This is a fanfic; a warrior of ShadowClan sent to spy on WindClan, but he becomes torn between his birth clan and his new clan...
Snowsheet stared up at Sprucedapple. What had the StarClan warrior meant?
"What do you mean?" he asked in bewilderment.
"A warrior will come into your clan; a warrior who will do many things. Beware! His choice could destroy WindClan." Snowsheet trembled.
"Who is he?" he demanded. Sprucedapple was fading, her brown fur smudging and blurring.
"Wait! Don't go!" she wailed. A voice calling to her. Her eyes flew open. The other medicine cats were waking. Her apprentice, the newly named Bluecloud, was calling to her excitedly.
"StarClan came to me, Snowsheet! It was so exciting!" the blue-gray she-cat with white cloud-shaped patches were unable to contain her excitement. She was shooting around like a blue and white comet. The other medicine cats, Nectardew of ThunderClan, Hollythorn of ShadowClan, and Juniperberry of RiverClan with her apprentice, Minnowpaw, were getting up and shaking their pelts. None of them noticed Snowsheet's silence.
Does this mean the end of WindClan?
Debrisleaf? Is he joking? Leafpaw stared up. Shardstar was glaring meaningly at him. He expected him to lick his shoulder with that name? Leafpaw was silent and frozen. The clan looked shocked, but it wasn't that he wouldn't lick Shardstar's shoulder, but because of the creul name. His mother, Thistlerose, quivered silently. The apprentices were cackling, laughing uncontrollably, rolling about and thumping the ground with their paws. Shardstar did nothing to silence them. He turned, and stormed into his den. Thistlerose rushed after him.
"What in StarClan's name?!" she was screeching. "How dare you rename my kit that... that disgusting name! Do you know how hard it was for him? Being born small and weak, catching greencough and then being hit by a monster? Just because he's half WindClan, dosen't mean you have to treat him like that!"
"He deserves it." snarled Shardstar. "At least Emberflower is loyal." Leafpaw was still in shock. The clan didn't cheer his new name, but their weaved around him, murmuring the last part of his new name.
"Well done, Leaf." whispered his sister, the now named Emberflower. Emberflower was trusted because she was an orphan, but she was born pure ShadowClan. She was his adoptive sister, as Thistlerose had cared for her when her mother died. "I'll never call you that name, I swear by StarClan." similar promises were made to him, but the apprentices jeered.
"Debrisleaf!" yawned Aspenpaw. "Why don't you teach me some fighting moves? How about in the clearing littered with leaf debris?"
"Or you could teach me how to run, since your father was a WindClan cat!" crowed Slatepaw. Leaf ignored them. He was never going to call himself by that name.
I'm calling myself Leaf from now on. I'm not a paw' anymore, but I'm not a warrior either. Not as real one, anyway.
Leaf picked at the rat, unable to eat. It wasn't from carrionplace, but Branchtree had caught it under a bush.
"Just take a bite, Leaf."
"I'm not hungry, Emberflower." their vigil was finished, but he couldn't eat. Emberflower sighed, and took a large bite.
"Well, get some sleep, then. I'll join you in a minute." Leaf plodded to his new nest. Thankfully, no one would be sleeping there, as all the warriors were out, in an 'emergency battle' with WindClan. They had charged off just before their vigil finished. He flopped down onto an unused nest next to Thistlerose's.
It's not my fault I'm half WindClan.
"We lost!" spat Shardstar. Leaf winced at his hard voice, which reached his ears through the walls of the warriors' den. Emberflower, beside him, rose her head. Her ginger fur was tangled from sleeping, and her brindled darker ginger legs were barley visible, in the dark and half-buried under some moss.
"What's going on?" she muttered sleepily.
"They're back. They lost." Leaf said groggily, stretching. He shook his black and white fur, dislodging the scraps of moss. They peered out from the warriors' den, blinking. Shardstar stormed over to his den, and yowled a clan meeting.
"This battle gave me an idea!" he said. "I think that we could take over WindClan!"
"And hedgehogs might fly!" snorted one of the elders. "This is most mouse-brained idea he's had."
"And how might we do this?" the ShadowClan deputy, Whiskerclaw, looked up with doubt.
