Episode 6, Season 2 of Home. Enjoy and please tell me what you think :)
Dedicated to Himg
Everytime I make a friend I take a risk; but the one I took with you is that I regret the least
“Are you okay?” Ashpaw cautiously asked me as we paddled back to camp together, my body still weary from the chase out of FireClan territory.
“Yeah,” I nodded, “However, it seems that FireClan is not. They were acting so strangely. I think something is up.”
“I agree,” Ashpaw claimed, her head bouncing up and down, “By now you think we would have had at least one encounter, since we saved Mistypaw and Birdwing...”
“I wonder if it’s their fault,” I gently pondered and Ashpaw let out a frustrated sigh beside me.
“I guess we will have to find out eventually,” Secretpaw claimed, gently poking her head between us.
“I guess,” I gently replied.
Our footsteps were the only noise that reached our ears as we paddled back to camp, dark thoughts echoing through my mind.
“I never thought I would be worried about the well-being of FireClan,” Ashpaw muttered, amusement flickering through her gaze.
I nodded, “Although I’m not really worried for FireClan. More than anything else I’m worried that whatever happened to them might reach us.”
“Maybe it already has,” I heard a sweet voice offer and gently turned my head around to see Mintpaw who shrugged, “We ‘’are’’ stronger than them after all.”
“That’s a strange thought,” Ashpaw gently murmured, “But a pleasant one too. It would be great to have FireClan wiped out by something that we have already managed to avoid.”
The rest of us nodded in agreement.
“I want to hunt before we go back to camp,” Ashpaw claimed, “I want to be some use to the Clan.”
“I don’t see any point in trying to hunt,” I shrugged, “So I’m just heading straight back to camp to help rebuilding.”
“I’ll go with you,” Secretpaw claimed, turning to Ashpaw and the two of them gently paddled off while I waved my tail at them gently.
“What state do you think camp will be in?” Mintpaw asked me.
“I hope it’s better than when we left it,” I claimed.
She nodded in agreement.
“Where have you been all day?” Rainheart surveyed us with grand disapproval and I gently shrunk back.
“We were looking around to make sure that Star or her rouges weren't floating around the area,” I lied.
“And?” Rainheart gazed at us expectantly.
“We scared them all off!” I chirped, hoping dearly that it was the case. Because none of us had been keeping the slightest bit of an ear open for trespassers on WaterClan territory.
There was a tense moment of silence as Rainheart surveyed us before she loudly sighed and flicked her tail.
“Fine, then,” She sighed, “There is no way for me to prove you were on some wild expedition to FireClan territory just to prove Nightpaw’s claim of Hawkstar’s kit whiskers.”
There was an eerie silence as I wondered how Rainheart could know ‘’everything’’ without even realizing it.
“We would have FireClan scent on us,” Mintpaw pointed out and I felt deeply relieved that Eclipsepaw and I had bothered to roll in a pile of dung.
“I suppose,” She sighed, dismissing us with the roll of an eye and the fierce flick of a tail that left us scrambling for our dens.
“Leave it to Rainheart to know exactly where we are,” I sighed as we paddled towards our den.
Mintpaw shook her head fiercely, but before we could enter the den she cut me off sharply.
“I caught a scent,” She claimed.
“What?” I stared at her, confused.
“I caught the scent of one of Star’s cats,” She whispered her voice gentle but quick, “I wasn't sure at first, but now that we are back in camp where their scents are still lingering I know it was them.”
“That’s not good,” I claimed, “Especially since I told Rainheart that there were none of Star’s cats on our territory.”
“We should go back!” She exclaimed, and I nodded, following her as we turned around and began to paddle in the opposite direction.
“Where are you going?” Rainheart asked, paddling towards us again. She was almost like a flea, impossible to shake off, a real pain, and the only way of getting her off us was to kill her.
And that wasn't really an option.
“Hunting!” Mintpaw chirped brightly, as Rainheart surveyed us- or rather me- for a moment with curiosity.
