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Sweet as a Rose

Collab by Silver and Firey

Prologue - Firey

Ivypaw sat by the stream, her tail tip streaming in the water. She felt lonely, and she could remember every part of her accident. How she had a twisted paw since birth. Everyone thought of it like a flaw, a mistake that shouldn't have happened. Everyone but...

"Hey, Ivypaw."

The brown and white she-cat looked up as the smoky gray tom approached. His single white paw stood out, but not as much as her twisted left paw.

"What are you doing out here, Snakepaw?"

He gazed at her fondly, and his tail wrapped around her shoulders, "I noticed that you didn't come back from hunting, so I came out to find you."

Ivypaw snorted, "My mentor thinks I can't hunt."

Snakepaw shook his head, "Not everyone thinks that way. I know you can hunt and fight as well as I can, probably even better."

The brown and white she-cat stared into his amber eyes, "Thanks, Snakepaw." She whispered.

He didn't say anything, but he let her rest her head on his shoulder. "Let's get back to camp now," he mewed softly, "I don't want the Clan to worry about us."

Ivypaw stopped him with her tail, "Nobody will mind two apprentices out in the middle of the night," she pointed out, "Even if we're on the RiverClan border."

"Exactly, we should go."

"We're not doing any harm." Ivypaw argued back.

Snakepaw gazed back at her for a few moments, then sighed, "Alright, we'll stay here for awhile longer." Ivypaw purred at his response.

The two apprentices sat side by side, and Ivypaw sighed, "Our assessment is coming up soon, isn't it?" Snakepaw merely nodded.

The silence stretched out for moments longer, then Ivypaw continued, "I can't wait to prove myself in front of Brookwhisper. She thinks I'm not strong enough to be a warrior! I hope she lets me take the assessment..." She lowered her head.

Snakepaw immediately leaned over and licked Ivypaw's cheek, "You're good enough right now to become a warrior." He reassured.

But the brown and white she-cat was far from reassured. She was sitting there, in an upright position, staring at Snakepaw.

The smoky gray tom froze too, realizing what he had just done.

Ivypaw left out a puff, and Snakepaw hurriedly covered up his mistake, "I'm sorry, I just-" Ivypaw waved her tail, silencing the stricken apprentice.

They both knew that Ivypaw hated being touched by others, and Snakepaw rarely showed any physical affection to her, only sometimes, he would wrap his tail around his shoulders. Other than that, nobody touched Ivypaw.

Snakepaw's amber eyes were wide and he tried to apologize once more, "Ivypaw, I-"

"It's okay," she mewed, silencing Snakepaw once more, "It's fine, really." She smiled slightly and tentatively wrapped her tail around his.

Snakepaw relaxed and purred, "Ivypaw..." He couldn't get the words out.

She looked over, and titled her head slightly, "Yes, Snakepaw?"

"I-"

Nothing came out.

Ivypaw looked amused, and she leaned over, her breath tinkling in Snakepaw's ear and she whispered, "I love you, Snakepaw."

"I..." he took a deep breath as he stuttered over the words.

"I love you too."

Chapter One - Silver

I felt my fur brush against Ivypaw's white pelt, as the greenleaf sun aroused me from my slumber. I could feel my eyes glow in affection at the sight of the she-cat, and I remembered last night.

I love you, Snakepaw.

My heart had skipped a beat when I heard those words come out of her mouth.

Always, Ivypaw, I'll always love you.

I purred at the thought of her, and then padded outside of the den to the sound of Toadwhisker's gruff mew. "Come out, sleepy head!" my mentor called. "You're on the first hunting patrol."

I blinked my eyes sleepily, yawning. "Alright, who else is coming?"

"Ivypaw and Brookwhisper." Toadwhisker replied, pawing the ground in impatience.

That woke me up. "Perfect!" I mewed, brightening. "Where are they?"

"Well," the mottled tom muttered, "They should be here by now, but apparently not."

As if on cue, a white and brown apprentice and her mentor appeared out of the apprentice den. "Ivypaw decided to sleep in." the taller one mewed with scorn.

I stifled a snort, as she rolled her eyes.

The patrol exited the ShadowClan camp. We split up; Ivypaw with Toadwhisker, and Brookwhisper pairing up with me.

"We'll try by the pine tree copse," she mewed. Not as an order, but merely a statement. I followed the she-cat's steps, stiffening as I heard the shrieks of Twoleg kits.

Brookwhisper's tail was lashing in annoyance. "It's late greenleaf. They should be gone by now, but instead, they're scaring every bit of edible creature in this forest away! Great StarClan, I sometimes wonder-"

"-Lizard!" I hissed softly, interupting her.

She stopped, sniffing the air, pinpointing the prey. "Flank left," she murmured.

I did as I was told, creeping around the soft forest floor. With a mighty burst of speed, I ran the lizard straight into Brookwhisper's paws.

She killed it swiftly, with a sharp bite to the neck. Carefully, she buried it underneath the many layers of pine needles.

"Good catch," she praised softly.

I dipped my head in acknowledgment. "Thank you."

✡   ✡   ✡

The sun began to climb up into the sky, a yellow blur imprisoned behind the tall trees in the ShadowClan territory.

Between my jaws were the tails of two mice, their bodies still warm. Brookwhisper carried the lizard, as well as a plump frog.

We arrived at the camp along with Ivypaw and Toadwhisker. "That's one big blackbird," I mewed to Ivypaw as we shared her prey.

"Thanks," she mewed, ducking her head in slight embarrassment. "You hunted well."

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