"By sending one of our cats to become one of them, and give us infomation so we can overthrow that clan once and for all!" some cats were nodding, hunger in their eyes, but others looked confused and fearful. None of them wanted to be sent to WindClan. Shardstar's gaze raked over his clan, and then they rested on Leaf, glinting like chips of ice. "I will send Debrisleaf!"
There was a screech of outrage and despair. Thistlerose, hobbling on an injured leg, thrust herself forward to stand nose-to-nose with Shardstar.
"How dare you even suggest sending him! This is because he's half-clan, isn't it?"
"They would trust him. He's faster than any of us." Shardstar shrugged. "Now." he marched over to Leaf. "Get over there. Or I'll give you a torn ear to remember, Debrisleaf."
I think he means it! Leaf backed away. And then he ran past.
"See you, debris!" snickered Aspenpaw. "You're free to join those rabbit-munchers!"
"Yeah, half-clan!" crowed Slatepaw. Emberflower rushed over to them, and gave them both hard cuffs on the ears.
"Shut up!" she spat. "Just shut up!"
* * *
Leaf had to live on his own for a while. Get the scent of ShadowClan out, and bring on the scent of the wind and moors. He'd live in the moor that stretched beyond WindClan territory. He stood at the border. If he was caught, he could be killed, and his so-called mission could go up in smoke. So he ran. Never had he run this way. He had guile, grace and silence when he ran, like ShadowClan. They were silent in stalking prey, but he was silent in everything. He felt his muscles stretching, his heart beating wildly against his chest, and he powered himself forward. Leaf had never ran so fast. ShadowClan was full of marsh, so he couldn't run this easily. It was like he had sprouted wings. He caught the scent of WindClan, but somehow, it was familiar and the smell didn't bother him. He powered his limbs, willed himself to go faster. He would live on the border for a while. He would practise running and chasing the fleet-footed rabbits and hares. Then he would go to WindClan.
Leaf had been living on the border of the far moor for about half a moon. He had become excellent at running, and he even caught a rabbit sometimes. Being small and thin, Leaf would pass for a WindClan cat any day. He knew he was ready now. He would approach a patrol, ask to join the clan. Obviously, it would take a while to be accepted. He knew that ThunderClan welcomed non-clan cats into their ranks but WindClan weren't as welcoming. Leaf sniffed his fur. Not a trace of the marshes. Not a lingering scent of ShadowClan. Just the moors and the cool scent of the wind. In the distance, he saw a streak shoot over the moor, a rabbit racing ahead. The rabbit's pursuiter was a WindClan cat, he could tell. He inhaled, and ran in the WindClan cat's direction. She was very small, but swift, and her pale fur was a blur as she ran. He saw her surprise as he leapt over the hill, and clamped his paws on the rabbit's neck. Both cats stared at each other, the now dead rabbit lying limp at Leaf's paws. A pale peach-coloured tabby, with white paws, chest and belly. Her eyes were the colour of the palest amber. She looked like she had been just made a warrior, about his age. He blinked his dark blue eyes.
"Who are you?" she hissed, arching her back, her fur bristling.
"Leaf." he mewed, trying to keep his black and white fur flat. "I'm a loner. I live on the farside of the moor, but... I've been feeling a bit lonely. There's no one living up there. So... I want to join WindClan."
"Peachfur?" mewed a voice. A she-cat appeared, and she stood close by Peachfur. She was about the same age and size, and her fur was brown tabby. Standing close to Peachfur, he saw their resemblance. They both had the same white paws, chest and belly, the same bright eyes, only the new cat's eyes were gray. He had a feeling that they were sisters. "Who is this trespasser?"
"Well, he says that he's a loner. He wants to join the clan."
"He dosen't look like a kittypet or soft. He looks WindClan material." remarked a tortoiseshell tom. "He looks like he has potential." Leaf recognised him as the deputy of WindClan, Hawktalon, from gatherings. He had only gone to a gathering once, and that gathering ended early due to a fight between RiverClan and ThunderClan. It was extroadinarily unlikely that he would be recognised, and he hadn't talked to any cats. He had headed toward a WindClan elder once to hear the story she was telling to some other apprentices of the clans, but Shardstar had very suddenly yowled for the gathering to begin. He had glared at Leaf as he had. This now got Leaf wondering. Has he plotted this all along?
"Well, I think he could be a spy." it was a warrior called Fleetrunner.
