|Fire, water, wind, lightning, and ice|
|Preceded by: |
Dismay and betrayal
|The Rescue Quest||Succeded by: |
A black tom with white paws, and a group of four other cats moved, tracking a single scent. The scent of Clanmate who had been kidnapped by a Twoleg. On the very day they set out, five cats got a message from Starclan. A message that made their blood get cold, yet a determination burned in them.
Five cats shall answer the call
Of the five clans they each come all
Shadows shall fall to ice or fire
To save the Clans in danger so dire
A secret revealed in a single last stand
Death to come in a storm’s final end
I hissed again as Misty lapped at a particularly sore spot.
”I’m sorry for being such a bother” I rasped out, numb after a harsh beating. ”No, it’s alright” Misty soothed, and soon I was okay enough to play with the kits.
I liked them, especially Aurora, who was adventurous as a Clan kit. A pang shot through me as I thought of my sister’s betrayal. I was trapped in a Twoleg nest as a kittypet.
I batted disgustedly at the collar the Twoleg had put me in. There was a shiny rock that jingled when I moved, that Misty explained as a ”bell”.
I looked out the clear unmelting ice that Tree had described as ”glass”. There I could see the forest, a faint haze on the orizon. I tried to get out of here every day, but the toms always beat me up.
I looked out, thinking, pleading that Sootpaw would come for me. But he had been mad at me, maybe he was even glad I was gone. ’No’ I shook my head firmly. He would come for me, right?
I sat up in my nest, wondering why I was surrounded by different Clan cats, and why I was outside. Then I remembered.
We were on a quest to rescue Moonpaw, with Goldpaw, Birdpaw, Blazepaw, Sootpaw and me. Sootpaw was the apprentice who had asked us to come with him, and now we were traveling out for Moonpaw.
”I’ll check our surroundings” Blazepaw, my sister, announced as she quickly flew upwards, into the sky. Goldpaw gave a sneeze, and shook his head, muttering something under his breath. Birdpaw was sitting by herself nervously. I always wonder why she is so nervous and shy, but Birdpaw never tells. Sootpaw was up waay earlier than us, and is impatiently waiting for us to go on. I know why.
He has a crush on Moonpaw, but he refuses to acknowledge it.
”There’s a barn ahead of us, but it’s too far away to reach by night, and the cloud are getting darker. We should find another place to stay” Blazepaw yowled from above.
Birdpaw jumped, and shook herself, getting onto her paws, while Sootpaw immediately started off, leaving us to pad after him.
We were starting off for the barn Blazepaw had seen, and we saw it far off into the distance. Sootpaw kept running forward and sit, waiting for us.
Suddenly, there was a sharp screech of a bird, and with an earsplitting yowl, Blazepaw plummeted from the sky.
It seemed that Blazepaw had attacked an eagle attempting to carry us off, and had succeeded in chasing it off, but got injured in the task.
”No!” Seapaw shrieked, and dove for her just as I leapt up and grabbed Blazepaw by the scruff. Seapaw banged into me, and we went rolling, bowling over Sootpaw who let out a startled squawk.
We stopped with many groans and hisses of pain, and Seapaw mewed ”Blazepaw, Goldpaw, are you okay?”
I muttered ”Seapaw, get off me” just as Blazepaw hissed from beneath me ”Yeah, otherwise from an injured wing and being flattened by you two, I’m perfectly fine” She said sarcastically. ”Oops, sorry” Seapaw mewed sheepishly, and we disentangled ourselves. I found myself face to face with Seapaw, who murmured softly ”Thank you for saving my sister”
I felt my face turn slightly red, and we sat up to see Sootpaw laughing his head off. ”Shut up” Seapaw and I muttered, our faces both bright red.
My face still red, I padded over to Blazepaw who was sitting awkwardedly, pawing at her wing.
”What’s wrong?” I asked, worried. Blazepaw mewed ”The stupid bird plucked one of my feathers, so it hurts like crazy, like one of my claws is gone”
I winced, and Birdpaw padded over carefully with a pawful of herbs. ”Horsetail, for her wound” Blazepaw and I looked, startled Blazepaw and I looked, startled that Birdpaw seemed to know herbs. Actually, I was startled that she spoke at all. Birdpaw flinched, and murmured ”I used to spend a lot of time beside the medicine den” ”Thanks!” I purred, and Birdpaw opened her eyes wide, surprised, and accepted with a small dip ofher head. I chewed up the herbs, making a face at the bitter taste, and carefully applied it to Blazepaw’s wound. My sister winced for a bit, and sighed with relief. ”Oh, that feels better” She purred. I looked around, and I saw the barn only a few treelengths away. ”Let’s go!” I yowled, and then we all headed off.
