Red

The Last Time | The Lucky One | All Too Well | Red | State of Grace | Everything Has Changed | Starlight | I Almost Do | Twenty-Two | Treacherous | I Knew You Were Trouble | We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together | Stay Stay Stay | Holy Ground | Sad Beautiful Tragic | Begin Again

Part of the Songfic Series

OA is Taylor Swift 

Written by Red

Starlight

I said, "Oh my, what a marvelous tune."

It was the best night, never would forget how we moved

The air was filled with the nonstop, excited chatter of cats from all Clans. Pelt colors, each akin to a respective Clan, mingled as groups of cats swarmed the wide, grassy clearing that served as the meeting place for the four Clans of the forest every full moon. Overhead, the stars twinkled warmly, as though StarClan was smiling benevolently down upon the congress of cats. 

Somewhere in the distance, a couple of birds of the nocturnal variety began to strike up their eerie, otherworldly tune. I felt a warm pelt press against my flank and even without turning my head, I could sense Stormfall's presence beside me. As if something had been ignited deep in the pit of my heart, I filled with happiness and calm as he nuzzled my cheek with his own nose. My green eyes met his blue ones and our tails twined and I was able to let a soft, contented sigh escape my lips as we waded further into the convocation. 

"It's going to be a good one, I can tell," Stormfall whispered beside me. 

The whole place was dressed to the nines,

And we were dancing, dancing

I purred in agreement, nudging him playfully with my shoulder. Together, we padded deeper into the throng of cats. A few familiar faces appeared in the crowd, but we were mostly surrounded by warriors from other Clans and the odd elder or queen. A couple of apprentices, bright-eyed and engaged in a quiet game of tag, trotted past with tails waving and ears perked. Their scents mingled, so much so that distinct Clans were indistinguishable. Beside me, I felt Stormfall's face break into a grin. This was how it was supposed to be. All the Clans, together - respectful, but amiable. 

"Oh, is that Birchwing? She looks so good!" I said, gesturing towards the golden she-cat with a twitch of my tail.

Stormfall narrowed his eyes. "Isn't she supposed to be in the nursery?"

"I guess we'll find out," I responded, shrugging my shoulders and squeezing between a bickering mentor and apprentice duo. Stormfall shot the mentor - Talonfoot, I think his name was - a small smile, and Talonheart briefly dropped the scowl written across his aged face to return Stormfall's grin. 

Like we're made of starlight

Like we're made of starlight

"You two are looking great!" a high-pitched voice mewed to my left, and a couple of elders shifted to the side so that we could see the speaker. 

Stormfall's face broke into a wide smile. "Foxfur! It's great to see you, you're looking amazing too. Seems like parenthood hasn't put a moon on that face," Stormfall purred, nudging the skinny red she-cat with his shoulder. The movement nearly through her off balance, her slight frame tipping to the side a bit as Stormfall pulled away. She reciprocated his smile, saying, "I heard you two were going to be expecting soon too."

At the same moment as Stormfall shot me a questioning glance, I told her, "Not that I'm aware of."

"Kits would be lovely though," Stormfall interjeced brightly, his eyes already beginning to shine. As if they were betraying their owner, I could already see images of small kits, a perfect mixture of the both of us, racing through his head. He would make a great father, there was no doubt about it, and the notion seemed to be supported by a wide number of cats throughout all of the Clans. 

I met Bobby on the boardwalk, summer of '45

Picked me up late one night at the window

Foxfur gave me a sly smile. "Maybe not yet, but someday I know we'll all be standing before this very tree when Earthstar calls the names of your two kits and they're met with rampant cheers. And then I'll be able to say 'I told you so,' no matter how old I happen to be." On that note, the pretty she-cat bounded towards her Clan as the leaders leapt up onto the massive oak that dominated the clearing. 

Stormfall and I maneuvered our way to the front of the crowd as the Gathering began, and while he, as a senior warrior, stayed attentive to our speaking leaders, my mind wandered. 

