"He doesn't understand the warrior code as much as we Clanborn cats do. But sometimes, it is a good lesson for your heart."
|—Sunblaze about the Darkfire in Chapter 3 of Sunblaze's Choice|
From left to right: Darkfire, Pearpaw, Sunblaze (Click picture for closer view)
Hey, it's Ivyheart. I made this story. This fanfiction is about dealing with the frustration of having your loyalties crossed.
Sunblaze, a newly appointed BreezeClan warrior, is loyal and strong, and has much promise for her Clan in the future, but her heart is crossed in almost every direction. Love, loyalty, and determination will all cross her path and challenge her, but as her life as a warrior goes on, the questions comes to be, what is her destiny? And what can she do to have trusting, friendly Clanmates with one day them knowing her deep secret?
BreezeClan Allegiances Edit
Medicine Cat: Lilyheart (Apprentice: Lakepaw)
Queens and Kits:
Silentheart (Kits: Redkit, Pearkit)
A forest with wind that blows in from the mountains. A big tree is planted in the middle of their territory. The breezy forest in known for a lot of prey such as squirrels, voles, and mice.
Chapter 1: A New PathEdit
The pale ginger apprentice nervously sat below the Highbranch. A steady wind flowed through their camp, and it seemed to take forever until Fogstar took his position towering above his Clan, BreezeClan. Seeing her leader up there, she raced up behind him, and took the spot next to her mentor. Finally the leader spoke in a loud, clear voice.
"Sunpaw," he started calmly. "You did an impressive job on your warrior assessment. Beetleclaw both and I believe you are ready to move a rank."
Sunpaw looked at her mentor with glee. Beetleclaw's the best mentor any apprentice could have.
"I, Fogstar, call upon StarClan to look down at this apprentice. She has trained hard to understand the ways of the code and I command her as a warrior in return. Sunpaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and defend and protect your Clan, even at the cost of your life?"
"Then by the powers of StarClan I name you Sunblaze. BreezeClan will honor your courage and we are honored to have you as one of our warriors."
The Clan cheered for their newest warrior loudly. "Sunblaze! Sunblaze!" Fogstar gave a quick lick to her shoulder, and padded down. Just as she was about to go towards her mother, the dark brown tabby came up to her from behind. "I'm very proud of you." Sunblaze whipped around to see her former mentor.
"Beetleclaw!" she said, playfully pouncing on him, claws sheathed. The tom laughed softly, and gave her shoulder a respectful lick.
A ginger warrior rushed up to Sunblaze, filled with pride. "Sunblaze, congratulations!" she meowed.
Rosebright gave a nod, flicking her tail towards the warriors' den before stepping inside. She tilted her head, confused, but then understood. It was late now. I need rest.
The new warrior crawled into the warriors' den. She chose an empty nest, and silently went off to sleep.
Chapter 2: Be Careful of the NightEdit
"Be quiet, Sunblaze!" the blue-gray tom hissed, hidden from the night shadows as well as the rest of her Clan. The she-warrior turned her head, glaring at Bluestrike, but feeling rather hot. Without a complaint, the pale ginger warrior slipped into the small crowed of her Clanmates.
"StoneClan has constantly been rubbing up against our borders and stealing our prey. This is our revenge!" Fogstar whispered, snappiness edging his tone.
The leader crouched, and Mudstripe soon joined him and slowly followed him. The deputy beckoned his cats forward with a swift motion of his tail, and they came forward. As she began to walk, Sunblaze noticed how odd the sleek stone felt beneath her paws, rather than her territory's soil and grass. This felt less natural and she started to feel less comfortable.
Just as she felt reluctant to go on into another Clan's territory, a group of silent, suspicious sleek-pelted cats furiously charged in front of her Clanmates, and leaped into their intruding patrol. "Attack, BreezeClan!" yowled Fogstar, and slashed his claws across a bracken-colored she-cat with a hiss. StoneClan scented us and came to attack! she thought.
A black tom suddenly met her eyes.
For a second she thought he was not going to attack her, but his gaze turned cold like ice, and he ran over and bit on her flank. Frustrated, Sunblaze, taking a risk, rolled over onto her back to use her powerful hind claws. Luckily the dark warrior didn't have time to go for the most vulnerable part of a cat. He seemed stunned and watched the blood drip down his flank.
Much to her surprise, he stopped looking at his scarlet stained pelt and charged at her.
Sunblaze tumbled over and he had control over her. The pale she-cat let out a surprised whimper, and quickly regretted it. Don't make yourself sound weak! Digging his claws into her shoulders, he threatening bared his teeth, close to her neck. Suddenly the new warrior felt sick. Was he going to give her the fatal bite in the neck?
But he did not. Instead he kept gazing into her eyes. Suddenly he jerked away and released her. A tabby from the enemy Clan yowled, "Victory for StoneClan!" They all cheered, and Fogstar growled. "This is not the last of us!"
Mudstripe watched Fogstar pad away with anger, and told his Clan to follow.
Sunblaze still wondered about that black tom as she crept through the camp entrance. She cleared the thoughts of the black cat and with disappointment remembered they they had lost her first battle as a warrior. But a war with the two Clans had started.
Chapter 3: Across the BorderEdit
The early dawn sun gracefully slipped through the many branches and leaves of the trees. A steady, calm wind flowed through the BreezeClan territory. Sunblaze woke up, finding that no other cat was here to enjoy the beautiful morning sun with her. She creeped out of the warriors' den, careful not to tap her tail onto a resting warrior's pelt. It was hot already, this early. She could feel the sun grasping onto her pale pelt. Without a sound, she lightly padded into the little, peaceful territory of her Clan.
"What a nice day," she whispered to herself as she went around a thin tree.
Sunblaze suddenly found herself close to StoneClan territory. With a jolt, she realized that she should head back into her welcoming trees and gentle breeze. But it was too late. Her pelt suddenly grew hotter than the weather itself as she heard loud paw steps pad against the stone and her own eyes grew wider. She could feel a cold shadowing creeping closer and closer, but she dared not look back.
A voice sounded. "You shouldn't be here, you know."
Feeling nervous, the ginger cat slowly turned around, and instantly knew who this cat was. She opened her mouth to speak.
