Episode 7, Season 2 of Home. Enjoy and please tell me what you think :)
Dedicated to Cinders
You are one of the kindest people I have ever met and to see you allowing harm to anyone is not imaginable
“Who is this?” Rainheart asked the two of us suspiciously as we entered camp, out footsteps gently slamming against the floor of camp.
“Scar,” I quickly replied, “While we were out hunting, Mintpaw and I found him. He’s a part of Star’s group but he claims that he wishes to be a spy for us, since he hates StarClan.”
For a moment Rainheart’s eyes bulged, obviously thinking about the StarClan that we all knew and admired before he realized that we were talking about the other, worse StarClan.
“Really?” She narrowed her eyes, “And we know that we can trust him?”
“It didn’t seem like an opportunity to turn down,” Mintpaw claimed, making eye contact with the fierce mentor.
“Aquapaw, I thought you had already patrolled to make sure none of Star’s cats were around? And I thought that I told you not to go hunting, but rather do something that you are good at.”
“Do we really have to discuss this now?” I couldn't help snapping at the cranky mentor, “We have more important matters to worry about.”
Rainheart sighed, “I suppose,” She muttered darkly, “But you won’t be let off so easily next time, Aquapaw.”
“I’m aware,” I replied coolly, as Rainheart approached Scarpaw, her gaze traveling over his gray pelt and amber eyes before she nodded her head at him.
“Let’s take you to Bramblestar and see what she decides to do with you,” She claimed her voice kinder to a member of Star’s group than it had been to me.
Rainheart must have really hated me.
Even though I had shown her no reason not to.
Huffing I followed Rainheart, Mintpaw at my side as we worked our way towards Bramblestar’s den, trying to keep calm and hide the bounce from my steps.
At the entrance to her den Rainheart gently poked his head inside and I peered through whatever view she hadn't stolen yet, realizing that Cinderdapple was in the den with the leader.
“Hello Cinderdapple!” I instinctively called to the ginger warrior, one of the few warriors whom I was friends with.
Conderdapple flashed me a smile, before turning back to Bramblestar, the two quickly discussing something in gently voices, before Bramblestar nodded, and Cinderdapple, got up, exiting the den, and letting us enter.
“Hello, Rainheart,” Bramblestar gently smiled at us, “I see you have brought some apprentices with you and...”
“Scar,” I replied for Rainheart who was glancing expectantly at Mintpaw and I.
There was a gently moment of silence before Bramblestar nodded, “I see,” She claimed, “And why have you brought him here?”
“He claims that he would like to be a spy for us,” But the tone is Rainheart’s voice made it clear she was suspicious of the opposite.
“Is this true?” Bramblestar turned to Scar, who nodded gently.
“Star has torn my life apart,” He claimed, “And I was left with no choice but to join her.”
“Did she force you to?” Bramblestar asked, “Is she strong enough she can threaten cats to be recruited?”
“Everyone else that I knew was joining her group,” Scar sighed, “And they wouldn't ever talk to me if I didn’t join as well. I can’t imagine living the rest of my life as a lonely cat.”
The two senior Clan cats exchanged suspicious but considering glances and Bramblestar flicked her tail.
“Aquapaw and Mintpaw, I would appreciate it if you two could occupy Scar, while Rainheart and I discuss this.”
The two of us nodded, quickly pushing our way out of the den, Scar quickly following us. Once we had exited the den, we altered our position so that we were flanking him.
“Mintpaw!” A sharp voice called and the two of us turned our heads up to see Featherpaw, bounding towards us quickly.
“Hey,” We smiled at the red she-cat as she eyes Scar cautiously, not sure what to think.
“Is this the spy?”
The two of us nodded and Featherpaw flashed the tom a quick smile, “Hello, my name is Featherpaw,” She claimed.
“I’m Scar,” he nodded, dipping his head gently, “But you already know that.”
There was a certain wit and charm to Scar that had to be admired, and we come very useful as a spy.
Whichever side he would be spying for.
“So what are you guys doing with him while Bramblestar and Rainheart discuss?” Featherpaw asked us.
I stared at her in surprise, “The news travels that quickly in this camp? We only left there a few moments ago.”