I recalled our first meeting: the night I was made a warrior. Half of the cats at the ceremony I didn't even know, despite the fact that we were Clanmates. Stormfall fell into this category, and for sunrises all I could think about was the tom with the golden-brown pelt and bright, eager blue eyes. He told me his name and from there, it was like an unimaginable relationship had begun to blossom right from the get go. 

We were 17 and crazy, running wild, wild

Can't remember what song he was playing when we walked in

In the pause before Fleckstar's words and Earthstar's introduction, Stormfall pressed up close against me and whispered from the corner of his muzzle, "What are you thinking about?" There was a knowing twinkle present in his eyes, one I had grown accustomed to seeing in the prelude to his most memorable I told you so moments. Rolling my eyes, I replied in a rather resigned tone, "The day we met. Happy?"

Stormfall purred, but his reply was cut short by our leader talking center stage. "ThunderClan has been doing well these past moons..."

Throghout the rest of her update, the assumed silence began to dissipate as cats, antsy from the wait, began to gravitate towards their friends or companions. When Earthstar finally finished, the manner in which cats began to scramble was almost comical. I was separated from Stormfall by a couple of young, enthusiastic warriors who were bounding between us to reach their WindClan playmates. Over the head of a burly gray tabby, Stormfall rolled his eyes and shook his head in exasperation. 

The night we snuck into a yacht club party

Pretending to be a duchess and a prince

We're greeted by a few friends as the hubbub and excess of movement dies down, but for the most part, Stormfall and I are left alone. It is for that reason that I lead the way towards the fringe of the clearing, where a couple of sturdy hazel bushes provide ample cover and privacy from the main space. Should Earthstar summon ThunderClan to leave on a bit of a whim, we'd be ready, too. 

"Remember the ceremony?" Stormfall asked me once we had settled into a comfortable position. "Earthstar was pretty frazzled trying to bestow all of the names upon us. And the vigil was practically a riot - no one knew what ws going on and I don't think anyone got any sleep that night. There was for sure no way we were going to be attacked with the noise we were making, probably scared off half of the predators lurking in the forest, at any rate!"

My skin prickled with warmth at the familiar memories. 

And I said, "Oh my, what a marvelous tune."

It was the best night, never would forget how we moved.

"It was nice, though," I said. "It was so beautiful."

And it was, if I remember correctly. A warm night in Greenleaf, and I was surrounded by quite a few of my friends. Melodypaw was made into a warrior alongside me, earning the name of Melodybird. When it grew dark, we both hunkered down beside each other and promised to maintain the vow of silence all warriors swore by when undertaking their first moonlit vigil - and, like most warriors, it was an oath we would soon break by the time the forest nightlife awoke. 

The last birds were chirping, spewing half-hearted tunes into the air in the last light of the dying sun. Gold was smeared across the sky like a poultice covering a wound that bled crimson and pink, and when the colors finally faded into the solidarity of night and the stars began to twinkle again, whispers resumed amongst the newly-named warriors. Some of our seniors hushed us, but by the time the moon rose they had given up and were sleeping with tails clasped over their ears, or had otherwise come out to join us in surveying the night sky. It was a night I would never forget. 

The whole place was dressed to the nines

And we were dancing, dancing

Though at the time, I wasn't aware of how far our relationship would escalate, I had found myself transfixed by Stormfall. I had just gotten over an old crush when he appeared, just like that, ready to fill the position as though he had been waiting for its opening for ages. Stargaze and Wetstream and Sunmark and Bramblepath couldn't stop teasing me about it. 

"It was beautiful," Stormfall agreed a few moments later. "But only because you were there."

Warmth spreads from my muzzle to my tail tip, but I revel in the kindness of his words before returning the compliment. Throughout our whole relationship, it was Stormfall who shared the wealth and bequested me with all manner of kind words and though it was often that I returned the favor, I never knew if I made him feel the same way that he made me. His words made me glow, made me swell with pride with every compliment and genuine phrase. I could only hope that my sparse flattery was enough to compensate for his wordy shows of affection. Nevertheless, they were appreciated and he made me happy and vice versa. And I could ask for nothing more. 

Like we're made of starlight, starlight

Like we're made of starlight, starlight

"You're too kind," I returned playfully, flicking at his ear with the tip of my tail.

