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Dedicated to Rainy , my awesome buddy, who taught me TroutxSong and helped me through the mess I'm still in.


No! This cannot be happening! I can't! I ready myself to tell Poppystar that I can't do this. But It's too late. She's already in her new den. Cats are cheering my name. I can't be deputy! Darkshadow will truly take all advantage now! I sigh. We're all doomed.

Minnowleap finds me later. Brushing his fur to mine. "It's okay." He murmurs. "You'll make it." I'm crying. "Minnowleap, you don't understand. Darkshadow will find a way to make it terrible. She'll kill Poppystar, rule the clans!"

Minnowleap sees the panic in my eyes. He gets that this is more then it seems. His pale green eyes are filled with sorrow, and longing. Is he thinking about his sister, Goldenflight?

 I reach forwards and lick his ear. "We have to make it through this." I mew. He nods. "Anything for me to do, deputy?" I nod. "Take Mistybird and Pebbleheart. Head by the FireClan border, make sure nothing is up."

He pads off, and collects them. Less then a second later, Littlefawn is sitting next to me. "Minnowleap is padding after you." She smirks. I roll my eyes. "Great StarClan, I wish." She sighs. "You've got 3 toms vying for you!" "3?" I mew confusedly. Littlefawn nods. "Pebbleheart, Minnowleap and Quailheart!" Now I know she's crazy. Quailheart hates me! He's still mad over the fact that i was made a warrior before him, even though he started training before me.

I bet he's fuming at the fact I'm now deputy.

Littlefawn lies down. "I wish he were padding after me. He's always been so big, strong, and adorable." She sounds like she's describing a LionClan warrior. From ancient times. She's crazy.

I look at her, carefully, checking if she's kidding. She's not. "Well then." I mew. "Take him and Robintail to the forest. I need a hunting patrol done." She grins, and gathers them up. This will get better. It must.

The days drag on. Surprisingly, Darkshadow seems to be staying away. It seems as though I've beaten her. But I know I'm wrong. She wouldn't give up that easily. She couldn't possibly be gone, could she?"

Then, one day, I head by the FireClan border. That's when it hits me. Feathers. Blood. FireClan scent. Those fox-hearts have been hunting on our territory again! 

I signal to Littlefawn to head back and get reinforcements. Stickpaw, Willoweyes, and Sunnytail follow me. I can hear them talking. I flick my tail, telling them to stay down.

I strain to hear the cocky voices. "It's clear they haven't noticed a thing! Come on out and fight like a warrior!" Oh no they didn't! I leap out onto the back of the biggest one. It's Tanglefrost, the deputy!

The others follow suit. Soon the air is full of screeching cats. I bite down hard on Tanglefrost's shoulder. He hisses, but seems to be weak. I rake my claws down his belly. First I feel sick for using one of Darkshadow's tricks, but it's worked. He's dead. or at least pretending.

Then I turn to Lilyfoot. She's big, but no match. She rakes her claws down the side of my face. I feel the blood oozing, but there's no time to stop. I rip her back and watch the blood bleed out.

I whip around to Hollyheart. She thinks it's a trick. She's caught off guard. It's tough. She sting. I swat her shoulder, and leap onto her back. She throws me off. I scatter some leaves as I race back at her, and use my muzzle to unbalance her.

She falls, but quickly jumps back up. I pretend to go limp. "Ha!" She mews, and relaxes her grip. I punt up and kick her. She hisses, and bolts. No use trying to catch her now. 

Riverbolt is coming now. A small lithe tabby. It's clear he'll be no match for me, but he fiercer then he looks. Sunnytail leaps on him and bites his ears. She's taking care of him, while I head off the stream of FireClan toms and she-cats.

By now, Littlefawn is back, and leading a second patrol. The FireClan cats know they're outnumbered, and run away, terrified. Tanglefrost and Lilyfoot don't join them. My heart feels sick. I just killed two cats. I'm turning into Darkshadow! Stickpaw snarls at the retreating FireClan cats. "Maybe next time you'll think before you steal our prey!" I lead everyone back. What am I going to do?

I have to do something. I can't just hide in my nest. Soon everyone will figure out that I killed the FireClan deputy, and his mate. I wasn't trying to, but I guess Darkshadow is taking over me. I remember a rule of the warrior code, that I now I have broken today. An honourable warrior does not need to kill cats to win their battles. I was a rouge. An outlaw. Something that never should have been

. I'd have to tell Poppystar that I was not fit for deputyship. She'd appoint some cat else. I couldn't do this. I'm a traitor to the warrior code. I thought miserably.

I crawled out of my nest in time for the evening patrol. "Fuzzyclaw, Cherrypaw, Treetail and Wingfur!"I mewed. "Head over to the FrozenClan border." They nodded.

I turned to a ticked Quailheart. "I want you to lead a hunting patrol by the Great Oaks. Take any cat you wish." He collected Owlpaw and Ambershine. They left camp. Now to find Poppystar. I thought

. The tabby was sitting in her den. "Poppystar?" I called. "Come in" rasped the elderly she-cat. I aded inside. She was sitting down, looking confused. "Sunheart? Why are you here?"

I took a deep breath and told her about the battle. How I was Darkshadow's other half. Her green eyes grew wider and wider as I spoke.

Finally when I'd finished, she sighed. "How could I have missed this?" She mewed quietly. "No idea." I meowed. "But I can't be deputy anymore. I can't risk it." Poppystar shook her head. "No Sunheart. You must be our deputy. There was a sign. You are deputy of DewClan."

Her eyes were full of disbelief. Still, I took it as a sign of being demised, and left. There's nothing we can do now. I thought.

Minnowleap met up with me, as I went to pick up a small vole. I hadn't eaten much since Ashpaw's death. I looked at him. "Don't go tonight." He mewed. "You're stronger than her. Stay with me." I heart thumped as I leaned in to his warm pelt. "Always." Little did I know, that would not be the case at all.

The sun sets. Instead of running, I curl up next to Minnowleap in my nest. He purrs loudly.He does love me. I mew, "I promised I'd stay." He licks my cheek. "Of course."

It seems perfect. The kind of romance in a story. The kind an elder would say there was when they were a kit. But this is real. Minnowleap loves me. And this feeling is so strong, it seems to block out Darkshadow from this den. I feel, for the first time in a very long time, safe.

I awake, to the sun streaming into the den. The nest is still warm, and wet? At first I assume it's water, but then I see my paws. Blood red. I turn to tell Minnowleap, but let out a gasp of pure shock and horror. Before me lies Minnowleap. Dead.

End of Season 1

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