I and the other cats started running off for the barn. Soon, the cloud started to pour rain. We were drenched by the time we burst in the musty-smelling barn. Sootpaw grumbled ”We’re moving too slowly. We should run the next time” Seapaw whipped her head around, and teased ”Well, lover boy, Moonpaw isn’t going to be eaten, you know” Sootpw snapped his ears up, and hissed in a shocked mew ”I’m not a lover boy!” Me, Goldpaw, and Seapaw snickered while Birdpaw stifled a purr. ”Excuse me? When you guys stop laughing, can anybody give me some light and warmth? Winged cat over here, freezing” I mewed cynically once we were done laughing. Birdpaw concentrated, and breathed out a white-hot tongue of flame that heated a pile of rocks cherry-red. ”Thanks, Birdpaw” I purred, and curled up contendedly against the warmth. Birdpaw looked surprised, as if she wasn’t used to being thanked. Soon we were all in a furry warm heap next to the stones, which were slowly losing heat.
I yawned, and wiggled out of the lump of cats. Then I started the extremely dangerous task of waking the others. Believe me, there’s nothing more detrimental to your health than facing a half-awake Seapaw, a grumpy Goldpaw, nor a seriously irritated Blazepaw. Birdpaw was up at my slightest touch, and fluffed her fur out before realizing it was me, and mewed apologies. By the time all of us were up, I had been half drowned, buffeted with a mini tornado, and my fur was standing on end with static from Goldpaw. Jeez, these cats need some temper management. ”I’m hungry” Seapaw complained, and Blazepaw’s belly rumbled. Goldpaw and Seapaw both started to scent the air for prey, and Birdpaw trotted up to us with a vole. Blazepaw grumbled, and followed after Seapaw. I decided to hunt, and we had a nice pile of prey soon enough, when Seapaw padded up with an unusually big mouse. Goldpaw froze, and cautiously sniffed the prey before suddenly yowling ”Run!”
A huge mass of gray fur engulfed my friends and me. I slashed and hissed as a rat clung to my back. I rolled over, squashing it, and bit and snapped at another. Blazepaw leapt at a huge one which was attacking Birdpaw, and the two she cats slashed together side by side, driving away many rats, but many more came. Sootpaw was struggling in a mass of rats, crushing them underpaw and biting, but I could see he was slowly being overwhelmed. Then I heard a shriek of pain from Seapaw. I rushed over to her, and helped her scramble out from the rats to a higher place. Suddenly, I felt something expand inside me. Power. ”Seapaw, get the others, and hurry out as soon as possible. Then try to go as far away from here as possible” I said. Seapaw’s eyes widened. ”What about you?” ”I’ll be fine. Now GO!” I shoved her towards the entrance, and only paused to see Seapaw get the others, and run out. She gave me a glance filled with terror, before she went out. I struggled to get to the middle of the barn, and concentrated. White hot light blazed through me, more than I ever had used before, and there was a blinding, searing hot flash of light, and a huge thunderclap. Before darkness swallowed me, I heard the wail of Seapaw, and blacked out.
I raced out of the barn, and barely had the time to ask where Goldpaw was when a huge blast of lightning, followed immeidately by a thunderus BOOM! ripped apart the sky and struck the barn. Seapaw wailed ”Goldpaw! NO!” and she tried to race to the now blackened and burning barn, but Sootpaw held her back. Blazepaw looked pleadingly at me. ”Birdpaw, can you go? You’re resistant to fire, right?” A strange feeling welled up in me, one I had never felt in Waterclan. Happiness. Happiness that the others trusted me. Believed in me. I quickly realized I had made a mistake in thinking about my clan, because memories came flooding back. …”Birdpaw, let’s play a game of truth.” Ashpaw purred to Birdpaw. She looked up in surprise, before nodding shyly, and following him over to a group of apprentices. ”Birdpaw, which tom do you have a crush on?” Stonepaw mewed. Birdpaw froze, and whispered ”No one” ”C’mon, we won’t tell. Besides, we told you our secrets” Mistpaw pleaded. ”Um..” Birdpaw didn’t catch the secret glances everyone else was giving to each other, and replied reluctantly ”Quailpaw” Stonepaw, Ashpaw and Mistpaw snickered, and a blushing Birdpaw realized that everything had been a trick. She had to endure moons. ”Eeeww! Birdpaw loves Quailpaw! Quailpaw, watch out!” ”Why would he like you, loser?” The apprentices taunted. Birdpaw cried in her sleep every night. She was naturally shy and quiet, but the teasing and taunting made her get more withdrawn, and unhappy.… I shook my head to get rid of these thoughts. I had a friend to rescue. My companions were depending on me. I dipped my head, and mewed ”Okay, I’ll go” And ran into the barn.