He smiled, his lips pulling back to reveal the corners of his teeth. His golden fur was fluffed along his spine and from the warmth radiating from his body, I could tell he was rather pleased. His tail tip twitched, a tell I knew meant that he was happy and joyful and just the simple sight of such a simple movement filled me with my own irrepressable emotions. I couldn'tt even begin to explain it. 

"Really though, Stormfall. I can't express the joy meeting you has brought me. I mean - I know we're far short of planning for the future, but what we have is something no cat should be ashamed of. You make me so happy, and there are no more eloquent words I can use to describe it. You just...you make me glow, Stormfall, and I don't know how I can ever repay you for what you've done for me. Even if it doesn't last...I don't know."

He said, "Look at you, worrying so much about things you can't change

You'll spend your whole life singing the blues if you keep thinking that way."

A frown now found its way onto Stormfall's features, turning his eyes true to his name. In the fleeting moment before he speaks, the warmth beginning to return to his face as quickly as it had left, I worried that he was mad. That my doubt in our relationship had set him over the edge a little bit, so that he was scared that I didn't believe in commitment.

And then he said, maintaining the serious tone that was already etched onto his face, "Redpoppy - Redpoppy, don't talk like that. I'll never let you go. You can't really think that anything might be able to come between us - I mean...just look at the way everyone else treats us. Like we're one whole. There isn't much of a Stormfall without a Redpoppy, and though I won't be so impertinent as to assume the opposite applies...I love you. And I find it hard to believe that you, cheerful you, would find something at fault with this."

I scuffled my paws, feeling like a reprimanded apprentice. 

He was trying to skip rocks on the ocean, saying to me,

"Don't you see the starlight, starlight?

"Look at us," Stormfall plowed on, oblivious to the warmth that was slowly beginning to stain my cheeks. "Redpoppy...can't express my joy at meeting you. Ever since that ceremony, when you became a part of my life, things have been different for me. As an apprentice, I was happy, but when I laid eyes on you, radiant, beautiful, spunky you, it was like I had never before known the meaning of happiness."

Trying to lighten the mood, I mumble, "You really most not have if you could get so much from seeing me."

Fortunately, Stormfall let out a chuckle. "Oh, come off it, Redpoppy. Can't you see? I love you - and I will give up anything and everything to be with you for as long as possible. You hold so much promise, and I am willing to put my future in your paws if it means being able to stay with you. You mean so much to me - and look," he gestured up to the twinkling blanket of stars cushioning the moon above our head, "even StarClan agrees with me."

Don't you dream impossible things?"

Like "Oh my, what a marvelous tune."

"ThunderClan! We're leaving!"

Earthstar's command cut through the crowd like a RiverClanner's paw through the stream. At once, the earth-colored pelts akin to ThunderClan began to file towards the exit of the clearing, like a solid mass moving against the current. In the flurry of activity, Stormfall was separated from me and trotted to catch up with Bramblepath, who quickly engaged him in conversation. I noticed her sly eyes slipping over his face to meet mine, and I couldn't keep the exasperation from edging my features. 

I was one of the last to squeeze through the thorny tunnel from the Gathering, followed only by one of our elders, Mistysun, who was waving farewell to one of her friends still in attendance. She moved slowly, so I hung back in order to make sure she didn't fall too far behind, and pretended to listen to her rather incoherent babble. 

It was the best night, never would forget how we moved

The whole place was dressed to the nines,

"This was a pretty nice one," Mistysun rasped, her voice very faint. I had to move closer to hear her, but she dismissed me with a wave of her tail. "You go run around with your young'un friends, my darling. Don't need to keep an old cripple like me company when you could be prancin' and dancin' along with those ruffians up ahead." She gestured with one white paw to where Stargaze and Wetstream were shooting me anxious looks. "Go on, now."

I thanked her with a bob of my head and a few kind words, and did as she ordered. I fell in line between the two of my friends and quickly tuned into the conversation at hand. 

"Did you see Thistlefoot?" Stargaze said passionately, her blue eyes reflecting the wide, white surface of the moon above our heads. "I mean, his pelt was groomed so nicely tonight and he missed that little tuft of hair that he always does. And he must have been working out, because his muscles looked so nice beneath his pelt and I just--ah! I could hardly contain myself."

