(Just want to say, this is crazily based on Redfang's Demand, so I give a WHOLE lotta credit to the author of that)
(This is in the future, LLLOOOOONNNNGGGG after Bramblestar, and SkyClan has been driven out AGAIN)
Leader: Smoothstar: Black tom.
Deputy: Hailheart: Dark grey tom.
Medicine Cat: Dewwing: Pale grey tabby tom with white patches.
Sleekfoot: Grey tom.
Sandyclaw: Sandy brown tabby tom.
Bloodstream: Ginger tabby tom.
Thistlepool: Brown and white tom.
Eaglecry: Brown-and-white tom, tufted ears.
Ashcreek: Dark grey-and-black tom.
Hazelfang: Light brown mottled tabby tom.
Lionclaw: Golden-and-black tom
Snowpaw: White tom with pale grey spots.
Acornpaw: Tortoiseshell she-cat with bright green eyes.
Beepaw: Brown tabby tom with a yellow and black spotted belly.
Petalglow: Pale brown she-cat, mother to Hailheart's kit: Harekit (pale brown tom with black patches), Rabbitkit (pale brown she-cat with a white tail, paws and chest, and a black tail tip), Seedkit (golden brown tabby she-cat) and Rockkit (dark grey tom) .
Ravenflight: Black she-cat, mother to Lionclaw's kit: Hopekit (black tom)
Blackdawn: Black and ginger she-cat, mother to Eaglecry's kits: Dawningkit (golden she-cat) and Duskykit (pale brown tabby she-cat).
Blossomdream: Tabby and white she-cat, expecting Smoothstar's kits.
Creekcloud: Silver tabby with blue eyes, expecting Ashcreek's kits.
Fernlight: Dull tortoiseshell with bright green eyes.
Berrytail: White she-cat with ginger tail.
Flamingfur: Ginger she-cat.
Dovestorm: White she-cat with green eyes
Sunflight: Golden she-cat with dark ginger tail.
Rabbitkit eyed the tom nervously. What was she going to do? Running seemed a good option, yet there were more cats around her. Far too many, it seemed. The tom smiled at her, but she shrank away. Smiles normally looked nice, but on this cat, it looked like a snarl. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that his teeth were stained red. She shuddered. He began to speak.
"ThunderClan, we are gathered here today for the making of four new apprentices. Harekit, Rockkit, please step forward."
Rabbitkit sent Seedkit, her sister, a worried glance.
"Do you think we won't be apprenticed?" she whispered.
Seedkit said nothing, just kept her eyes focused on the tom as he made their brother's warrior apprentices.
"Harekit, you have reached the age of six moons, and it is time for you to be apprenticed. From this day on, until you recieve you warrior name, you will be known as Harepaw. Your mentor will be..." The black tom paused, and licked his chest fur before continuing. "Your mentor will be myself. I will pass on all that I know to you."
Harepaw looked exactly how Rabbitkit felt. He was going to be mentored by their leader?!
"Petalglow is one of the more dissatisfied queens," Seedkit whispered. "Smoothstar assumes she will have passed this on to us. Him taking Harepaw as an apprentice is an attempt to turn one of the 'warriors' against his own mother. I have to admit, it is a smart idea."
They watched Harepaw and Smoothstar touch noses, and fell silent. The black tom, or Smoothstar, began to speak once more.
"Rockkit, you have reached the age of six moons and it is time for you to be apprenticed. From this day on, until you recieve your warrior name, you will be known as Rockpaw. Your mentor will be Hazelfang. I hope he will pass down all he knows on to you. Hazelfang, you are ready to take on an apprentice. You have received excellent training from Bloodstream, and have shown yourself to be reckless and good at ripping out throats. You wil be the mentor of Rockpaw, and I expect you to pass on all you know to Rckpaw."
Rockpaw crept forwards to touch noses with Hazelfang, and Seedkit scowled.
"He really does think of us as a threat. He gave Rockpaw one of his biggest supporters for a mentor.”