“Mintpaw, you can go,” She claimed, flicking her tail at the pretty apprentice before narrowing her eyes at me, “Aquapaw, I want you to stay, please, and try to help with something you are more… capable of.”
“What?” I starred at her in deep frustration, and surprise. No warrior had ever come up and directly criticized my hunting skills, even if we all knew that they weren't the sharpest in the forest.”
“Stay here,” She repeated.
“That’s not fair!” I protested loudly.
“The Clan needs help,” She claimed, “Now is not the time for you to try learning. Now is the time for you to help your Clan with what you already know.”
“But I’m an apprentice,” I claimed.
“Even apprentices aren't completely worthless,” She pointed out, dismissing Mintpaw with a flick of her tail.
I turned back around, heading for the apprentice den which still needed some minor repairs.
Or at least, I pretended like I was heading there until I was sure Rainheart was looking anymore and I turned around to quick leave camp without her noticing me.
Mintpaw seemed to have guessed that I was not going to allow Rainheart to confine me to camp because she was waiting at the exit.
“Ready?” She asked me and I quickly nodded, following her as she led towards the direction where she had found the scent.
We didn’t appear to have been running for too long- and this was coming from ‘’me’’-before we gently stopped, and she sniffed the grass again.
“The trail ends here,” She murmured.
“I don’t see any cats,” I observed, gently turning my head around in an attempt to find the invisible StarClan cat.
The thought that I was using that term for the group of loners and rouges terrified me a little, but I didn’t really know what else to call them.
“Looking for me?” The bushed behind us gently rattled, and the two of us yelped in surprise before we were facing a gray tabby tom, with dark amber eyes and a calm look.
“Get off our territory!” Mintpaw snarled, baring her teeth at him, and I joined her, unsheathing my claws.
“I come in peace,” He claimed, his eyes gently widening as he took several quick steps back.
“Prove it,” I snarled at him.
“I can’t,” He claimed, shrugging with wide and supposedly innocent eyes before they glowed brightly, “Or maybe I can.”
“How?” Mintpaw questioned, gently pulling herself back up to her paws. However, I refused to remove myself from the hostile position.
“I’m a spy,” He claimed, “Or at least… that is what I want to be. I detest Star’s group of cats-StarClan she calls them-but when all of my friends and family joined her I didn’t appear to have a choice.”
“You want to help us?” I exchanged a confused glance with Mintpaw, my pelt quivering gently in worry.
“Yes,” He nodded, “I want to help getting rid of Star.”
“How do we know that you aren't going to spy ‘’on’’ us instead of for us?” I countered harshly.
“You don’t,” He claimed with a nonchalant shrug, “And I have no way of proving that’s not the case. It’s a choice for you to make.”
“We don’t even know your name,” I observed coolly.
“I don’t know yours,” He replied, tilting his head to the side, a witty charm glowing in his eyes.
“You are the one on enemy territory that just needs to make one wrong move to be torn into shreds,” I countered.
He gently chuckled at us, obviously amused without hostility before shrugging, “It’s not secret. My name is Scar.”
“That is a suspicious name,” I claimed, narrowing my eyes.
“I figured it would sound more suspicious if I lied about it,” He replied, his pelt rippling as I realized that he was a lot younger than he had seemed at first. Possibly even young enough to be an apprentice.
Surely Star would send a cat that was much older and experienced if she wanted someone to spy on us.
“My name is Mintpaw,” Mintpaw quickly cuts the tense silence before flicking her tail towards me, “And that’s Aquapaw.”
“I know Aquapaw,” He nodded at me gently, “I remember you were there when Star was capturing Driftpaw.”
“You were there?” I gaped at him, feeling anger quickly surging through my body, and my claws which were gently beginning to sheathe, quickly unsheathing again.
He sighed, “Yes, and I felt terribly guilty, but like I stated before, all of my friends and family were a part of Star’s group. I wasn't left with any choice at all.”