"A loner, a spy?" scoffed a blue-gray she-cat with white patches like clouds. She was the second medicine cat of WindClan, Bluecloud. "I doubt that." arguments broke out.
"Quiet!" yowled a voice. Wolfstar glared down at them, her gray fur bristling and her sharp green eyes mere slits. "Leaf, would you mind going into that rabbit burrow for a minute? We are going to discuss this." Leaf turned, and trotted toward a rabbit burrow. Peachfur was inside, putting down some moss. Her sister was called Wingfeather.
"There." she trotted past him, giving him a hostile glance. She was feisty and rather stubborn. With a sigh, he sat on the moss. He shivered, not the cold as a draft hit him, but with fear.
What am I doing? Am I leading this clan to disaster?
"We have come to a decision." mewed Wolfstar. "You are welcome to join WindClan."
"Really? Thank you so much! I mean, er, thank you." Leaf stammered. There was several purrs from his undisguised enthusiasm. Several grumbled.
"You need a warrior name, though. You are old enough to be a new warrior. Or would you like to keep your name?" Leaf hesitated. But then he looked up.
"No. I will accept a new name."
"Good. Spirits of StarClan, you know every cat by name. I ask you now to take away the name from the cat you see before you, for it no longer stands for what he is. By my authority as Clan leader, and with the approval of our warrior ancestors, I give this cat a new name. From this moment on he will be known as Rainleaf, for his rain blue eyes and his name given to him at his birth." murmuring and cheering swept through the clan.
"Rainleaf, Rainleaf!" he heard his new name being called.
Rainleaf. It's perfect...
"And this is our leaf-bare burrow. It was a rabbit warren, and we use it for shelter in leaf-bare and for suprising our enemies; the other three clans. There's ThunderClan, who live in the big forest by Twolegplace. They're good fighters, skilled at hunting, fight well in undergrowth, but they feel too exposed ou here on the moor. They're actually a peaceful lot, compared to other clans. RiverClan are the cats by the river. You can tell by their scent that they eat a lot of fish, they're strong but slow and sometimes clumsy. They're very efficent swimmers, which gives them their advantage, but we're fast. And ShadowClan have silence and darkness. It is said that their hearts are chilled by the north wind. They're fierce, wily and proud. They're probably one of the most viscous of the clans. StarClan are our warrior ancestors. They live in silverpelt, the swath of stars." Rainleaf listened to Shrewclaw. Shrewclaw was a gray tom, with a black patch on his flank. He was friendly, and he was showing Rainleaf WindClan territory. Even in ShadowClan, he had not been taught so much.
"I'll take you on a tour of the tunnels. You're small enough to fit down here, for a loner." Shrewclaw headed down into the hole. Rainleaf felt unusually comfortable and at ease, for a ShadowClan cat. He could smell stale and fresh scents; he picked out Peachfur's and Wingfeather's, Wolfstar's, Redpaw's, Palepaw's, and several others. Of course, he was half-Clan, but no half-Clan cat would feel so at home.
"That chamber is the nursery. It's quite big." Shrewclaw indicated to a tunnel. When Rainleaf stuck his head in it, it opened into a wide oval chamber. He could smell the stale scent of milk from nursing queens, see the claw marks from the mischievous kits that scratched the walls and floor. Shrewclaw showed him the meeting chamber, which was very large with small shafts of light beaming down from holes in the ceiling. Then he showed him the apprentice's den. It was roughly the same size as the nursery. The warriors den was larger by two fox-lengths, and the elders den was just a bit bigger then the nursery and apprentice's den. The medicine cat den was smaller then the nursery, and the herbs were stored in small scoops in the earth and walls. The leader's den was the last den. Beyond was a long, dark tunnel, curtained by some kind of plant. The tunnel went deep into the earth.
"Never go down there." warned Shrewclaw, shuddering, his eyes brimming with a sad memory. "My brother went down there when we were apprentices, and he never came back."
Rainleaf caught the rabbit, snapping its spine.
"Nice catch." sniffed Peachfur. "Not bad, for a loner." Resintail glared at her, and then he nodded.
"It is a good catch." he mewed approvingly. "Now, you take that back to camp. I need a word with Peachfur." As Rainleaf padded away, he heard a hiss. A tom was concealed in the shadows of some rocks.Cautiously, he went over, and suddenly he was bowled over.
"Well, Debrisleaf? What news?" he was looking into the mocking eyes of Aspenpaw.
