|Preceded by: |
The Night Prophecy
|The Frost Prophecy||Succeded by: |
The Wind Prophecy
wTIP: If you want more backstory, check out The Night Prophecy. You don't have to; the storyline is understandable if you don't, but technically it's the first book it RiverClan's Destiny, so you can if you want to. :D
P.S. We're planning on making this a bit longer than The Night Prophecy.
P.S.S. Ignore the fact that the first two Chapters are in First Person and the rest are in Third Person.
P.S.S.S. due to Fire's leaving, Loki will take over The Frost Prophecy and all chapters after Eleven will be written by him.
Hey peoplez. This is a coauthored Fanfiction by Loki and Fire. Odd number chapters like 1, 3, 5, 7... are by Fire. Even chapters like 2, 4, 6, 8 (and the Prologue)... are by Loki. Enjoy!
Deputy: Streampelt - A dark gray tabby Tom with blue eyes. (Waterkit's father)
Medicine Cat: Featherdash - White She-cat with green eyes
Sharktail - A grey Tom with blue eyes (Pebblekit and Dewkit's father)
Blossomflight - A orange She-cat with green eyes
Stagmoon - A black and white Tom. He has socks (White fur covering his paws) and a moon shape on his head.
Duskwall - Brown Tom with blue eyes and socks. (Frogpaw and Fishpaw's father)
Snowtail - A pure white She-cat (Frogpaw and Fishpaw's mother)
Featherpaw - Pure white She-cat with green eyes
Fishpaw - Pure orange Tom with green eyes
Frogpaw - Brown Tom with blue eyes
Salmonfur - a grey grumpy She-cat with blue sad eyes
Sealeaf - A bluish She-cat
Adopted Kits: Rainkit
Chillfur - A silver tabby She-cat
Kits: Pebblekit and Dewkit
Leader: Dirtstar - White Tom with blue eyes
Deputy: Leaftree - Pure brown she-cat
Medicine Cat: Whitestream
Leader: Honeystar - a light brown tom with yellow honey colored eyes
Deputy: Leapheart - white furred She-cat
Medicine Cat: Weedheart - a tortoiseshell with green eyes Tom
Medicine Cat: Nightwhisker
Cats Outside The Clans:
Leader: Ravenflight- black Tom with amber eyes (they changed eye color)
Second in Command: Mar - silver Tom with blue eyes
Blair- Orange She-cat with green eyes and white paws
Mates with Mar
Honey- Tan sweet She-cat with brown eyes
Darkmoon- exiled black She-cat with blue eyes
Cloud - Silver She-cat with green eyes
Leader: Maplestar - Brown She-cat with icy blue eyes. Exiled from RiverClan.
Successor: Breezetail - Blue-gray Tom with brown eyes. Exiled from WindClan.
Treepelt - brown tom with green eyes. Exiled from ThunderClan.
Swampfur - Black She-cat with blue eyes. Exiled from ShadowClan.
Creamwave - Cream-colored She-cat with green eyes. Exiled from WindClan
A small kit wandered through the snow. She couldn't tell which way was home, but she was numb cold and scared. Looking around, every direction seemed pretty much the same. With snow blanketing everything, there was no way of finding directions back to her home. She collapsed as the cold took over and she fell into a deep sleep...
Waterkit stood outside the RiverClan Nursery. His father, Streampelt, was curled up beside him, half asleep. Suddenly, his ears prickled, and he lept up, looking around wildly. Waterkit opened his mouth to ask what was wrong, but never got a chance to speak. RiverClan warriors raced into camp. Whitestar, who had been relaxing beside his den, was on his paws immediately.
"Whitestar!" Panted Duskwall, the leader of the Patrol. "We found a She-kit in the snow." Whitestar looked genuinely confused.
"So what?" Waterkit felt just as puzzled as Whitestar sounded. Why would it matter if a kit was found in the snow?
"Remember Ravenflight? He told us to take in any strays." Beside Waterkit, his father stiffened. Waterkit had heard of his father's brother and all the terrible things he did. But no one had ever mentioned Ravenflight telling RiverClan to take it strays. So what's this all about? he thought.
"Are we really going to listen to that rouge? Are we really going to obey his orders?" Whitestar seemed furious that anyone would even think of suggesting that.
"I think he had a purpose. Something. I don't know! All I know in that we can't leave this kit to die in the cold!" Duskwall sounded desperate. Whitestar glared menacingly at him, then countered,
"Give me one good reason why we should care for this kit, and she shall stay. Otherwise..."
"If we let her die, then we shall be no better than Ravenflight was." Cats all around the clearing gasped. Whitestar narrowed his eyes, then meowed,
"Very well. Take her to Featherdash."
And that was that.
Chapter One: Rainkit, The Different
I am sure something is different about me. Even my parents act different towards me than my brother Waterkit. Although they are nicer than most. But Duskwall is by far that sweetest cat in all of the clans. Yet even Duskwall seems to hide a secret.
My pelt is just a shade lighter than Streampelt and Waterkit as well. I have a light silver pelt. My fur is softer too. Streampelt's explanation is that Frostfoot, his mother looked just like me and that's why I look different. But even so, I am still skeptical. I mean there's nothing really to do when your a kit, so being skeptical keeps me thinking and interested. Sometimes scary thoughts come into my mind. I never meow any of them to another cat.
My name is Rainkit, kit of Sealeaf and Streampelt. I am a light silver long furred She-cat. This gives my pelt a very smooth appearance almost a kin to the one you would see on a kittypet, I am not a kittypet! My eyes are a bright blue. Even my eyes are darker than Streampelt's and Waterkit's.
"Rainkit! You awake?!" Waterkit mewed angrily. He always seemed feisty.
"Yeah," I meow in a whisper. I don't know why but my voice always comes out in a whisper. Even when I will it not to. Streampelt says I'm just shy. He often comes to play with Waterkit. I am apparently to 'fragile' for their games.
"Don't play to roughly with her!" Sealeaf mused. There she goes again. I am not delicate. I am going to be leader someday and keep all rogues from destroying this clan. I will lead before Waterkit becomes a respected warrior and never be forgotten. That will be my goal. No one will think I'm too delicate then!
"Don't worry!" Waterkit meowed happily. He had a moss ball. "Lets pass this around in camp!" He meowed happily. I nodded and followed him out.
Frogpaw and Fishpaw were sitting in the camp, eating some prey. Frogpaw always seemed to be eating. They watched walk out to camp.
"Rainkit let's play hunting!" Waterkit meowed. That was probably the game I was the worst at, but I was to polite to say no. I almost never said no. If I said anything at all.
Waterkit would roll the ball far away and then silently crouch toward it. Waterkit began to do just that. Fishpaw looked at me. Streampelt was on a patrol.
"Oh it's weak She-cat! You're weaker than a twig, I doubt you'll survive the winter with defenses like that! Your only fit to be a queen, don't even try to be a warrior! You'll fail-" Fishpaw was cut off.
"Fishpaw! She's the deputy's kit! You'll get in so much trouble!" Frogpaw whimpered.
"Have you heard how much she talks? She'll be to scared to tell him, since if she tells him, I will personally break her paws. All four. Since she's so weak." Fishpaw boasted. "Go play with your perfect brother, Weakkit!" Fishpaw snickered.
The worst part is I don't know why they think I'm weak. It's not like I get sick every moon or I'm to weak to even stand in the morning. I can stand perfectly, buts that's the only thing I can do right it seems.
Chapter Two: Waterkit, The Normal
Sigh... well. I can defiantly tell that Rainkit has figured out that there is something different about her. I mean, seriously! The way Fishpaw acted yesterday... At least Fishpaw acted like Rainkit was actually my sister. There's no way I'm telling Rainkit who she actually is. If she finds out on her own, then that's that, and she knows. But I'm not going to cause her confusion and pain. Nope. That's just not what I do. Anyway, today's a bright new day! Or, er, a rainy one. Whatever. Anyway, I walked out of the Nursery, and saw Frogpaw devouring a fish. I think it was Salmon, which just so happens to be my favorite fish. Now, half the time I see Frogpaw anywhere, he's eating. It's a wonder that cat isn't at all fat. Rainkit was nowhere in the Camp that I could see, though I'm not tall enough to see above the other Warriors. I skimmed the edge of Camp and padded over to a small tree stump that marked the entrance to a small, leaf concealed gap in the bushes around Camp. Rainkit and I had discovered it last Moon. It leads to a medium sized clearing that could probably fit four warriors. I looked around to make sure that nobody was watching, and then launched myself in. You have to do that or you'll get snagged by a bramble bush. As I skidded to a halt in the clearing, I saw Rainkit on the other side, her head down.
"Rainkit?" I meowed. She looked up, her expression a mix of anger and sadness.
"What's wrong?" I asked. She let out a hiss that made me jump back, then replied,
"What's wrong? I'll tell you what's wrong! Oh wait, I can't, because you seem to be deaf to those Apprentices' remarks!" I hung my head. It was true; I hadn't but should've done something.
"Sorry." I mumbled. Much to my surprise, Rainkit sighed.
"It's okay," she meowed. "I just wish that they would stop picking on me." I padded up to her and looked strait into her eyes.
"I know. But we have to find a way to make them stop."
"How will we do that?" I shrugged.
"Dunno." Suddenly, we heard a voice.
"I have an idea." We whipped around and came face-to-face with Pebblekit.
"Uh..." I didn't know what to say, because technically we weren't supposed to be outside Camp. Pebblekit realized what I was worried about and rolled his eyes, meowing,
"Don't worry, you're little secret hideout is safe from discovery."
"So what's this plan of yours?" Rainkit had padded forward, her eyes gleaming. Pebblekit opened his mouth to say something, but was interrupted by a faint call from Sealeaf.
"Rainkit! Waterkit! Where are you?" Pebblekit dropped his voice low and whispered to them,
"I'll tell you tomorrow, we can't let anyone know about it!" As Rainkit and I jumped out of the clearing and into Camp, we smiled at each other. We had a plan.
Chapter Three: Nighttime Begins
Rainkit slept softly next to Sealeaf's warm body. Rainkit slept without almost any dreams, until that terror rose.
Green fields seemed unrealistically beautiful as several cats walked through them. A black tom with fiery orange eyes and a white Tom with blue eyes. Then there was Streampelt. The only difference was he had red eyes. Rainkit couldn't figure out why.
