|The power of four series|
|Preceded by: |
A Kit's Adventure
|The Friend Within||Succeded by: |
A forbidden friendship
Birdpaw woke up from the apprentices den and muttered to Rushpaw, "Wake up, training soon."
Rushpaw yawned as Birdpaw padded out
She saw her mentor and creeped slowly toward her, trying to practice her sneaking skills, but Dovewing heard her and mewed flatly "Don't try, I knew you were coming."
Birdpaw stood up and licked her fur and asked "What are we doing today?"
Dovewing looked up and down then mewed "We are going to collect moss for the elders and queens, isn't that exciting?"
Birdpaw just nodded, almost horrified, and followed Dovewing into the forest.
As Birdpaw followed Dovewing through the forest she smelled moss and headed toward the tree with the moss.
She started to claw at it but Dovewing stopped her "Birdpaw, arch your paw and unsheathe your claws as far as they will go. That way you will only get moss, without the bark."
Birdpaw did what Dovewing told her to do and got a lot of moss. She picked all the moss up and headed back to camp.
Rushpaw was waiting for Birdpaw near the elders den and looked at the moss and mewed loudly "Lucky! I could not get the moss of the tree without dragging some roots behind."
Birdpaw gave a tiny mew of amusement and mewed "Rushpaw, I arched my paw and unsheathed my claws. Try that!"
Rushpaw mewws "Ok, but hurry with that moss because Mousefur is becoming really grumpy."
Birdpaw rushed into the elders den and started cleaning the old moss and putting it in the dirtplace.
She slowly nodded at her work and left for the apprentices den to wait for her mentor.
A few minutes later Goldpaw came in very wet and he shook himself and Icepaw complained "Can you do that somewhere else? You are getting everyone wet!"
Goldpaw glared at him and grunted "Well sorry, but I fell in the lake!"
Treepaw gave a snort of amusement and laughed "It would be just like you, Goldpaw."
Birdpaw looked to the stars and thought, I feel so alone in my clan.
She heard nothing in reply, but she heard Rushpaw complain, "Ok, can we all sleep now? I'm pretty sure we are going to wake the warriors and queens. Then we will be in trouble!"
Birdpaw flicked her ear and went to sleep beside Rushpaw after mewing, "Yeah, so be quiet mouse brains!"
She snorted as she heard Ivypool complain to them through the wall "Be quiet. You do not want me in there!"
They all quieted down, looking at each-other tensly
Spikepaw said "Why is Ivypool like that? She's so mean. She made me search the elders ticks for messing with the kits."
He looked at Rushpaw and mewed "My mentor Ashwhisker was unhappy about me. He expects me to be great."
Birdpaw grunted "He probably wants you to be the best you can be. I'm pretty sure that all of our mentors want us to be great. That's what makes us warriors. We try our best"
Everyone nodded and mewed "Let's be the best we can be!"
Then Brambleclaw growled through the wall "Go to sleep!" the apprentices snort, then go to sleep but not before mewing in amusement.
Birdpaw could sense a cat, but soon there were calls for help. She ran through the forest trying to find someone, anyone who could help figure this out.
She yowled "Crookedpaw, where are you?" she flicked her ears for an answer but there was none. She only heard one voice The friend is within you. Birdpaw, find yourself only then will you know who it is.
And then with a blast of wind she found herself near a river. Then it disappeared.
She felt a paw prodding her and saying "Dovewing wants you so she can introduce you to the territory." Rushpaw mewed quickly and left the den.
Birdpaw streched and yawned, then padded out after Rushpaw who was already with Graystripe. They both left the camp.
Birdpaw saw Dovewing and headed towards her.
Dovewing turned around and said, "Let's go." She padded out and headed toward Windclan territory.
Dovewing then asked "What do you smell?"
Birdpaw raised her head and sniffed the air. "I smell a Windclan cat, No! Wait.... Two warriors and an apprentice."
She saw a brown she cat with a pinkish warrior running toward them.
Then they stopped at the border her heart soared when she realized it was Windpaw, a Windclan cat she had met when she was a kit.
Windpaw seemed happy, but Heartshine had a serious face on and growled fiercly "Thunderclan! What do you want?"
Dovewing bristled and growled "Nothing, I'm showing my apprentice the territory."
Birdpaw whispered to Windpaw "What's her problem?"
Windpaw replied "She is always like that, I think she wants to be leader."
Birdpaw nodded slowly as she saw the two warriors argue.
She looked at Dovewing and asked "Can we patrol the Shadowclan border now?"
Dovewing nodded but kept glaring at Heartshine who looked on calmly and said to Windpaw "Come on"
Windpaw said "Goodbye." hurriedly and rushed off with her mentor.
