I'd wait for you until my last breath...
“It’s been two whole days,” I huffed furiously pacing across the apprentice den, “Two whole days!”
“Stop worrying, Aquapaw,” Nightpaw gently urged me, her eyes soft, but I could detect concealed worry under them too.
“What if they are dead?” I fretted, “Or FireClan has skinned them? I knew we should have just gone to battle!”
“That would be foolish,” Driftpaw claimed from the corner of the apprentice den which was unusually empty; containing just the three of us while all the other apprentices were out training, “FireClan hasn't stolen any prey since we sent them a warning.”
“But they have stolen one warrior and one apprentice,” I hissed back, “I know they did something to Mistypaw and Birdwing.”
I let out a low groan and my two friends exchanged sympathetic glances.
“Maybe something else happened,” Nightpaw claimed, “Like after they delivered the message they...” she paused for a moment trying to come up with something, obviously thinking hard before she soon gave up with a loud sigh.
“I think it was FireClan,” Driftpaw pointed out, “But I do not think we should worry. They stopped stealing our prey when we asked, they can stop stealing our cats when we ask.”
“FireClan doesn't do anything when you ask,” I let out a low huff, ignoring the eyeroll of one of the warriors as they walked past the apprentice den.
“I’m sure if they don’t show up eventually Bramblestar will have to send a patrol to go get them,” Nightpaw pointed out.
I huffed, “Well, they better come back soon or the patrol better head quickly. And I want to be in it.”
Driftpaw laughed, “We don’t just get to be in it because we want to, Aquapaw. Bramblestar will take whoever she thinks would do best.”
“Well, I have the motivation,” I huffed loudly, “And I know how to fight, even if I can’t hunt very well.”
“This is about who can stay quiet when we sneak up on FireClan camp,” Nightpaw claimed, “So I should obviously be one of the cats to go when we attack their camp. Since I actually know how to keep my muzzle shut for a few moments.
She gave me a pointed look and I turned away, “Well. I could stay quiet if it was absolutely necessary.”
“Why are you apprentices talking about a battle?” A harsh voice behind us asked, “Mistypaw gave us a very convincing talk just a few sunrises about why we should not go to battle.” Rainheart had a disapproving look on her face, as Ashpaw, who was standing right before her entered the den clutching a mouse in her jaws.
We shrunk back a little and I shrugged, “Well, Mistypaw is captured now by FireClan-”
“What else could have happened?” I shot back and the strict mentor let out a low sigh, “Don't they teach you apprentices any patience these days? We are not going to jump into battle, especially when FireClan has just stopped trespassing on our territory.
She whirled around before quickly paddling out of the den quickly, her long brown tail swooshing from side to side while I watched her with a look of contempt.
“FireClan,” I sneered at her, “She obviously wants us to think they are safe so that we won’t attack her favorite Clan. I don’t see why just doesn't move there, since she likes them so much.”
Ashpaw shrugged, “I may not like Rainheart, but I have to admit that she has a very good point.”
“I refuse to give Rainheart credit for anything,” I huffed loudly and the three apprentices all shrugged.
“Well, I just hope we attack soon,” Nightpaw claimed, “I now have three cats I must avenge, unless Birdwing and Mistypaw decide to show up sometime soon.”
“They won’t,” I claimed pointedly, “Because FireClan has captured them, and leave us with no choice but fight them.”
Suddenly, Secretpaw entered the camp with a grave look on her face. A small light danced across her eyes but I couldn't detect what was driving them, “Bramblestar has announced an attack,” she claimed.
We all let out a cheer unable to contain our excitement as I sent a silent thanks to StarClan.
“But,” she quickly added, “First she wants to make sure that they have Mistypaw and Birdwing before attacking. We wouldn't want to dive into a battle when they might be elsewhere.”
“Which 'elsewhere'?” I asked, completely convinced that FireClan had stolen my Clanmates.
“How will she find out?” Nightpaw asked curiously, pulling herself up to her paws, and glancing at the exit to the den.
“She is going to prepare a patrol to send into FireClan territory,” Secretpaw claimed gently, “I don’t know who is in it yet.”
“I hope I get to go!” I exclaimed, “I would shred those FireClan scum!”
