"They are coming," A tom whispered, poking through the shadows and approaching a she-cat a couple feet away from him.
"Who," She questioned, giving him a curious glance, as she entwined her tail with his.
"The rogue family," The tom claimed, allowing the she-cat to place her head on his shoulder, "They appear to be a family of traveling rouges that never appear to settle."
"Who did you hear this from?" The she-cat questioned.
"Henry," The tom claimed, "He claims his twolegs took him up a little further, and he encountered the family there."
"They sound a little like a Clan," The she-cat claimed, "You know like the one that lives in the forest, and they formed after the fire..."
"I know what you're talking about, Bella," The tom claimed, "AutumnClan."
"Yeah," Bella nodded gently and the two gently began to paddle along, "I can imagine them settling next to AutumnClan."
"I can't," The tom confessed, "AutumnClan would get hostile that their territory was being intruded and they are traveling cats."
"AutumnClan has more than enough territory, Stike," Bella claimed, "They probably don't even glance at most of it. And perhaps they are just looking for a place to settle and they have been unable to find it until now?"
"Perhaps," Bella shrugged.
"Have you ever considered joining AutumnClan?" Strike questioned his mate gently.
"It's passed through my mind," Bella confessed, "But I like my twolegs; I doubt that I would ever be able to leave them for a Clan and cats I don't even know..."
"That's true," Strike nodded, "I've considered it too... But I don't think it's worth giving everything that I have up for. It might not even be as great as they say."
Bella nodded and they were silent for many moments.
"I wonder if we will run into the cats," Strike finally whispered, "They're lives must be so different. I'd be interested to meet them."
"Me too!" Bella claimed, "Life must be so different for them-constantly moving around. I think I would hate it. How could I have made any cats outside the family?"
"You probably couldn't have," Strike claimed, "I can assume their family must be very close because of that; with no outer bonds to cut theirs."
"I wouldn't like it," Bella claimed, "I mean my sisters are nice and all-but seeing them once every few days in more than enough for me. How do they even find mates?"
"I don't know," Strike shrugged, "I guess you would have to ask them that yourself when they come around."
"I hope I can get the chance to," Bella claimed.
"Well they should be coming around here within a few sunrises," Strike claimed, "Just hope that you might get lucky and run into them."
Bella smiled, pulling her head of Strike's shoulder, "I do," She claimed, before pulling her pelt away from his, "I'll see you tomorrow!" She called."See you tomorrow!" Strike responded, heading in the opposite direction of his mate, the stars twinkling brightly above him, as he headed back to his den.
Snow trudged along; trying to keep up with her family as they marched through the snow; tireless determination available in their eyes.
"Keep up, Snow," Winter, her father, grunted from the front of the group of cats.
"Sorry dad," Snow sneezed gently, "It's just really cold and hard to walk when there's all this snow."
"You were names after the snow," Winter snapped, "You should be able to bear it."
Sighing, Snow didn't reply, just kept trudging along, trying her best to keep up with her strong, well-trained family all whom where much more experienced with the cold weathers that the current season brought; something she was only experiencing for the first time, as she was six moons old.
"I want to get to the forest the kittypet was talking about within a couple sunrises," Winter claimed, speaking to his whole family this time, "So we have to move faster!"
Sighing, Snow desperately tried to increase the rate at which she was walking, alongside her family feeling a wave of frustration sweeping over her.
Why do we have to go through this almost everyday just to stop for a couple sunrises and rest before traveling again?
Her family seemed to have been doing it ever since they decided to join together in order to make survival easier for themselves.
But surely it would make sense to eventually settle so that life would be much easier and they wouldn't need to meet the demands of traveling.
"Snow!" Winter snapped again, "Keep up!"
"Sorry," Snow sighed, pushing her feet to move her further; fighting back several waves of exhaustion.
How much longer can I take this?
When Snow opened her eyes she was met by a lush green forest; blooming with all kinds of life. It wasn't an unfamiliar sight to her; even though she was only six moons old she had seen too many large beautiful forests to count.
There was something else, however, that was special about the forest she was facing.
She wasn't sure quite what though.
Suddenly, a couple small cats; around her age, went rushing by Snow laughing as they ran along most likely racing somewhere.
Turning around Snow began to paddle back towards the direction they came from; curiosity that was unable to resist leading her in that direction.
The path from which they came was lush just like the rest of the forest and as Snow continued she soon found her eyes being enlightened by what she sa-
"Snow!" Winter snapped.
Snow jolted up, "What is it?" She mumbled.
"We're continuing now," Winter claimed, "I want to get moving again."
Blinking sleep out of her eyes, Snow pushed herself to her paws bracing herself for another day's worth of long walking and tireless travels.