The tom's eyes glowed, and a small, cheeky grin crawled up his mouth. "I let you go. Be greatful, Breezecat."
Sunblaze narrowed her eyes. "Even if you didn't I would have clawed you, Stone-brain." The dark tom hissed, but nothing but sparks of humor danced in his yellow eyes. What was this tom trying to do? Be funny with her? He was a cat from an enemy Clan and all he wanted to do was joke around. As much as she was annoyed, it kind of pleased her in a certain way. The she-warrior took a step back further into her territory, hoping not to be scented with this cat on his side of the border. She asked without hesitation, "What might your name be?"
The black tom shrugged. "Don't know yet."
A gasped escaped the BreezeClan cat's jaws, and she cocked her head. "What do you mean? Of course you have a name! Don't play with me."
He shrugged his shoulders again, but looked at her seriously, and flicked his tail. He spoke again. "I am not Clanborn. I came to StoneClan to see if I wanted to join a quarter-moon ago. I never had a name, and Stormstar will give me my name ceremony tomorrow."
There was silence for a moment besides the rustling trees on her side of the border. She stared at the rocky unfamiliar landscape across her view. "I'm Sunblaze. What do you want your name to be, then?" asked the warrior curiously, shifting her paws, wanting to break the awkwardness. As if thinking, he licked one of his paws and ran it over his ear, looking at his tail. "Something fierce, that's what," he finally replied.
This cat is a strange one for sure. she thought. "Well, goodbye, Soon-to-be-named. I'm going back to my Camp," the ginger cat declared, turning around. Without waiting for a response, she starting padded off. She could hear his mew in the distance as she walked off.
He doesn't understand the warrior code as much as we Clanborn cats do. But sometimes, it is a good lesson for your heart. the she-cat told herself as she entered the camp, just in time for the start of the patrols.
Chapter 4: Upcoming Revenge Edit
Sunblaze could hear whispers echoing all around her, in a mysterious foggy landscape that seemed to have no end. She turned around, hoping to see the cats that kept on whispering words to her that she could not understand. But there was all but nothing. One whisper sounded above all the others.
"Don't fall into the darkness. The sun is supposed to be the brightest light of all."
"But I am light! I am Sunblaze!" She desperately tried to explain to the voice.
The warrior constantly moved her head around, frantically searching for this cat, with such a familiar voice. A voice she had heard when she was so young and so new. She knew this smell, she knew it. My father? It made sense. No cat, not even her mother had spoken about her father. The only time she had even heard one peep about him is when she heard Lilyheart mention that he died in battle, shortly after his kit was born.
But this was no time to try to remember the tom who fathered her. Sunblaze jerked her eyes open. She was standing by the fresh-kill pile. What a strange vision! she thought to herself. Just then, Fogstar stormed up onto the ledge from which he spoke to his Clan. A bunch of cats gathered below, wondering what the misty gray tom had to say. Mudstripe sat near the ledge, his eyes dark.
"We will not let StoneClan win this ongoing battle. We are going to extend our borders, like they extended theirs. We have to attack, and win this time."
Gasps flowed throughout the crowed, and one warrior shouted, "Shouldn't we make peace?" But the leader thought differently. He directed his gaze at the cat who had spoken. "No. They want threats, according to their actions. They shall receive it." Nightwind, a smokey black she-cat, nervously flicked her tail beside Sunblaze, and met her gaze. "I am worried for our Clan," she meowed. The pale she-cat could replied sadly. "I am too."
Fogstar hissed and with frustration, climbed down the ledge and like a mouse going into it's hole, slipped inside his den. Nearby Palefur was blinking in confusion. Her pretty emerald eyes showed concern. Sunblaze ran out to the territory, not stopping to see if some cat was following her. She rounded the thin tree as she had did days ago, and sat near the border. It was noon, there had to be a patrol coming soon. Hopefully the black warrior would be on it. Just as she had made her thoughts, she heard pawsteps coming closer. The patrol.
"Leafystep, I do not smell fresh scent of BreezeClan. We're fine," a she-cat said to a thin brown tom. He shook his head and replied. "Good. Those cowards won't be hiding for long, though. Come on, Darkfire."
Sunblaze smiled in her hiding spot. That was the tom. He had earned his name, Darkfire. As soon as the two other cats were out of side, she quickly hissed, "You! Come here!"
The black warrior turned his head around, surprised, but his gaze returned to normal as he recognized the mew. "Sunblaze, hi. I got my warrior name, Darkfire," he said to her as soon as he was close enough.
"Congratulations. Now I have something important to tell you. Fogstar wants to stretch the borders, and even attack!" she said, waiting to see his reaction. The tom nodded. "I thought we'd get his revenge. Don't worry, I will not tell my Clanmates. But why did you tell me?" he asked, looking at her with gentle eyes. Sunblaze looked down. "I don't know, I just thought, you might want to..." she started off, not finishing her sentence.
Darkfire smiled, and nudged her with his shoulder. "Come on, let's share this. I caught a mouse."
Chapter 5: Bring Out the CloudsEdit
"Freezepaw, stop it!" the mottled brown tabby apprentice jokingly squealed at his denmate. The icy tom narrowed his eyes and grinned. "Never, Snakepaw!" he mewed, leaping onto his friend, and pinning him by the tail. The pinned down cat leaped from under him and crashed into Sunblaze. The she-warrior wanted to smile as she saw the shocked look on Snakepaw's face. "I'm sorry!" he whispered. But she only shrugged, and nodded forgivingly. "It's fine," she murmured.
Nearby, Fogstar was growling and muttering under his breath. What's up with him? she wondered. Even though she questioned herself, the warrior knew it was because of StoneClan.
Sorrow filled her eyes. Why couldn't Darkfire come to BreezeClan instead? He was her friend, and she didn't want to be enemies. She sighed. It was the day of the Gathering, anyway, a night of peace within the Clans.
Mudstripe beckoned the chosen warriors to go to the Gathering. Sunblaze watched the cats go with despair. Snakepaw was grinning as he padded out with his Clanmates. Why couldn't she come? She had to! Fogstar was behind her. She turned around. "Fogstar, they are leaving," she whispered to him. He nodded to her, his face stern, but he said something that surprised her.
