Season 3, episode 6 of Home. Enjoy and please tell me what you think :)
For giving me my second home
And this short ship shall be dedicated to Rainy!
"No way!" Hawkpaw exclaimed, her mouth curved into a wide O shaped while Rainpaw bounced on her paws, happily, giddily and rather annoyingly as well.
"Stop it," I rolled my eyes.
"What good cause to I have to stop it?" Rainpaw replied, teasingly. Each remark she made was only making me more nervous, more embarrassed, "It's not like you would be acting any differently towards me had the situation been flipped."
"Yes well, maybe if you're kind to me it'll be a good way to get me to show some mercy." Hawkpaw was still glancing back and forth in confusion, and I figured what I said hadn't really registered to her. The situation hadn't really registered to me much either.
"Not worth it," Rainpaw decided.
"When did he ask you?" Hawkpaw decided, "Does this mean you two are going to become mates and have kits? I thought you hated kits."
"I am not having kits and we are not becoming mates," I snapped, pounding my paw on the floor as Rainpaw continued purring in amusement, "It's just a stroll by the river. Great StarClan."
"Just a stroll."
"Just a friendly stroll."
"I still can't believe you have the courage to do something that can easily be taken as romantic with Scarpaw after Thistlepaw and Willowpaw fought over him," Rainpaw shook her head, obviously enjoying this, "I mean-what if they come out and try to hurt you on your date."
I sighed, rolling my eyes. I wasn't getting anywhere with Rainpaw, I decided. It hadn't exactly been my choice to tell her though. Scarpaw had casually asked me if we could go for a stroll by the river that night and I had accepted. And, of course, Rainpaw would just happen to be walking by at that moment and mistake it for something it wasn't. Although, to be fair, I was a little nervous.
Just a little.
"Good luck," Hawkpaw purred.
"Luck?" I glanced at her curiously, "It's just a stroll."
"If you say so."
Resisting the urge to claw either of them, I rolled my eyes casually before turning around and heading towards the fresh-kill pile, to pick out the largest piece of prey I could find in the pile. Unfortunately, Ashpaw knew me well and now I was stuck doing all of her chores for her for a whole month.
Though I suppose I should have known better.
When I left the apprentice den that night, Scarpaw was waiting for me at the entrance. His expression remained neutral as I bounded up and we began to paddle towards the river together, pelts brushing gently. Something felt a little odd about it, different from anything I had done before but I didn't let it bother me.
"I remember when I first came to WaterClan," He whispered slowly as we walked, "I ran into you and Mintpaw asking to be a spy on StarClan..."
"I wasn't too friendly," My whiskers twitched.
"I was still lucky. Mintpaw saved me, you know. If I had just come into your camp I doubt they would have let me go without any scars-they could barely resist clawing me with you and Mintpaw insisting that I was treatable and could be what helped you win the war.
"Well you're here now," I claimed, "And I suppose that's what counts."
"Yeah," He nodded slowly, "I suppose."
We were silent for a moment, and eager to keep the situation from getting awkward I forced myself to find something to converse about, "So what did you think of that Thistlepaw and Willowpaw fight a few days ago?" I questioned, hoping it wasn't a taboo topic for him.
Thankfully, it wasn't.
"She-cats are silly," He snorted, "I think I made it pretty clear to both of them I wasn't interested. I mean, where did I drop any hints?"
"Anything you say or do will be taken as a hint and used against you," I laughed, "You have been warned!"
He purred, as we got closer and closer to the river. The sound of the rushing waters filled my ear and soothed me, allowing me to fall into a peaceful silence for a moment.
"I love WaterClan," I finally whispered, "It sounds so cheesy and stupid, but I just love this place so much. I don't think it would be possible to thank the founder enough."
"We owe a lot to Saur," He nodded and I glanced at him in mild surprise causing him to shrug, "What? Did I just say something wrong?"
"No," I shook my head slowly, "It's just that I didn't know you knew who Saur was... Wetstream once told the whole of the apprentices WaterClan's story and that was the first time I ever heard of him, but you weren't there for that."
"The elders like me," He shrugged, "What can I say? Everyone seems to like me these days. The she-cats, the elders, the senior warriors who keep insisting I'm bound to become a Clan leader."
"It's getting to your head," I frowned, as we reached the edge of the river, and I slowly dipped my paws into it, "Nobody likes others who have things get into their head."
"I'm so irresistible it doesn't even matter."
Laughing, I shoved him slowly, and, I wasn't sure if it was intentional or not, but he ended up hitting the water loudly, coughing in a combination of rage, amusement and embarrassment.