Birdpaw looked toward the direction of Shadowclan territory and headed toward it.
After a few jumps, runs, and sniffs she was standing on the Shadowclan border, where she smelled two scents. One was Darkpaw, an apprentice she also met when she was a kit.
Another was Tigerheart. They headed toward them
When Tigerheart saw Dovewing he meowed a lot more friendlier then Heartshine "Hi Dovewing. How are you? Who is this?"
Dovewing answered "Oh, of course. This is Birdpaw. She's a new apprentice."
Tigerheart said "This is Darkpaw, Blackstar's surviving kit of Kinkfur's litter," Tigerheart bowed "The others went missing."
Dovewing mewed "Oh dear.."
Birdpaw flicked her ears wanting to explore more but knew she could not with the two warriors there.
That was when she felt a prod, Darkpaw mewed quietly "Meet me by the clearing that borders both our territories."
Birdpaw nodded and follows Dovewing.
She saw Rushpaw run toward her holding a squirrel and said "This is my first catch out of two tries!"
Birdpaw's eyes lit up "Cool!"
Rushpaw asked "Do you want to share this?"
Birdpaw mews eagerly, "Sure."
Rushpaw put down the squirrel and started eating,
Birdpaw bent down with her to eat. She yawned when her belly was full and looked at the sunset. She went to the den to rest before going to meet with Darkpaw, and she knew that this would not hurt anybody, right?
She shrugged to herself and thought, What does Darkpaw want to say to me? she curled up and went to sleep.
Birdpaw woke up at moon high and stepped over Goldpaw to avoid waking him, and she snuck out of the den and out of the camp. She knew the territory already, so nothing to worry about.
As Birdpaw came to the clearing she could smell more then Darkpaw's scent. She could smell Crookedpaw and Windpaw too.
She saw Darkpaw come first and he sat down in front of her and said, "The others are coming." he then flicked his ears when Crookedpaw came from Shadowclan territory.
He then twitched his ears and asked with a tired voice "What's this about Darkpaw?"
Darkpaw mewed uneasily "I will tell you when Windpaw gets here."
Crookedpaw nodded but did not seem satisfied with the answer.
Windpaw came from a tree and landed on Crookedpaw. He growled "Get off me you lump."
Windpaw then jumped off of him and mewed "Sorry to sneak up on you guys. I wanted to see what it was like in a tree."
Birdpaw mewed "Well, now you know. Now can we get this meeting started?"
Crookedpaw stood up and mewed "Yeah, what's this meeting about?"
Darkpaw looked around and said "Have you guys been having weird dreams?"
Birdpaw realized what Darkpaw was saying. She had been having dreams. Very weird dreams about a friend within her.
What Crookedpaw said made her froze "I had a dream where a cat as big as me said there was a friend within me and we needed to use that connection for good to fight the dark forest and also to help each other, but I thought that was kind of old clan prophecy, so I paid no mind to it."
Darkpaw and Windpaw nodded and Birdpaw wondered "Maybe our destinies intervine with each other?"
Windpaw nodded "It's possible"
Birdpaw looked at Darkpaw waiting for him to answer but he just looked on with a weird look in his eyes.
While they were in the trees there was a faint ray of sunlight and they all jumped up and ran back to their camps.
Birdpaw tripped over Rushpaw but Rushpaw did not wake up. She curled in her nest and went to sleep and had a weird, dark, and depressing dream.
She was in a clearing all alone and Windpaw was walking with her.
Windpaw then stopped "Where is everyone Crookedpaw?"
Birdpaw then thought This must be Crookedpaw's dream that is happening right now!
She heard Crookedpaw say "I don't know." he turned to see Windpaw dead from a bite mark in her neck, her eyes glaring at the sky.
He gasped and ran through the forest. He bumped into Darkpaw who looked scared and was standing over a kit. Darkpaw threw the kit and then a tree toppled on him.
Crookedpaw asked "Darkpaw?!"
When there was no answer he kept on running, and he froze when he saw Birdpaw.
Birdpaw thought This is starting to creep me out.
She saw herself fighting an illusion of a cat, and she had died from a belly wound.
The cat was advancing toward Crookedpaw and she snapped out of his dream and went into her own. She was standing with Crookedpaw.
The illusion cat disappeared and Crookedpaw looked at her and asked shakily "Did you just see what I just saw?"
She nodded and yelled "Come on. We need to get out of this dark forest!" they both ran when a deep cliff came and they froze at the edge.
Birdpaw heard a faint bark getting closer and closer. She tried to find Crookedpaw but could not see him, But she saw the dog.