"Brother! Our clan is in agony because of the torture you but us through!" Streampelt hissed.
"Your clan will heal. Just make sure you let in stray kits. If you don't they will die meaningless deaths! Or be tortured in trying to survive. Then there will be another me, but worse!" The black cat meowed. That must be Ravenflight. Rainkit thought.
"You betrayed us! You killed some of us! You betrayed me!" Streampelt's eyes turned darker red.
"Your the only one who still hates, who refuses to forgive! We just wanted to stop the evil growing in your clan before another Night Fighters happened again!" The white cat meowed.
"Really? How can I forgive what you have done Mar?" Streampelt meowed. "How?!"
Suddenly she was looking at Ravenflight. Her vision turned into spirals of red and black. Streampelt stood laughing uncontrollably in the middle. Suddenly ice went over him and the spirals. The spirals became landscapes.
"To heal the frozen one's heart, " a voice meowed. The ice thickened.
"You must freeze it over," the voice meowed. Rainkit couldn't speak, it was as if her tongue was cut out. A bud and some grass grew through the ice.
"Then open it up with life," the voice meowed again. Streampelt looked frantically with red eyes.
"However it may dart," a new voice meowed. A softer voice. Flowers grew in the landscape.
"So show him the luck of a clover," another voice chimed. Clovers grew. The snow melted.
"Then melt the hate,
Before it's taken shape,
And save the lost one's mind." The first voice meowed.
"One will oppose,
Through will or the pride that's rose,
Will determine the ending cry," the second voice meowed.
"Fire won't come, unless summoned,
Even then he won't burn and hurt a fly,
The white secret cat will need to be there,
Before the last midnight's air," the third voice meowed.
"This will tell who will live or die," the first voice finished.
Rainkit woke up with a start. She knew she must not share this with anyone. Especially not Streampelt. She couldn't explain it to Waterkit. She didn't know what to do.
"Hey so meet me in the secret spot!" Pebblekit meowed into her ear. The plan!
Chapter Four: Snowstar
Waterkit climbed into his nest in the Nursery. Pebblekit lay beside him, his mouth curled into a smile. Waterkit could tell that he was in deep thought, and was probably thinking through his plan. Waterkit's eyes closed, but before he knew what was happening, his entire body started to scream with pain. Shooting his eyes open, Waterkit found himself standing in a clearing, trees surrounding him. On the far end was a dead tree stump, tall but thin, next to three pools. At the top, a white crystal shone like the moon. As the stars twinkled above him, he padded slowly and cautiously over to the pools. The one on the right showed a forest. The left one showed the RiverClan Camp. The one right in front of him showed the Forest completely. He could see the River the warriors talked about, and all the other features, like Fourtrees and the Thunderpath.
"Hello, little one." Waterkit whirled around, and found himself face-to-face with a pure white cat, who continued to speak. "This is StarClan. And, before you ask, you are not dead, you're just visiting!" Waterkit began to get scared.
"H-How did you know what I was going to say?"
"Because everyone says it. In fact, your father said it when he came here."
"You know my father?"
"Yep. But that's not important, not now. My name is Snowstar, fifth leader of RiverClan. You are part of something big, and you are destined to something that even I cannot see." Waterkit started trembling.
"StarClan calls it 'The Frost Prophecy'. It is paired with another prophecy, 'The Night Prophecy', but we'll go over that later. What you need to know now is what I am here to tell you.
"And that is..?"
"As you have probably noticed, Rainkit has started to notice that something is not right. Your sister-" Snowstar broke off as Waterkit's anger suddenly exploded.
"She is not my sister! It's starting to annoy me the way that they treat her, and she can't even do anything about it, because she can't figure out what's wrong!" Snowstar sighed, something that Waterkit did not expect him to do.
"Yes! Your father, Streampelt, had a brother, as you almost certainly know by now. He was hated by his Clanmates, and descended into an evil path as a result. You must keep that from happening to Rainkit. You MUST!!!" Waterkit blinked open his eyes is shock. He was back in the Nursery. How am I supposed to protect Rainkit? He thought desperately. How could StarClan have entrusted him with so much responsibility? I'm only a kit! But if StarClan wanted him to do it, he would. He only hoped that he had the strength to.
Chapter Five: Troubling Thoughts
Rainkit wondered what Pebblekit's plan would be. She wondered how revenge would feel. Would it make her feel good or bring her even more trouble? Rainkit was still troubled by her dream. What could it of meant?
"Rainkit! Are you listening?" Pebblekit meowed. Waterkit had a worried look on his face and looked as if he would bite his claws off in agitation. He seemed as annoyed at the rude cats as her.
"Its okay, we can do it without her if necessary." Waterkit seemed different today.
"I want to help!" Rainkit meowed defiantly.
"So what do you think Waterkit? Good plan?" Pebblekit meowed.
"Could use a little work. But it's pretty awesome so far!" Waterkit began to walk out. "Rainkit, what do you want to do today?"
"I don't know, what do you want to do?" She meowed back. She wanted to rest and think more about her dream's meaning.
"You sure?" He smiled. He was resuming his positive attitude.
"Um I kinda wanted to rest, I guess. Didn't sleep to well last night." Rainkit yawned.
"I'm playing moss ball!" Pebblekit meowed and bounced away.
"Okay! I'll join Pebblekit then. Don't rest too long!" Waterkit followed Pebblekit. She wanted rest in the little hidden area. Pebblekit had lined it with bedding from the nursery to make it nicer.
Rainkit smiled. She needed to think. Rainkit felt terrified suddenly as the dream was completing remembered. A soft sapling grew in the middle of the hidden spot. It was protecting and reassuring.
I don't want to die without knowing someone will miss me. Tears felt down her cheek. She felt lonely the apprentices words haunted her. What if I become corrupted and do something evil?
She shuttered. She walked to the end of the little hole. Behind it was a secret exit. She needed to know something. Something was calling her. She walked out. She was behind camp, but she hadn't gone far enough. She walked more, then she saw the black cat from her dream, Ravenflight.
"Hello, Rainkit." He smiled nicely. Should she trust him? Was the thought on her mind. "Don't worry I'm not here to destroy anything. I see they followed my promise. Although Whitestar will never understand it nor will my brother." She nodded, although not sure why. She didn't know, but didn't want to upset him and cause a war.
"Why don't you think about the spot of dirt over there? I'm curious to see your abilities." Ravenflight meowed. Rainkit thought about the spot he nudged his head towards. A flower instantly grew from it. "Graceful and majestic, just like your parents." Ravenflight meowed a tear of happiness began to fall. Rainkit backed away slowly.
"Return to your camp. Don't tell anyone about this. Understand?" Ravenflight meowed gently. Rainkit nodded.
Sealeaf isn't that majestic. Maybe he's referring Streampelt as majestic. But Sealeaf is too clumsy to be graceful. Maybe it was in her younger days. But he knew a lot about her it seemed. So how couldn't he of caught up with how Streampelt and Sealeaf was? Rainkit was confused .
Chapter Six: Frost
Waterkit launched the ball of moss at Pebblekit, who returned it swiftly, crashing into Waterkit and knocking him over. As he stood up, he asked Pebblekit,
"What do you think is really wrong with Rainkit? She seems... Different." Pebblekit stopped.
"Yeah. I don't know what's wrong."
"Wait, there she is!" Waterkit saw his adopted sister emerging from their secret hiding place. He rushed over, kicking the ball of moss backwards into the reeds as he did.
"Are you okay?" he asked. Rainkit had a... it was hard to describe, but... weird expression on her face.
"Umm... yeah, I just hurt my paw a bit." There was something really weird about Rainkit, but Waterkit couldn't figure it out. Without waiting any longer, she brushed past Waterkit and disappeared into the Nursery. Pebblekit padded up to his Waterkit, who was still standing there. He touched his tail to his friends' shoulder.
"She'll be alright," he mowed. "She's probably just upset because everyone's been taunting her." Waterkit shrugged.
"I guess you're right," he replied. "Thanks."
"I try. Now, are we going to continue that game of Mossball?"
"Lets!" Waterkit felt relieved to take his mind off of something besides his adopted sister, and looked around to locate the ball of moss and continue the game, but failed to.
"Where's the ball?"
"Um, I think you knocked it out of Camp when you lept up. And since we're not allowed to go out of Camp..." Waterkit knew exactly what his friend was thinking.
"You get it," they both meowed to each other at the same time.
"Get what?" Waterkit and Pebblekit turned to see Duskwall padding up to them.
"Um..." Waterkit didn't know how answer.
"It's alright, you can tell me."
"I accidentally knocked our moss ball out of Camp." Waterkit squeezed his eyes shut, hoping that the Warrior wouldn't ask any more questions.
"Do you want to go and get it?" Waterkit opened his eyes in surprise.
"I said, do you want to go and get it. Well? Isn't it every kit's dream to explore beyond the walls of the camp?"
"Yes! I mean, really? You'd let us do that?"
"Yup. If you're quick, no one will notice that you've gone!" Pebblekit glanced at Waterkit.
"Waterkit, I don't think that this is a very good ide..." His voice faded as he watched Waterkit scramble away from Pebblekit and Duskwall and over to the Camp boundary. He pushed through, reeds scraping his face and then he was out. A small stream surrounded the camp; small enough from Waterkit to swim across, but big enough that a full grown Warrior couldn't leap across it without getting wet. Hooray for the other Clans' hatred of water! Waterkit saw that the moss ball had rolled into the stream and had gotten caught on a bundle of twigs sticking out from the near bank. He bounded over to retrieve it, but as he did, a tingling sensation went though him, from the tip of his tail to the pads on his paws. he tried to ignore it but, but it grew stronger as he approached the water. By the time he had reached the moss ball, he could barely move without practically unbearable pain shooting through his body. In fact, it hurt so much, that, as he reached out to get to moss ball, he slipped and fell in the water with a satisfying plop! At that moment all the pain and discomfort disappeared, and just as Waterkit began to feel relieved, another weird thing happened. Although the fall day around him was unusually warm, Waterkit watched as the water around him began to turn to ice, and the fallen leaves and twigs on the riverbank began to gather frost. Horrified, Waterkit scrambled out of the water, but then, the reeds parted, and Rainkit appeared, and as she spoke, her meow had deep confusion in it.