"Get off, Aspenpaw-"
"It's Aspenclaw, you idiot!" retorted the black tabby. Rainleaf, angered, kicked up, sending him flying.
"What are you doing here? This isn't your territory!" Rainleaf felt the words come to his jaws, his claws unsheathe.
"Rember your loyalty, flea-pelt." hissed Aspenclaw. "You were sent here to uncover WindClan's secrets. Shardstar sent me. Now, where do they disappear to in leaf-bare?" Rainleaf blinked. Somehow, he couldn't bring himself to tell Aspenclaw. So he made something up. He told Aspenclaw that WindClan used a barn.
"A barn?" snorted Aspenclaw. "They really are weak. I'll report back to Shardstar." as he stalked off, Rainleaf couldn't help but sigh in relief. But a tinge of uncertainty flowed through him.
Am I still ShadowClan?
"WindClan, once again, we have been threatened by RiverClan. They have thrice accused us of hunting on their territory -"
"Fish-brained cowards!" yowled Shrewclaw from where he had been sitting by Rainleaf. Shrewclaw had become his closest friend in WindClan. His yowl was quickly drowned out by other insults to RiverClan.
"Who do they think they are?"
"Quiet down!" yowled someone. It was Bluecloud, the young medicine cat. Her mentor, Snowsheet, had retired to the elders den just before Rainleaf had come to WindClan. Snowsheet creeped him out. He seemed to always hve one eye on him. "Wolfstar still needs to speak."
"Thank you, Bluecloud." Wolfstar mewed, looking relieved. "Now, to stop the accusations, we must go and fight them, show them that we are strong!" Yowls of bravery and approval rang out. Now, Wolfstar was choosing the cats who were to go and fight. "The cats I choose will be: Hawktalon, Wingfeather, Fleetrunner, Peachfur, Shrewclaw, Resintail, Sapfire, Rainleaf, Lambpelt, Pheasantpaw, Pearpaw, Moorpaw and myself. Cloverfoot will be in charge of the camp until we return."
This was going to be his first real battle. Shardstar had never sent him to fight in any battle. Excitement tingled in hs paws as they crossed RiverClan territory via the bridge. Ahead, was a cluster of reeds. They surrounded RiverClan camp. Silently, they surrounded it. And then Wolfstar let out an ear-shattering yowl. Chaos erupted in the quiet camp. Warriors and apprentices raced out from their dens. The queens shoved their kits and the elders into the nursery, clawing the entrance shut and turning to protect the nursery. The leader, Streamstar, yowled courageously as she fought. Rainleaf leapt at a warrior, sinking his claws into his back. When the warrior reared up, he leapt into his exposed belly, kicking up with his hindlegs. He heard the breath driven out of his opponent. And then he heard a yowl of terror. Peachfur lay, pinned by a warrior who was twice her size. The warrior reached down to give her the killing bite. Something overcame Rainleaf. He kicked himself free of the two apprentices who had leapt at him, and bowled Peachfur's attacker over. She skidded away, staring in shock at him.
"Get out of here!" his yowl was cut off as Peachfur's would-be killer slashed his claws over his muzzle. Rainleaf fought back, biting his tail and legs. The warrior raised his paw to give him a deadly blow on the head. Suddenly, there was a blur of peach and white. Peachfur rammed into his side, knocking him away from Rainleaf. He stumbled to his paws, staring at her. She had sprang to help Wingfeather, who was being pinned under the water surface by a RiverClan she-cat. Rainleaf leapt at the nearest warrior, the RiverClan deputy, Snowflower, who also had a cat pinned under the water; it was Hawktalon. He pushed her over. The gray and white she-cat glared at him through slitted, ice-blue eyes as he scored his claws over her shoulder, and pushed her into the river. He pinned her beneath the surface, ignoring the water. She scrabbled feebly at him, but she was weakening. her eyes were closing. Just then, a silver tabby and white tom, Sparrowfeather, leapt at him. Snowflower dragged herself from the river, gasping for breath. Sparrowfeather shielded her protectively. His leaf-green eyes sparked with undisguised fury.
"You WindClan rabbit-munchers think you have the right to attack a queen?" he hissed, nudging Snowflower away from the battlefield. His tail sweeping protectively over her swollen belly. Rainleaf hadn't realized it. Sorry!