The dog grabbed her and started shaking her that was when a large tabby came out of nowhere and pushed the dog off the cliff, sending him down with it she soon realized who that cat was.
It was Crookedpaw.
She jumped to save her friend but it was too late.
The rocks broke and he fell off the edge she woke up gasping for air. Everyone was awake, staring at herm she walked out and then felt herself fall.
Birdpaw found herself in the medicine cat's den with Cherrypaw looking down at her with Rushpaw and Goldpaw.
She asked "What happend?"
Cherrypaw mewed flatly"You fainted in the middle of the clearing with everyone watching."
Birdpaw groaned and sat up and saw Dovewing waiting for her she padded out of the medicine cat den, after Cherrypaw gave her the all clear.
She walked up to her mentor and said "What are we doing. Hunting?"
Dovewing nodded and mewed "We are going to practice stalking and pouncing techniques, because when you are hunting, you are fighting. Each move you make is like practicing battle skills."
Birdpaw nodded. As they went to the training clearing she stood in front of Dovewing doing stalking, she stalked a leaf and froze when she was close enough, catching what side the wind was.
She pounced on the leaf and looked at Dovewing who mewed "Really good. Do you want to try it out for real? I need to go back to camp."
Birdpaw nodded and headed out to the forest. She smelled a mouse and went into a hunting crouch. She checked the wind, which was in front of her and she continued to stalk the mouse who was eating a nut.
She froze then pounced. That was when a squirrel came in front of her, so she pounced on it instead and bit it. She dragged the squirrel to the camp, which was as big as her and she put it on the fresh kill pile.
Dovewing saw the squirrel and said "Well done!"
Firestar padded out of his den and saw the squirrel too and asked "Would you like to come to the gathering?"
Birdpaw gasped in awe. She was going to the gathering! She nodded enthusiastically and bounded to the apprentices den.
She woke up to see Firestar calling all the cats chosen to go to the gathering to follow him. She padded out of the apprentices den and followed them.
The full moon was shining brightly as they walked on through Windclan territory.
It seemed Windclan was already there when they headed toward the tree bridge and hopped on the island. She saw Windpaw and immediately walked toward the apprentice.
They sat together gossiping until she smelled Riverclan and Shadowclan.
Darkpaw and Crookedpaw came to join them and Mistystar yowled after jumping into the tree "Let the gathering begin!"
Birdpaw looked at Mistystar. She was looking down on all the cats.
She mewed "I am happy to announce that we have a new apprentice, Crookedpaw!"
No one even cheered, which upset Birdpaw so much, she felt anger boil inside her.
They ignored Crookedpaw and Birdpaw growled and yelled out, to no cat "What's the matter with you?!"
She jumped up onto a tiny stump. "A kit becoming an apprentice is the most important thing that will happen to the kit, so be nice for this moment! How dare you not share your happiness? Were you not all apprentices once?!" she asked in a loud yowl.
She snorted as she jumped down and one cat cheered, and then more cheered and she smiled. Mistystar was looking down at her with admiration in her eyes.
Then Blackstar cut in "We also have a new apprentice, Darkpaw!" All cats cheered and Darkpaw looked around proudly.
Birdpaw looked at Crookedpaw and felt a strange sadness that she felt Crookedpaw was looking at the ground with a sad look on his face.
Onestar was making his announcements when there was a strange crack but the other cats could not hear it. Birdpaw jumped when it happened again.
Then she felt like something pushed her and her world went black.
She jumped out of her space and saw a tree in the middle with all cats looking at her and mewing worriedly. Windpaw was on the verge of crying and Darkpaw had his head down, murmuring "Why not me?"
Birdpaw went to see what was wrong with Windpaw when she said to Birdpaw, "Crookedpaw.....he risked his life for you..."
Birdpaw looked at the tree she crept toward hoping not to find her friend's broken body. She gasped at what she saw the moment she looked in the branches.
She saw a tabby tom stagger out of the tree branches and look up and she realized it was Crookedpaw. She gasped and all the cats looked at him with amazement in their eyes.
Mistystar stood up and said "That was very brave of Crookedpaw to save a cat from a different clan. This was a sign from Starclan showing we should work together in times of trouble, and that when there is a cat in trouble we should help them."
Birdpaw bowed and mewed "Thanks for saving me, Crookedpaw." he nodded and all the cats dispersed off the island in a rush.
She caught up to her mentor Dovewing who had her tail fluffed out and her ears flat to her head often whispering to herself "I heard that. I should have warned them...."