Chapter Seven: Leaf
"What's happening?" Rainkit held her paw up expecting it to make a plant grow.
"Rainkit are you alright?" Waterkit asked.
"It's fine, I guess." She made the mistake of her paw down. A sapling grew under it and lifted her paw back up. Waterkit gave a confused look.
"Why are you out of camp?" Waterkit demanded.
"I-I was looking for something." She stammered. Waterkit walked over and poked the sapling and frost immediately covered it. He squeaked in fear and jumped back.
"What's happening to me? Am I a monster like Ravenflight?!" Waterkit felt tears coming down his face.
"You're too innocent to hurt more than a fly. Also Ravenflight isn't as bad as he seems..." Rainkit meowed flatly.
"How would you know that?!" He meowed in anger. "You saw him out of camp didn't you?!"
Please don't tell Streampelt.. Rainkit hoped. She felt mad with heat. She ran to the other side of behind camp towards the secret hole in there secret hideout. She stepped in the river and saplings grew bigger making a dam in the river. Rainkit couldn't fix it. She ran into the secret little hole they had found.
She curled up and wished for sleep. It came. A cat sat in the shadows. Stars wrinkled in the cat's grey fur.
"My name 's Andrew. StarClan sent me to teach you several things. No you're not dead." The grey Tom smiled.
"Wasn't inferring I was dead. I heard if cats dreaming of StarClan." Rainkit smiled.
"I wasn't actually a clan cat. I was a rogue in Ravenflight's Group." Andrew explained. "I died in the battle."
"Alright then..." Rainkit felt free in this dream, like she could say anything.
"Time is closing in on us! See you soon!!" Rainkit was woken up by Streampelt. She was in the leader's den. But Whitestar wasn't there.
"Rainkit have you seen Ravenflight around here?" His voice was serious and hateful. Waterkit sat in the corner with his head down. She didn't know what to say. "Tell me the answer now Rainkit." He put a paw on her back. "Tell me!!!" He pressed down on her delicate spine. She squeaked in pain. Waterkit looked mortified.
"Quit it Streampelt, she's just a kit. We won't be played by your brother again. I think it was that white Tom's doing. What's his name?" It was Whitestar.
"Mar." He spat taking his paw off her spine.
"Don't do something like that again or I will have to punish you Streampelt." Whitestar replied.
"Have you seen Ravenflight near camp?" Whitestar asked.
"N-n-n y-y-yes." She stammered. Tears flooded down her cheeks, guilt filled her and she felt terrible. Why was Streampelt acting this way?
Chapter Eight: Rainkit's Discovery
Waterkit's mind spun, fear clouding his thoughts. He had no idea what was going on; nor did he want to. Why can't life just be normal for Rainkit and I? As a small tear of fear began to form on his eye, he heard gasps coming from outside.
"It's him!" Some cat meowed. Whitestar, Streampelt, Rainkit, and Waterkit rushed outside to find a black cat standing in the clearing.
"Ravenflight!" Streampelt sounded both distressed and happy at the same time, and it was clear that these two emotions were fighting in his voice.
"Why have you come here?" Whitestar snarled at his former Clanmate, eyes burning. "You are forbidden here." Ravenflight casually licked his paw and swiped it over his ear a couple of times, and then replied.
"I came here to check on my gift to this treacherous Clan. And I'm assuming you got it, right?" There was a hint of amusement in his voice, and Waterkit knew something was out of place. Then he realized what his father's brother was talking about. Rainkit! Ravenflight sent Rainkit to RiverClan. But why? Whitestar and Streampelt stifled a gasp, but it was the leader who spoke first.
"You sent that kit?"
"Yeah. You got any comments about that?" Rainkit stumbled over to Waterkit and whispered in his ear,
"Wait. Ravenflight sent a kit to RiverClan? Was it you?"
"No," Waterkit murmured in response. "But I think that you're about to find out."
"So you got my gift. Now, does my generous offer have a name?" Ravenflight looked and sounded very confident. Whitestar narrowed his eyes and looked at Streampelt.
"Do you want to tell him?" He thought about it for a moment and then nodded.
"Do it," he decided.
"Ravenflight. Your... your gift's name is Rainkit. Are you happy now?"
"Very. But, I came to warn you about something," he meowed, snorting suddenly. "Not that you'll listen, anyway. There a group of cats that have been exiled from the Clans, like me, and they want revenge. They call themselves FallenClan, and are led by Maplestar, and they will stop at nothing to destroy Clan life as you know it."
"You mean Mapletail?"
"Now get out of our camp!" Ravenflight shrugged at his former leader's orders, and turned around and padded out of the entrance. Oh no... Rainkit, I'm so sorry... Waterkit didn't know how his adopted sister would react, but he turned to her nevertheless.
"You lied to me. All this time! And I thought I could trust at least you, Waterkit!" Rainkit swiped Waterkit's nose, and sprinted away from Whitestar, Streampelt, and Rainkit, disappearing into the reeds that surrounded Camp.
Waterkit looked at his father, who looked back at him.
"This is not good," Waterkit meowed, and he meant every word.
Chapter Nine: Gift?
Rainkit couldn't of heard that. Surely he said something else. But her heart beated the opposite. Tears streamed down her eyes. She ran to the shore of the river. Should she leave?
"Rain!" A voice called. She looked around. It was all in her head, wasn't it. "You are more than a gift! You're my littermate!"
"Hello?" Rain asked. The voice sounded her age. A white kitten appeared in front of her. It had deep blue eyes.
"Hello!" Its mouth didn't move a muscle. "I'm telepathic, we can do this easily. Just think and no one will overhear us!"
"Who are you?"
"Cloud. You must be Rain?"
"Quick someone's coming, we can still talk don't worry!" Cloud ran into ThunderClan territory.
"Rainkit!" A familiar voice called. It was Snowfur. "You should really get back to camp this is no place for a kit." Little emotion seemed to be in her voice. She ushered Rainkit back to camp.
"I found the runt." Snowfur yawned.
"Oh yeah, why is Ravenflight such a snakeheart? He really needs to be taught a lesson." Streampelt meowed.
"Can you hear me? It's Cloud."
"I'm sorry you had to hear that." Whitestar apologized. Rainkit simply nodded in response. She had nothing she needed to say or do. There was no one she could trust, not even Waterkit.
"When were you going to tell me?" She knew the answer. Never.
"Um-" Whitestar began.
"Go get some rest. We'll continue this conversation tomorrow." Streampelt growled. Rainkit walked to the nursery. She slept in one of the play nests they had. But away from Waterkit and Sealeaf. They were all liars. All of them. Except Cloud.
"Good night!" Cloud said in her head.
"Good climbing moon," Rainkit thought back.
Chapter Ten: The Revealed Secret of the Stream
Waterkit saw Rainkit disappear into the Nursery, and he felt a pang of sadness.
"Are you okay?" Streampelt had come up from behind Waterkit, who knew that his father must be worried about him, considering what had just happened.
"I want to show you something. I've already discussed this with Whitestar; he and Sealeaf are the only ones who know about it." Waterkit followed Streampelt through the Camp boundary and to the stream.
"What..?" Waterkit was confused.
"Just watch. I saw you earlier, with the ice. So just watch." Streampelt raised his paw slowly, and then jerked it to the side and held it there. The water in the stream then moved in the direction that Streampelt had moved his paw. It just sat there in midair.
"You have your own power. Now use it." Waterkit reached his paw out and touched the wall of water. A speck a ice appeared on the surface, and then quickly spread out to the corners. Streampelt put his paw down, and the ice wall just remained there.
"You, I, even Ravenflight have powers for a reason that we do not understand. I can control water, you can freeze it, and Ravenflight can create fire."
"Rainkit can do it too," Waterkit meowed suddenly. "She can cause plants to grow really fast." But, instead of being shocked, Streampelt just murmured,
"I thought that might be. There is a cat in Ravenflight's Group, Mar, who can do things too. He can teleport, making him a very dangerous opponent." Waterkit nodded.
"Also, I have one more thing to tell you: If you wake up in a dark, smelly forest, don't listen to what the cats there say. Try to play along, but... Also try to get out of there. As fast as possible. If you wake up in a bright forest with a cat named Snowstar, listen to him. He is from StarClan, and he will help you." Streampelt paused to take a breath. "You have a special power, Waterkit. You and Rainkit. So be careful what you do.
Chapter Eleven: Fishpaw
If you play good kitten, you'll draw less attention to yourself for a while. More room to be sneaking of camp, Cloud told her. Rainkit smiled.
"Sealeaf may I go play in camp?" Rainkit asked. Sealeaf nodded. She had a surprised look on her face. Waterkit was still asleep. He went somewhere last night she could smell it. The river. She walked out of the nursery. She decided to go to the secret entrance. Then they came up to her again. Frogpaw and Fishpaw.
"Think I could eat you? It's too early for your brother to notice!" Fishpaw snickered.
Oh course they hate you, related to Shellstar and all. Walk by them and flick your tail in their faces. Cloud suggested. Rainkit strutted by them flicking her paw in Fishpaw's face. Fishpaw smiled weakly. Waterkit and her would be apprenticed tomorrow. Rainkit couldn't wait. She walked slowly to the entrance. She entered. She was happy. She couldn't wait to be apprenticed.
I'll teach some things too. When you return you'll be like royalty at your true home. Cloud encouraged. Rainkit felt strange. Like laughing but she contained her calmness. Fishpaw looked aggravated. His lashed out and clawed her side. Streampelt watched and came running. Anger in his face. Whitestar rushed over as well. Rainkit was on the ground. Her ribs bleeding.
Well, now you will be thought more innocent. Cloud sighed. Featherdash rushed over and put herbs on the wound.
"You will be warned! One more thing like this and you will be exiled!" Streampelt hissed at Fishpaw.
"He's right." Whitestar said irritated. Fishpaw was ushered into Whitestar's den. Then Rainkit blacked out.
"Is she alright?!" Waterkit's voice sounded worried.
"Yes," Featherdash meowed.
"I can't believe they did this." Waterkit meowed. Rainkit opened her eyes. "Rainkit!"
"W-Waterkit?" Rainkit stuttered.
Good, good. Cloud said happily. You're doing it right.
"Are you okay?"
"Yes. I think."