"Retreat!" yowled Wolfstar. "WindClan, retreat!" An unconcious Moorpaw was drapped over her shoulders as she limped out of camp. Rainleaf followed her, and then WindClan. Peachfur was running some distance away with Wingfeather, but her eyes slid over to him the entire time.
"Stop squirming, Rainleaf! You're like a rabbit!" Bluecloud was prodding his wound gently with one claw. "Hmm, I'll need some marigold - Mistlekit! What are you doing there?"
"I just wanted to watch!" Rainleaf twisted his head round. Mistlekit was sitting at the entrance, staring with interest. "It looks really interesting!" Bluecloud's blue eyes were thoughtful as she gazed at the little kit. The silver kit looked at hopefully.
"Look in there, Mistlekit. Can you see a yellow flower?" the kit bounced to her paws, and skidded past, trusting a paw into the shallow scoop.
"Is this it?"
"Yes. That's marigold. Well done!" as Bluecloud took the marigold, Rainleaf whispered in her ear.
"I think someone wants to be a medicine cat apprentice."
"She's always watching me. She loves pestering Snowsheet about herbs. I might ask Wolfstar if I can take her on as an apprentice. She clearly wants to." Rainleaf remembered when Sparrowfeather had given him a viscious blow on the flank. Bluecloud was treating it, but it looked like it might scar. "I think you don't have to stay here tonight. But don't leave the camp until I think you're well enough. Go and get something to eat." Rainleaf got up, and carefully stretched his cramped legs. A poultlice was stuck on one claw. He slowly picked his way through the injured cats waiting for treatment. He was surprised when Peachfur padded up to him with a lapwing in her jaws.
"Hi." she mewed, setting it down. "Do you want to share?"
"Sure." Rainleaf padded along beside her, to the warriors' den. He plucked out the feathers. "Maybe we could give the feathers to Shadeflight, for her nest. Her kits will be born soon."
"Good idea." Peachfur agreed. "I... I wanted to thank you for saving me, earlier. If you hadn't pushed him off..." her voice died away. Rainleaf nudged her gently.
"You're my clanmate. I'd do anything to save a clanmate." And Rainleaf realized that the words were the truth.
"Hey, Peachfur! Want to hunt?"
"Sure!" Peachfur jumped to her paws. Since Rainleaf had saved her, she was treating him with more respect. Rainleaf liked the pale peach and white tabby. She was a great hunter and runner, and had become friendlier to him. Haretail gave Rainleaf an acid look. Rainleaf disliked the brown tabby. He tried to flirt with Peachfur often, and she ignored him. But he wasn't giving up. He suddenly shouldered between them.
"Hey, Peachfur! Your fur looks so soft and glossy, as always. I wanted to ask you something important."
"Actually -" Peachfur began, but he pushed her toward the entrance.
"Great! Let's go somewhere quiet. I don't want any cat to hear." Peachfur rolled her eyes at Rainleaf, and he stiffled a purr. Haretail marched her toward the exit. Rainleaf narrowed his eyes. What was Haretail intending to ask her? He felt wrong to eavesdrop, but he had to hear it. The scents lead to some gorse. Rainleaf hid in a pile of moor grass, and listened.
"No. I'm sorry."
"But... but Peachfur! I love you! Can't you see that? I want you to be my mate."
"No you don't. You strut about, and I know that you're trying to make other toms jealous. You've had countless chances to talk to me, but when a tom talks to me you suddenly barge in. I've seen the way you look at them. You sneer at them."
"No - no I don't!" his voice was high. What a terrible liar.
"Good-bye, Haretail." Rainleaf heard Peachfur push out of the gorse, and he glimpsed her pale fur. Quickly, he went the long way back to camp, but due to his speed, he got there in time.
"What did Haretail want?" he asked casually. Peachfur gave a snort of digust.
"He wants me to be his mate. And hedgehogs might fly! My eyes are on another cat."
Rainleaf and Peachfur had found a lovely place. It was a lovely pool of water, surrounded by tall, sweet scented purple and blue heather and some gorse bushes. Soft, short moor grass covered the ground. They went there sometimes, to talk and hunt the little mice that scurried about the heather. Rainleaf was still being ambushed by Aspenclaw, who badgered him for infomation. Most of it was lies. He didn't know why he was lying. Tonight, it was the gathering. Rainleaf was very nervous. What if other clan cats recognised him? He doubted it, but still...