She realized Birdpaw was beside her and said "We are doing battle training tommorow. Be ready"
Birdpaw nodded excitedly and ran toward the camp. She woke up to the early dawn light shining in the apprentices den. She yawned when she heard a voice. "Could you get any bigger, Birdpaw?"
Goldpaws fur was shining brilliantly in the early morning light, and he seemed to have something on his mind but he flicked his tail and walked toward Whitewing for training.
Birdpaw picked a rabbit from the pile and ate it in a few quick gulps and ran out toward the training clearing. Dovewing was waiting for her and Birdpaw was thinking, What did Goldpaw want to say to me?
She felt a heavy weight land on her and a voice saying "Do I have your attention now?" Dovewing was smiling and jumped off of her and Birdpaw nodded and got back up.
She looked at her mentor pinpointing on where she was going to try to land. She finally decided to aim for her paws, but jump on her and if she tried the roll move she would retailate by jumping off her and pinning her down.
She thought, Simple but smart. She soon had her mentor pinned on the ground she let her mentor up and while Dovewing strechted she let her mind wander.
But before she could do that she saw a movement and she found her mentor jumping at her.
She ducked and Dovewing landed in the dust saying "Good work, but you do need to work on your distractions." Birdpaw nodded to her mentor and went off to hunt alone to think.
She headed toward the abandoned twolegs nest and smelled Magpie.
She saw the bird pecking the ground for worms when she heard a noise.
The bird flew off and she growled and her fur bristled then she saw Darkpaw pad out.
She let her fur relax but she was tense. What is Darkpaw doing here? he stopped a few feet in front of her and started to say "Birdpaw, I need to tell you something!" Birdpaw relaxed, though she knew she shouldn't.
This was Darkpaw! She had nothing to worry about. He continued "I-" he was intterupted by Goldpaw's mew far off in the bushes "Birdpaw, are you there?"
Birdpaw turned to see that Darkpaw was gone. She felt strange, she felt disappointed. She then turned to Goldpaw and growled playfully "You scared off my Magpie!" he smiled and mewed "Firestar has called a clan meeting, he wants everyone there!"
Birdpaw nodded and followed slowly when she stepped into the camp. Firestar was sitting on highledge with all the cats sitting below him. She sat beside Rushpaw.
Firestar began "Ashwhisker has reported that Windclan has been crossing the border multiple times and we don't want the eclipse battle to happen again, so we are going to send an apprentice to send them a message to Onestar, and that apprentice will be Birdpaw."
He looked at Birdpaw and continued "You will go now!" Birdpaw bowed and ran out of camp. Birdpaw stopped at the edge of Winclan territory.
The open moor made her feel uncomfortable as she was used to being under the canopy of trees and leaves.
She stepped onto the territory only to meet Heartshines amber eyes and her growling, "What do you want?" Birdpaw looked on calmly. "I have a message from Firestar"
Heartshine growls "Follow." she followed Heartshine up the slope and into Windclan's camp.
Onestar was sitting in the clearing waiting for Birdpaw with an angry look on his face "What does the great Firestar want now? I already told him we can take care of ourselves!"
Birdpaw growled "Actually Onestar, it's a warning. If you can't keep your warriors on your territory then there will be trouble!"
Onestar laughed mockingly "And he thinks he can order my warriors around. No way. My warriors hunt where they please. If he want's a fight he can have one."
Birdpaw walked out of the camp and toward her territory, if Onestar wanted a battle, he would get one.
Crookedpaw followed his leader to the river. He watched the very green territory that was his best friend's, Birdpaw's.
He sighed as he sat by the river. He looked into the river and crouched. He saw a silver fish and scooped it out of the water, with Mistystar beside him commenting on his fish catching.
He soon got up and headed toward the camp when Waterpaw bounded up to him and said "Hey, do you want me to take some?" he saw Wavepaw watching him carefully and he shrugged "Sure"
Waterpaw nodded and grabbed some and trotted off.
Wavepaw walked up to him and growled "She does not like you. She just feels sorry for you"
Crookedpaw laid his ears back and mewed "I never said she did, she just wanted to help."
Wavepaw shrugged "Whatever. No one likes you, ok? They never will. You are different!"
Crookedpaw said firmly "I think I know that!"
Wavepaw growled and turned away. Why is he like that? Was it something I said?.
Crookedpaw sighed, whatever happened to Wavepaw, Crookedpaw was not going to let Wavepaw upset him. He hoped to be clan leader. He felt a strange jolt of defeat. What? Why am I feeling like this?
Sunfoot was talking to his mate with Birchkit playing with Fishpaw. He headed toward the apprentices den and curled up to go to sleep.
He saw Waterpaw bound in and go to her nest and he also saw her smile at him.