"I have to go and collect herbs. Waterkit, if anything happens, tell your father to come and find me." Featherdash headed out the entrance of the Medicine Cat's Den, leaving Waterkit and Rainkit alone.
"Why'd you do that to Fishpaw? Didn't you know that he would do that?" Waterkit's question made Rainkit tense.
Don't tell him! Cloud's voice echoed through her head as her mind battled itself over telling Waterkit.
"I-I-I just don't know. It just felt... right." To her relief, Rainkit's adopted brother's eyes softened.
"I know you don't think that I actually care about you, because you're not actually my sister," Waterkit told her. "But I actually do."
"Well, I'm tired," Rainkit lied, and then yawned to show effect. "I need to sleep."
"Okay! Bye!" As Waterkit padded out of the Medicine Cat's Den, Rainkit wondered weather Streampelt and Whitestar had forced Waterkit to say what he did.
Chapter Twelve: Snowstar. Again.
Waterkit woke up with a start. He had gone to sleep after talking to Rainkit. But as he lifted his head, he noticed two things:
- His muscles ached. A lot.
- He was no longer in the Nursery.
He was in the small clearing again, the one where he had met Snowstar in. As he got on his paws, he saw Streampelt rise beside him.
"Um. What?" Waterkit was very confused.
"Looks like we're here."
"You've been here before?"
"Yup. This is where a StarClan cat usually meets me. His name is-"
"How did you-" Streampelt was cut off as Snowstar emerged from the bushed around them.
"He knows me because I've called him here before," he meowed.
"Listen Waterkit, Streampelt. Something big is coming. Something that could destroy our Clan."
'What is it?" Streampelt and Waterkit meowed in unison.
"What Ravenflight was telling you about FallenClan; he was not lying. They actually do exist, and they're coming to attack RiverClan."'
"Then we're doomed?"
"Not exactly. I sent Whitestar a dream messenger to tell him to appoint you mentor of Waterkit. This way, you can train you powers together. You'll need to master them before the battle comes."
"When will it come?" Waterkit wanted to know how much time he and his father had left to train. But Snowstar only shook his head slowly.
"StarClan does not know. But they are coming, and soon."
"What about Rainkit? Remember, she has powers, too!"
"I'm afraid that that's out of the question. We don't know if she can be trusted yet, so she stays out of this."
Waterkit opened his mouth to protest, but he ended up spitting out a mouthful of fur as his father flicked his tail of Waterkit's mouth to silence him.
"Okay." That was all Streampelt said.
"Well, goodbye!" Waterkit began to get dizzy, and then his vision faded until it was nothing.
He sat up gasping for breath in the Nursery, and remembered what Snowstar had said.
FallenClan is coming to destroy RiverClan... He'd heard stories of how his Clan had survived many great battles, but if StarClan was worried enough about it to ask he and his father to master their powers, he wondered if this one might finally take them down.
Chapter Thirteen: A New Kind Of Training
"Streampelt, you will mentor Waterpaw. I hope that you will pass down your wisdom, cleverness, and strength to him." Whitestar's voice echoed throughout the clearing as Waterpaw and Rainpaw were being made apprentices.
"Blossomflight, you will mentor Rainpaw. I hope that you will pass down your creativity, courage, and speed to her."
Rainpaw felt a rush of pride as the Clan called her name, not one of them holding back their voices. They trust me. But they are going to get the punishment of their life for lying to me, and that will just make things a lot easier. She lifted her head, bold and strong.
"You may now go with your mentors. This meeting is over!" Whitestar lept down from the tree above his den where he made Clan announcements. Streampelt padded over to Waterpaw, and meowed,
"C'mon. Lets get going." The two of them headed out of Camp, and Blossomflight greeted Rainpaw with a friendly lick on her head.
"I know what you're thinking," Rainpaw's mentor meowed. "But it's not true." Rainpaw grunted in disbelief.
"Whatever. Now, let's get this tour of ours on, shall we?"
Waterpaw followed Streampelt out of the reed-walled camp, and noticed that Rainpaw was heading in a different direction that they were.
"Where are we going?" He asked?
"You'll see." That's no answer!
"Let me guess. We're skipping the tour of our territory to practice my powers right?" He intentionally added thick, deep annoyance into his voice, and quickly realized that it might have a mistake; Streampelt might strike back very harshly. But he didn't.
"We're going on the tour," he explained, "but we're practicing our powers along the way, and I don't want anyone else to see." Waterpaw realized that it made sense, and nodded. They walked in silence the rest of the way to the River.
"Wow..." Waterpaw could barely believe the sight of the River; it roared in front of him, splashing him and his mentor.
"Okay," Streampelt began. "I'm going to hold up some water. You'll freeze it." Well, thought Waterpaw, this is going to get very boring very fast. And he was right. The two cats spend the entire tour taking every opportunity they had to practice using their powers. They practiced so much that by the time sunset came around, Waterpaw's legs and paws were as weak as the sun's heat was strong. He decided to take a rest while Streampelt hunted, but as he settled down and his father disappeared into the bushes, he saw a cat on WindClan's side of the River. Waterpaw couldn't tell who it was, but whoever they were, they had back fur and... orange eyes? There was no cat in any of the Clans that Waterpaw knew about that had orange eyes, except for...
Ravenflight! The name hit Waterpaw like a bolt of lightning, and he staggered backwards before settling into a calmer position. He began to watch his father's brother pad along the shore and he realized that he was flicking his tail. Waterpaw thought about tail signals that he had overheard the Warriors talking about, but before he could decipher the movements, four other cats emerged from the bushes. One of them seemed to be coming and going form Waterpaw's vision, and at first he thought that the cat was weaving between obstacles. But then it became clear that whoever it was, they were actually disappearing. And, they were heading towards the Twoleg Bridge!
Waterpaw whipped around and raced through the forest yowling
"Streampelt! Streampelt!" But instead, he ran into Featherpaw and Fishpaw. Literally.
He slammed into them, and they all went rolling through the forest, except for Waterpaw, who still had enough momentum to slam into a tree.
(Author's Note: This is more painful than it sounds.)
He groaned painfully as Fishpaw hissed,
"What are you doing?"
"Looking for Streampelt, you fish-brain!"
"Well, next time could you, like, do it slower?" It was Featherpaw who spoke; that annoying She-cat. Featherpaw was regarded as the most beautiful and talented apprentice in RiverClan. She and Fishpaw had teamed up, and were starting to really piss off the other apprentices, and not just in RiverClan. Waterpaw had to admit they she was getting a little bit better; when Waterpaw was a young kit, she shoved him out of Camp, and he was blamed for leaving. Waterpaw smiled as he remembered that in the end, it was actually Featherpaw who got punished.
"Waterpaw?" Streampelt's voice stirred Waterpaw from his memories, and he looked up to see his father looming over him.
"I need to talk to you," He meowed.
"Okay." Annoyed, Waterpaw hissed,
"Ohhhh." The two cats left Featherpaw and Fishpaw to do whatever they were doing, and came to a small clearing, where Waterpaw blurted everything out.
(Which you'll find out about in the next chapter mwahahahaha.)
Chapter Fourteen: Ravenflight Returns
"Ravenflight's here! He's leading a bunch of cats to the Twoleg Bridge, and I don't know what to do!"
"Calm down, Waterpaw. I'm sure that there'll be some way to get around this." Even as Streampelt said this, Waterpaw could see fear seeping into his eyes. "I'm have to go and and tell Whitestar, which means that you'll have to investigate on your own." Waterpaw nodded, and his father continued, "go and track them; try to find out exactly what they're doing, and if anything important happens, find Whitestar or I immediately.
And with that, Streampelt sped off through the trees, leaving Waterpaw in complete silence, only broken by the soft chirps of crickets. A moment later, he did the same thing, except he went towards the Twoleg Bridge.
As Waterpaw neared the River, he slowed down and crouched in the bushes that bordered the shore. Looking out on the Twoleg Bridge, he saw Ravenflight and his group slowly crossing it, as if they were afraid that it would collapse beneath them.
Or are they looking for something? The thought suddenly launched itself into Waterpaw's head, and he could gt it out. Why would Ravenflight's Group be looking for something other than trouble?
Rainpaw listened intently as she strained to make out the words that Waterpaw was meowing. but could only hear 'Ravenflight' and 'Twoleg Bridge'. That was enough for her, and she sped away, moving faster and faster, knowing that her questions would be answered if she found Ravenflight. As the sun finally dipped below the horizon, Rainpaw burst through the bushes and found herself face to face with Ravenflight, his group behind him.
There was silence for a moment, and then Ravenflight spoke:
"Well, well, well. You came! I'm surprised."
Rainpaw briefly saw a small, white cat, duck behind Mar, and then recognized her as Cloud.
"I..." Rainpaw didn't know what to say. Her mouth was wide open, but no words came out.
"Don't be shy, little one. I was once like that, and now I regret it."
"O-Okay. I... I wanted to ask you some things."
"Sure." Ravenflight seemed to be happy to answer anything Rainpaw asked, so she meowed,
"Why does everyone hate you? Why do they hate me because of you?"
Ravenflight's eyes flared, and his face twisted into anger, causing Rainpaw to take step back.
"I was hated for trying to help RiverClan. They drove me out because our leader was corrupted by power. If I had done nothing, the four Clans would have been destroyed. I could not let that happen." After this, Ravenflight calmed down, seeing that Rainpaw was now shaking with fear.
It's true, yet the clan cats won't accept it. Cloud smiled. He was a fluffball.
"Ok," Rainpaw tried not to stutter. Rainpaw hoped she was doing the right thing. She has to be. RiverClan betrayed her... Right? Her family revealed themselves to her. Even after all these moons.. but why wait so long? There was something wrong with that.
"Do you need to think?" Mar asked.
"Y-yes." Rainpaw was infuriated on the inside she had second thoughts. This is my family! Streampelt is also family. So is Waterpaw.
"Don't take to long." Ravenflight said. He looked annoyed.
"O-ok," Rainpaw shivered. They're both my family. Why can't they just resolve their differences and rejoin the clan? Being with both of the them would make me not have to decide. That dream about Streampelt..... He's going to do something. Something terrible. I have to ask Waterpaw. He might will be the determining chose.
Waterpaw was stunned. He had listened to the entire thing, but he wasn't sure what to do. He only had one thought in his mind:
This is bad, this is bad, this is bad...