Rabbitkit nodded, and watched Snowpaw and Beepaw running up to the new apprentices. “We’ll show you to your nests!” Snowpaw called. At that moment, Rabbitkit wished that she was a warrior apprentice to, being shown around the den by Snowpaw. She sighed, and then... something happened. Snowpaw glanced back at Rabbitkit, and smiled at her. It made Rabbitkit feel like she could fly.
Rabbitkit sometimes wished she had the brains of Seedkit. How come her sister was smart and she wasn't? Her strategy for not looking stupid was agreeing with everything Seedkit had said, and then changing the subject fast. So after the smile, she changed the subject.
"Yeah, it was smart of him... What mentors do you think we'll get?"
Seedkit narrowed her eyes, and her scowl deepened.
"I expect I'll get Blossomdream. Smoothstar knows I'm rebellious, and she is the most devoted cat to him in the entire Clan."
Rabbitkit cocked her head at the golden brown tabby.
"I thought Petalglow got to choose our mentors."
Seedkit snorted. "He just says he lets her choose. He tells her what mentor each kit gets. I tell you, I'll get Blossomdream."
Rabbitkit nodded slowly.
"I think I understand. Who do you think will me my mentor?"
Rabbitkit couldn't help but purr. Flamingfur had been like a second mother to her, as Petalglow had had to run the 'QueenClan' as Rockpaw had called it. She felt a paw on her shoulder, and jumped, spinning around instinctively, claws unsheathed. It was only Petalglow, her mother.
"Smoothstar said it was time for you to be apprenticed!" she whispered, her eyes shining. "Come, let's go."
Rabbitkit gulped, delight flooding through her. She glanced over at Seedkit, and saw the happiness she fet mirrored in her sister's eyes.
Petalglow licked the top of each of their heads, then bounded onto the Half-rock. Since the nursery contained all of the she-cats, the elder's den was used as the Queen Apprentice Den.
"All cat's old enough to deliver a litter of kits meet here in front of the Half-rock!"
The queens emerged from the nursery, and Acornpaw, the only queen apprentice at that moment, slunk out of the Queen Apprentice Den. Rabbitkit shrank at all the eyes upon her, but Seedkit seemed to be enjoying it. Petalglow continued.
"Seedkit, Rabbitkit, step forwards. You have reached the age of six moons and it is time for you to be apprenticed. From this day on, until you recieve your queen names, you shall be known as Seedpaw and Rabbitpaw. Seedpaw, your mentor will be Blossomdream. I hope Blossomdream will pass all that she knows on to you. Blossomdream, you are ready to take on an apprentice. You have recieved excellent training from Ravenflight, and you have shown yourself to be subservient and kind. You will be the mentor of Seedpaw, and I expect you too pass on all that you know to Seedpaw."
Rabbitpaw watched rather jealously as they touched noses. Why was she the last cat in her litter to be apprenticed? Luckily Petalglow continued the ceremony almost immediately.
"Rabbitpaw, your mentor will be Flamingfur. I hope Flamingfur will pass down all she knows on to you. Flamingfur, you are ready to take on an apprentice. You have received excellent training from Blackdawn, and have shown yourself to be a good mother and skilled at defending kits. You will be the mentor of Rabbitpaw, and I expect you to pass on all you know to Rabbitpaw."
Rabbitpaw crept forwards to touch noses with Flamingfur, relieved that she had gotten the ginger queen as her mentor. Flamingfur smiled at her, and unlike Smoothstar, it actually comforted Rabbitpaw.
"We're going to have so much fun," the queen whispered. Rabbitpaw purred slightly.
Soon the queens and Acornpaw began coming up to the new queen apprentices, whispering something encouraging, licking in between their ears then wandering off into the nursery. Seedpaw didn't seem surprised by this, but she wasn't surprised by anything, but it did seem rather weird to Rabbitpaw before Flamingfur explained.
"It's the queen way of welcoming new apprentices," she whispered. "We don't do any loud yowls because becoming a queen isn't very fun. You just have heaps of kits and laze around in the sun all day."
"I guess that makes sense."
Flamingfur purred in amusement. "It makes sense because it's true."
Rabbitpaw giggled at this, and noticed Seedpaw watching her with a slight frown upon her face. This made Rabbitpaw giggle harder, as she knew Seedpaw couldn't do anything about it. Finally, finally she was out of her sister's shadow.