Wavepaw strutted in and glared at Crookedpaw for a moment before closing his eyes. Crookedpaw shrugged and went to sleep.
He woke up to find himself in a clearing with an older version of Birdpaw standing in front of him. She was smiling and she purred "Crookedpaw, you are one of the four but you are also the friend within." he tipped his head to one side as Birdpaw disappeared.
He woke up and remembered something. I remember Birdpaw saying something at the meeting about a friend within. Am I that cat?
He shrugged and went out to the clearing and stared at Mistystar. She was leaping onto the stump and called a clan meeting.
Birdpaw trotted back into the clearing, defeated. She trotted up to Firestar and shook her head and said "I tried my best Firestar. He would not listen, he said that if you wanted a fight you could have one, because his warriors can hunt where they please."
Firestar nodded somberly "If that's what he truly wants......Ok then I'm calling a clan meeting." he jumped onto Highledge "Let all cats join here beneath the highledge for a clan meeting!"
Birdpaw saw Rushpaw trot out to sit beside her and they both waited for Firestar to speak.
He said, "It seems that Onestar wants a war."
Dustpelt asked "Does that mean if we see Windclan warriors on our territory we fight?"
Firestar nodded "But no fatalities. Both clans can't risk it, ok?"
Dustpelt nodded and the meeting ended with cats going to little knots and whispering excitedly.
Birdpaw wondered if this was the right thing to do. Cats will be killed. I need to stop this. She heads toward her mentor and asks "Can I patrol the Windclan border?"
Dovewing nodded, distracted and said "Go right ahead!" Birdpaw thought, I need to warn Windpaw, Maybe both of us can stop this.
Birdpaw went toward the Windclan border and saw the familier brown shape of Windpaw who was hunting a rabbit while respecting the Thunderclan border.
She looked up to see Birdpaw and trotted up to her and asked "Yes? What's wrong Birdpaw?"
Birdpaw mewed quietly "Our clans. They are going to war. We need to stop them"
Windpaw shook her head with doubt "Why would they listen to apprentices?"
Birdpaw lifted up her head to the stars "We need to believe. We need to try!"
Windpaw looked up in admiration and mewed "I'm with you. All the warriors are talking about the battle. Maybe we should stand in front of our leaders?"
Birdpaw nodded and mewed "We will proceed with the battle line but when they say attack we need to be quick, ok?"
Windpaw nodded and mewed "Good luck Birdpaw" Birdpaw trotted off.
Birdpaw woke up to see Rushpaw standing over her and mewing "Get up Birdpaw. It's almost time!" Birdpaw nodded slowly.
Her and Windpaw's plan had begun. She followed Firestar slowly out into the forest. She was worried. Will my plan work? I hope so.
She saw the Windclan border and sighed not sensing any Windclan warriors, but when they padded out of the forest. She saw a whole line of warriors and she saw Windpaw the leaders stopped 10 feet in front of each other.
Onestar yowled "Firestar, too long have you thought Windclan was too weak to take care of themselves. That thought ends now."
Birdpaw braced herself to jump in front of the leaders and she saw Windpaw do the same thing then Onestar yowled "Attack!"
But before any warriors could move a muscle Windpaw and Birdpaw jumped in front of their leaders and Birdpaw said for all clans to hear "Do we relly need to fight? We have all our own territories!"
The leaders look at each other and Onestar says to Firestar "The only way I won't hunt on your territory is you give me your word that you wont think lowly of us again!" he hissed with anger
Firestar nodded and mewed "I promise."
Onestar nodded and gathers his warriors and runs toward the Windclan camp. Same with Firestar. He lead his warriors to Thunderclan territory.
She padded slowly away from camp after going back and saw a golden shape limping and whimpering she asked "Hey are-are you all right?"
The cat loked at her fearfully with big blue eyes and it mewed "No, I-I don't want to die... Don't hurt me!" Birdpaw stepped back "Woah Woah I'm not gonna hurt you"
The cat just whimpered and ran as fast it could.
Birdwing snuck through the forest.
She met Darkfoot the day before and he asked to meet her at the clearing where Thunderclan fought to keep it before their were born.
Birdwing shuddered. The clearing was completly empty except for the few sounds of scuffling prey and she nearly jumped out of her fur when Darkfoot came out.
She calmed down and asked "Yes, Darkfoot?"
Darkfoot said slowly but surely "There was something I did not get the chance to tell you before your friend interupted.." he continued "I love you Birdwing..."
Birdwing's heart lept. She also loved Darkfoot and surely Starclan won't mind? she added "I love you too Darkfoot."
(Note this wont happen in A forbbiden Friendship this where the actual prohecy comes true)