"Come with me." Sunblaze gasped, and followed him through the camp exit. "Thanks," she meowed to him, and together the leader and warrior raced to catch up to their Clan. Finally they had arrived to the clearing. The leaders were already up there, and Fogstar leaped up onto a big branch of the High Tree. He shared an angry look with Stormstar for a moment before the cats started speaking.
Nothing interesting had come up with the other leaders until Stormstar spoke. "Fellow cats, we have been having problems with BreezeClan," he hissed. The crowd below of warriors, queens, apprentices, and elders went silent. "They are expanding their borders into our territory and stealing our prey."
Fogstar interupped, his eyes blank. But, they grew dark as he spoke. "I would not be saying that, as you have been doing the same," he mewed. Both of the leaders were on the edge of unsheathing their claws when Miststar hissed at the two. "Stop! This Gathering is over. I don't want any quarrels."
Sunblaze raced over to Darkfire. "Hello!" she said. The leaders were stilling coming down from the rock. The tom turned his head around. "Good thing you came. Can you meet me at the oak tree where we met, at midnight tonight?" he asked her quietly.
The ginger she-cat purred. "Sure!" she said, and whisked off.
Meet Darkfire at midnight, she thought to herself as she curled up into her nest.
Chapter 6: Complications Edit
"Come on up here, Sunblaze. It's such a pretty view," Darkfire called to the she-cat below, who was looking up at him starry-eyed. When she didn't respond, but only looked down, the tom climbed down. "I'm not a climber. Let's just... sit on that rock," she said quickly, and raced up to the nearby stone.
Without questioning her, he went up and sat next to her. He brushed against her, and she flinched at first, but didn't move her pelt away. After a moment of silence, the StoneClan tom mewed. "What do the cats do in StarClan?" he asked her.
Sunblaze looked at him. "They rest, because their lives as warriors are over. And they send prophecies to the medicine cats, and sometimes warriors." she said, thinking of the voice in her vision. "When cats die, a cat they had known before from StarClan brings them up."
Darkfire nodded slowly, and his glowing eyes met hers. "Will you take me to StarClan?" he asked her quietly. The ginger she-cat giggled. "Of course I will, if I die before you, furball." The black cat narrowed his eyes and playfully nudged her shoulder. Sunblaze looked at him seriously. "But I will," she promised.
"Isn't sky beautiful?" she murmured, changing the subject. Her eyes reflected the dazzling stars, as it was a clear night sky.
"Yes, it-" Darkfire meowed, but stopped in his tracks. His eyes grew wide, and he sniffed the air. "Oh no, it's a patrol! Sometimes when we need prey badly, we go on very late patrols! Hide!" he hissed, and grabbed her scruff before she could say anything. The two of them hid in a hollowed out part of the rock.
Sunblaze gulped. This made her realize how she was not being loyal to their Clan. She looked at her paws with guilt. "Darkfire, I love you, but..."
Before she could continue, the tom's ears perked happily and he whispered, "Really? I love you too, I have since the day we met."
The she-cat shook her head and continued. "We can't go on like this. It's against the warrior code. I don't have a choice, we both don't."
His eyes suddenly grew dull, and he whispered, "But, we do have a choice! You have a choice, Sunblaze." But the she-cat sighed. "Come on, the patrol you were talking about is gone."
Darkfire pressed his nose against her cheek and whispered, "Please, Sunblaze, I couldn't love anyone else but you."
The she-cat nodded, staying close to him. "That also goes for me," she meowed. Feeling a wave of sadness rush over her, she meowed, "We have to find a way. So I can be loyal to BreezeClan and to you."
Darkfire said, "We'll just keep on meeting like this, it's that simple. During the day, you are still a loyal member of BreezeClan."
Sunblaze nodded. "I promise to be loyal to you as well as BreezeClan," she whispered. "Now, we should go. I'll see you tomorrow night."
Chapter 7: Teacher's MethodEdit
"Redkit, you will now be known as Redpaw. Ripplepelt will be your mentor. Pearkit, you will be known as Pearpaw, and Sunblaze will be your mentor." Fogstar pressed his nose against the two newly made apprentice's muzzles. The tom and she-apprentice both padded down together, their eyes both gleaming. Sunblaze trotted up to Pearpaw, and gave her shoulder a lick. "I'm honored to have you as my apprentice. I say we go out with your brother and his mentor and go learn to hunt," the ginger warrior told the gray tabby she-cat happily. She couldn't believe that she already had an apprentice.
Pearpaw meowed with excitement, "Sure! Let's go!" And with that, they were off.
Below a leafy green tree, Sunblaze demonstrated their hunting crouch. "See? Like this. Now I want you to try, I will help you get it right." Ripplepelt watched Redpaw closely, and went over to correct his position. The mottled gray tom told Redpaw, "Don't hold your tail too high, young one, but don't drag it over the leaves, it will startle the prey."
She glanced at Pearpaw's form. "Well done. Remember not to brush your belly to the ground, though," the mentor suggested to her apprentice. Pearpaw narrowed her eyes, as if concentrating, and worked her way to perfecting her position. Sunblaze stepped back and looked at the two apprentices.
Taking the words right out of her mouth, Ripplepelt praised them, " Nicely done, both of you. Now, we will show you how this works with real prey." Sunblaze pointed her muzzle the other direction, signaling for them to split up for this activity. She and Pearpaw headed off to a patch of bushes.
"Now, Pearpaw, watch me." Sunblaze crouched, and nodded to her apprentice. She stalked over to the bush. "You try. Do your best to get that mouse," she hissed. The gray tabby copied her position, and sniffed. Her eyes sparked with realization. She crept forward, doing exactly what her mentor had told her to do. Sunblaze watched eagerly as her apprentice bent her legs, and leapt forward. Her paws landed on the mouse, and injured it, but it slipped out of her grip. Before it could get away, the warrior ran over, and swiped her claws onto its back, killing it.
Pearpaw's eyes dimmed. "I missed it," she murmured. Sunblaze carried the mouse back and purred, brushing her fur against the tabby's. "You'll get it right, dear, sooner than you know it."
Just then, she heard a rustle, and a scent flooded her nose. Oh no, Darkfire! What if he smells me, and doesn't smell Pearpaw, and starts to talk to me... Her head popped with thoughts.