Secretpaw sighed, “Bramblestar is looking for cats who will have a more peaceful approach to the matter,” she claimed, “I really don’t think she will be taking you, Aquapaw.”
“Of course she will!” I exclaimed loudly, “I am one of the best fighters in the whole Clan!”
“That's the problem,” Secretpaw softly whispered, “This isn't about strength, Aquapaw. It’s about speed and silence. Both of which, we all must admit, you have none of.”
“That’s not fair!” I protested, “She has to take me! Mistypaw is my best friend!”
Featherpaw entered the den at that moment and there was a knowing look on her face, “She is our best friend to you know,” she claimed softly, but I could detect anger glittering in her eyes.
“But...” I stuttered and Featherpaw just shrugged.
“We will just have to wait and see,” the pretty ginger she-cat claimed softly flicking her tail around calmly.
“I hope we find out soon!” I butted in, “I have to go on the sneak mission. It would be horrible to miss.”
“I really don’t think you have a chance,” Nightpaw gave me an apologetic shrug and I shrugged back at her.
“Bramblestar will announce it tonight,” Secretpaw claimed, “I heard her discussing it with my mentor.”
“I hope I get to go!” Nightpaw squealed and the apprentices began to break into excited murmurs about how great it would be to get chosen on a real mission.
Another group of apprentices quietly entered the den and soon joined the conversation that was taking place while I hung around the edges a little bit, wondering about Mistypaw.
“I’m sure she is fine,” Featherpaw claimed as she slid in next to me, “Mistypaw is a strong cat.”
“But FireClan is stronger," I mumbled darkly, “There are so many of them Mistypaw couldn't possibly stand a chance in a battle.”
“She had Birdwing,” Featherpaw pointed out, “Birdwing is one of the best fighters in the clan. She can help keeping Mistypaw and herself safe, if they even are in FireClan clutches.”
“I hope,” I whispered gently.
Featherpaw gave me an affectionate lick before joining the rest of the apprentices.
The rest of the day went by rather quickly. I spent my whole day training, closer to the FireClan border than usual; trying to pick up any hints as to if they may know where Mistypaw or Birdwing were but none of them showed up, which was surprising for FireClan and only strengthened my strong belief that they were behind it.
Sapphireshine had been impressed with all of my catches but I felt too excited to find out if I was going or not to shine at her rare praise of my not-so-sharp hunting abilities.
I picked out a vole from the fresh-kill pile and joined Featherpaw who was quietly eating a mouse.
“It can’t be long now,” I whispered with excitement, “I can't wait to go on the patrol!”
She looked up at me in surprise, “Who said you were going?” she asked pointedly and I shrugged, rolling off what Nightpaw, Driftpaw and Secretpaw had said before.
“I always get to go on the patrols and rescue missions,” I claimed proudly, “I don’t remember a single task the apprentices were allowed to go on during which I could not go.”
“The attack to get Riverscar back?” she questioned, “You didn’t come to that one.”
“I technically did,” I pointed out, “We hung around the border, because Nightpaw was eager to be there so we were trying to sneak onto it, but we fought during the battle anyways, and that is what counts.
“I wouldn't get too excited,” Featherpaw yawned, “You have to be kept back sometimes.”
“I would die if I missed on the action though,” I complained with a low moan, “I have to know everything that is going on.”
Featherpaw shrugged, “So do we,” she pointed out with a smile and I knew she had won, so I shrugged as well, trying to put the conversation behind.
As soon as I had set the remains my finished vole down, I heard a loud cry coming from Bramblestar.
“Could all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather beneath the HighRock for a Clan meeting!”
I quickly jumped onto my paws, my pads scrubbing against the ground and ran underneath where the leader stood, waiting for the Clan to gather.
Once all of the warriors and apprentices were waiting she began speaking, “As many of us are aware Mistypaw and Birdwing have yet to return from their mission to make peace with FireClan.”
She was greeted by silence and several nods.
“While FireClan has stopped stealing from our territory and has not been spotted among the borders at all in the two sunrises since, there has still been a growing suspicion that FireClan is behind it and I can’t help believing this is the case knowing the past of the Clan.”
This time there were murmurs of agreement to fill up the silent air as she stopped for another moment.