And we were dancing, dancing

Like we're made of starlight, starlight

"Good thing you did," Wetstream returned dryly. "Otherwise your enthusiasm might have been mistaken for predatory tactics and you could have gotten us kicked out of the Gathering. Earthstar would have your pelt for that, and then your precious Thistlefoot could never love you."

I laughed as Stargaze took a swipe at our friend, her eyes hard with playful offense. "I'll hve you know that Thistlefoot would never be so shallow as to judge a she-cat based simply on her looks! He's the more wholesome type, he prefers personality to whatever may be on the outside..." She continued to praise the bulky RiverClan tom as though he was the might of StarClan compacted into a single cat. Wetstream imitated Stargaze and added in return to her last comment, "Well, then, you're in luck."

It was lucky Stargaze didn't hear. "...and besides, he doesn't need the perfect she-cat. He can make do with anyone. Unlike Stormfall," she added slyly, nudging me. "He can only make do with you."

Like we're made of starlight, starlight

Ooh ooh he's talking crazy

At once, the attention of both of my friends shifted to me. As if Stargaze had spoken magic words, the procession up ahead grew quiet. I could even feel Mistysun's breath on my heels as she strained with milky eyes as if to see the words with which I retaliated to my friend's comment. 

"I suppose that's true," I conceded finally, giving up the notion of disputing her claim. "I mean...the same applies to me. I don't think I'd be able to live without him--oh, come off it," I said at Wetstream's rolling eyes. "You know I don't mean it like that. I could live without him...but I don't think I'd want to. You guys are great and all, and I would never sacrifice you for a tom, ever, but he's one of the best things that happened to me and I'd feel the same if something happened to one of you."

Wetstream doesn't seem convinced, but Stargaze presses against my flank and coos, "My wittle Wedpaw! All grown up!"

Ooh ooh dancing with me

Ooh ooh we could get married

I shoved her and she stumbled off to the side, still chuckling as though she was the most amusing cat in the world. Beaming rather widely now, I patted both of my friends with the snowy tip of my tail and gifted them each with a small smile. 

"You know...as much as your blabbering about Thistlefoot annoys me...and as much as I probably annoy you with my blabbering about Stormfall...and when I say this I'm trusting that you guys won't say anything to anyone about this, but I think he might be, y'know..." I trail off nervously, suddenly very aware of the swiveled heads at the front of the throng and Mistysun's surprisingly keen ears hanging onto my every word. 

Again, Stargaze squealed in excitement. "My wittle Wedpaw," she repeated insistently. "I can't believe it. I mean, I know Wetstream thinks we're young and all, but this is exciting for you, Redpoppy! You're gonna be mates and have a bazillion kits and live to be a cute old couple in the elders' den, and I'll be in StarClan and I'll be able to say 'I told you so.'"

Have ten kids and teach them how to dream

Oh my, what a marvelous tune

"We aren't going to have a bazillion kits," I told her firmly, but the image of small, multi-colored fuzzballs prancing around a pair of familiar golden-brown paws lingered in my head. "I mean - no. We're not going to have a bazillion kits. Stargaze...oh, come on! We aren't!"

For, as I had been trying to convince her otherwise, she had taken to stumbling around like a blind little kitten just days out of the nursery. With a nudge to each of their shoulders, Wetstream and Rainsplash imitated her, tripping over stray sticks and jumping whenever one of their paws came in contact with a leaf. Stargaze bounded into my paws and I nearly tripped, but she couldn't see the furious gaze I shot her on account of her half-closed, lidded eyes. 

"Come off it," I huffed a few moments later as their pretend grew old. "We're not going to have a ton of kits. I doubt my body could withstand that and I don't even think it's possible. So...there." 

It was the best night, never would forget how we moved

The whole place was dressed to the nines,

"Yeah, yeah," Stargaze said dismissively, dropping the act and giving me a friendly shove. 

