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Desolate

About a Girl | Give Me a Second Go | It's Over, Casanova | What Makes You Beautiful | Kiss It All Better | Dark Side | Summer Love | Satellite | Over Again | Forever and Always | Paradise | Turning Tables

Part of the Songfic Series.

One Direction

Written by Red

Over Again

Said I’d never leave her cause her hands fit like my t-shirt,

Tongue-tied over three words, cursed.

I watched her disappear, replaying the moment over and over again in my mind. Her words, lingering in my ears, her tail leaving a trail in the tall grasses. Her head was bowed, but I knew she could feel my gaze on her back from the stiff set of her shoulders.

I never thought I could leave her - and it turns out I didn't have to.

She left me.

Running over thoughts that make my feet hurt,

Body's intertwined with her lips

I slipped dejectedly into my nest that night, my mind buzzing with my last images of my former mate - her glossy tabby fur draped over a slim body, with dainty white paws and a white belly. The soft fur of her muzzle brushing my ear, her tail curling around mine.

A grimace crept onto my face as I recalled our icy first meeting - it hurt to think that I could be so brief and short with the cat I would soon grow to love so much.

Now she’s feeling so low since she went solo

Hole in the middle of my heart like a polo

It was the next Gathering when I saw her.

She was sitting with the rest of the medicine cats, mingling with the deputies at the foot of the Great Rock. I saw her with Brambleclaw, who was seated beside Barkface.

Leafpool looked perfectly fine to me, a sunny smile on her face, her tail curled up. She let out a laugh at a joke that Brambleclaw made. Her giggle was shared by her sister, Squirrelflight, a she-cat with a temper to match her fiery orange pelt. The sisters let the banter continue until Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw padded away. I noted the droop of Leafpool's tail and the light fading from her eyes, and I couldn't help but sigh.

And it’s no joke to me

So can we do it all over again?

We shouldn't have left each other - we were meant for each other, and we both knew it. But somehow...being with her felt wrong, most definitely. But in the same way, being apart, being alone was even more incorrect. The emptiness was filling my stomach like a tough bit of prey, contenting me, but not digestable.

I glowered as I settled onto my paws, shooting the chattering, cheerful apprentices a dark glare. They slunk away to pester another warrior, but my eyes weren't on them.

She, too, was hunched over, her shoulders bunched and her muscles tight. I knew she could feel my gaze on her back, but she didn't turn around, only gazed up at her leader, her father, her expression impassive, her eyes completely blank.

If you’re pretending from the start like this,

With a tight grip, then my kiss

She stood up, stretching, her tail arching over her back, and I mumbled a reply to Onestar was we trundled back to camp, our pelts fluffed up because of the heavy wind blowing off of the moors. I stared into the blustering grasses, not watching where I was walking, and nearly tripped over the large rock poking out of the ground that symbolized one of our borders. The scent of WindClan was heavy around it.

"Hey," a small voice at my ear send, and I turned my head to see Nightcloud, a young, dark warrior padding beside me. Her amber eyes sparkled playfully, but they were flecked with worry. This was true love, I thought, all of this care and empathy she was showing me.

Leafpool never worried about me.

Can mend your broken heart

I might miss everything you said to me

I was too tangled up in my thoughts about Leafpool to notice the rest of Nightcloud's words. I was aware of her voice her words, but I couldn't comprehend them.

"Maybe we could start over again," I murmured, not conscious of voicing my thoughts.

"You think so?" Nightcloud asked, turning to face me, a smile warming her face and causing her brilliant eyes to look positively dazzling. "You think...you really do? You think we could work out?" Her grin was almost uncontainable, and I instantly felt a pang of regret.

And I can lend you broken parts

That might fit like this

"Y-yeah," I stammered, jerked back into the conversation. Maybe Nightcloud's full, warm, caring heart could mend my awful, broken one. Maybe all of my broken parts could help her grow stronger, help my ties to this Clan strengthen.

She repeated herself once more, her voice hesitant, tinged with caution. "You really think so?"

"Of course," I replied, maybe a bit too forcefully. "Of course."

And I will give you all my heart

So we can start it all over again

"I love you, Nightcloud," I said, twining my ash-gray tail with ner night-black one. She purred, truly happy that maybe, for once, I really had noticed her. I didn't have the heart to tell her - or even to admit to myself - that I was hoping, though doubting, that Nightcloud could fill the spot that Leafpool left in my heart. That if I gave her all of my heart, she would repair it.

"I love you too, Crowfeather!" She looked up at me, enthusiasm shining like miniature moons in her amber eyes, a smile lighting up her face. 

Though doubt does fill my stomach even when I think this thought, there is some part of me that desperately wants it to be true. Maybe Nightcloud really can mend my broken heart. Maybe proving this loyalty really will repair me. 