“So,” she claimed, “Before we decide to run off and attack, assuming they have our cats I am sending a patrol to spy on the territory and see if they know anything about where Birdwing and Mistypaw are.”
Yowls of agreement rose from the cats and I felt my paws tingling in anticipation to see if I was being sent on the patrol.
“I am not going, as I am aware that it may be a trap. However, Wetstream and Birchfire will be leading the attack. I have chosen Cinderdapple, Redpoppy, Ducksplash, Darklion, Ivypaw, Nightpaw and Eclipsepaw to head on the patrol into enemy territory.”
My blood slowly froze and Featherpaw sent me a knowing glance. I slowly shrunk back into my fluffy pelt, not sure if I should be angered, hurt, confused or all three at the same time.
As if sensing my thoughts, Featherpaw murmured, “You can’t always be chosen to go, Aquapaw. You aren't the only one who cares for Mistypaw and you should probably learn to wait.”
Despite her words, I could tell she was slightly disappointed that she wasn't chosen to go as well, something I found easy to relate to.
“I just hope they find Birdwing and Mistypaw,” I whispered gently.
“I hope they don't,” Featherpaw shrugged and seeing my bewildered look she explained, “If they find them on FireClan territory that means they are either dead or gravely injured. It also means we have to go to war with the fierce Clan. If we don’t find them there at least we know they are more likely to be safe and well.”
I sniffed, acknowledging the truth in what Featherpaw said, but still itching for a fight with FireClan.
“When are we leaving?” A cat called loudly.
Bramblestar paused for a moment, “Now,” she finally claimed, her pelt glimmering softly under the lighting of the setting sun, “I don’t want to waste any more time. Each second we wait puts two WaterClan cats into grater peril.”
Suddenly, the clearing became hustling with action. Cats began swarming the camp as those chosen to go on the patrol quickly lined up and headed out before I even got the chance to wish my friends good luck.
“Want to go out and hunt?” Featherpaw asked me, “I like to keep my mind off things so I don’t get to excited when thing like this happen.”
I paused for a moment before shrugging, “Sure,” I claimed and followed her outside of camp, where we soon began our hunt.
Featherpaw was a good hunter, she had the perfect balance and timing and during the time she spent hunting I didn’t see her miss a single catch.
I, on the other hand, didn’t do quite as well, and Featherpaw tried to help correcting me, but what Sapphireshine couldn't do in moons wasn't about to be corrected so quickly.
“Do you think they found them?” I asked Featherpaw softly as she successfully completed yet another kill.
She shrugged, “It doesn't really matter how much we think of it, does it?” she asked, “In all seriousness, it doesn't. We can worry, toss around, keep gazing at the entrance to camp waiting for them to burst through but it won’t really help.”
I sighed, “But I’m really excited and worried.”
“When you and Rainpaw were stuck in FireClan,” Featherpaw gently whispered, “I was so worried. I didn’t go to sleep for nights, because I knew something was wrong and I desperately wanted to come save you, even if it was mostly your fault.”
“I soon realized that it didn’t matter how much I worried. You still weren't going to come. And I realized there were two things I could do. Either stop covering up for your absence, and let you get in trouble but still save you from FireClan or just be grateful that I still had the rest of my friends safe and sound in WaterClan camp.”
“Which did you do?” I asked her, curious.
“Both,” she claimed, “I told the Clan that you two had snuck off and when only two warriors were sent to sneak into FireClan and snatch you out of there, I was forced to wait, during which time I tried to focus at least on what I still had.”
I was silent, “So then...”
“I’m focusing on you right now,” she smiled, “And how your cluelessness always makes me smile.”
“Well,” I paused, “I’ll focus on how you always know exactly what to say, and make me feel better,” I gave her a friendly lick.
“They will be back soon,” she promised me, her eyes glittering with anticipation, “And they will have news with them. Until then, however, all we can really do is lay low, let those chosen to go do their job and wait.”
“It’s hard,” I mumbled softly.
“Sometimes,” she replied, “But sometimes it feels good to just wait. Because if we can wait for someone, that is what truly indicates whether or not we love them.”
“I’d wait for you,” I smile softly at her.
“So would I,” she responds with a grin.