Featherpaw shrugged, “One of the apprentices may have... er... stopped to listen to a little bit o the conversation than have come running to tell us. Just maybe.”
I laughed and Featherpaw shrugged, as we stood a little awkwardly in the middle of camp, not sure what to do with the spy, when we were thankfully saved by Bramblestar.
“Would all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather beneath the HighRock for a Clan meeting?”
The warriors’ and apprentices’ dens were suddenly bursting with life as cats rapidly began to flow out of them, all rushing to see what Bramblestar had to say as I realized that the word of Scar must have spread terribly fast considering he had only arrived about a minute ago.
It didn’t take long for all the cats to sit beneath the HighRock and gaze up at Bramblestar expectantly, who took a gently moment before she began.
“As most of you know,” She claimed, “We have received a request from one of StarClan’s cats that they would like to be a spy for us, and help us dealing with the problem of Star.”
There was a gentle moment of pause.
“Rainheart and I had to discuss this issue of Scar and whether or not we should accept this offer but it didn’t take us a long time to come to a conclusion.”
There was a tense moment of silence before Bramblestar sighed and I was able to tell that the greater part of the decision had been made by Rainheart who must have been more sure of what to do that Bramblestar.
“He is an intruder. He may leave now, but if he lingers for a second too long you are allowed to attack him like any other cat of Star’s was on our territory.”
There was a collective moment of shock before all eyes turned to Scar, mine included, only to discover he wasn't by my side anymore.
He was dashing out of camp, his pelt hardly visible among the green trees as he ran.
“Really?” Mintpaw cautiously whispered next to me.
“I guess,” I replied, feeling a just a little angry at Rainheart, “But of course Rainheart refused to accept him help since we were the ones that brought him to camp.”
“Stupid Rainheart, indeed,” I felt the words being stolen from my mouth, as we looked up to find the tabby warrior glaring at us.
“I did not make that choice because you two were the ones who brought it up,” She claimed, “I turned it down because there were risks involved that I didn’t feel the Clan should take as this particular time. Unlike some other cats,” He was glaring at us the whole time but I refused to feel guilty.
“I’m sure that Scar’s words were true ones,” I claimed, “You need to become more trusting.”
Funny how Mintpaw had just been telling me that, while I had shaken off her words, trying to hide from them.
“This is a debate for another time,” Rainheart sighed, gently beginning to turn around.
“Yeah, after we have lost this war against Star,” I murmured darkly, glaring at Ashpaw’s mentor.
Rainheart sighed, but didn’t turn around to face us again, while Mintpaw and I exchanged bitter and remorseful glances.
“They haven’t attacked us, stolen any prey from us or come to speak with us in over half a moon,” Cinderdapple was gently murmuring as we ate together, a large chunk of mouse in my jaw.
“It is strange,” I agreed, “It feels like FireClan all over again. We beat them in battle and then they just... disappear.”
I nodded, and Cinderdapple quickly swallowed up the last pieces of her vole, before pushing herself to her feet.
“Well,” She smiled, “I guess I will be seeing you again soon, Aquapaw,” She waved her tail towards me gently and I smiled, returning it with a gentle wave.
“See you around,” I gently whispered.
Before I could also push myself up to me feet and head towards the apprentice den, however, Secretpaw burst through the entrance to camp, her eyes wide with shock.
Her pelt was splotched with blood, and her eyes
“StarClan has attacked us!” She shrieked, “While we were out patrolling they just jumped at us!”
There was a quiet moment of silence.
Then Bramblestar had burst out of her den, eyes wide with alarm as she quickly glanced about.
“Cinderdapple, Wetstream, Darklion, Redthunder, Aquapaw, Mistypaw, Featherpaw and Pebblepaw, come with me!” She shouted, “The rest of you remain here. If they plan a surprise attack on camp while we are out helping the patrol Forestheart is in charge.”
There was a tense moment before all of the cats located in the clearing nodded, while Mistypaw and Pebblepaw; who probably already knew why their names had been shouted burst out of the apprentices’ den.
Bramblestar quickly flicked her tail at us, “Let’s go,” She claimed, and we were running back in the direction Secretpaw had come from ready to throw ourselves into the heat of the battle.