I watched Birdpaw’s eyes spark with new life and confidence, and she swiftly dipped her head and raced away. Sootpaw was restraining Seapaw, who kept trying to break away. I wondered why Seapaw was so devastated for Goldpaw. Sure, I was upset, too, but not like Seapaw. It seemed that Seapaw.... liked Goldpaw? I knew they had a ’moment’ when Goldpaw saved me, but I didn’t expect it to last. Apparently not. Suddenly, Birdpaw came out, dragging a limp body out. Seapaw broke away from Sootpaw, and raced to Goldpaw’s side. ”He’s alive” Birdpaw croaked, her throat hoarse from the ashes in the barn. Goldpaw’s yellow tabby fur was streaked with soot, but he was alive. ”Thyme!” Birdpaw hissed urgently. ”He’s going into shock!” Sootpaw and I scrambled for the forest, with Seapaw and Birdpaw watching over Goldpaw. I soon came back with a bunch of thyme, Sootpaw following behind, paws muddy from digging. Seapaw and Birdpaw made a paste, and began to give him little by little. He stirred, opening his eyes slowly. ”Goldpaw!” Seapaw purred, eyes glowing with relief. Goldpaw murmured ”Thanks, guys” before passing out. I looked back at the barn, a smoking heap of ashes, and looked ahead. I could see the Twolegplace ahead. I saw Sootpaw look out to the Twolegplace, and heard him mew softly ”I’m coming, Moonpaw” I curled up against Sootpaw and Birdpaw, while Seapaw was sharing a nest with Goldpaw.
Relief. Gladness. Overjoyed. I felt glad that Goldpaw had survived, and felt a small warmth in my heart. A warmth which I realized as..... Love. But why? We had done nothing special together. Only best friends at Gatherings, nothing else. I had been happy when he saved Blazepaw, but that was only once. Why? Though I admit, my cheeks would get warm the last few times. My train of thoughts were broken by a whisper. ”Seapaw?” I jerked my head up, startled, and realized Goldpaw was consious and wide awake. ”Thanks again. You’ve helped us all. Maybe I can rescue you, and we’ll be even.” I purred. Goldpaw purred, and tried to sit up. ”Get down” I tried to urge him, but he insisted on heaving himself to his paws. ”Sea...Seapaw?” He stammered. Some of my playfulness had returned, and I joked, ”You got something to say to me?” Goldpaw’s eyes seemed to form round, dark pools of water.... Snap out of it! ”You’d probably say I’m crazy” ”You know I’m going to say it” I mewed. He seemed more serious then I thought. ”When I was unconsious, Starclan came to me. They said I had a choice. Going to Starclan, or staying down here, and enduring the pain of my injuries. And I kept thinking....” ”Oh, you so wanted to” I teased, trying to lighten up the mood. I had a whim of where this was heading.. ”Well, maybe a little.” Goldpaw admitted. ”But I didn’t want to go and stay like this for eternity, because...”
I swallowed. My throat felt really dry, which was probably not from the ashes or dust, and continued. ”Because.. things could get better. And I was thinking...” ”Anyone in particular?” I could see Seapaw’s blue eyes, playful a heartbeat ago, soften into solemn pools, with a teasing hint in her mew. ”You’re teasing me!” I protested, breaking the serious atmosphere. ”I am not!” ”You are so not making this easy” I huffed, my whiskers fluttering. ”I will never, ever make things easy for you, mousebrain. Get used to it” Seapaw purred. Then my brain suddenly stuttered to a halt as Seapaw stepped closer, and touched her nose to mine. I couldn’t remember my name. My head was up in the clouds, and a whole pack of dogs could have been attacking and I wouldn’t have noticed. Then she withdrew from the contact, her clear blue eyes glittering. My brain started working again, albeit a little jerkily. My name was Goldpaw. I gave a small purr, and wrapped my tail against hers, waiting for her to move away. She didn’t. ”But it’s forbidden. What about Charmclan?” I whispered softly. ”I can be loyal to Charmclan and still be with you. This will work, right?” ”Forever. No boundaries will ever be strong to separate us” I promised.