Can we take the same road two days in the same clothes?

And I know just what she’ll say if I can make all this pain go

As I curled up in my den, Nightcloud twitching happily beside me, my thoughts leave the pretty she-cat curled up at my flank. My thoughts leave the night-black she-cat who loves me so dearly (though it's a love that I now know shall never be returned) and wander to the beautiful tabby who dwells too far away.

I was forcibly reminded of the days we spent, dragging ourselves out of the territories, though bone-weary, enjoying each other's company. A quarter of a moon, we spent. Together, happy, content. Mind you, we were separated from those who we knew loved us - and who were doubting whether we loved them. And that was the pain that both of us felt deep in our Clanborn bones. 

Can we stop this for a minute?

You know, I can tell that your heart isn’t in it or with it

My mind carried my thoughts into dreams, warping visions of pretty tabbies into nightmares of vicious she-cats with claws like icicles, all too eager to stuff the deathberries they carried in their claws into my mouth, ready to poison me and watch my body convulse as life slowly left me.

I pictured her, Leafpool, dragging her body across the moors, gazing at me with something resembling happiness in her eyes. But when she would look away, gaze at the mountains facing us, her shoulders slumped in defeat, her tail trailing beneath her legs. Her claws would flex in the grass beneath her feet, and she would snarl beneath her breath at the birds chirping too loudly in the trees. She hated this, I knew, and I could tell her heart wasn't in it anymore.

Not with me.

Tell me with your mind, body and spirit

I can make your tears fall down like the showers that are British

But if she would tell me, I told myself, as I shook sleep out of my ears and readied myself for patrols. Onewhisker looked at me with a bright smile, bouncing on his paws. "Ready for patrol, then, Crowfeather?"

I mumbled absently. "Yeah, sure."

Nightcloud followed us out of the camp, her ears pricked for any sign of danger. She brushed her tail along my flank, a purr emanating from her throat. I smiled to myself - even though I didn't love Nightcloud, it was nice to know someone, whether she-cat, tom, kit, queen, elder, warrior, anyone, cared. That someone made sure that I wasn't completely losing my mind.

Whether we’re together or apart

We can both remove the masks and admit we regret it from the start

We whisked along the ThunderClan border, and as Nightcloud stopped to renew one of the scent markers, I just gazed numbly out at the short expanse of moor before the forest began. Somewhere in there, deep down in the gorge where ThunderClan made their camp, Leafpool was sitting in the medicine den, treating a cat or longing for an apprentice to teach. 

"Crowfeather?" Nightcloud was staring at me with a bit of surprise in her eyes. I smiled in embarrassment, scuffing my paws on the patchy grass, and followed her along the border.

I hurried up to her until we were walking side by side, and she gave a quiet purr. When Nightcloud turned to look at me, her amber eyes were bright, and she giggled at my disgruntled expression, causing a smile to slip onto my face. "I got you!" she cried triumphantly, laughing at the break in my angry facade.

If you’re pretending from the start like this,

With a tight grip, then my kiss

As we reached the end of the territory, we saw a patrol of ThunderClan cats scampering playfully through the forest and their side of the border. Nightcloud's cheerful grin seemed to waver, as though she wished she were one of them, jumping between trees and racing to catch up with each other, hopping into massive piles of crinkly leaves and giggling as they flew up and rained down on the others.

"Why can't we be like that," Nightcloud asked softly, turning wide eyes on me.

I felt hotness rising around my neck. "Well...we...we don't know each other that well, Nightcloud, so...I mean, maybe in the future, we--"

"Not the two of us, silly," Nightcloud mewed, giggling, "the Clan!" I laugh to hide my embarrassment.

Can mend your broken heart

I might miss everything you said to me

"For a starter," I replied as we returned to camp after a quick, pleasant hello with the ThunderClan cats. "We haven't got any trees." This elicits a laugh from Nightcloud, and she purrs, licking my cheek and standing up on the tips of her toes. "And I dunno if Onestar would let us."

"He's not a ShadowClan leader, I'm sure he would," Nightcloud replied, grinning.

We joked all the way back to camp, where we strolled into the small clearing amidst a couple of cheerful conversations and multiple raised eyebrows. After stammering reassurances to the elders and some of the teasing warriors that we had done nothing, we both crept quietly away to the warriors' den, Nightcloud curling up next to me and closing her eyes, her breathing slowing almost immediately as she drifted off to sleep.

And I can lend you broken parts

That might fit like this

I stared at her pelt, so black it gave her her name, and sighed. It was clear she loved me, I knew it, and I wanted with all of my heart to love her back...but some part of me was still attached to Leafpool. Those amber eyes would never hold the depth that Leafpool's had, the ebony-like pelt would never be as warm and soothing as Leafpool's tabby one had been.