“When did this happen?” Bramblestar asked Secretpaw as we all dashed towards the fence, and I could already feel my breath growing shorter and shorter.
“Just now,” Secretpaw claimed, “Maybe a few minutes ago. Hopeflare told me to come back and ask for help.”
Bramblestar nodded, “Good job. You were very fast.”
The rest of the run went by silently as each pawstep we thrust forward was one of energy and fear for our Clanmates who were still fighting a battle where they were gravely outnumbered.
“Star will pay for this one,” I heard an aggravated Featherpaw murmuring next to me and I felt as though I couldn't agree more.
Because if I saw her once we reached the battle her life span would become drastically shortened.
Or at least, that was what I was thinking.
“Stop,” Bramblestar ordered as the sounds of fighting cats drew nearer, and all of us gently slowed down, our paws sliding against the grass as we turned to face our Clan leader.
“I want to sneak up on them,” She claimed as the sounds of battle grew louder and louder, even though we weren't moving, “So we will hide behind the trees there,” She indicated with her tail towards a group of trees, “And we will attack when I give the signal.”
There was a tight moment of pause before we all nodded in unison and Bramblestar dipped her head.
I followed Cinderdapple and Mistypaw behind one of the large oaks Bramblestar had indicted too, fidgeting gently as I waited.
Mistypaw’s glare was enough to make me stop.
Again, I was faced with a tense, exciting and exhilarating moment of silence, before suddenly…
I sprung out of the trees, my claws extended as they worked their way towards whichever cat of StarClan they would be able to reach.
The StarClan cats didn’t seem too surprised to see us, and several of them instinctively turned around, bracing themselves for our attacks before we could even reach their backs, which made the whole purpose of the surprise attack fade.
How did they know?
I shook the thought out of myself as I leaped through the air, trying to spot a cat that would be ready for me to attack.
I soon found myself rolling around with a silver she-cat, who had eyes as sharp as flint, our claws raking down each other’s backs.
“Give up,” I hissed through a lump of her fur, as she tried to shake me off, her efforts useless against my strong grip.
“Never,” She replied, twisting around and slamming me against the hard grass. I let out a sharp screech as I felt the grass sliding against my pelt.
Moments later I felt the weight of the StarClan cat being lifted off me and blinked my eyes open to see Cinderdapple fighting them off, as I pushed myself back up to my paws.
Before I could even jump in to help her, Cinderdapple has sent a strong claw against the StarClan cat’s cheek and they were running off.
“Thanks,” I whispered gently to the ginger she-cat who shrugged at me, a gentle smile lingering on her face, “No problem.”
And then she was off again, probably rushing to help whoever else she could. I spun my head around trying to find a cat to attack and skin, as I had a lot of neglected anger inside me.
Featherpaw was the nearest one, but it didn’t seem possible for me to help her as she quickly clawed her enemy’s stomach, and hot blood began to pour out of it. Featherpaw was a brilliant fighter, and I had learned first-hand how angered she could become if you interfered with her battles.
She liked the idea of being independent more than other cats. My gaze soon spotted Secretpaw struggling to take on two StarClan cats at once, and I quickly dashed over to her, as to give her some help.
Just before I had given one of the black toms, swatting at her with his unsheathed claws, I was cut off by a loud call.
Everyone, even Bramblestar, lowered their claws to see who had made the call for what would obviously be a truce.
Suddenly, all of the WaterClan claws were unsheathed again, and all gazed were aimed directly at the loner.
“You’re not scaring me,” She assured us, as we all snarled at her, her claws scraping against some gray object lying on the floor. Or was it...
“Who...” I heard Cinderdapple gasping besides me, as blood began to well from the pelt of the cat she had posed herself on.
Star smiled, gently taking a step back, “This?” She asked, pulling up the gray mount of fur with her teeth so that we could clearly see whom she had been using as a stool.
The gray tom was obviously well enough to still offer his witty smile, at me as Star gently placed him back on the ground.
“I see you are familiar with him,” She noted, a sly crawling up her face, “He has been spying for WaterClan.”
There was a tight moment of silence.