I woke up to scramble to the glass, and looked out. Straining to see, I saw a big flash of light as lightning struck a faraway barn, and it burst into flame, although it smoldered down quickly. ’Sootpaw, anybody, please get me out of here’ I pleaded silently. I was interrupted by a sneering mew. ”Still waiting for your clannie friends? They won’t find you anywhere. And if they do, my friends and I can take care of them. You’re not gonna go anywhere.” Flare hissed, an orange tabby tom with a nick in his ear. The entrance of this ’room’ swung open to reveal a female Twoleg. Flare and the other toms padded up to her, and purring, rubbed against her. It made me sick. Just then, she swooped down, and picked me up. I stuggled, startled. ”When will you ever give up” Sighed Tree sickeningly sweetly. The Twoleg rapped me on the nose, making my eyes water, and mewed something to me sing-songy voice. She stroked a paw down my back, and aside from twitching my tail, I stayed still. I forced a purr out, and the Twoleg gave a delighted squeal, and set me down, and went out, leaving three large things full of kittypet food. The toms raced over to the two at once, and I padded over cautiously to the third with Misty and the kits. Wrinkling my nose, I carefully put a single grayish pellet in my mouth. It tasted bland and dry, and I struggled to swallow it. I missed the sweet, tangy flavors of the mouse and vole, the prey I ate in the forest. I finished eating, and was going to sit by the glass again when Aurora, Seal, and Vapor came mewing excitedly towards me. ”Tell us about the Clans again!” They mewed. Feeling very much like an elder pestered for stories, I settled into a comfortable position, and drew the kits close to me with my tail. ”You can hear, too” I invited Misty, and she slowly walked over to me, and settled down. ”You see, there are four Clans in the forest. Charmclan, Waterclan, Spellclan, and Nightclan. I’m from Nightclan, the clan of night. Waterclan cats live in and around the sea, Spellclan lives in the pine forests and marshes. They have very good senses. And the Charmclan cats can do magic. My clan is very good at moving silently and blending into darkness and shadows. We mainly have black pelts.” I mewed, and continued. ”Nightclan’s leader is my mother, Nightstar, and my father, Pantherpelt, is the deputy. They came from Spellclan and charmclan, and formed a new clan, Nightclan…”
I stretched, and saw with relief that Birdpaw and Blazepaw were already awake. So I would be spared from burning and buffeting winds today. I headed towards Seapaw and Goldpaw, curled up together, a content smile on their faces. ”Don’t wake them” Birdpaw commented with a small grin. ”Let’s go hunting, then” I suggested. Blazepaw and Birdpaw looked at one another, before they mewed simultaneously ”We already did, stupid furball” I looked, and saw two voles, one rabbit, and one sparrow. ”Let’s eat while we wait, then” I suggested. Blazepaw and I ate the voles, while Birdpaw tucked into the sparrow. But Blazepaw kept acting as if something bothered her. Swallowing down the last piece, I turned to her, and mewed, ”Something bothering you?” Blazepaw met my eyes, and Birdpaw padded over to us. ”It’s Seapaw” She confessed, sneaking a glance at the sleeping pair. ”I think they had a ’talk’ last night, and I’m worried. I know we’re not in the Clans right now, but what happens when we return? I’m worried Seapaw will break her heart.” Blazepaw murmured. Birdpaw mewed comfortingly ”Seapaw will be okay. She’s a optimistic cat. They probably already worked it out.” She then looked at me, mischief lighting her eyes. ”We’d better stop chatting and head forward, or Sootpaw might get crazy from being away from Moonpaw. We all know how much you’re in love with her.” ”I am not!” I protested, my fur already burning. ”Ah, denial. The first steps of love” Birdpaw claimed. ”Oh, look. They’re waking” Blazepaw cut in, already recovered from her earlier worry.