Chapter Fifteen: Featherpaw
Waterpaw exploded through the undergrowth and lept out onto the shore of the River, and scanned the area for any signs of Ravenflight. He raised his nose and sniffed the air, and detected the scent of Ravenflight, as he had expected. However, it was mixed with many other smells, and Waterpaw couldn't figure out who they were. Anyway, he turned around and swiftly ran back to Camp
☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀
Six days had passed since Waterpaw had spotted Ravenflight. Every evening, Streampelt would take him to the river and they would practice their powers, but besides that, life was returning to normal.
Unfortunately, Rainpaw hadn't spoken to him. Every now and then, she seemed to want to talk about something, and she once opened her mouth but then closed it and padded away.
As Waterpaw left Camp and began to make his way to the River, small snowflakes began to fall, and then larger and larger ones. Soon, Waterpaw was in the middle of a snowstorm, but he didn't mind. In fact, while Waterpaw was a bit uncomfortable, he had noticed that he never got really cold. Even now, I barley feel a thing, he thought.
Then he got creative.
Upon realizing that he could use his powers on the snow, Waterpaw moved his head and ears, controlling the snow around him so that there seemed to be an invisible barrier that kept the snow off him.
After a while, Waterpaw emerged onto the shore of the River, and discovered that there was about a tail-length of snow waiting for him, but he just moved it aside with a flick of his ears.
Looking around, he couldn't see Streampelt.
"No wonder he's not here," Waterpaw murmured to himself. "I think I'm the only cat insane enough to be out in this storm!" The snow had begun to come down harder, and it was taking for focus to keep it off of his pelt. He padded up to the edge of the river and began. As he focused and mentally froze the river water, he lifted his creation up above the surface, and gasped.
It was much larger that anything else he had created, measuring fourteen tail-lengths across and two fox-lengths tall. Waterpaw let it fall back into the River and tried again.
Same as the first time, a very large piece of ice came up. And that's when Waterpaw realized that it was the snowstorm that was causing his powers to be a lot stronger. Intrigued, he continued on.
For a while, Waterpaw tested and attempted to control the size of ice he created (which he failed at), but his progress was interrupted by a cats call.
"Fishpaw? Where are you! Fishpaw!" Sighing, Waterpaw knew that voice. Featherpaw. He narrowed his eyes and looked through the falling snow, - which had subsided a bit - and, as he expected, saw Featherpaw struggling through the snow.
Now, as much as Waterpaw hated Featherpaw, he wasn't in the habit of letting his Clanmates freeze to death, so he reluctantly created a bubble of snow-free air around Featherpaw. Unfortunately, he let his concentration slip, and not did his bubble get removed, but the massive piece of ice hanging in the air fell into the river, producing a large splash that soaked Waterpaw and the snow-covered ground around him.
Featherpaw stopped and stared.
"W-Who's there?" She stammered, looking around at her bubble.
Sighing once more, Waterpaw answered,
"It's me. Waterpaw."
"You... you did all of that?"
"Well... yes. And I'm keeping you from drowning in snow right now."
Waterpaw padded through the snow and into Featherpaw's bubble of air. She stared at him.
"How can you do all that?" She asked in amazement.
"I don't know," Waterpaw admitted. "I just can."
"Show me again."
Feeling a bit better, Waterpaw swirled the snow around him and formed a ten fox-length high pillar of snow. A moment later, he released his control over it, and the column disintegrated and was carried away by the wind almost instantly.
"Woah..." Featherpaw whispered. Waterpaw looked at her, who stared back.
"How are you not cold?" She asked, and then pressed against him.
"Aaah! You're freezing!" Waterpaw complained with a smile. Featherpaw laughed, and then Waterpaw joined.
"Well. We should get back to Camp. And then maybe you can figure out why you can do special things," Featherpaw teased in a good-natured tone.
"Yeah. Anyway, where's Fishpaw?"
"Huh? Oh, I was looking for him when I ran into you. We should probably find him."
"Hm. Yeah. Oh, by the way..." Waterpaw and Featherpaw headed back into the heart of RiverClan territory to find Fishpaw, and for once, as they talked, Featherpaw wasn't rude or anything. And while Waterpaw was with her, for the first time in many days, he forgot all of his worries.
Chapter Sixteen: Just Because You're Special...
Rainpaw sat on the edge of the River, which was now frozen, and watched the snow come down faster and faster. Her encounter with Ravenflight disturbed her more and more each day, and she wasn't sure it she wanted to stay in RiverClan, where everyone hated her, or join Ravenflight's Group, where she would be...
Well, Rainpaw wasn't exactly sure how she would be treated there. But it would probably be better than she would be if she stayed.
A rustle sounded behind her, and she whipped around to see what it was, but she wasn't quick enough, because moments later, a heavy weight landed on her back. She felt warm breath on her ear fur, and heard a whisper:
"Are you scared now, runt?" Rainpaw realized that it was Fishpaw, which was weird, because only Frogpaw had ever really bothered her.
"No, you piece of fox-dung!" She hissed back.
"Well, you're about to regre-" Fishpaw didn't have time to finish, because Rainpaw launched herself backward, throwing Fishpaw off. However, Rainpaw landed clumsily; the ground was wet and slippery. Fishpaw came at her again, but this time, Rainpaw was ready, and despite being off-balance, she jumped away at the last moment, earning a hiss. She landed perfectly, and then met Fishpaw's eyes. They burned with pure hatred, but Rainpaw's were filled with determination.
Or so she hoped.
Now, Rainpaw took a move, he anger growing far beyond her fear allowing her to do things that she never would've otherwise done. She charged forward, and saw that Fishpaw was beginning to shift the weight on his paws, anticipating her to jump or something at the last moment.
Rainpaw slammed into Fishpaw at full speed, knocking the wind of of her opponent. But it wasn't over.
Fishpaw, who now seemed desperate, faced her, shook the snow off of his head, and then launched himself at her. Unable to move out of the way in the deep snow, Rainpaw was crushed against the ground by Fishpaw's impact. Just when Rainpaw thought that she'd recovered enough to continue fighting, Fishpaw kicked out his hind legs and sent her flying to a nearby snow bank. A moment later, she slammed into a wall of compacted snow, which buried her deep inside itself.
Then she realized that she couldn't breath.
She was trapped under the snow bank, and every time she pushed a pawful of snow out of the way, more came to fill the space. Now, Rainpaw's lungs were burning like a fire trapped inside of her, and her vision began to get blurry. In one, final attempt to get free, she clawed the snow around her, and used the last of her muscle strength to escape.
Rainpaw felt freezing air against her face, and drew in a massive breath. Gasping now, she looked around, turning right into Fishpaw's claws. Her cheek exploded with pain, and she felt blood trickling down and dripping into the snow. Fishpaw was about to attack again, but then...
"Stop!" The meow seemed familiar, but Rainpaw didn't have enough energy or consciousness left to figure out who's it was. Fishpaw froze, and Rainpaw turned to see who had meowed.
Waterpaw and Featherpaw stepped out of the surrounding undergrowth, and Waterpaw snarled,
"I. Said. Stop."
Chapter Seventeen: It Doesn't Mean Everyone Likes You
Waterpaw narrowed his eyes into tiny slits, and looked from Rainpaw to Fishpaw. His adopted sister was bleeding on the side of her cheek from a cut that looked quite deep, but a long scratch ran down Fishpaw's left side. As Fishpaw saw him, the fury in his eyes had changed into fear, but the same look had stayed in Rainpaw. That fearless, determined look.
Salmonfur, RiverClan's only Elder, had once told Waterpaw that the bravest warriors were the ones who were not afraid to die, and would fight to the end to protect their Clan.
"What are you doing?!" Featherpaw cried out.
"I'm ridding our Clan of a traitor, you fish-brain!"
Waterpaw gasped. "And what exactly has she done?"
Fishpaw glared straight at him, and meowed, "Don't pretend that you don't know! I saw her, talking with Ravenflight, and I saw you, just sitting there, doing nothing. You want RiverClan to fall, don't you? You want to do whatever Ravenflight says! You fool!"
Featherpaw began to back away, suddenly afraid. "I-I-Is that t-true, Waterpaw? I-Is he lying?"
Slowly, Waterpaw shook his head. Featherpaw gasped.
Then he raised his head, this time, anger surging through him.
"But is that really a reason to attack your Clanmate? Are you that desperate to show everyone that you are the best?"
"You-" Fishpaw got cut off as snow began to swirl around him. Waterpaw then directed all of the snow falling - and the snow on the ground - at him. He screeched, and then collapsed under a giant mound of snow.
"Waterpaw!" Featherpaw sounded desperate. "Stop! You can't do this!" Waterpaw whipped around to face her.
"Please..." Featherpaw's voice became a quiet whimper, and Waterpaw stopped using his powers. The mound of snow disintegrated in the wind, and Fishpaw looked at Waterpaw in shock.
"What are you?" His face was twisted in horror and confusion, and he began to back away slowly
And then he turned and ran, Featherpaw right on his tail.
For a moment, silence, except for the howl of the storm's wind.
"A-Are you okay?" Waterpaw asked.
"I think so... but we have to g-get back to camp. I'll say that I s-slipped and fell on some sharp rocks near the River."
"What?! We have to tell Whitestar about Fishpaw! We have to stop him! We have to..." Waterpaw's stopped, and saw Rainpaw shake her head.
"No. That'll c-cause even more trouble that we don't want to have. Look, are we going or not? I don't want to f-freeze to death."
Waterpaw sighed. "Come on, then," He meowed. "Let's go.
Chapter Eighteen: Rebound
Rainpaw frowned at the River. Large chunks of ice flowed past; the river had begun to break up after the storm, which had been two days ago. She couldn't sleep. She could barely eat, and she couldn't look at Fishpaw or Frostpaw. Waterpaw was always disappearing to somewhere from time to time, so that was confusing..
But Rainpaw had had enough of this, of RiverClan.
She had to leave. Ravenflight would treat her fairly, but there was no one in her current Clan that would do the same. They would all just laugh.
I don't even feel loyal to them! she realized. But she had to tell Waterpaw, just not directly. She had to leave something that would tell him. But how? This pestered her through the long nights and she finally came up with a plan. She would intentionally leave a trail of her scent in the snow so Waterpaw could follow it and see what she had done.