"How high-up are you now?" I called in amusement.
Moments later, though, I found myself being dragged into the water, by Scarpaw's stubborn front paws. I tried to shake my legs free but his grip was steel and I was soon being soaked as well.
"That's no way to treat a she-cat!" I spat jokingly.
He laughed and we were silent for another moment before he sighed, as we pushed ourselves back up to our paws. There was an odd look in his eyes as he helped me out.
"You're right, you know," He whispered, "We owe a lot to Saur. I mean, just the issue of StarClan alone would have ended in a disaster had there not been a Clan to stop them."
"FireClan could have."
"FireClan sucks too much to play the hero," He rolled his eyes, "I mean just imagine a forest where the FireClan cats were heroes."
"I can't," I replied with a shrug.
He purred, "Exactly. And just so many other things to. All the happiness, cooperation, survival, hope, emotions, victory... I guess there really is no end to the list."
"There isn't," I agreed.
We were silent for a few moments before Scarpaw turned his head to the skies. The look in his eyes held some sort of promise, and I wondered what he was thinking.
"What's up?" I questioned.
"I wonder what he thinks of us right now sometimes," He admitted, "If he would like our state or think we made a mess out of what he worked so hard to create."
"I do too," I admitted, "Whenever I think of the older cats who made WaterClan what it is today, I wonder if they would like what it is today."
"I guess we'll never know until we join them," Scarpaw shrugged.
"Guess not," I replied, "And by then the new cats will be wondering if we like what they made of the forest."
"Huh?" I glanced at him curiously.
"Will you like what they make of the Clan," He whispered, "I mean, if they don't burn it down on accident or have it taken over or something."
"I suppose I will," My whiskers twitched, "I mean, the forest will be missing out on a lot without me, but I won't be able to blame anyone for being unable to compare to me."
He purred pushing me slowly, and I laughed, swatting him back.
"We should take a moment to thank them," He whispered.
"Thank who?" I stared back at him curiously.
"Saur and Applewhisker and all of them really... I can't imagine where I would be right now if it wasn't for them. And it must be even harder for you to do so as well."
"Yeah," I nodded, turning my head back up to the stars alongside Scarpaw. Something felt right about that moment, and I almost wished I could just hold it still. Capture it somehow, make it something that I could always return to through some shard of a memory.
"Thank you," Scarpaw whispered to the stars.
"Thank you," I echoed, "For giving us everything we could have asked for. Family, friends, all the elements required for survival... home."
It was precious, and somehow it did seem to drag on longer, the more I wished it would remain. It too, however, soon had to come to an end and I was left with Scarpaw in the dark, both of us silent.
Then, I found myself being shoved again, followed by a loud laugh from Scarpaw as I was thrown back into the river. It was getting darker-I realized, and we should be heading back, but I was having a good time. Too good of a time.
Before I could pull myself out, and attack Scarpaw furiously there was a faint outline that seemed to be coming down from the skies. Before we could ask, the pale tabby tom introduced himself.
"I'm Saur," He whispered, "I heard your talk, and I just thought I should come down to speak with you two, just exchange a few words. Your Clan is in danger and perhaps, I thought, some advice from the founder of your Clan might help."
Immediately, the tom had captured our attention and we were listening to him intently as he spoke. His voice was low but it also held, power, experience, wisdom.
"Hold these kind of moments close," He whispered, "Remember the past-because that's where we all come from, what we are all made from. Remember those before you because they were what brought you. Look into the past for help with the future because you will need it."
We were both silent, half entirely confused and half entirely understanding what he was saying.
"Thank you for the advice, Saur," I finally whispered, "It's such an honor to actually be able to see you and gain advice from you..."
"It was good seeing you two," He smiled, "The Clan's bringing up their youth well these days-although they do seem to be getting sillier and sillier by the generation. Be careful; games can be dangerous."
And then he was gone, leaving Scarpaw and I under the sharp lightning of the moon again.
"We should probably be heading back," I whispered. He nodded, and we were both silent for a moment, our pelts brushed as we turned to smile at each other.
But somehow, we didn't end up smile, but gently touching noses, a wonderful feeling that made my insides almost soar a little.
We held, awkwardly for a few moments before pulling apart, and I inhaled deeply. I wasn't sure what to think of the nights but I knew that I had liked it.
"Thank you," I whispered, not sure whom I was thanking. Scarpaw? Soar? Just WaterClan in general?
"You're welcome," Scarpaw responded, and I offered a genuine smile as we turned around to head back to camp, and I braced myself for the torture that would come the moment I stepped into the apprentice den.