I blinked, and moved, waking Goldpaw. Yawning, he stretched, and with a slight wince, stood on all four paws. ”Get up, Seapaw” He urged. Heat flushed over me, and I stumbled awkwardedly to my paws. ”Well, it’s about time!” Sootpaw declared, striding up to us. ”The lovebird need to get up!” Teased the black tom. ”ShutupSootpaw” Goldpaw muttered, face bright red. My face was burning too, but I ignored it, and retorted ”At least I’m not dreaming of a certain black, white pawed pretty apprentice” Sootpaw flushed, and hissed hurriedly ”Let’s go now” Me and Goldpaw soon finished the rabbit, and we set off at a brisk pace towards the Twolegplace.
”This is boring, and my legs hurt” I complained for the upteenth time. Yeah, yeah, I know I’m whining, but get used to it. We were now headed pretty near the Twolegplace, and the puddles around me started to create small waves. Birdpaw said nothing, just padding on, but the air was slowly getting hotter around her. Blazepaw absently stirred the air, and sparks were literally coming off Goldpaw. Sootpaw’s tail twitched impatiently. I tasted the air, and smelled something that made my fur stand on end. ”I scent dogs!” I hissed. Goldpaw immediately sniffed the air, and bristled. ”They’re coming for us!” ”Well, what are you doing? Run!” Blazepaw shrieked, and we heard the barking of the dogs get closer. ”You know what? I think I’m not bored anymore” I muttered to my self, as we ran flat out for the nearest Twoleg nest.
I was taking a nap when Claw poked me with a paw. ”What?” I murmured sleepily. ”Playtime, Clan cat” I was immediately pounced on by Claw, Tree, Stone, and Flare. Hissing furiously, I leaped, but it was too much. I was slowly being overwhelmed by the cats, and finally dragged myself out a few minutes later. Beaten and pretty battered, I twisted to lick at a bleeding scratch on my flank, wincing a little at the sting of numerous bruises. Misty didn’t know, she was out with the kits for a walk. Just then, I heard a loud barking. Scrambling to my paws, I once again peered out, and saw a couple of dogs chase some cats to a nearby white Twoleg den, and turned away, disappointed. I stopped in my tracks. Wait, there was a black cat, wasn’t there? Trying to stop excitement and hope swell up in me, I looked out again. There they are. A black tom with white paws, a golden tabby, a blue gray cat, a gold and white tabby, and a ginger cat with wings. As soon as I identified them, my heart seemed to stop. Sootpaw, Goldpaw, Seapaw, Birdpaw, and Blazepaw. They were here. Trying to get their attention, I clawed at the glass, and yowled loudly. No effect. Just then, I was suddenly flung to a tight place. ”I was wrong. Looks like we’ve got to hide you, Clannie” And I was trapped in a tight, strange den, and the flap on the top slammed down. I pushed up, but it didn’t open. The den was made of a strange silvery spider web-like things, and it was cold to the touch and very hard. The den was pushed down in a hole, and I was surrounded, no buried by hay. I looked up, and saw Tree cover up the hole, surrounding me in darkness.
We ran and ran, gasping for breath. I wasn’t sure when we were going to stop, when Sootpaw yowled ”There!” and veered off to the right. I followed, Seapaw and Goldpaw ahead, Birdpaw behind me. I spun around, facing the dogs, and raised my wings. I waited until Birdpaw ran past me, and swished it down. Once. Twice. Three times. The resulting wind blew the dogs off their paws, and I blinked. I didn’t know the winds were that strong. I made the winds push them, until they turned tail and ran away, whimpering. ”T..Thanks, Bl..Blazepaw” Seapaw panted as I stepped into the small hiding place we had found, right under the Twoleg den. I didn’t answer, as I was feeling dead tired, and soon curled up to sleep.
…”Help! There’s a fire!” Thick, choking smoke filled the den, and Blazepaw tried to find the way out, but a streak of black brushed past her, followed by a blue gray she cat and a white and yellow tabby. Suddenly, a gush of water roared through, putting the fires out, and there was the sound of cats fighting. She heard a single earsplitting yowl as a bright flash of pale blue light, too bright to look directly, flashed, and the air became icy cold.…
”Blazepaw! Blazepaw!” I woke up groggily to see the cats looking at me worriedly. ”Are you okay? You were screaming something about fire.” Seapaw mewed worriedly, and I stumbled to my paws, my head spinning. ”I’m alright” I mumbled, standing up. ”Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s rescue Moonpaw!” I said. I padded along warily, always on the lookout for Twolegs. Birdpaw suddenly stopped, tasting the air. ”I can scent her” She announced softly. My pelt suddenly started to prickle with hope. Birdpaw took off, all of us following.
