, it is obvious." Spiderstar hissed. "Watersplash, tell these cats why you are here, and not in RiverClan where you were born."
"All I ever wanted to be was a loyal RiverClan cat, nothing more." Watersplash meowed, stepping forwards. "I was glad to be a clan cat. Then Sagestar, who'd been an apprentice at the same time as me, became clan leader. We'd always known of his heritage, half RiverClan, half WindClan, but we have no idea how sensitive Sagestar is about it. All of RiverClan still have no idea."
The whole camp was silent. Claws were sheathed and mouths were open with shock.
"One day, Sagestar invited me on patrol." Watersplash continued. "I was too polite to decline. As we were hunting, Sagestar asked me to be his mate. I politely declined, I never have had any feeling for him, but always having known how he felt for me. He grew furious. He accused me of not being his mate because I didn't want to be with a half-clan cat, and that I was never loyal to him in the first place."
"You broke his heart!" Hawkstar hissed, but Watersplash ignored her.
"I insisted that wasn't the reason, but he didn't believe me." Watersplash went on. "He vowed to drive me out of all the clan territory. To give him an excuse to exile me from RiverClan, he killed Rushfeather, the cat I loved, and blamed it on me. Knowing I was innocent, and refusing to become a rogue, I went to ThunderClan, who I knew was most likely to take in an outsider. On my way, I overheard Hawkstar and Sagestar talking, plotting together. Sagestar killed the warriors from WindClan and ThunderClan. My guess is they plotted together this battle too, to give ThunderClan a reason to hate me too."
"Is this true?" Spiderstar spat.
"Yes it is." Hawkstar said sadly. "But Sagestar tricked me! He told me Watersplash was a bloodthirsty cat, who must be driven away at all costs! He said any life lost in the process would be less than those would be lost if she lived. He told me no cat trusted us because of our birth. He's the one to blame, I see it now. I'm sorry for attacking your camp, please let me go home."
"Very well." Spiderstar told her coldly. He released her. "I'll leave it up to your clan how to deal with you, and StarClan will be the ones to judge you."
"WindClan, retreat!" Hawkstar called. Owlgaze cast one glance at Berrysong, who he saw was meeting his gaze with sadness and longing, before racing after his clan. He vowed to talk to her at the next gethering, if she wasn't too close to bearing kits to come by then. The battle was pointless, as he had always known, and WindClan didn't trust their leader anymore. She could have been lying to Spiderstar about her brother tricking her, you never know. But live would go on, Owlgaze knew this. He would mourn for Rosewing and his unborn kits for many moons, but the prey was killed and eaten. Someday, he'd find joy again, and someday everything would be sure and stable again.
Epilogue - Berrysong
"Swiftgaze! Squirrelfall! Featherflight! Silentwhisker!" Berrysong cheered the warrior names of her kits. She was proud of them. She had suggested Swiftgaze's name to Spiderstar. She wanted her only son to carry the name of both the toms she loved.
She glanced down at her slightly swollen belly at the thought of Owlgaze. Though she was breaking the warrior code, she loved him too much to give him up, and to do so would be like loosing Swiftwhisker all over again.
The clan suspected nothing of her relationship with Owlgaze. They knew she left the camp some nights, but they assumed it was to sit by the lake and grieve for Swiftwhisker, and to be alone with her thoughts. they suspected Eagleswoop, ThunderClan's new deputy, was her mate. Eagleswoop knew of her secret, but had agreed to keep it out of love for her.
Her thoughts raced back to the previous night, when she had told Owlgaze about their kits. He had been overjoyed, but worried. THis was understandable, after Rosewing's death. Berrysong had promised to be careful, and prayed to StarCLan that she'd kee that promise.
But Berrysong forsaw no trouble coming. The clans were at peace. Sagestar had been killed by a fox, and Hawkstar had been chased out of her clan after being discovered to have been the true killer of Spottedbird. According to Owlgaze, Spottedbird had come down from StarClan herself to reveal this startling news to the clan.
Watersplash was settled into ThunderClan, refusing the new RiverClan leader's offer back into the clan. She had too many bad memories in the place. Besides, Watersplash had fallen in love with a THunderClan tom and was close to bearing his kits.
As Berrysong glanced up at the stars, she knew everything would be peaceful. She felt Swiftwhisker's gaze on her, filled with love. She knew he was up in StarClan, loving her, their kits and approving of her new choice in Owlgaze. Everything was perfect.