"Hey, Rainleaf! You're not usually this quiet!" Peachfur gave him a playful nudge. "I'm fine." he mewed, nudging her back, trying to look excited. The clan arrived at the edge of ThunderClan territory, and made their way to Fourtrees. Rainleaf bristled in unfamilar territory, but he forced his fur to lie flat. They were the first to arrive. He kept close to Peachfur as he scented ThunderClan on the breeze. There they were, stocky and well-muscled. They padded confidently to meet WindClan, calling out greetings. Birdstar greeted Wolfstar, Hawktalon nodded at the deputy, Mosstail, and Bluecloud padded over to Lighteningstrike, the medicine cat, and his apprentice, Poppypaw. Then, RiverClan arrived. They greeted ThunderClan, but there was a cold silence between WindClan and RiverClan. And finally... ShadowClan. Shardstar and Aspenclaw gave him a cold glare. Thistlerose and Emberflower looked at him casually, but their eyes were round with nervousness and worry. In fact, most of ShadowClan were. Apart from Shardstar, Aspenclaw and some others, ShadowClan all looked worried.
"Meet us after the gathering." hissed Emberflower under her breath as she sat next to him as the gathering began. Shardstar yowled for silence.
"ShadowClan will begin! A warrior has gone missing from the clan, but we are confident that he will return." he turned his cold gaze on Rainleaf, and he saw a sneer on his face. What in StarClan's name is he doing? Does he want the other clans to begin suspecting? "ShadowClan has nothing else to report." he nodded to Birdstar. She told the clans that two queens, Tallflower and Fogcloud, had kitted; Tallflower had had two she-kits, Plumkit and Sorrelkit, and Fogcloud a little tom called Morningkit. Rainleaf noticed Sparrowfeather in fornt of him. He seemed to bristle at Tallflower's name. Birdstar beckoned for Streamstar, and stepped back. Streamstar stormed forward.
"We are most pleased to announce that Sparrowfeather's mate, Snowflower, our deputy, has given birth to a heathy litter of five kits; Tawnykit, Owlkit, Moonkit, Ashkit and Hollykit." murmurs of congratulations swept throught the clans, though most of WindClan was silent. Peachfur, Rainleaf, Wingfeather, Bluecloud, the queens and and elders murmured, but that was all. "But, Snowflower was almost killed in a battle that was unjust. WindClan are guilty of such unjust!"
Mutterings spread through the clearing. WindClan, Rainleaf included, yowled in protest.
"You were accusing us of stealing prey!" yowled Haretail.
"What?" Streamstar stared in shock. "None of my warriors said anything! But... who were they?" quiet spread through Fourtrees. In the distance, they heard an owl shriek. Haretail shuffled his paws uncomfortingly.
"Uh... I don't remember."
"What's wrong with you?" hissed Weathercloud. "You never forget anything!" Rainleaf narrowed his eyes. What Weathercloud said was true. Haretail remembered when he first suckled, or so he said. Rainleaf was growing more suspicous with each second. Haretail's eyes were darting around, at the leaders, at the clans. He was looking the most at Shardstar. Is he hiding something..? It was then that RiverClan yowled in anger, and leapt at WindClan. The WindClan cats stumbled back in shock, and then fought back. But then there was a clap of thunder, and lightening blinded them for a moment. The moon had vanished, and now rain was pelting down, flattening heir bristling fur to their sides. There was a brief yowl when Birdstar yowled that the gathering was at an end and StarClan was angry, when Rainleaf was suddenly pulled into some bushes.
"Mother! Emberflower!" he gasped, but they were staring with terrifyed eyes.
"There's a traitor in WindClan!" Thistlerose gasped.
"What?" Rainleaf stared. "Who?"
"They went to RiverClan, and left half-eaten prey and WindClan scent in RiverClan territory! He's working with ShadowClan. Shardstar plans to -" Emberflower suddenly cut off. Peachfur was right outside the bush, calling for him frantically. Rainleaf gave them one last shocked stare, and pushed out of the bush. They fled after their clan, which were just pelting toward the moor over the hill.