Sighing heavily, I returned the action and trotted ahead to walk along with Bramblepath, who had been watching the antics of our mutual friends with a considerable amount of amusement. At the elated expression on her narrow face, I swatted playfully at her and exhaled noisily. It seemed I could never get a break - not even from my friends. If they were going to persist with these rotten attitudes, I could only imagine what the Clan would do when we all got back. 

StarClan, having a crush is hard. Especially when your friends are some of the biggest talkers in the entire Clan and insistent upon making fun of you. Life is rough.

And we were dancing, dancing

Like we're made of starlight, starlight

It was only when Bramblepath succumbed to the pressure of the rest of our peers (taunting Redpoppy seemed to be the game they were most eager to play) that I dismissed them and trotted ahead in search of the devil incarnate, Stormfall.

His golden pelt had slipped amongst the earth-toned ones like a prey through the foliage; that was to say, it became nearly impossible to find him as our Clan returned towards camp. Any call I made to try and grab his attention was lost amidst the thrum of paws and the chatter of cheerful and delighted voices. The moment I paused, even to get a burr untangled from my chest, I was buffeted off of my feet by the swiftness with which my Clanmates moved. My endeavor was fruitless - it would be best just to wait until the Clan had gotten safely back to camp to even begin to find Stormfall. 

I slowed, making my way to the center of the throng, a couple of paces ahead of my friends but just close enough to hear their conversation - and the words I heard warmed my heart. 

Like we're made of starlight, starlight

Like we're made of starlight, starlight

They had abandoned their demeaning chatter, instead replacing it with fond and affectionate words. Stargaze spoke of how sad it was to see me growing up so fast - I'd been no more than a scrawny apprentice when we'd become friends, and now I was a fully-fledged warrior who had already found the love of my life.

"It is cute," Wetstream admitted, somewhat ruefully, as she trudged along with the others. "But I am worried about her. What if - what if he breaks her heart?" The thought was unspeakable, but Wetstream had already breached that barrier amidst the dismayed gasps coming from our friends. She plowed on. "I know it's not for certain, obviously, it's just a thought, but she's still young and I don't want her to...you know...make a bad decision. They know each other quite well and they are, irrefutably, a lovely couple."

Sunmark swatted at her. "You think too much."

Like we dream impossible dreams

Like starlight, starlight

The camp was in sight, and up ahead, most cats were already slowing down. Stargaze almost crashed into my rear end, but she offered naught but a grin as she shoved past me into the camp. I stuck my tongue out at her and charged into the hollow after Wetstream. 

The Clan always seemed so alive after Gatherings. Those that had been asleep at the start or hadn't been invited along rose from their nests and flocked into the center of the camp to hear the news. If there was the scent of battle on the horizon, the cats left behind would be the first to start preparing. If there was news of prey running slowly in other Clans, our efforts would be redoubled and plans would be hatched. But when there was nothing but good news to entertain everyone, it was simply a sight to behold - there was chatter, play-fighting, kits tussling and rolling along on the dusty camp floor. Earthstar was praising some of the younger warriors on their protection of the camp, and nothing seemed amiss. 

A flash of gold caught my eye, and Stormfall was at my side in a moment. "Fancy a walk?"

Like we dream impossible dreams

Don't you see the starlight, starlight?

The night was dark, though stars speckled the silky night sky, piercing the thick blanket of ebony to glow like beacons above our heads. The trees provided ample shelter from the chill and the bugs that would drop onto our fur, and the soil beneath our feet was soft and warm and cushioned my pads. Stormfall pressed comfortingly against my flank, nuzzling his head at my neck and giving me a playful lick on the cheek. 

"In a couple of moons, this is still going to be us," he said firmly, twining his tail with mine. His blue eyes reflected the milky sheen of stars glowing along Silverpelt. "We're going to be taking walks after Gatherings, and after we eat our final meal. And sometime, our kits are going to be chasing us out of camp and we're going to have to make sure they stay with whatever queen is haunting the nursery or expecting kits. StarClan, Redpoppy, I just can't wait."

My purr stuck in my throat as Stormfall continued, "Redpoppy, I love you."

Don't you dream impossible things?

The conglomeration of emotions that had been buzzing through my mind dissipated like morning fog. "I love you too."

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