”Moonpaw! Moonpaw?” I yowled, and Seapaw and Blazepaw mewed out loud. It was stuffy in the den, and I heard Goldpaw cough. A frightened mewling reached our ears, and we tracked it to a barn like den with some hay in the corner. A hole was in the side of a den, covered with a clear ice like thing. I saw a queen huddled with her kits, and I slowly padded up to her. ”Don’t hurt my kits!” She mewed, and Goldpaw said ”We won’t. Do you know any cat by the name of Moonpaw?” As soon as Goldpaw uttered those words, the queen fled with her three kits, and at the same time, we heard a faint mew behind the hay. ”Sootpaw?” Goldpaw and Seapaw rushed to claw away the hay, and trapped in a silver spider webby den, was Moonpaw. My legs suddenly weak and wobbly, I slowly staggered up to her. The others drew away, knowing that I needed some privacy. ”You came” Moonpaw whispered, her beautiful golden eyes glowing. ”Of course I did... Moonpaw, I’m sorry for being such a mousebrain” I apologized. ”Don’t. It’s alright.” Moonpaw murmured, and she leaned forward, touching her nose to mine. For a moment, I let myself get lost in her eyes, and pull away. ”We’re going to get you out of there, Moonpaw” I start to inspect the silver den, and notice a silver rock on the top. Just as I reach over for that, a mew slices the air. ”Well, well, well. If it isn’t the poor little clan cats, to rescue their weak little friend”
Sootpaw. He’s really come for me. But I don’t have the time to be happy, as Claw appears, and sneers at my friends. Sootpaw spun around, and I saw pure fury on his face. In all my life, I never saw Sootpaw get that angry. Rage is written all over, and his whole body shakes with anger. ”You....You!” He snarled, and Birdpaw, Seapaw, Goldpaw, and Blazepaw look shocked. They probably were. ”You had a bit of a ’moment’ there, but there’s no chance you’ll get her free, or walk away alive. Haven’t you noticed?” As Claw spoke, cats started to appear everywhere. One thing was certain, they were clearly outnumbered. The four cats looked stunned, but Sootpaw lashed his tail. ”Then I’ll die fighting” He hissed in a deadly voice, and I shivered, because I knew Sootpaw would keep to his word. Die, or win. With a snarl, he leapt straight for Claw, but he moved out of the way. ”Then die!” Claw shrieked, and yowled ”Attack!” And swarms of cats leaped down, and soon there was a writhing mass of cats on the five apprentices. ’I need to help! Sootpaw can’t die!’ I scrabbled frantically at the silver rock like thing, but my claws just bounced off the silver web. In front of me, I could see Birdpaw truly blazing fire, and Goldpaw’s fur crackled with electricity, stunning many cats. The floor was wet with water from Seapaw, causing many cats to trip and slide. Blazepaw attacked from above, great buffets of wind lifting cats and slamming them against the walls. But still there seemed to be no end. Just as my friends seemed to win, the rock on top popped open, and I was heaved out by Stone and Tree, and was pinned to the floor with claws at my throat. ”Don’t move, or she dies!” Tree hisses at Sootpaw.
The fighting seemed to stop, and we all turned to look at the source of the hiss. Moonpaw is pinned to the ground, claws at her throat. A shocked mew come from Sootpaw. ”No!” ”Get off Claw, or your pretty girlfriend dies” Tree taunts Sootpaw, and I realize Sootpaw got Claw down on the ground, apparently about to tear his fur out. ”Don’t, Sootpaw” Moonpaw gives out a weak mew. Sootpaw’s eyes seem to flicker with uncertainity, until I see him looking at Blazepaw, and she gives a tiny nod. He gives me a glance, and I try to read it. ’Burn the hay’
’What? Burn this place? Then we’ll all die!’ I shrieked silently at him.
’Trust me’ I sigh, and dip my head slightly. Sootpaw turns to face Tree. Determination hardens his eyes. Then he slowly backs away. ”Good” Tree purrs, releasing Moonpaw ever so slightly. Faster than thought, Moonpaw lunges up, knocking him over and releasing herself. ”Now!” Yowled Sootpaw, and Blazepaw swooped down and carried Moonpaw to a safer place. I concentrate, using the heat from the cat’s bodies around me. Into a small pinprick, I force it tighter and tigher. Fire burst into life, igniting the rest of the hay, and the cats scramble for cover, streaming out in gaps of the den. But me, Sootpaw, and Goldpaw are still surrounded by cats. Seapaw gave a screech, and water gushes from somewhere, and the tom cats are drenched, but they keep fighting Goldpaw and Sootpaw. Smoke fills the air, making it hard to see and breathe.