“You always have a choice,” I countered, “And you helped capturing one of my closest friends, that’s not a good way to earn our trust.”
“Aquapaw...” Mintpaw’s eyes were a little shady and I could tell she was in deep doubt as she stared at Scar.
“You trust him?” I found myself geniunly surprised as I glanced at Mintpaw’s doubtful face.
“What if he really does want to help us,” She offered, “And we are turning down a great advantage.”
“I don’t know...” I gently trailed off, “Remember the last cat from the twoleg place that wanted permission to come to camp was Star.”
“I know,” She sighed, “But that doesn't mean he has to be the same. Maybe we could send him away now and ask him to return later when the Clan is strong enough to fend off someone who means them harm.”
“I suppose...” I trailed off.
“I guess I will have to wait then,” Scar gently sighed, and nonchalantly flicked his tail at us, before turning around and dashing towards the fence.
“I hope we made the right choice,” I claimed, “This situation feels a little too familiar. I’m not sure that I like it.”
“Let’s hope it will turn out differently this time,” Mintpaw claimed, leveling her gaze with mine, “But I've never seen you this reluctant to trust others before, Aquapaw, it feels so strange coming from you. You were about to turn down the chance at a spy.”
“Star has taught me a lot,” I gently commented, gently shrugging at my friend, “I’m wiser than I was a moon ago when we ran into her.”
“Just because you can’t trust Star that doesn't mean you can’t trust anyone else,” Mintpaw gently commented.
“It’s better to mistakenly not trust a dozen cats that mean us no harm, than to mistakenly trust one cat who wished to hurt you.”
“Are you sure?” Mintpaw still seemed a little surprised in what I was claiming and I sighed gently.
“I don’t know,” I finally admitted, “I’m just scarred of being wrong, foolish and stupid.”
“I understand,” Mintpaw claimed gently, “And I can see why you feel that way, but I still feel like you are blaming the whole forest, and beyond, for Star’s faults.”
“I trust everyone in WaterClan,” I claimed with a shrug, “Everyone else are our rivals, anyways.”
“Don’t forget Hopeflare,” Mintpaw gently pointed out.
“She’s an exception,” I claimed, “The rest of them wouldn't give a mousetail for our well-being. They would probably prefer to find us dead.”
“How do you know that Star and Hawkstar aren't the exceptions instead,” Mintpaw offered to me gently.
“It wouldn't make sense,” I huffed.
“It just... wouldn't,” I sighed loudly, feeling trapped and cornered, all aspects of my side of the arguments being bowled over.
“Do you trust me?” Mintpaw questioned, her gaze shifting gently as she starred deeply into my eyes.
“Of course!” I exclaimed, “I would trust you with my life.”
“But you won’t trust me when I tell you that it is a good idea to trust others,” She pointed out, remaining calm, “You won’t trust me enough to trust someone else?”
“I do...” I gently trailed off, “But I believe you may be mistaken.”
“You don’t trust me enough to believe that I am right?”
There was another long, tight moment of silence before I gently began to comprehend what she was telling me, what she was trying to reason, and the logic behind it.
“I guess you have a point,” I claimed gently.
“That’s up to you to decide,” She claimed sharply, “And I won’t judge you for your choice. I just want you to consider what I said.”
“I am,” I replied gently, allowing myself to swell among my thoughts for several long moments, reflecting back on my past experiences with trust and chances I gave others.
Star had certainly done a bad job.
I had never even given Hawkstar my trust in the first place.
And... I couldn't really think of anyone else. I realized, gently, that Mintpaw possessed a point.
There was a tight moment of silence before I turned around, and began to dash towards the twoleg place, quickly followed by the sound of Mintpaw’s footsteps following mine.
“Scar, wait!” I loudly called, hoping he was still on our territory and it wasn’t too late yet.
I soon found myself running into a lump of fur and looked up to see the young loner.