But the only thing that carried Rainpaw's scent heavily enough to make the plan work was her nest, so she had dragged it out of camp and through the woods and clearings that made up RiverClan's territory. After that, she dumped it into the River and headed toward the Twoleg Bridge, away from her former home.
Away from her kin.
Away from the hate.
Away from RiverClan.
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Waterpaw lifted his head wearily, squinting as bright sunlight broke through the reeds that made up the top of the den. Besides him, Featherpaw slept soundly, but Frogpaw and Fishpaw were missing, and Waterpaw had been around them long enough to know that that was not a good sign. Also, Rainpaw's nest was gone! He stood up, yawned, stretched, and gave himself a quick wash before padding outside.
The sun was already halfway up in the sky, and that was very strange, as he and the other apprentices should've been woken up for training by then.
But the Camp was chaos. Cats rushed around, constantly dashing in and out of the reed tunnel. Waterpaw even spotted Whitestar weaving in and out of the crowd, Streampelt and Sealeaf on his tail.
Featherdash came up to him and meowed, "Two things: first of all, there's a group of rouges camped very close to Camp, and second of all, Rainpaw's gone missing."
Chapter Nineteen: A New Member
Ravenflight looked down at Rainpaw, his amber eyes staring into hers.
"Well, well, well. You came back."
Rainpaw swallowed, words stuck in her throat.
"Are you going to talk?"
Hi again! Rainpaw almost staggered back when she heard Cloud's voice, as it had been so long since they had spoken.
What do I say?
Hmm... Well, Why are you here?
I want to join your group.
Ah! Then tell him. He won't mind.
"Umm...." She just didn't know how to put it.
"I came to join your group, if that's okay with you."
Silence, although Rainkit saw an orange she-cat whisper something to the cat next to her.
Then, Ravenflight smiled. "I knew you would come to your senses! Come on, lets get back to Camp."
Rainkit padded along besides them, and Cloud began explaining stuff:
Welcome to our group! I know the Clans hate us, but they wouldn't be alive without us, so...
Cloud shrugged. You made the right choice.
Where's your Camp?
Oh, you'll see.
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"Waterpaw!" Waterpaw turned to see Whitestar padding up to him, his face deep in worry. "I need you to find Rainpaw. You'll have to go alone, or with another apprentice, because I need every Warrior to defend to Camp. And that reminds me, by the way. Watch out for FallenClan."
"How do you know that they're FallenClan?" Waterpaw asked in surprise.
"Well, let's just say that Snowstar likes talking to us RiverClan cats."
"Well, what're you waiting for?"
Without another word, Waterpaw turned away and headed toward the Camp entrance as Whitestar went to direct a scouting party.
Then he had realized that Featherpaw could help him, because she was the only one who really understood. Waterpaw turned around and raced over to the Apprentices Den, where Featherpaw had woken up and was grooming herself. She stopped as Waterpaw exploded through the entrance.
"Featherpaw, I need your help."
"Well, first of all, there's a group of rouges in our territory, but even worse, Rainpaw's missing!"
"I don't know where she is, or if she's hurt..." Waterpaw's voice trailed away. "You get the point."
"So you want me to help you find her?"
"Was that not obvious? Please!"
Featherpaw sighed. "Yes, I'll help you. But there's one condition."
"What?" Waterpaw would do anything to get Rainpaw back.
"You can't tell Fishpaw, or anyone, that I helped you find Rainpaw."
"Because then Fishpaw will hate me for it."
"Okay, then. Are you ready?"
"Come one, then!"
Chapter Twenty: Following
Streampelt raced through the forest, his heart beating faster than ever. Beside him, Sealeaf and Whitestar were also charging, in an attempt to get to FallenClan as quickly as possible. Since Ravenflight had known they were coming, Streampelt feared that his brother would also be correct on how dedicated they were. He had told them that they 'would stop at nothing' to destroy the Clans.
The thing that terrified him the most was the thought that they had captured Rainpaw, and were going to use her as a hostage to get something from RiverClan.
The scent of Blossomflight, Stagmoon, and Duskwall drifted their way, and thy slowed down as they entered a clearing. Indeed, Blossomflight, Stagmoon, and Duskwall were there, peering through a tangle of bushes.
As Streampelt padded up to them, Stagmoon whispered, "The wind is blowing towards us, so they will not smell us. It seems that they've made Camp here.
"Are the first and second battle patrols ready?"
"Yeah," Duskwall replied. "But these rouges look like pretty good builders and fighters. They made this bramble wall overnight."
"Seriously?" Sealeaf sounded very surprised. "That's really bad, because they can just settle anywhere!"
"Looks like it."
Suddenly, a yowl sounded from the makeshift camp, and and all the cats gathered around the base of a rotting tree stump. On top of the stump was a brown She-cat, her eyes an icy blue.
"Who's that?" Blossomflight asked.
"That," Whitestar hissed, "Is Mapletail. Or, I guess, she is now Maplestar.
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Waterpaw immediately picked up Rainpaw's scent the instant he and Featherpaw left Camp. It was so strong that it was like she wanted to be found.
Wait... There was a break in the snow, so minor that Waterpaw almost missed it, bit it was there. And more breaks in the snow created a trail leading towards the River. To be more specific, towards the River.
"I found something!"
Featherpaw padded over to Waterpaw, who pointed his muzzle at the snow.
"Well, then, let's follow it."
"Wait a second. Waterpaw saw something sticking out of the snow, picked it up with his mouth and put it down on a clear patch of ground. Then he realized that it was a piece of reed from Rainpaw's nest.
"What? What is it?"
"That reed is from Rainpaw's nest. That's why her scent is everywhere. And if she was taking her nest, that means she must have gone willingly and left the Clan, to who knows where! Maybe even to Ravenflight!"
"So... What now?"
"We follow it."
☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀
A scream ruptured the air, rattling Rainpaw's thoughts. She jumped back, almost screaming herself.
"What was that?!?"
Ravenflight stopped dead and listened, ears up and twisted.
"Everyone, get back to Camp, now. Mar, you're coming with me."
Mar dipped his head and followed Ravenflight off into the reeds, which barely rustled.
"Come on, now. Let's go home."
That was Blair.
"W-What just happened?" Rainpaw was very, very scared.
"I... I don't know. But Ravenflight thinks that it would be best if we went to our Camp, so we must go."
There was defiantly fear in Blair's voice, but it was the type of fear in which you try to ignore and forget about, even though you know something very bad is about to happen.
Just be quiet and play along. I think I know what's happening.
Rainpaw shot Cloud a sharp glance.
Don't do that!
Because then other cats could figure out what we can do!
Rainpaw sighed as the three cats began to pad along the trail, although their pace had increased.
So... What's happening?
I've overheard Ravenflight talking about a Clan, FallenClan.
Rainpaw's eyes widened at Cloud's words.
"No way," she whispered.
Yeah. It's just that...
C'mon. What is it?
I've heard Streamstar talking about FallenClan. I could never figure out what or who they were, but...
Ohhhhh. That's bad. That's very bad. Whitestar's a Clan Leader, right?
Yeah, he's RiverClan's Leader.
Okay, I'll tell you what'll happen soon, but I need to wait for something to happen.
Chapter Twenty One: FallenClan, Part One
"Wait a moment... Who is that?" Duskwall peered through the brambles at something Streampelt couldn't see.
"Huh?" Whitestar padded over to where he was sitting and looked in. Then, "Great StarClan... It's Snowtail!
"What! Where?" Streampelt and Sealeaf jumped up and dashed over to the wall, and watched the make-shift Camp below, where Snowtail had been dragged out of some thorn bush den.
"Where are RiverClan's battle patrols?" An amber colored cat spat in her face, obviously angry.
"Maplestar," Whitestar murmured.
"How should I know?" Snowtail's fur was all fluffed out and her tail was bushy. "You attacked me before anyone even knew you were here!
"You know your Clan's movements! We know that you and your kin have powers. You can sense things even when you're not there.
Streampelt, Whitestar, and Sealeaf exchanged glances.
"What are you talking about? Only StarClan can do that kind of thing!"
"Lies. Take her away until she can come to her senses and tell us where her Clan is." Maplestar turned away and looked at one of the other cats.
"You. Go and look for any more magic cats."
The cat dipped his head. "Yes, of course," and then dashed out of the Camp.
After a few seconds of silence, Streampelt lifted his head and announced, "I'm going back to Camp to tell everyone to form a defensive position.
Whitestar nodded, but not to say yes. He nodded to say that he understood what Streampelt was really doing. He was going to find Waterpaw and Rainpaw before FallenClan did.
☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀
Waterpaw stepped onto the Twoleg Bridge, it's hard floor bending inward and squeaking. Below it, the River raged violently, throwing up waves of freezing water.
"If this is the best Idea you've got, I'm going back."
Waterpaw glared at Featherpaw, who sat impatiently behind him.
"Did you really think I wouldn't have a plan?"
"Knowing you, yes."
Waterpaw held his paw up-
-and the water on the bridge froze solid. Part of a wave was already in the air, so it formed an ice shield that blocked more water from coming down on the bridge.
Featherpaw stopped and stared, while Waterpaw began to pad across.
"Well? You coming?"
"Yeah, yeah, I am. I just keep forgetting that you can do things like that."
"Well, then you'll have to get used to it."
Featherpaw sighed and continued on. Upon reaching the other side, Waterpaw shook his head, and the ice seemed to shatter and melt instantaneously at the same time, falling back into the river and onto the bridge. Then she froze. "Wait. Aren't we on WindClan territory now?"
Waterpaw stopped. "Hm. Yeah, I guess we are? Your point?"
"Isn't that against the Warrior Code?"
"There are rouges in our territory, an apprentice missing, and you think we shouldn't do anything because of the Warrior Code?"
"No, but I'm just saying... Never mind."
"Good. Now, lets-"
A shriek shattered the air, causing Waterpaw and Feather and wince. Then Waterpaw realized he knew the cat who had make the call.
Eyes wide and terrified, he whirled around to Featherpaw.
Chapter Twenty Two: Tensions
Streampelt exploded through the RiverClan Camp Entrance and skidded to a halt in the center, panting.
