Now I'm a warrior
I've got thicker skin
Artic’s eyes are so sincere. The entire day I had been moping, wondering where I had gone wrong with the white tom. His gentleness is back and the fury and anger that had been there is replaced by sincerity. I don’t know how he manages to erase all that pain away from his eyes but I love for it.
“I love you,” I murmur, wanting him to wash away all my pain.
The white tom gives me a genuine smile that melts my heart. “I love you too, Ravenflight,” he leans forward and brushes his cheek against mine. A shiver runs down my spine and I breathe out.
“I’d do anything for you.” When he doesn’t reply, I add, “I’d die for you.”
Artic pulls away and stares into my yellow eyes. “I know you’d do it,” he closes his eyes briefly before unleashing his icy yet warm stare. “But I don’t want you do sacrifice yourself for me. Ever.”
I struggle with a reply. “If you were in danger, I would.”
The tom gives a frustrated sort of sigh. “Let’s not talk about this,” he evades the subject, “Let’s keep planning and then head off or something.”
I don’t really want to go, but I nod anyways. He settles us down and the fly warriors sit in a neat circle next to us. “So…” Mintsplash starts nervously, “what’s the plan?” Her eyes flit between Artic and I and I fight to keep the redness out of my face.
Looking expectantly at Artic instead, I watch as the white tom tries to form an answer. “Well, to be honest, I’m not quite sure where Gwyn would be anyways,” he admits, “though I’m pretty sure she would venture near the Raider border. She left with the intent to join back up with them, but Enero did leave her to bleed out last time… Mostly because of what I did though.” He adds ruefully.
I wrap my tail around his and he gives me a grateful look. As the others take in this information, he continues, “So I’d give a sweep of the Raider border, not too close where we would alert the Raiders, but close enough so that Gwyn would notice. She’s a sharp she-cat, but we have to be really careful, as the Raiders aren’t stupid.”
“Unlike you?” I tease, nudging him.
Artic rolls his eyes at me and whispers in my ear, “Takes a fool to know a fool.”
I blush but then the white tom stands and nods towards an evidently empty fresh-kill pile. “I’m going to go hunt,” he deliberately turns to Sootflight, “care to join me?”
The other tom looks faintly surprised but he shrugs and nods anyways. “If it’s fine with your girlfriend,” he purrs, shooting me a mischievous smile. I mime gutting him before waving my tail.
“Oh, just go already. Give us girls some space.”
Mintsplash looks uncomfortable and I swallow as the toms leave. “I’m sorry about a few days ago,” I decide to start out with, “I didn’t really mean to just blank out on you like that.”
“No,” the gray she-cat shakes her head fervently, “I deserved that. I shouldn’t have dumped that on you at a time like this. I just...wanted you to know in case something happened.”
I smile faintly, “Thanks, Mintsplash.”
She turns scarlet and turns away. I flush when I realized how sarcastic that sounded. “I didn’t mean it like that,” I explain hurriedly, “Look, I know I’m a terrible excuse of a friend but-”
“You’re not though,” she spins back around, green eyes alight with fire, “You’re the best companion I could ask for and that’s how I fell in love with you.” Her eyes are filled with passion I know I reserve for Artic. Suddenly the light dies out in the kind she-cat’s eyes and she takes a few steps back.
“I shouldn’t have said that,” she whispered, “I know you’re in love with Artic. I hear you say it to him all the time.”
“I won’t-” I hesitate, “I won’t do it in front of me if you don’t want me to.”
“Why would that change anything?” She scowls bitterly, “You still love him. It won’t change the fact that I have to stand back and know that you and Artic will probably have kits one day and-” She cuts herself off.
I frown. Would I want to have kits with the white tom someday? The answer is yes, but when would we have time for this?
No time to think about this now, the toms return, laden with prey and Mintsplash promptly tries to ignore what happened between us. Artic gives me a swift peck to the cheek with his nose but I don’t return the gesture. When he tries to do a little more action, I push him off and whisper. “Not in front of Mintsplash, please.”
The white tom raises an eyebrow but obeys. He and Sootflight keep up a light talk and I catch Mintsplash staring at me. She purses her lips, but then mouths: “Thank you.”
I smile and she looks away hastily.
I glance around at my little broken, yet perfect group of fly warriors - no friends. Perhaps tomorrow would be the last day for us. Or the next.
My eyes land on Artic and I realize how right he had been earlier. I can’t live without him and I should never have pushed him away for my own selfish reasons.
StarClan I hope everything turns out alright.
“What was all that between you and Mintsplash?” Artic tips his head. We’re alone in the den as Mintsplash and Sootflight decided to create their own den. To “not disturb us” or something. I didn’t catch Sootflight’s words between his snickers.
“She...felt uncomfortable about us,” I admit, “I should have paid more attention to her feelings. I didn’t want to inflict more pain, so we have to do...this in private.”
“The more privacy, the better it gets, doesn’t it?” He jokes weakly.
“Artic!” I exclaim, giving him a disgusted frown.
“Sorry,” he mutters, “trying to lighten up the mood here.”
I sigh and lean against him. “I just wish well, we could do more than this, you know? Settle in and not worry about a war like Ashshadow and Sootflight.”
“But they are worrying about a war,” the tom points out, “Sootflight faces the fears of dying before his kits are born and Ashshadow must fear of losing him, or accidentally hurting the kits because of the war.”
I sag. “You’re right,” I murmur worriedly, “Oh, I don’t want them to get hurt, Artic.”
He wraps his tail around me and I bury my head into his shoulder. “This is why we have to keep fighting,” he tells me, “to protect others from the horrid of the war.”
“Do you want kits?”
The white tom jerks to the side, probably from surprise. His face is a mask of shock. “Excuse me?”
My whiskers twitch in amusement. “Do you want kits?” I repeat.
Artic gives me a bashful sort of smile. “Why do you ask?”
“Mintsplash brought it up earlier,” I admit, “she said something like I’d probably settle with you and have kits.”
The tom gives me a coy smile. “I’d like to have kits,” he laughs, “but we’ve make terrible parents.”
I give a nervous laugh too. “That’s true.”
We fall silent once more. Artic leans a little against me as well. “But I’m glad we’re having this conversation because I’d never want to have this with anyone else.”
I tilt my head up at him, the moonlight lighting up his features. A drop of moonlight catches on his eyelashes and for a moment, he looks absolutely stunning.
“I love only you,” he breathes out, “just you.”
I'm a warrior
I'm stronger than I've ever been