But Nightcloud did love me - and I owed to her to repay that love.

It didn't matter if we didn't have kits together. It didn't matter if we were just mates, waiting for the right time. We would be together, and as long as she loved me and thought I loved her, that would be enough. Because she deserved it, because she was there to keep me from insanity.

And I will give you all my heart

So we can start it all over again

The sun rose, again. And it set, again. I patrolled with her, I hunted with her, I ate with her, I trained with her. We did everything together, and gossip was flying around the Clan. I was no longer grumpy, apathetic, rude towards all apprentices, kits, even the warriors and elders. I was, for the most part, cheerful and happy, eager to help all of the grudging queens and bring moss to the elders like an apprentice.

But that was on the exterior.

Every time we went on a patrol, I coud envision her in the gorge, in her medicine den, sorting through herbs or patching up a cracked pad. Or some how, somewhere, closer to me and searching for herbs in the forest, looking for leaves to provide a remedy for a cold. Nightcloud could never be that kind, and that compassionate...or...could she?

You’ll never know how to make it on your own

And you’ll never show weakness for letting go

"Come on, Crowfeather, have a bite of hare!"

I sank to the ground, opening my jaws and tearing some of the meat off of the carcass of the poor piece of prey. No, who was I kidding? It was prey, it wasn't poor, it wasn't unfortunate, it should have been glad to be put to good use, at the very least.

Great StarClan, I'm talking to myself about prey. Leafpool had been right, when we first got together; I didn't know how to do much on my own, I couldn't take care of myself, and that was where she came in. She helped find prey in the forests where there were no rabbits, and she helped find medicines. I'd never want to admit it, but I needed her. And she wasn't here.

I guess you’re still hurt if this is over

But do you really want to be alone?

"Crowfeather?" I turned my head, seeing Nightcloud padding over from her group of friends, leaving the remains of a rabbit to the others. She smiles at me, settling down on her belly and tucking her paws beneath her. As the others continue to tuck in to the hare we were eating, she nudged me with her shoulder, headbutting me and purring, a laugh bubbling in my throat.

At my apathy, she paused, her smile faltering. "Crowfeather...I know you loved someone else. Feathertail, right? But she's gone, and she's not coming back. There's no point trying to drown yourself in memories of her, drowning in memories of someone who, even if she had survived, you could never have been with! You can be with me, and I want to be with you. Please, Crowfeather."

If you’re pretending from the start like this,

With a tight grip, then my kiss

"What you had with her, it wasn't real," Nightcloud insisted, padding towards me despite my backing away. I was shaking my head, she didn't know what she was saying, I loved  Feathertail. She was the only one - she understood. "What we have, this is real! Please, Crowfeather! You love me, you love me like you deluded yourself into loving her. She was just a RiverClan cat anyways." Nightcloud's eyes darkened with contempt.

"She wasn't just a RiverClan cat!" I yelled. "She was the best she-cat I've ever met, better than you can ever be, I'll never love you like I loved her!"

Nightcloud's ears flattened to her head, and her eyes hardened. Her tale flicked impatiently along the dew-wet ground, and even though her face was a mask of anger, and she was clearly struggling to suppress any humiliation, I saw tears forming in her eyes. 

Can mend your broken heart

I might miss everything you said to me

I paused. The tears in her eyes, in her amber eyes, though somehow my mind envisioned them blue. Blue as the sky, the sea, the lake. Her striped tabby fur, and I felt tears springing to my own eyes. I sank to my paws as words tumbled out of her mouth like the waterfall in front of the cave where she died, but I couldn't hear them. Nothing she sai dmade sense, because Feathertail would never have said that, she wouldn't have--

She - Nightcloud, this time, I realized - tore away, fleeing, sobs bubbling from her throat like the water sloshing through the stream. I closed my eyes, feeling the reality of Feathertail's words sinking in. Nightcloud didn't know her as I did...but...what she said...

And I can lend you broken parts

That might fit like this

I caught the gazes of my Clanmates surrounding me. They all looked shocked, horrified at my performance, at the scene I had caused. If there was one thing I'd learned in WindClan, it was never to cause a scene. You'd be the talk of gossip for days to come. 

Nightcloud's silhouette vanished from atop the hill, far from the camp, on which she's standing. My Clanmates continue to stare blankly at me, and I can see cold calculation in the eyes of some of them. I recalled the times I had hunted with Nightcloud, the time I realized I really did love her. What she said about Feathertail, that had been harsh, but the final eight words I had said to her had carried more force than any of StarClan's condemning prophecies. I owed it to her.

And I will give you all my heart

So we can start it all over again

Without a word, I plunged out of camp after her.

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