"Everyone!" He called. "I have a message from Whitestar!" We assume that the rouges plan to attack soon, so I have orders to put the Camp in a defensive position. Queens and Kits, stay in the nursery. Warriors, defend them with everything you've got. Apprentices, stay behind the Warriors but be prepared to fight if things get bad, as we don't know exactly how many rouges there are."
As all of the cats began to scramble to their positions, Streampelt looked around for Waterpaw, but he was nowhere in sight, so he padded over to the Apprentices' Den to find Fishpaw and Frogpaw emerging from inside.
"You two, have you seen Waterpaw?"
Fishpaw frowned. "No."
"Ummm..." Frogpaw looked like he had something important to say.
"I saw Waterpaw and Featherpaw leave Camp at Sunrise. They were taking about Rainpaw and... Ravenflight I think. They also said Fallen or something, but I forget."
Streampelt's heart skipped a beat.
"Okay, you two, go to your positions. I have to do something." Quickly he raced out of Camp and into the forest.
How could you be so stupid, Waterpaw? I know you're worried about Rainpaw, but getting caught by Ravenflight's Group or FallenClan or getting yourself and Featherpaw killed will not help anyone or anything!
Sighing, he slowed down and sniffed the air.
At first, there was nothing, but then, as Streampelt concentrated harder, two scents emerged.
Rainpaw and Waterpaw! No sign of Featherpaw, though. Slowly, he moved through the undergrowth, trying to pick up more scents, but there was nothing.
Well then, I better go find the two of them.
☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀
Rainpaw was curled up next to Cloud in a den. They had arrived at Ravenflight's Camp, but he and Mar had not yet returned. And Rainpaw still had a bad feeling about this. She shifted and whispered,
"Shouldn't they be back by now?"
Cloud groaned. "This again? Is the only thing you do worry? Also, remember?!?
Oh yeah. I forgot about this.
Yeah, well. Anyway, Ravenflight always takes his time. He always has a plan, or something to solve problems.
Do you know what that scream was?
No. I was assuming that you did.
Why would I know about it?
Because you're a Clan Cat.
Ravenflight told me that, even though they're stupid, Clan Cats do know things that we don't.
Rainpaw smiled proudly at the thought of her knowing things that Cloud or Ravenflight didn't, but then she remembered that she was no longer part of RiverClan. She never was.
N-No. I'm just thinking.
Cloud turned stopped talking and Rainpaw felt her relax, but she was still tense, and despite the anger she felt toward him, she was worried about Waterpaw. Most of all, she was worried that the scream they had heard was him, but she shook the thought away.
No, she told her self firmly. Waterpaw wouldn't get caught that easily.
But even though the sun began to sink below the trees and hills, Rainpaw couldn't fall asleep easily. She had to slowly convince herself that everything would be okay, and that her true home was in Ravenflight's Group.
But she wasn't sure.
☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀
Waterpaw thought his paws would fall off.
After trekking along the edges of WindClan's territory, he and Featherpaw were exhausted. They had followed Ravenflight's scent through the moor, and had finally arrived at the Thunderpath.
"You've got to be kidding me," Featherpaw meowed. "There's no way we're going to cross this."
Waterpaw frowned. "Ravenflight's scent leads across, so there must be a way. Don't Leaders cross all the time to get to the Moonstone?"
"Well, yes, but they're Leaders! They were probably taught how to do it by their mentors when they were apprentices, so..."
"Yeah, yeah. Still. There has to be a way across."
"Hmmmmmm..." Featherpaw sat down for a few minuets while Waterpaw paced back and forth.
"Wait! I know how we can get across!"
"What?" Featherpaw, who had been grooming herself, looked up. "How?"
"Twolegs use Monsters to go places, right?"
"And Twolegs sleep at night, right?"
"So, if the Twolegs have no where to go, then the Monsters won't be going anywhere either! They'll all be resting! All we have to do is wait for moonrise, and then we can cross."
"Hm. That actually could work."
Waterpaw smiled. They were going to cross a Thunderpath.
Chapter Twenty Two: Escape
Streampelt had followed Waterpaw's scent around the territory, but eventually realized he was going in circles. He was about to check Camp again when he smelled a fresher scent. And this time, he could also smell Featherpaw.
The scent trail lead to the river, where it turned and headed to the Twoleg Bridge. After that, it appeared that Waterpaw and Featherpaw had gone around the edges of WindClan's territory, and then headed for Highstones.
Highstones. StarClan, why?
They would almost certainly cross the Thunderpath, something they had never been taught to do. Streampelt had done it a few times, but he still wasn't comfortable crossing it himself.
As the reality of the danger Waterpaw was in took shape, Streampelt began to run.
☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀
This is a terrible idea. Cloud's voice rang in Rainpaw's head.
We're risking our lives to find out something that Ravenflight's going to find out for us anyway!
Rainpaw sighed. Though she had told Cloud that she needed to know what's happening so that she could be prepared, she actually wanted to know about Waterpaw's situation. She had convinced Cloud to help her escape from Ravenflight's Camp without Blair knowing; it was almost moonhigh and they were supposed to be asleep.
No he won't! Rainpaw threw back. He doesn't trust me yet. And even if he did, you and I are just kits! He's not going to give us that kind of information.
It's safer to stay at the Camp anyway! What if there are a pack of foxes roaming around?
Rainpaw rolled her eyes. Foxes don't form packs, fish-brain. They're solitary animals!
That's not the point!
Then what is your point?
My point is that this is a terrible idea!
I don't care. I need to figure out what's going on.
For a while, they walked in a silence that was only broken by the sound of crickets chirping and animals rummaging around.
After they had walked about a quarter of what it had taken them to get to Ravenflight's Camp, Rainpaw heard distant noises. There was silence, but then, there would be a barely audible noise, and it would grow louder, and then get farther away again.
"The Thunderpath!" Rainpaw exclaimed out loud.
Rainpaw staggered backwards as Cloud's voice exploded in her head.
Not so loud! She snapped. That hurt!
Well, I'm sorry for trying to keep up from being detected!
By who? It's not like there's anyone else out here.
☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀
"The Thunderpath!" As the voice rang out through the clear night sky, Waterpaw and Featherpaw immediately crouched down in the undergrowth, and froze.
"Who was that?" Featherpaw whispered.
"I have no idea," Waterpaw whispered back. "But whoever it is, they don't seem to be very sneaky. Come on, lets go see who it is."
Still crouching, they slowly moved forward until they reached a dry stream. It had carved a small gully into the ground, and as Waterpaw looked up and down the channel, he spotted two figures moving towards the Thunderpath.
They were looking at each other as if they were having a silent conversation. Then, one of them said,
"Seriously, Cloud, there's no one here."
Waterpaw recognized that voice. He burst out from the bushes and exclaimed,
The two figures whipped around.
"Waterpaw! W-Why are you here?"
"I came to find you."
"Because you're my sister."
"No I'm not! It was all a lie!
"Maybe, but we acted as if we were siblings. Yes, it was wrong to lie. But it's been done now."
"You were probably sent by Whitestar and Streampelt to convince me to go back to RiverClan, anyway!" Rainpaw took a step back, while Waterpaw's heart rate increased.
"What? No! they don't even know we're here!"
"We? There's someone with you?"
Featherpaw stepped out of the bushes.
"I knew it," Rainpaw continued. "She's here to protect you, isn't she?"
A kind of anger flared up inside Waterpaw; his fur bristled and he raised his voice.
"We did not come here to persuade you of anything," He growled. "We came here to figure out where you had gone, and to figure out what the whole deal with FallenClan is. That's it, okay?"
The cat standing beside Rainpaw went stiff.
"D-did you say FallenClan?" she asked.
Featherpaw swung her head around to face her.
"What do you know about it?"
☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀
Should I tell them what I know? Cloud asked in Rainpaw's head. She thought about it. If they're trying to convince me to go back to RiverClan, then telling them would just give them more control, She realized. But if Cloud knows something, and they do too, then...
"Well?" Featherpaw meowed. "Do you know something or not?"
Well? Cloud asked.
Tell them, Rainpaw responded.
"Well," Cloud began. "Ravenflight told me about some group called FallenClan. He said that they were going to attack the Clans for some reason, and that's why we had to get Rainpaw out of the Clans."
"Y-You set me up so that I would leave?" She was in disbelief. Cloud looked at her, head low.
"I'm sorry. Mar wanted you safe, so he pushed Ravenflight, and... It kind of just snowballed from there."
"Hold on," Waterpaw interrupted. "Let me get this straight. Ravenfight intentionally got you into RiverClan, probably to gather information, and now he's pulling you out after signs of a group of rouges?"
"Wait a second," Rainpaw meowed. "I had no idea that I was originally from his group before I figured it out. How did he expect me to be loyal to him? I don't remember anything before being in RiverClan."
"That's why showed you your true origins!" Featherpaw burst out. "He wanted you to hate RiverClan for lying and trust him for revealing the truth! The entire thing was planned out!"
Disbelief, confusion, anger, and curiosity fought to control Rainpaw's mind. It was like a storm that raged from the inside, testing her mental strength. But then something emerged from the turmoil; she faced Cloud.
"Why did you never tell me about this?"
"I-I..." As Cloud struggled to answer, Rainpaw realized the truth. The truth about Ravenflight. About Cloud.
They were no better than RiverClan. It was just more lies, more tricks, more dishonesty.
"Ravenflight told me not to... He said that doing so could make you leave us." At least Cloud was being honest. But Rainpaw's face turned to rage, and she sank her claws into the ground.
"You..." She growled, and launched herself at Cloud. Waterpaw and Featherpaw screamed at her to stop, and Cloud shrieked. They tumbled through the gully, the RiverClan Apprentices following close behind. But as Rainpaw was began to clamp her jaws down on Cloud's tail, they were all doused in water and thrown against the gully wall. A cat leaped down into the gully and stood in front of them.
It was Streampelt.
Chapter Twenty Three: Confrontation
The force of the water caused Waterpaw to slam against the side of the gully along with Featherpaw, Rainpaw, and Cloud. He collapsed to the ground, and attempted to stand.
"What," Streampelt growled, "Is going on here?" A fox-length away, Cloud whimpered in pain, and, even in the dim light of the moon, Waterpaw saw that her white fur had been stained red in places. Rainpaw wasn't moving; she lay on the ground, her legs sprawled out.