“No,” Bramblestar replied, trying to keep her voice dull, “We turned down his offer.”
“Why?” She questioned.
“That doesn't concern you,” Bramblestar sharply responded.
“But he is your spy,” She smiled again and I couldn't resist the urge to interrupt her.
“Bramblestar just told you that wasn't the case!” I snapped, “We don’t care what you do with him!”
A pained look flashed across Scar’s face and I felt a sharp dagger of guilt reaching my stomach.
But it was the truth, seeing as he wasn't our spy anymore.
“So then you wouldn't mind if I killed him right here before you,” There was a gentle moment of silence before Bramblestar replied.
“Why would you do that?”
“I’ll spare his life if you surrender,” She claimed.
“And what happens when we surrender?” Bramblestar was not short of questions to ask the loner.
“We will take this strip of territory from you,” Star claimed, “From here to that large sycamore tree back there.”
There was a tight moment while we all looked at each other with bewildered expressions, not willing to believe she was prepared to take almost a fourth of our territory.
“No way,” Bramblestar responded.
“Even if I kill your cat?”
“He’s not ours.”
“Really,” She smirked, “Or are you just saying that in order to protect him so that he can continue to spy.”
“Really,” Featherpaw burst out and I could tell she was terribly aggravated by the thought of giving up some territory to the loner, “We turned down his request to spy for us!”
“Then you won’t care if I kill him,” She smiled and it was all I could do not to rush up to her, and bring my claws down her throat. Instead I tried to imagine how Redpoppy had kept so calm when they had attacked our camp half a moon ago.
“No,” Cinderdapple’s voice was strangely unsteady as she replied.
“That’s great then!” The she-cat grinned as her claws gently lowered to Scar’s throat, and began to burrow into them.
I could feel Secretpaw burrowing her face into my shoulder, not wanting to look, and I forcefully turned my head away too.
Scar didn’t deserve this. All he had ever wanted to do was help us and now he was about to die a terrible death.
I could hear the gurgling noise made by Scar and I could clearly picture the blood still pouring from his throat, to a point where he was almost dead until-
“Stop!” I heard a worried voice cry and all eyes turned to Cinderdapple who seemed to be on the verge of tears, “How could you do that to a cat?”
“I’ll stop,” Star shrugged, “You know the price.”
But instead of snarling like I can imagine most cats would have Cinderdapple’s head shot towards Bramblestar and I could see a pleading look in them.
“He’s not our spy,” Bramblestar gently reminded her.
“But he’s a cat,” Cinderdapple argued, “We can’t leave him to his death. Once he dies he can’t be revived. We can always fight to win our territory back.”
A tight moment of silence passed as the two almost spoke to each other with their gazes and Bramblestar sighed.
“If he still has any chances of living, we agree to give you up to the sycamore tree,” She sighed, and I could tell that speaking each word was a challenge for her.
“Yes he does,” Star gently released the tom and Cinderdapple had rushed to his side in order to support him as he limped, bleeding still, but it seemed he hadn't been nearly as badly hurt as Star had made it seem.
“Now get out,” Star demanded, “Before my warriors attack you for being on their territory.”
I felt my fur bristling and it took all of my strength to swallow my pride and turn around, leaving what had once been my territory.
As we paddled away, Cinderdapple slowing us down a little, as she had to carry Scar with her, the red she-cat sighed.
“Bramblestar,” She began, “I’m really sorry...”
“You shouldn't be,” The leader assured her turning around for the first time to meet the gaze of the warrior, “When we were back there you made the choice that we were all itching to make. You were the only one who could swallow the pride and fear, and gather the strength to save the life of an innocent cat who only ever wanted to help. What you did was something we can all admire and turn to as an example when faced with similar situations in the future. I couldn't have been more proud to have you as a member of my Clan.”
There was a gentle moment before Cinderdapple nodded, her eyes gleaming with a relieved feeling, “Thank you, Bramblestar.”
And glancing at the injured tom, lying on Cinderdapple’s shoulders, who had only ever wanted to help and had been turned against by both sides because of it I couldn't help agreeing with Bramblestar.
We may have lost our territory but at least we didn’t lose our honor.
And that was always what mattered the most.