Darkfire popped out of the bushes. "Oh, hi," he meowed. Spotting Pearpaw, he backed away. "Sorry," he muttered again, and with one last glance at Sunblaze, headed off. The she-cat stopped herself from giggling and she led her apprentice back to camp. "Who's that?" her apprentice asked, curiously. The warrior shrugged her shoulders as they went through the entrance. "Only a StoneClan warrior." Pearpaw's eyes were suspicious for a moment, but her gaze faded back to normal and she turned back to her happy self, ready for training. Sunblaze shuddered, realizing that it might not long until her Clan knew of her secret. She stubbornly thought to herself.
I am a BreezeClan warrior and my loyalty is never questioned.
But did she question herself?
As the day grew dark and her training time was finished, she plopped into her nest, waiting for the moon to shine its brightest so she could head off and meet her love.
Chapter 8: It's Just LoyaltyEdit
The world grew silent. The only thing that could be heard was the faint buzzing off the bees near by. Sunblaze's claws twitched as she spotted the loner basking in their territory. The she-cat crept over, and from behind, slammed her paw onto the cat's forearm. Much to her surprise, the cat didn't even flinch. She growled, and still no emotion came off of the cat. She stomped in front of the cream tabby tom and leaned over. "Who are you, and what are you doing here?" The loner got up and met her glare. His eyes were a calm minty green, the varying shades swept through his eyes like the peaceful breeze in their territory. His mouth opened, and he lightly spoke to her.
"You need to be careful, Sunblaze. Just because my scent is unfamiliar to you doesn't mean that you can pretend to act upon it." The warrior looked at him, her jaws wide, not knowing what to say. The tom meowed for her. "Look before you set a paw across the line." The she-cat just backed away and ran off. She didn't even care that he was on their territory. The only thing that was on her mind was what this meant. A thought dinged in her mind, like the sound of a kittypet's collar.
He's questioning my loyalty. And this warrior knew that the only reason she was slipping away from her Clan was Darkfire....
Later, Sunblaze spoke. "He was so weird, like a cat from StarClan or something!" she said, flicking her tail nervously. The handsome black tom replied. "It's all right. You won't see that cat again." The ginger cat looked at him unbelievingly, but nodded. The two Clan cats walked over to a hollowed tree and huddled inside of it. "No cat would smell us in here. Especially because of that fox dung right there," he muttered, pointing his muzzle. Sunblaze licked a sticking up piece of fur on his shoulder. "Let's sleep here. I'll wake you up in the morning," he murmured. Without a response, the she-cat slid her paws down, curled her tail around her body, and shut her eyes.
The morning with the tom was brief. She gave him her goodbyes, and ran off. She barged into the clearing, and light-pawed, padded into the warriors den to lay down. She waited for what seemed like moons, and finally cats got up. She stood up, and sat outside of the apprentices' den. Snakepaw got out and muttered to himself. "Man, I hope I'm a warrior soon, Redpaw snores like a growling badger." The warrior twitched her whiskers and soon sighted Pearpaw. She looked around out the entrance, and fixed her eyes on her mentor. "You smell funny, like another Clan cat!" she meowed.
Sunblaze's eyes flickered with awkward emotions. "Yeah. Last night I was hunting, there there some funny scents, and not to mention, fox dung out there." Pearpaw only nodded and peeked her head back into the apprentices' den and called for her brother, who soon wearily got out. He padded over to his mentor, as did Pearpaw to her. With a sudden thought, Sunblaze realized that Fawnleap was expecting kits, so Ripplepelt must be the father. She purred, and beckoned her tail towards the camp exit. Back in camp, Ripplepelt was lecturing Redpaw about the dawn patrol, but he would be out soon.
"Remember to use your hind paws. And don't forget that your belly would be exposed," she meowed. Ripplepelt said to the two siblings, "Now, try it out, on each other. Claws sheathed." Pearpaw grinned, and crouched, dragging her paws across the earth. She leaped onto her brother, and he rolled over onto his back, and as told, used his hind paws. Sunblaze watched them carefully as they fought.
Finally the two stopped, panting. "Well done!" Ripplepelt murmured. "You two are done for the day." The apprentices padded back to camp as well as Ripplepelt. Without a wait, the pale she-cat whisked off to the border. "I'm here!" she quietly called, and a black cat emerged from the light shadows. He purred and brushed her muzzle. They sat together, close, whispering. "Stormstar tells me I am going to get an apprentice. He-" A gasp sounded behind them, and Pearpaw trotted out, her eyes slits. Oh no! Pearpaw.. she spotted us!
"I knew it! I knew it, you were meeting this tom," she hissed, and circled her mentor.
Darkfire was sitting, in shock, while Sunblaze stood up and faced her apprentice. "I've seen the way you look at Tabbypaw, at that Gathering," she meowed flatly. Pearpaw cringed and looked down. "Fine. I won't tell your little secret to anyone."
Sunblaze nudged her apprentice. "I know, you probably think I'm not loyal, I'm worthless..." she meowed. But her apprentice stopped her. "No. You are the most loyal BreezeClan cat I've seen, with this exception. You are the best mentor I could have, but, this," she said. The ginger warrior looked down at her apprentice with a sigh. Pearpaw continued. "Love is love."
Darkfire looked at Sunblaze with relief, and she returned the gaze. "I have no right to judge you around Tabbypaw, then" she murmured. Pearpaw nodded. "Agreed." With that, she hopped around the bush, and was out of sight.
Since she was young and new, Sunblaze wasn't sure if Pearpaw really knew how serious this could be. How big this was.
Darkfire pressed his nose into her fur. "That was close, so close..." he whispered. The warrior winced at the moment and muttered, "I know."'
Chapter 9: Bonds Have Been Made Edit
"Miststar, do you wish to speak?" a big yellow-ginger tom asked the leader. The she-cat seemed like a big, gray cloud as she focused her gaze on the cats below. She blinked, and opened her mouth to speak. "LightClan is doing well. Prey is running well, despite leaf-bare's approach." The yellow leader who sat beside her murmured, "Always well in LightClan." He lifted his voice for the cats to hear, and meowed, "AquaClan is doing fine. The fish in the stream are plentiful, but still, as leaf-bare comes, we will have less prey. We've had a badger near our territory once or twice, but the creature has not showed itself to our warriors yet." The other leaders nodded to him. "Good luck with the badger, Swiftstar," Fogstar murmured. Then the BreezeClan leader started his report. He was the last to speak. Stormstar had been the first to speak.