"Basically," Flamingfur explained, "Being a queen is all about what you can put up with. Sure, some would say it's about having kits, and yyeeeesss thats the official job of a queen, but its more then that. At least, it is for me. A queen has to put up with being treated terribly. It absoloutely sucks."
Rabbitpaw nodded. It did suck being a queen. Luckily Flamingfur was a great mentor, and made it a whole lot less boring then it could of been. She had taught Rabbitpaw how to hunt (queens weren't allowed to eat food that warriors had caught), how to fight (so that a queen could defend their kits if necessary), how to be optimistic about life (queens really needed to be positive) and how to... look confident and beautiful without trying. She was getting pretty good at all of them, although she still found the last one embarrassing and wrong. Why should she toy with tom's emotions like they were a mossball, or a tail to pull? It was wrong. But part of her queen asessment would be attracting a tom. That way, a queen would become a queen with a mate. And mates meant kits. And kits were the whole point of queens.
"Rabbitpaw? Did you hear what I just said?"
Rabbitpaw looked up, surprised.
"Wait, you were talking?"
Her mentor let out a long dramatic sigh.
"I was saying that it might be time for your queen asessment. You're excelling at everything, although you should work on your confidence. You just need to find a mate, then you can get your queen name!"
Rabbitpaw couldn't believe it.
"My queen name? You mean I'm almost a full queen?"
Flamingfur nodded. "You know queen apprenticeships don't last long. Acornshine's took a moon and a half! Warrior apprenticeship's can last six moons. That's probably the only plus side of being a queen."
"But how will I get a mate?"
Flamingfur shrugged. "Some she-cats get mates just to get their queen name. Others do it for it for love. Some do it because of peer pressure. Some do it for kits. It really depends on the she-cat. Although, in the Queen Code it states that it is best to mate with the strongest tom, so that the kits will be strong, and make the Clan stronger."
Rabbitpaw shook her head. She hadn't asked for a long speech about why some she-cats got mates, she wanted to know how she could get a mate.
"I meant how can I get a mate, not why."
Flamingfur grinned at her. "Do you have a crush?"
"No... yes.... maybe..."
The queen's grin stretched wider. "Who is it?"
"I don't think I should... Snowpaw."
Rabbitpaw blushed, and lowered her eyes. It felt odd talking about this kind of thing in front of her 'foster' mother and mentor.
The grin faded from Flamingfur's lips. It seemed like she wanted to tell Rabbitpaw something, but she didn't, and changed the subject abruptly.
"Let's go hunting! With this weather, I'm sure there'll be plenty of prey around!"
Rabbitpaw nodded. "Okay!"
It was pouring with rain.
"Beebelly! Snowclaw! Beebelly! Snowclaw!"
Rabbitpaw felt like she yowled the loudest for the newest warriors. Not that she cared about Beebelly, it was Snowclaw she actually felt motivated to cheer for. This elation was dampened slightly when the first thing Snowclaw did as a warrior was to head for Seedpaw. She had seen the two hanging out often, sharing tongues and sharing prey, but she dismissed it with only a little difficulty. Surely it meant nothing... She congratulated Snowclaw and Beebelly, then headed for the Queen Apprentice Den. Petalglow stopped her.
"Your sister's going to become a queen today!"
Rabbitpaw stopped in her tracks. Seedpaw a queen? To become a queen, you had to... get a mate. Suddenly Seedpaw's time with Snowclaw sounded suspicious. Did he like her? She asked the first question that came to her mind.
"Who's her mate?"
"Why, Snowclaw, of course."
Something inside her shattered. She swayed on her paws, suddenly dizzy.
"How long have they... is it very serious?"
Petalglow examined her daughter, and realization dawned in her eyes.
"Oh my poor kit," she whispered. "Did you like him?"
Rabbitpaw nodded slowly.
"Is it serious?" she asked again.
"I think so... I was going to let her tell you herself... your sister is expecting kits."