But there was an image still lingering in her mind which remained from the dream-the image of what she had seen in her dream.
Cats living together; working together-helping each other survive. It was almost like her family...Except they seemed satisfied with their lives.
"Keep moving, Snow!" Snow flinched at the usual words of her father; they were only stronger now with the terrible weather and how quickly he wanted to keep moving.
Kicking the snow in frustration and resisting the urge to yell at something; as the snow wouldn't hear any of the cusses she shot at it; she forced her way next to her father's side.
Every now and then Snow would get a strong feeling of pride for being the leader of her family among nearly twenty other cats; most of which were her age.
They were all related; they shared a family member somewhere in their past, which was what brought them all together. There was one elderly cat whom they agreed to take care of; two queens they were helping, two kits, four younger cats like Snow and the rest were all full-grown cats living and traveling with their family.
When her father decided to retire or even died, a new leader would be chosen; likely among the younger cats to continue to lead them.
The leader didn't have complete control over the family; they were just responsible for leading the Clan as it traveled and had the largest say in where they would be traveling.
"Hello, Snow," Winter gave Snow a smile, "The traveling appears to be a little challenging for you now in this harsher season."
"It is, father," Snow sighed, "I'm sorry..."
"It's fine," Winter claimed, "It's always challenging the first winter which you begin to travel in."
"It is," Snow agreed.
They were silent for a few moment and finally Snow worked up the nerve to ask, "Why do we spend all of this time traveling?" She questioned.
"What?" Winter gave her a confused glance.
"I mean..." Snow stuttered, "Wouldn't it just be easier if we settled and didn't have to constantly worry about traveling or where we would go next?"
"It would be," Winter shrugged.
"Then why don't we do that?"
Winter sighed, "Our family has been doing this for too many seasons to count, Snow," He claimed, "It's what defines who we are."
"Why can't we change?"
"Change isn't easy," He claimed.
"Even though we keep changing where we are?"
Winter didn't have a reply for that.
"How hard would it be to settle somewhere?" Snow questioned.
"It's not as easy as it sounds," Winter replied.
"It's easier than this though, isn't it?" Snow questioned.
Winter didn't reply.And Snow knew it was because she was right.
"We're stopping here for a few days," Winter claimed as they reached the edge of a green forest; much akin to all of those which Snow had seen before.
So it wasn't a surprise when it looked familiar to her.
Or, at least, it shouldn't have been.
But there was an eerie and familiar feeling that hung around the forest; which almost worried Snow a bit; as she followed her family.
There was a lot less snow in the forest than there had been while they were walking towards it, which appeared to be a relief for all of them.
"Where should we make camp?" Violet, one of the senior members of the family questioned.
Winter turned around gently, "Let's look around for a little bit before deciding."
The cats nodded following Winter as the explored yet another forest.
You belong here...
When Snow opened her eyes she was facing a white she-cat with starry blue eyes and a gentle smile who was regarding her gently.
"Who are you?" Snow questioned.
"I'm Wishpaw," The she-cat replied, "I lived here in this forest centuries ago..." She trailed off dark thoughts sweeping through her gaze.
Snow decided not to push her any further.
"Why have you come to visit me?" She whispered.
"I need to tell you something important," Wishpaw claimed.
"What's that?" Snow questioned.
"You belong here."
"This forest," Wishpaw claimed, "Your family is one of the pieces to this puzzle; and unless all of the pieces go into place fate will not be complete.
"But my family is always moving..."
"Make them stay..."
Before Snow could ask how Wishpaw was already fading away, as her dreams dissolved and reality began to snap back into her as I woke up.
"Who are you?" A reddish-brown tom demanded, his pelt burning fiercely under the sunlight.
"This isn't your territory, is it?" Winter questioned.
"It actually is," The tom claimed, "Our Clan occupies this forest-"
"Your Clan really needs this whole forest?" Winter questioned.
The tom paused, "No," He claimed, "We usually don't mind others hunting here; there's too much prey here for all of us. We just like to know if there is any threat on our territory."
"We're just passing through," Winter assured the tom, "We should be gone within a few sunrises."There was a tight moment before he nodded, "Enjoy your stay here, then," He claimed, before turning around and bounding back away.
"What?" Winter had a bewildered expression on his face.
"Could we stay here?"
"Why would you want to do that?" Winter demanded.
"Because..." Snow sighed, "This place just feels right for us."
"How would you know that?" Winter questioned.
Snow huffed in frustration, debating if she should tell him about her dream, before deciding it would not help convincing Winter that they should stay in the forest.
"There are other cats that already inhabit this forest, anyways," Winter claimed, "They wouldn't let us form our own little Clan here."
"They said themselves that they had too much territory to watch over!" Snow protested, "I'm sure they wouldn't mind us that much!"