"BreezeClan is doing good. The wind is picking up, as usual for leaf-bare, but of course, our warriors don't mind. The wind is our friend," he said, ending with a purr. He flicked his tail, signaling his finish.
Sunblaze was glad to see Fogstar returning to his normal, calm self, rather than the angry and annoyed leader they had had for some time during the hard time with StoneClan. The ginger warrior still wasn't sure if Stormstar was finished with the battle yet, though.
The Gathering was at end. Sunblaze ficked her tail onto Darkfire's back as she started towards her way back, but sat down to wait. She watched Pearpaw purr her goodbye to Tabbypaw, and started to go over to her mentor. The ginger apprentice was still watching the she-cat as she was padding towards Sunblaze. With a sigh, Pearpaw spoke.
"I feel like I'm breaking the warrior code." Her tabby tail flicked nervously. Sunblaze sighed, and licked her apprentice's forehead fondly, yet sadly. "I do too. But both of us, we can't hold back our feelings, as bad as this is. We will just have to see what we can do for BreezeClan," she murmured comfortably, and together the BreezeClan cats headed towards their home along with their other Clanmates.
"That's right, Pearpaw. You've got this down. Now we can try this," she murmured, demonstrating a trick she had learned from Beetleclaw when she was an apprentice, which seemed not long ago. As she got up from rolling over, Ripplepelt emerged with Redpaw. "Hey sis, I bet I could beat you with this move Ripplepelt taught me!"
Pearpaw growled. "Sunblaze taught me something better than that, I bet!" The two mentors exchanged a amused glance before the two littermates fought together. "Careful with the belly, Redpaw!" the mottled gray tom called to him. Sunblaze studied Pearpaw. She was a natural fighter. Still, she thought, she needed some work on hunting.
Both littermates were panting at the end of their battle. Pearpaw pressed her head against Sunblaze's pelt. "How did I do?" she whispered. Sunblaze smiled, and meowed. "You did wonderfully, Pearpaw." Meanwhile, Redpaw was practicing his crouch in front of his mentor. The ginger warrior's ears perked, and she suggested to her apprentice, "You should work on your crouch. Join your brother." Without hesitation, the pear-green eyed tabby bounded over, and leaned down to try to hunting crouch.
Ripplepelt motioned his tail towards the camp to Sunblaze. "You've been training her all day. Go take a break, I'll fix up her positon," he muttered. With a greatful glance, the she-cat went into the camp entrance. As she entered her home, Quickfoot nodded a greeting to her. She rounded towards the nursery to see how Fawnleap was doing, with Ripplepelt's kits. "Fawnleap? How are you?" she whispered to the queen. The light brown she-cat smiled and got up and kindly faced her, revealing that the bridge of her nose was white. "Well. How has Ripplepelt been training Redpaw? You two must be teaching together, with your apprentices littermates," she told her. Sunblaze nodded. "He's doing good, very devoted to his training."
Fawnleap meowed, "Like you are, Sunblaze. Always sticking to your duty like you mean it." This surprised Sunblaze, she had never thought of herself like this. Perhaps she was. She nodded, and couldn't help herself purr. She licked the queen's ear respectfully and hopped out of the den.
As night approached she thought about Darkfire. He had told her they couldn't meet tonight because of AquaClan. What could that possibly mean? Could there even be more trouble between the Clans then before?
Chapter 10: Action of the Twolegs Edit
"What are you doing all the way over here, Fogstar?" the yellow tom meowed, deep irritation edging his tone. Swiftstar was smart overall, but he was never one of peace, and was ruthless in battle. The BreezeClan tom's eyes were light, worried. "It's the twolegs. They're coming near our border," Fogstar told him, beckoning his chosen patrol to stay back. It was consisted of herself, Rosebright, and Palefur. Next to her, Sunblaze's mother twitched impatiently, her dark ginger fur shadowy in the moonlight.
"You do you want us to know this?" he said suspiciously. Palefur growled with annoyance at the leader but Fogstar brushed his long tail over her mouth to silence her. "Clan to Clan, we want to make sure you are aware and safe," he said peacefully. Swiftstar relaxed his shoulder muscles but his face remained emotionless. "Thank you, then. You can go back now," he murmured to the BreezeClan cats, and with that, they were off back to camp. "Why must we have told them this?" Rosebright questioned her leader. The tom looked at her with a sigh. "I don't want any danger to come to us. We can sit back and watch if anything happens," he muttered, trying to hold back snappiness. Soon enough they arrived at camp.
Almost every cat was asleep in their den besides Lilyheart and Mudstripe. The medicine cat bounded up to Fogstar, her gray and white pelt shining with the stars.
"StarClan tells me none of these twolegs. I predict there will be no severe damage, but I shall keep my ears pricked," she meowed to the leader. Sunblaze had always admired the she-cat, her happy and caring personality made her a wonderful medicine cat, and not to mention she had a great knowledge of herbs. She knew that she would pass on these skills to Lakepaw well.
Mudstripe's dark pelt was barely noticeable as he slipped into the warriors' den for the night. The leader beckoned his warriors towards the den also, and he went around the corner into his den. As Sunblaze lay in her nest, she wondered why AquaClan would be having problems with StoneClan.
"It's just..." the black tom said, his mew trailing off. "Just what?" Sunblaze said, her tail twitching. Why was he keeping secrets from her? In her heart she knew he was only worried for his Clan. Sunblaze had snuck off during the night, knowing the dark tom well enough that he would be looking out the border late.
Darkfire sighed. "All right. They just aren't being so friendly about the river, how we are taking from it, because leaf-bare is going to be tough...." he murmured. The she-cat brushed her tail against his side, and started to feel guilty about pestering him. "It's okay," she assured him quietly.
The tom nodded. He gave her a quick lick and the two were off, back to their Clans.