Rabbitpaw looked up, shocked. Her sister had looked a little chubby... but she had thought she had been taking too much from the freshkill pile. The world blurred, and she swayed on the spot. She heard her mother speak, but words were nothing. The phrase, 'your sister is expecting kits,' kept ringing in her ears. 'Kits. Kits. Kits. Your sister is expecting kits.' The dizziness cleared, and she sprinted out of the camp and into the forest. 'Kits.' Nothing would ever be the same again.
Rabbitpaw re-entered the camp a good while later, a plump squirrel hanging from her mouth. Seedpaw greeted her happily.
Rabbitpaw ignored her, and placed the squirrel onto he Queen freshkill pile. Almost immediately, Harepaw snatched it up.
“I’ll take that thank you. Becoming a warrior is hard work, nothing like what you queens do. You are dismissed.” He ripped into it, tearing large pieces of flesh from its flank. After a while, he looked up at his two sisters.
“Why are you still here? Didn’t I dismiss you?”
Rabbitpaw nodded. “Yes.”
He snarled in response. “Yes...?”
Rabbitpaw sighed. “Yes sir.”
Harepaw nodded, satisfied, and waved them away with his paw. Seedpaw frowned, but followed Rabbitpaw away. The moment they were out if earshot, she turned to Rabbitpaw.
“I got my queen name!”
Rabbitpaw hissed softly. “And why does that concern me?”
Seedpaw looked hurt. “I thought you’d be happy for me. I mean- I- I’m a queen now. Not the lowest rank in the Clan.”
Rabbitpaw glared at her. “Yes, I’m the lowest ranked now. Is it nice to rub it in?”
Seedpaw shook her head. “No! I thought you’d want to know.”
”Well I don’t!”
“Just because you loved Snowclaw with all your heart and he didn’t love you doesn’t mean you can treat me this way!” hissed Seedpaw. “And anyway, now that you're the lowest ranked cat in the Clan, go change my bedding. I want the moss soft, with no thorns or I will report you!”
Rabbitpaw wanted to protest, but she couldn’t. Seedpaw, or whatever her name was now, was a higher rank then her, so she had to do what her sister wanted. “Yes Seedpaw,” She muttered, grinding her teeth.
Seedpaw swept away, then glanced back over her shoulder at Rabbitpaw. “By the way, Rabbitpaw, my name is Seedcloud now, not Seedpaw.”
"Dawningkit, Duskykit, step forwards. You have reached the age of six moons and it is time for you to be apprenticed. From this day on, until you recieve your queen names, you shall be known as Dawningpaw and Duskypaw. Dawningpaw, your mentor will be Dovestorm. I hope Dovestorm will pass all that she knows on to you. Dovestorm, you are ready to take on an apprentice. You have recieved excellent training from myself, and you have shown yourself to be curious and caring. You will be the mentor of Dawningpaw, and I expect you to pass on all that I have taught you to Dawningpaw."
Rabbitpaw watched Dawningpaw touch noses with Dovestorm with glazed eyes. She really did not care anymore about naming ceremonies and new apprentices, but had to admit she was happy for the golden she-cat. She chanced a glance at Seedcloud, who was smiling happily. The silly know-it-all. Why was she so happy? Probably because she had more apprentices to boss around. Rabbitpaw's eyes flicked to Duskypaw, who was waiting patiently for her mentor. Rabbitpaw couldn't help but be impressed. She had defenitely not waited that patiently. Finally, Petalglow continued.
"Duskypaw, your mentor will be Acornshine."
Murmers of surprise rippled through the gathered queens. Acornshine had harly finished her own apprenticeship! But soon the mutters died away, and Petalglow was given the entire attention of all the she-cats.
"I hope Acornshine will pass down all she knows on to you, Duskypaw. Acornshine, you are ready to take on an apprentice. You have received excellent training from Fernlight, and have shown yourself to be compassionate and strong. You will be the mentor of Duskypaw, and I expect you to pass on all you know her."
Acornshine nodded, eyes glowing. "Of course Petalstar."
It was the worst silence Rabbitpaw had ever endured. It pressed down on her, making her feel small and insignificant. What had Acornshine done? Well, that was obvious to all who had been listening. Rabbitpaw hadn't, as she had been observing a slug on the ground, but the silence told her something had happened. Something bad.