I'm sure they would," He replied with a harsh glare.
He sighed, "Where do you get these ideas?"
"This place feels like home to me," Snow claimed, "I've already made a connection with it; and I can't explain how. It feels like our destiny.
"Don't be ridiculous!"
But the look in Winter's eyes told Snow that he had felt that way as well. He was just scared of what the other cats would think if he decided they should change their lifestyle.
Snow had a feeling, however, that they wouldn't mind it, and that, perhaps, they had been thinking along the same lines as well.
"I like that idea," Robin confessed, as he groomed his dark pelt, "And I agree with you on the strange connection-but I was afraid I would sound like a fool if I brought it up."
"I think Winter feels the same way," Snow claimed.
"Really?" Robin questioned.
Snow nodded, "I'm almost positive."
A moon later they still hadn't left.
And no cat appeared to be complaining about it. Winter was never questioned about it; and Snow was quick to realize that the whole family felt the same way.
That they had finally found a place where they could stay.
Which was why is wasn't really a surprise, or at all a disappointment, the day when Winter gathered his cats together and claimed;"We're staying here."
"AutumnClan has been invading WinterClan territory," Winterstar snarled in Autumnstar's face as the two Clans stood facing each other, at their border.
"Why would we invade your territory?" Autumnstar spat, "When there is so much unused territory on the other side of the forest?"
"How would I know why you do the things you do?" Winterstar spat, "It's your job to come up with an excuse; not mine!"
There was a tense moment before Autumnstar snarled, "How dare you accuse us of stealing your prey when we were the first ones to inhabit this forest?"
Everything was still for a moment and time ominously ticked by.
Suddenly the tense feeling erupted and cats were being flung at each other. Snowpaw winced as she felt a pair of claws raking her side followed by a sharp feeling shooting up her pelt.
Snarling she whirled around and jumped onto the cat that had attacked her; the only thought in her mind being to prove that her family could not be pushed around as AutumnClan appeared to be doing.
To prove that they were actually a Clan.
Snow shrieked in pain as she felt another sharp pair of claws piercing her shoulder, followed by a blow to the eyes, as she tumbled over and everything began to fade into blackness.
When Snowpaw opened her eyes she was in the medicine cat's den as Ripplewave applied cobwebs to her shoulder, a gentle smile on his face.
"You were very brave during the battle," he claimed.
"Thanks," Snow gave him a warm smile, "Did we win?"
"There was no winner. We made peace with AutumnClan before returning."
"That sucks," Snowpaw commented.
"No it doesn't," Ripplewave contradicted, "AutumnClan can now respect us as an actual Clan; as will the rest of the world. We have proved ourselves."
"Then we are no longer the family of rogues that are constantly traveling?" Snowpaw questioned."No," Ripplewave smiled, "We are now WinterClan."
"I told you!" Bella exclaimed jumping through the bushed as she worked her way to Strike a delighted look plastered on her face.
Strike sighed, "I suppose you did."
"I knew they would join AutumnClan!"
"They didn't join AutumnClan," Strike corrected, "They became a new Clan-they call themselves WinterClan after their leader-Winter."
"But I knew they would settle in the forest!"
Strike sighed, "I'll never hear the end of this."
Bella's whiskers twitched, "Probably not."
Strike smiled, wrapping his tail around his mate gently, "Well maybe you can stop by sometime and ask them what their life was like; traveling the whole time."
"I plan to," Bella replied gently, "Soon or later."
They were silent for several moments.
"You think there will be any other Clans to inhabit the forest?" Bella questioned.
"I guess," Strike shrugged, "It's a possibility. I dismissed it a little too quickly last time but I could see it happening."
They began to paddle side by side, through the twoleg gardens speaking of their lives and their twolegs; and Strike was surprised when Bella commented.
"I've wondered if I should join one of the Clans-just to see what it's like."
"You have so much curiosity in you," Strike commented with a gentle twitch of his whiskers.
"I just want to know what kind of a life it would be," Bella whispered before sighing.
"Would you join me if I decided to."
There was a moment of silence before Strike nodded.
"Clan life can be dangerous; I would have to go to protect you!"
Bella sighed, "I would be fine!" She snapped.
"Like the one time when..." Strike smirked and Bella stuffed her tail inside of his muzzle, not allowing him to finish his sentence.
When Bella removed her tail from his mouth Strike began to purr with amusement and Bella just rolled her eyes glancing up at the stars gently.
"How likely are you to join a Clan?" Strike questioned and Bella shrugged.
"Depends," She claimed, "It really all depends on what destiny has in store for me."Looking away from his mate for possibly the first time since they had met that night, Strike followed her gaze to the stars which were shinning brightly in the dark of the night.