"What is that?" The gray tabby apprentice gasped. The warrior tilted her head up, looking at the giant beast. She looked back over at the apprentice and meowed, "It's a monster, StarClan knows what they want with this forest." Pearpaw shook her head with disbelief and went over to Redpaw, who was ready to spring onto Ripplepelt, as they were training.
"Come on Redpaw, you can do better!" the red-brown tom's littermate yowled, and leaped into the play-fight. The ginger cat watched the mottled tom be constantly toppled over by the two young cats with amusement.
As they battled, the she-cat began to wonder about Darkfire, scared about her loyalties being crossed across the border. It's my choice, I know this is the right decision. The she-cat knew that even how secretive they were about their relationship, StarClan knew, and one day their Clanmates would find out. It was not an easy thought to tell herself.
Sunblaze looked at the clouds, and heaved a peaceful sigh. She sat down, watching the fluffy whites stretch across the sky beyond her reach. One cloud distinctively looked like a cat. Suddenly gray-blue eyes appeared, looking down at her. Know what's best for you when the time comes, a whisper sounded. Sunblaze shivered. What could this cat be talking about?
Suddenly there was a loud, repetitive beeping noise.
The two young cats jumped in surprise, while Ripplepelt stood up, his eyes suddenly a stern glare. "It's the monster. It's coming!" he hissed, turning around to the cats around him. He looked as if itching to get away. He spoke in a loud meow, "We need to get back to camp and warn our Clanmates!"
Chapter 11: Surprise, SurpriseEdit
Hearing the news, Fogstar had a patrol ready to warn the other Clans. "Go now," he told the patrol, and with that, they set out for AquaClan in a rush. Palefur nudged Sunblaze with worry. "What's going to happen?" she murmured, looking off into the distance. Sunblaze only looked at her friend and sighed. "StarClan knows."
Just as the patrol had arrived back, Lilyheart bolted out of her den. "Fogstar, Clan, I have news from StarClan," she announced. "A vision came upon me." The whole Clan stopped to listen to their respected medicine cat. "A mass of trees surrounded us. Twolegs were yowling, trying to barge into our camp, but the trees didn't allow them to come in."
Bluestrike looked at her with a slow nod. "It's something with the twolegs, of course," he said aloud. Lakepaw, coming up beside Lilyheart, nodded. "Yes. We both figured that it was the monster, trying to invade our camp, but the trees won't let them in," the tortoiseshell she-cat meowed.
The two medicine cats gave each other a nod, and Fogstar stepped forward. "Then we have no worry for now. But warriors, keep the look out and see what this monster is trying to do."
Sunblaze closed her eyes with relief. She called out that she was going to hunt, and started out. Palefur flicked her goodbye to the ginger she-cat as she left.
Finally she reached their spot. "Darkfire!" she hissed. The tom whirled around from his spot by a big tree and looked her her with glee. The two greeted each other fondly. Sunblaze looked at her paws, and back at her mate. The tom started to speak. "Hi, Sunblaze! So, this-" The ginger she-cat cut him off suddenly and meowed quietly. "I'm having kits."
Darkfire gasped with delight. My kits! Sunblaze is going to have our kits, he thought. But the she-cats gaze was not with happiness, it was dark. "What is going to happen, with us being in separate Clans?" she murmured, pressing her pelt against his. Waves of sadness seemed to wash over the ginger cat. She's worried about them, Darkfire thought, but he was still filled with glee.
"Come on, Sunblaze, these are our kits!" he whispered to her. The she-cat lifted her head, her eyes light, and nuzzled him sweetly. Despite the worries, kits were still kits, a joy to any cat. He could tell that Sunblaze was happy for them, hearing a quiet purr rumbling in her throat.
Side by side, the she-cat and tom walked over to the border, and gave their farewells. Darkfire started padding towards the camp, in a terrific mood. Suddenly a dark brown tabby jumped out from in front of him. "What were you doing so close to the border, rouge?" he hissed suspiciously. The black tom's body grew hot with nervousness, but his voice remained steady."Stripefoot, I just checking the border scent, no big deal. And there is no reason to call names," the black tom meowed. Stripefoot narrowed his eyes to slits, but said nothing and slipped away.
Darkfire felt that even though he did not reply, he knew what was going on with him near the border.
"Stormstar, our border scent shows no sign of patrols coming too close," he announced to the speckled gray tom. The leader gave him a brief nod, but went away into his den. He doesn't trust me, just like everyone else. The only one who ever trusts me is Sunblaze, he thought with a whimper. But Darkfire shook his head. That was not true. He had friends in the Clan, and Stormstar was yet to respect him like any warrior.
It was night time, and Darkfire climbed onto a towering stone and gazed at the bright moon."Sunblaze, I'll help you through this every pawstep of the way," he whispered, and went off back into the StoneClan camp.
Chapter 12: The Dangers There Can Be Edit
"You're awfully slow today, Sunblaze," Beetleclaw remarked to his former apprentice. The ginger she-cat narrowed her eyes at first, but realized that there was only concern in his mew. "I'm fine," she murmured as their hunting patrol rounded upon a tree. Sweetwing pointed her ears at a sparrow spreading it's wings on a branch. She slowly and quietly climbed the tree.
The dark brown tabby eyed the white she-cat as she reached the branch and began to stalk the bird. With a with a loud shrill, Sweetwing's claws raked into the bird's side, killing it. She lifted the bird up with pride, and suddenly a paw slipped from beneath her. With a gasp, she started to fall.
"Sweetwing! Land on your paws, use your tail!" shouted Bluestrike who was staring at the fall wide eyed. Sunblaze's tail twitched with nervousness as she she-cat neared the ground. With a hard thump, the white cat landed on all four paws, and she panted heavily. "Now that was a scare!" she hissed. Picking up his catch into his jaws, Bluestrike tilted his head towards the camp, still looking at the she-cat with astonishment.
Sunblaze told the group, "Let's go back and see if Lilyheart and Lakepaw can do anything for your leg." The ginger cat looked at Sweetwing's limp foreleg with a sigh. She lifted up the skinny mouse she caught and brought it back. It wasn't much to eat, but it was something.
She heard a wail, and realized it was coming from the nursery. It was Fawnleap. She started to kit while they were out! With a jolt she ran inside the nursery to see how she could help. When she stepped inside, she realized that everything had gone wrong.