Haretail was being questioned by all the clan, except Rainleaf and Peachfur. Peachfur had confessed to Rainleaf that sheahd a feeling something wasn't right about Haretail. He would disappear for large amounts of time. One day, the two headed out to their special clearing, with the pond, gorse and heather. Rainleaf rolled onto his back, thinking. Was Haretail the traitor in WindClan? He didn't know. Think about something else. Rainleaf turned his attention to his black and white fur. It was black, with bright splashes of white through it, like spilt milk over a black surface. His legs and tail had uneven white patches, like snow on soot. His eyes were very dark blue, like the deepest pool of water.
"Rainleaf, want a play-fight?" Peachfur teased. He purred, and rolled onto his paws, getting up. He leapt at her, and they rolled around on the short grass, lashing with sheathed paws. As he leapt into the air, Peachfur rammed into his belly, He felt the breath driven out of him, and she had him pinned.
"Pinned you!" she giggled. Rainleaf laughed.
"Hey, let me up, you big lump!" Peachfur let him go, and pressed his nose into his fur.
"Rainleaf, I want to ask you something."
"What is it?" he mewed drowsily.
"The last few moons... they've been so wonderful. It's like I've found my best friend -"
"Will you be my mate?" he blurted out. He hadn't intended to say it, but he couldn't stop himself. He didn't regret the words. Peachfur's beautiful eyes brimmed with happiness.
"That's exactly what I was going to ask you. Yes, I will be your mate, Rainleaf."
Rainleaf tossed and turned. He could hear the terrified mewling of kits. The shrieks of his clanmates, drowning in shadows. The helpless elders, slain. Peachfur was screeching for him, but he couldn't see her. The moor was washed in blood and shadow, and the stars crashed down, thundering down like shards of ice.
"Rainleaf! Wake up! It's just a bad dream!" paws were shaking him, and his eyes flew open. Peachfur was staring at him with wide eyes. Other cats grumbled around them.
"Would you shut up?" hissed Haretail from the other side of the clearing. "I can hear you from here!" it was leaf-fall, but it was a warm night, so they were sleeping outside.
Bluecloud and her new apprentice, Mistlepaw, padded over.
"Are you alright?" murmured Bluecloud in her soft voice.
"I'm... I'm fine." he sqeauked. "Just a nightmare." he curled into a tight ball, and Peachfur smoothed his fur with her tongue soothingly. Through slited eyes, he saw Haretail giving them an acid look.
* * *
Rainleaf couldn't get the dream out of his mind. He curled up in his and Peachfur's clearing. He wanted to be alone. Peachfur was out on patrol but she was worried about him. A tabby slid in from the heather.
"Shardstar is coming on the next moon." snickered Aspenclaw. Rainleaf's heart stopped.
"He's coming to destroy WindClan, you fool!" and Aspenclaw vanished. Rainleaf felt cold.
What have I done?
Rainleaf raced back to camp.
"Wolfstar! The clan has to hide in the winter tunnels!"
"What?" the leader turned her head. "Why?"
"ShadowClan is coming, to destroy WindClan!" a silence spread through the clan. The queens started screeching about their kits.
"Are you certain of this?" hissed Hawktalon. Rainleaf closed his eyes.
"I wasn't a loner to begin with." he mewed. "I was sent here. I was sent here to become one of you. To give infomation to Shardstar and Aspenclaw." fury erupted, and several warriors surged toward him, but Peachfur leapt into the way, spitting.
"Let him explain!" she snarled. Rainleaf carried on, how Shardstar had threatened him, because he was half-WindClan. At this, Snowsheet trembled. The elder stalked forward.
"So you're the cat who's choice could destroy WindClan!"
"Huh?" Bluecloud stared. "What are you talking about?"
"When you became a medicine cat, I recieved a prophechy from Sprucedapple. She told me that a cat would join the clan, but his choice could destroy it!" but then everyone turned to look at Haretail.
"You know, Rainleaf wasn't the first cat that joined." growled Wingfeather. "Haretail joined the clan some moons before Rainleaf did." Rainleaf stared at Haretail, who was trembling. No one told me that!
"Alright!" spat Haretail. "You win. I've been telling Shardstar our clan's secrets!"
There was a shocked silence.
"You were in ShadowClan, too?" hissed Rainleaf.
"Yes, the apprentice that vanished, remember?" Rainleaf did remember.bAs a kit, he had remembered when Harepaw the apprentice had vanished, and Shardstar had been looking shifty.
More coming soon