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Part of the In The Shadows series.

Note:

It was never enough for her. I was never enough for her. It could never, not even for one instant, be about me. Except in the Dark Forest. So before you go judging me for my decisions, try to put yourself in my paws. Do you know how much it hurts to just know that your mother doesn't care for you anymore? I don't resent Briarlight; it's not her fault. It's just that, after giving it your best try and having it rejected, something in you dies. You lose yourself.


Prologue

It was deathly quiet. Cold wind racked through the tortoiseshell's fur, causing her to shiver. But it was nothing compared to the coldness that had settled over her heart.

Across from her, a pale gray tabby watched her with scornful blue eyes. "I suppose I knew it would come to this, Blossomfall. Though frankly, I am appalled at the way you acted. Bumblestripe never did such a thing. Briarlight-" Her voice cracked, and she fell silent.

The she-cat refused to say anything. She held her head high, despite the tears threatening to overwhelm her. She doesn't know what she's talking about.

"Disloyalty is not something I would tolerate in any of my kits," Millie continued.

I'm not your kit. Stop pretending you're my mother.

Millie sat down and watched her daughter, waiting for a reply. She gave none. "Couldn't you at least try to serve ThunderClan? You know how important it is to your father and I."

A tear broke free and coursed down Blossomfall's cheek. She stared hard at the ground. "I made the right choice in the end," she murmured.

"You betrayed your Clan," Millie said, unaware of how much her words were hurting her. She got up. "I want you to think about it."

Blossomfall watched her mother leave, then sunk to the ground and gave way to the sobs. "I tried Mother..."

"I gave it my best try."


Chapter One

Blossomfall stepped out of the warrior's den, aware that all eyes were on her. Not because she was beautiful, or because she had just become a warrior. Because of what had happened. Because they were scared and sorry for her.

Holding her head at a high angle, Blossomfall marched towards the medicine cat's den. I don't care what they think Briarlight is my sister, and I'm going to help her no matter what.

She paused, hearing the brambles rub against each other. Seconds later, her sister emerged from the den, cheeks puffing in exertion, determination etched on her features. She dragged herself painfully slowly to the fresh-kill pile, then looked up and spotted Blossomfall. A faint smile appeared on her face despite the obvious pain she was in. "Hey."

"Hello," Blossomfall mewed, joining her by the pile.

"Want to share?" Briarlight asked, shoving the vole towards her.

"Sure, thanks." Secretly, she wondered if it would always be this awkward talking to each other after the accident. She hoped not. She didn't want Briarlight to feel pitied or looked down upon, because nothing could be further from the truth. She admired her sister's bravery, and was willing to do anything to help her recovery along. 

If only there was some way of showing her that.

The two sisters bent over the prey, their cheeks brushing. Blossomfall pushed away her worries. They were littermates. Nothing could separate them.

"Briarlight! There you are!" Jayfeather was walking towards them, his sightless blue eyes focused on Briarlight with shocking aim for a blind cat. "We need to work on your excercises."

Heaving a sigh, the she-cat pushed herself up on her front legs, giving Blossomfall a weak smile, which she returned. "See you around."

"See you," Blossomfall called softly. As she watched her sister disappear into the medicine cat's den, a hollow place in her chest ached. Why did the accident have to happen? Tears gathered in her eyes, but she knew it must be ten times worse for Briarlight, who had to endure pitying looks from her Clanmates, as well as the backbreaking therapy process.

As she stood there, alone, Blossomfall wondered why there had to be so much pain in this world. Wasn't there a place she could escape it? 

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