"Hang in there Fawnleap, you'll be fine. Lakepaw, go get cobwebs now," she heard Lilyheart hiss. With that, the tortoiseshell apprentice leaped out of the den and rushed to find some.
Blood heavily tinted the light brown queen's pelt with astonishment and glanced at the medicine cat. "Sunblaze, she's fine, we just need to help her kit safely. Calm her," Lilyheart whispered, and on command, Sunblaze reached the queen's side.
"You are doing wonderfully, the first one is almost coming," Sunblaze murmured to the gasping queen. Soon enough there was a light brown tabby tom at her side. Lakepaw began to lick its mother's blood off of the kit, and it begun to breathe. Soon another kit came, a gray and white she-cat. Ripplepelt rushed to his mate and licked her head. "All done, it's going to be okay, some cobwebs will have you all fixed," she assured the queen.
Soon, the she-cat had stopped bleeding, much to her relief. As she started to leave the nursery to the new mother and the kits, Lilyheart nudged her shoulder. "Thank you for helping Fawnleap. I'm sure you would make a good mother," she murmured to Sunblaze.
The ginger she-cat shrugged. "Thanks," she replied, and headed out to the territory. I hope I'll be a good one, she thought as she went to meet her beloved.
"Darkfire?" she whispered, and the tom crawled down from the tree. "How are you? How are the kits?" he asked, nuzzling her. The two cats sat beneath the tall tree as a mild breeze blew. The pale warrior nodded. "Well," she purred. They sat in silence together for a moment, until the dark tom spoke.
"When they come, will they stay in BreezeClan?" he asked Sunblaze, turning to her. The tom smelled of pines, a good scent. The she-cat took a breathe. "They probably will, cats won't question me about the father. But still, how will you be apart of their lives?"
Darkfire looked down at his paws. "Bring them to me, when you can," he murmured. "But they will know their father is in another Clan..."
The she-cat shook her head sadly. "Everything will fall into place, it's all right," she meowed. "They'll come sooner than we know it, but we will know what to do."
The cats gave their goodbyes and sadly parted.
"Pearpaw? How about we go hunting with a patrol?" she suggested to her apprentice. The tabby flicked her white tipped ears and nodded. "Sure," she meowed. Together they ran off to join Silentheart's patrol, careful to avoid where Snakepaw and Freezepaw were being assessed to become warriors. In the distance she could hear Littledust explaining to the apprentices what to do.
When they arrived, the black parol leader licked her daughter's head, and beckoned her tail towards a bush. Pearpaw nodded to Silentheart. A mouse was in the bush. Sunblaze watched her apprentice crouch, and slowly creep towards it. With a quiet hiss, Pearpaw thwacked her paws onto the mouse and leaned to down to bite it on the neck.
"Well done!" Sunblaze praised the gray tabby.
Soon enough, a couple of the warriors in their patrol had prey in their jaws, and together, they all padded back to their camp to set down their fresh-kill, which was not much due to the new season approaching.
I won't let Leaf-bare harm you, little ones, when you arrive, thought Sunblaze hopefully.
Chapter 13: Destiny's Call is Hidden Edit
"Pearpaw, I believe you are ready to become a warrior. I am going to suggest your assessment to Mudstripe and Fogstar," the pale ginger she-cat announced to her apprentice. Redpaw sat, fidgeting beside his sister, and looked at his mentor hopefully, as if hoping to hear the same thing.
The mottled tom spoke. "I say the same for you, Redpaw. If we get our way then it will be tomorrow. We want you to go off on your own for a minute, to sharpen up your skills for tomorrow's final test, and return with prey." Without hesitation, Pearpaw flicked her tail onto her brother's pelt, and they padded out into the prey-filled forest.
Ripplepelt was gazing off into the camp with a longing look in his deep eyes. "Go see your kits. I will watch and wait for them," the ginger she-cat murmured to the tom. With a greatful glance, he raced over to the nursery where Fawnleap, Fernkit, and Hawkkit lay.
Soon the apprentices returned. "We both caught a piece of prey, and we even practiced or fighting skills," Redpaw meowed, panting. The ginger she-cat purred. "Well done, especially for leaf-bare. Go to camp with your catches and rest well."
It was late at night. Sunblaze knew Darkfire was about, night hunting for his Clan by the border, spefically there so he could always spot her. But tonight, Sunblaze just wanted to sit and think, alone, with the breeze flowing through her fur as well as her thoughts. She sighed, and looked up at the moon. Is this my destiny, StarClan?
The she-cat heard a rustling, and then appeared Pearpaw. The tabby spotted her mentor, and raced over to her.
Sunblaze sat on a wide rock and beckoned her tail. "Come and sit," she told her apprentice, who did so.
Pearpaw looked at her mentor in the eye. "What are you up to, here so late at night?" she asked. The pale cat shook her head. "I have too many thoughts on my mind to rest at the moment. Why are you? You must rest for tomorrow."
"Didn't you notice that I slept early? I'm fine," she replied, flicking her ears, as if anticipating a response. There was silence between the two she-cats for moments until the young gray cat spoke up. "You're thinking about him, aren't you."
Sunblaze closed her eyes. "Every second," she murmured quietly. "I know I have no right to judge. But you shouldn't ever meet with Tabbypaw, or else you will end up like me." Pearpaw did not respond immediatly, but a painful look came in her eyes. She looked down, and back up, as if trying to understand the matter. The she-apprentice sighed. "Sometimes I think I have to," she finally muttered.
"Let's go," Sunblaze suggested, and they padded off into their separate dens.
I wonder what Darkfire is thinking about right now, the she-cat thought, exhaustion of her day of training washing over her.
She realized how much harder it was getting to keep up with her Clanmates on patrol, and how she felt slow whenever she chased down a squirrel. Sunblaze knew it was because of her kits.
Thinking of all of her crossed loyalties and loves, she went to sleep.
Chapter 14: A Pang Edit
The border scent was strong, the wind did no damage to it. The pale ginger she-cat sat at the border peacefully, letting the wind play with her fur, as she sat and waited for her mate. Come Darkfire, I want to see you... she thought hopefully, looking around rocks and trees to try to find the dark tom.