I see Blazepaw help Birdpaw and Seapaw get out of the den, and I manage to shove Goldpaw out. Now it’s just me and Claw. Smoke stings my eyes, but I blink hard. Claw lunges, and I duck, and I was about to give him a blow when a terrified shriek fills the air, followed by a burst of bright blue light. The air turns icy cold, and the water freezes into ice, with snow dusting the ground. I looked up, and see Moonpaw waiting on the edge of the den. She looks weak, and shocked. I turn around and see Claw and the other cats half frozen, and know Moonpaw did it. Then Moonpaw suddenly swayed, and lost her balance. I screeched, lunging for her, fighting back pain as Claw mangaged to slash a wound on my hind leg. I ignored it, running for the edge. I looked down to see Moonpaw hanging by her claws, and I was about to reach for her, when she whispers ”You came back for me. Thanks” And her claws slid out. I jumped down after her, catching her and wrapping her in my paws. ”You’re not going to die, and that’s that” I mewed quietly to her, and she whispered ”Stupid furball” And we plummeted together, three treelengths down.
I made it out of the den, when there was a bright flash, and things suddenly seemed to happen all at once. Moonpaw tumbled down the edge on the three treelength height, managing to cling by her claws. Then she slipped, falling, and Sootpaw jumped after her, and they plunged down, three treelengths down. A shriek tore out of my mouth, and Goldpaw yowls with fear. Birdpaw cried out, and Blazepaw shrieked. Blazepaw flew faster than normal under the two cats, and caught hold of them, trying to slow their fall, but their momentum was great. She managed to slow them a little, but the two cats still crashed with a sickening thud to the ground. Birdpaw, Goldpaw, and I rushed over. Blazepaw was lying on the ground, slightly stunned. Birdpaw rushed over to Moonpaw, who was stirring. She managed to get to her paws, and stiffened when she saw Sootpaw. Unconsious. Moonpaw let out a small shriek, and stumbled over to him. She limped as she walked, and I noticed she had a number of bruises and faint scars on her flanks and legs. When we reached Moonpaw, and Blazepaw was well enough to sit up, Moonpaw was helping Birdpaw tend to the gash in his leg, and Goldpaw brought over some water, which Moonpaw lapped up shakily. Then she curled up against Sootpaw, and soon drifted off to sleep. It reminded me of how tired I was, and I settled against Goldpaw, and went to sleep while Blazepaw and Birdpaw kept watch.
I opened my eyes, and blinked. ”Sootpaw.... Sootpaw... Sootpaw” Moonpaw kept murmuring my name over and over. I stirred, and a white hot pain raced up one of my hind legs. I stifled a hiss, and Moonpaw was immediately awake. ”Sootpaw!” She cried out, and tears splashed on my face. ”Great. Now get off of me” I mumbled embarrassed. ”You stupid furball! Don’t you know how much you made me worry? Arrgh!” The last part became a shriek of frustration as Moonpaw pummeled me to the ground. ”Ow, watch it” I groaned theatrically, wincing for real as I tried to get up. Birdpaw was immediately at my side. ”Sorry” She mewed apologetically. ”Your leg was wrenched, so I bound it with ferns and cobweb. Try not to move it so much.” I made a face, and awkwardedly sat up. ”We’re safe now” I said to Moonpaw, who was blushing for some reason. Moonpaw took a deep breath. ”Sootpaw, thanks again for saving me. And I want to say...” And her face gets even brighter red, which somehow makes my face burn, too. ”Mmffyoo” She mumbled. ”What?” I mewed, bewildered. Moonpaw faced me in the eyes. ”I love you” It took me a whole minute for the words to sink in. And when they did, happiness welled up in me. ”I do too, Moonpaw” I purred, rubbing my cheek against hers, trying to ignore the comical gagging motions Seapaw and Blazepaw were doing. ”Shut up, Seapaw. We all know how you love Goldpaw, too” Moonpaw snapped good naturedly. Seapaw and Goldpaw blushed, and we turned back, heading back to our clans. This time, with Moonpaw.