"I..." He tried to explain, but he couldn't find a way to do so. His mind was still racing, trying to make sense of everything.
"You should not have left camp. And who is that?" Streampelt flicked his tail towards Cloud.
"H-Her name is Cloud," Featherpaw meowed. "She's from Ravenflight's Group."
Waterpaw suddenly heard something from... from everywhere.
W-Waterpaw... Don't let this destroy Rainpaw... Please...
Waterpaw realized that it was Cloud's voice he was hearing. But her mouth wasn't moving, and so he knew that she must have the power of telepathy.
I know I betrayed her... I know that Ravenflight betrayed her, and all of RiverClan before... But what was I; what were we supposed to do? Just sit back and let things happen? Ravenflight knew that if something happened to the Clans, he would never forgive himself. He still wants to protect RiverClan, no matter what you think...
Streampelt's gaze shifted to Rainpaw. Even in the dark, it wasn't hard to see the blood on Cloud's fur and Rainpaw's claws.
"Did... Did you attack her?" He asked her.
Why aren't you responding?!?
Surprised, Waterpaw tried to send a thought.
I-I can respond? Can you hear me?
Yes! I thought Rainpaw told you about us...
So that's why... Never mind.
What's your point? At this point, Waterpaw began to get irritated.
My point is that if this destroys Rainpaw, then the prophecy won't be complete... I'm losing too much blood, but I need to tell you one more thing... When it comes to Ravenflight, he wants to help, but he can let personal want get in the way... Try to cooperate, and things will go well... I... I can't take this much longer... Tell Ravenflight what happened.......
Her voice trailed off.
No! Cloud, stay with us, please! If you die, any chance of cooperation with Ravenflight will be gone!
There was no response.
Rainpaw stood in the moonlight, her fur spiked up.
"She betrayed me, she betrayed all of us! Not that you're much better!"
Waterpaw weighed his options. If he found a way to end this quickly, they could help Cloud. But if they all began to argue, then nothing would get done. Streampelt was about to something when a jet of fire exploded over the gully.
Ravenflight, he realized as a dark figure jumped down. He looked at him, then Featherpaw, then Streampelt, then Rainpaw, and finally, Cloud.
"Ravenflight?" Streampelt gasped. "I... what...? Why are you here?"
"To speak with Rainpaw, of course." He looked at them with innocence on his face. "Do you have a problem with that?"
"Stay away from our Clan," he said. Water began to rise from the surrounding undergrowth. "Leave here, now."
"Ah... I don't think so. Mar!"
The air nearby rippled, and another cat appeared out of nothing. The ground around them began to heat up, sending tendrils of smoke into the air.
"Still want to go through with this?"
Get back... to camp... Please... Take Rain... Cloud's voice trailed off in his head.
"Cloud!" he said aloud, staring at her body, which had collapsed on the ground, unconscious.
"Waterpaw," Streampelt whispered Take Cloud and go. Get to a Clan, any clan. They'll help you."
Rain pushed Cloud onto Waterpaw's back, and, supported by Featherpaw, they moved through the undergrowth, away from the gully. After only a few seconds, they saw a flash of light, followed by splashes of water.
"We need to hurry," Waterpaw said.
Cloud was breathing, and basic knowledge told him that she would make it to the WindClan Camp, the closest to their position. They made their way across the thunderpath once more, and towards the center of the plains. As they approached, the wind blew strong scents of WindClan across the land. Never before had they been so close to another Clan's camp. Upon reaching the camp, they were immediately confronted by two guards.
"RiverClan!" They yelled in the distance, presumably to the rest of the camp.
Waterpaw could go no further. His knees buckled, and he collapsed, throwing Cloud off his back. Featherpaw ran to the guards. Patches of black fog swirled in his vision as his senses faded, slowly losing consciousness. He could feel the vague feeling of being nudged in the side, then grass scraping against the side of his pelt. A few voices floated into his ear, too quiet to understand, distorted as if underwater.
And with that, his mind finally gave out.
Chapter Twenty Four: Answers
He woke to the soft sound of rain hitting the roof of a den. He attempted to stand up, only for his legs to refuse to stay straight then wobble for a second and hit the soft bed of moss beneath him.
Something wasn't right. The smell in the air... it wasn't RiverClan.
Then he remembered.
He closed his eyes and shook his head.
He turned his head, and saw a white pelt curled up in ball.
"Cloud!" He nudged her, feeling the heat radiating off of her, but there was no response.
He tried once more to stand up, and was able to keep a relatively stable stance. Looking around, he saw that the den was smaller than most, only two fox-lengths across. It was made of dried grasses neatly woven into a roof that managed to keep out a good deal of the rain. Instead of the floor being covered in soft moss, as RiverClan's dens were, it was only in small patches, presumably preset beds, with the base being compacted dirt. Rays of light streamed through the den opening.
He remained there, thinking about the previous day. Where is Streampelt? What happened to Cloud?
The light flicked as a cat moved towards the entrance. He dropped to the floor and crouched down in instinctive defense.
They entered, and he saw a white cat with blotches of brown and dark orange spread across their pelt. They stared at him for a moment, then smiled.
"You're finally awake."
"Y-Yes. What... happened?" He was terrified. Never before had he been in another Clan's camp, let alone being cared for by who he presumed was the Medicine Cat.
"You collapsed from exhaustion. You did the right thing, bringing your friend here," she said, motioning towards Cloud. "She lost a lot of blood, but she'll be okay."
He breathed a sigh of relief. "What about Rainpaw?"
"We sent her back to RiverClan to inform Whitestar of the situation. She left this morning."
"How long has it been?"
"Not even a day. You arrived last night, and it's almost sunhigh right now."
Another shape appeared behind the cat.
"Whitestream, I'd like to speak with him," the figure said.
"Of course." Whitestream dipped her head and made her way out of the den.
Waterpaw now stood facing a brown cat, appearing to be much larger and stronger than he was.
"Greetings," the cat said. "I am Dirtstar, leader of WindClan. You must be a new apprentice."
Waterpaw nodded. This... I'm talking to WindClan's leader?
"Could you tell me what happened last night? Rainpaw and Featherpaw were sent back to RiverClan before they could explain."
"O-of course." He took a deep breath. "We were tracking Ravenflight and his group, Featherpaw and I-"
"Wait," Dirtstar interrupted. "Ravenflight?"
"Yes. We found his scent on RiverClan territory, so we went to find him, to make sure he had left the territory. But then... We ended up finding Rainpaw and Cloud." He motioned to her on the other side of the den. "And then Ravenflight found us, and Cloud was injured, so we came here."
"What happened to Ravenflight?" Dirtstar inquired.
"I don't know. I think he ran off, or..."
"It's possible he's still there, waiting. But I doubt that."
"It does seem unlikely." Dirtstar sighed. "We can't have Ravenflight and his rouges wandering around Clan territory." He looked Waterpaw in eye. "You'll be safe here though. Five cats won't be able to break through our camp."
Waterpaw simply nodded.
"Okay, well, I have to go on the sunhigh patrol."
Waterpaw nodded again, then settled down on the moss as Dirtstar stepped out of the den.
☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀
Rain raced through RiverClan's thick undergrowth of reeds and moss, sprinting towards the Camp. She had been running since dawn, and now the sun was halfway up the sky. Trees flew by as she lept through the air, moving faster than she had deemed possible.
She detected a sudden increase in RiverClan's scent, and began to slow. But she had realized too late and crashed into the reed barrier at the edge of the camp. She wasn't hurt, so she shook herself off and made her way around the perimeter to the entrance. Duskwall and Blossomflight stood guard.
"Rainpaw?" Blossomflight asked in sheer surprise.
"It's Rain," she snapped. "And I need to see Whitestar. It's urgent."
Blossomflight whispered something into Duskwall's ear, who turned and ran through the entrance tunnel.
The two cats stared at each other in silence for moments that seemed to last far too long. Finally, Whitestar emerged from the camp, trailed by Duskwall.
"Rainpaw," he said. "You've come back." He, too, was in disbelief.
"No. I came to tell you that there was a battle near the Thunderpath, in Windclan's Territory.
"Streampelt, Waterpaw and Featherpaw found another cat and I, but Ravenflight ambushed us. Featherpaw, Waterpaw, the other cat, and I managed to get to safety in WindClan, but we don't know what happened to Streampelt. Waterpaw's in the WindClan camp, recovering, and Featherpaw should be here soon."
Whitestar took a moment to process the sudden wave of information.
"Were you told when Waterpaw would be released?"
Rain shook her head. "He was still sleeping when I left, but he should be on his way once he's well enough to travel."
"Very well. Please follow me." He turned and went back through the entrance tunnel. The guards, though slightly shocked, stood by as Rain followed him through. It had been less than three days since she had left, and it already felt like a moon.
They hastily made their way to Whitestar's den, situated in the corned of the camp. As she passed cats wandering around, they stopped and stared whispering to each other. They entered the reed den, which was spacious enough to fit four cats.
"Make yourself comfortable," he said. They sat down, facing each other. "What can you tell me about your recent actions? I already know about you, Waterpaw, Streampelt, and Ravenflight. I know about all of it."
He... he knows? He's known since the beginning? Rain was shocked. "I..." She dipped her head, shaking it, then raised it and looked Whitestar in the eye.
"I... I ran away to go to Ravenflight's group. I didn't want to be here, to be surrounded by these cats. I don't belong. But... I learned that..." She winced, thinking back to Cloud. "Cloud, the person who recruited me, she was just setting me up. Ravenflight had planned all of it to get me to join. I don't want to join them, but I can't come back here." On the verge of tears, she took a deep breath. "I don't know what to do. I've made our situation worse, and I don't know how to fix it."
"We're working on that. We have a larger threat than Ravenflight, though. A group of cats, banished from the Clans years ago, is amassing nearby. They call themselves 'FallenClan'. Does that sound familiar to you?"
Rain thought back. "Yes, I... I remember Ravenflight saying something about it... when I was a kit. When we came here."
"Most figured it was just a diversion from his group, but... FallenClan does exist. It is made of members of exiled cats, those so terrible they were forbidden from entering Clan territory. It was a unanimous decision made by all Clan leaders." Whitestar sighed. "We discovered a camp of theirs, not too far from here. It borders the Twoleg structures at the edge of RiverClan's territory, just far enough from the border to conceal."
(To be continued...)