As she stood up, a deep pain came upon her. "Aggh!" she hissed to herself. With annoyance, she sat back down, hoping to somehow reduce the pain, but they still came upon her. With a sudden jolt, she knew what this was. She was having her kits. Now.
Her former apprentice was on a hunting patrol with a couple of her BreezeClan Clanmates, though she was probably off near them but hunting alone. It wasn't long after she became a warrior. "Peargaze!" she called desparetely. She ran a few feet and caught the gray tabby, sniffing a bush. "Sunblaze! What?" she meowed. The ginger she-cat hissed, and squinted her eyes before opening them again. "I'm... having kits. Help!"
Peargaze gasped, and narrowed her eyes. "All this time you've been... okay, let me help," she meowed, and rushed to her former mentor's side. Quickly, the gray cat grabbed a stick and passed it to Sunblaze for her to bite on. "Breathe, Sunblaze," she murmured. "It's all right, I know how to do this, I've seen how at Fawnleap's kitting." Her eyes seemed to grow dark for a moment, as if remembering the blood that day. But she shook her head, and helped the new queen.
Soon enough there were three kits laying at her side: Two she-cats and a tom. Sunblaze purred, and one licked her kit. Peargaze sat down beside the new mother, and licked the two remaining kits. Darkfire nodded to his mate's former apprentice and leaned over to gently grip one of his kits' scruff, and set it down to lick the remaining tabby and white.
Soon, the kits were breathing heavily, and were nestled beside their mother. Peargaze nudged her former mentor. "Shall I leave you two to work this out?" she whispered calmly. The queen lifted her head and looked at the gray tabby in her pear-green eyes, and meowed. "Yes. Thank you, you've done more than I can thank you for."
With that, she whisked away, probably eager to get back to her buried fresh-kill.
Darkfire sat beside his mate, and ran his tail over her back. "Names?" he meowed, looking at the kits. Sunblaze nodded to the idea, and glanced at the three kits at her side. She thought for a moment and spoke. "Rainkit, for the white she-kit?" she murmured. Her mate nodded with approval. She wanted to name her Rainkit after her friend that unfortunately died as a young cat. She could almost see her friend's face structure in her white kit.
"Flamekit for the ginger and white tom, and perhaps Mistkit for the black she-kit," the black StoneClan warrior whispered. Sunblaze liked those names. She gave a brief nod. They had just named their three precious kits, but now what would happen to them?
"I should take them to my Clan," the pale ginger queen said. "Peargaze will help me explain the situation." Darkfire took a step closer to the she-cat and sighed. "I wish we could raise them together," he murmured sadly. Sunblaze pushed her nose into his foreleg for comfort. "It's going to be fine. You will see them at Gatherings, you can speak with them."
After a long, difficult goodbye, both cats crawled back into their territory. She hid her kits in the hollow where she and Darkfire had met in before. "Stay here, just for one moment..." she whispered, and bolted as fast as she could. Luckily she caught Peargaze soon. "Come with me!" she hissed, and raced back.
The kits were mewling when she arrived. I'm here, little ones! She curled her tail around the little kits and sat down. Peargaze arrived shortly. "What?" she meowed. Sunblaze licked her lighter muzzle and muttered, "Help me come up with a reason for walking into camp with kits."
The whole BreezeClan turned their curious and astonished eyes towards the two cats who had entered the camp. Sunblaze's gaze remained steady as she carefully lowered two kits to the ground, Peargaze put down the other. Fogstar padded toward them with an unreadable expression. "What happened here?" he asked, looking at the three kits at her paws.
"Well you see, it was quite unexpected. I knew I was having kits, but I didn't know they'd come so soon, and I was out alone hunting, and so I spotted Peargaze and she helped me," The ginger queen spoke. Fogstar tilted his head slightly, but slowly nodded. "Congratulations on your kits, then, Sunblaze," he meowed warmly. Fawnleap peered out of the nursery. "Did I hear 'kits'? Oh, Sunblaze, I'd love company! Come, let me help you," she called happily.
The queen took her kits into the warm nursery and was soon settled in. By now, the sun had set and she was getting awefully tired. Flamekit, Mistkit, and Rainkit all mewled quietly as they curled next to their mother. Fawnleap looked at Sunblaze softly. "Those are such precious kits," she murmured, the slightest tinge of curiousity in her eyes.
"Aren't they?" the pale ginger she-cat replied, resting her head on her paws. I'm sorry Fawnleap, but if I told you who the father was, you wouldn't ever think of me the same, would you? she thought. The light brown tabby was a good friend of hers. She hoped that even if she did find out, the queen wouldn't look at her badly.
Suddenly a loud yowl sounded, breaking the sweet silence. "There's a cat at our border!"
Chapter 15: Love is LoyaltyEdit
Left to right: Rainkit, Flamekit, Mistkit.
Sunblaze gasped. Darkfire? Her ears perked and she looked out into the clearing. Mudstripe was gathering warriors to take with him, and soon they were off. Fawnleap suddenly nudged her. "What's wrong, are you all right?" she meowed, her tail flicking.
"Yes, I am. I just wanted to see," she muttered. She sat back down in her nest, and looked down at her kits who slept peacefully beside her. Rainkit, grasped her tail in her sleep. Sunlaze gently pawed her, and got up. "I want to see who's there. Watch them, please," the ginger queen begged the light brown tabby. Fawnleap nodded, and beckoned her tail out of the nursery.
Sunblaze ran off, determined to see who it was. Just as she expected, it was the dark warrior she had fallen in love with. She gasped, and rushed to the patrol. The pale queen took a spot near the BreezeClan deputy and Sweetwing, and looked at Darkfire in the eye. Please make a good excuse, she thought with worry. Mudstripe was speaking to him sternly, eyes narrowed.
"What exactly were you doing here?" the dappled dark tabby meowed. The StoneClan warrior gave a casual shrug. "You see, I had only seen one of our territory's squirrels rush into the bush right there -" He pointed his tail to a dark bush- "and so I was left here, when you found me." His eyes glittered, and he casted a small glance at Sunblaze.
The ginger queen tried her best not to give any emotions toward the dark warrrior away in front of her Clanmates.
The BreezeClan deputy growled. "Be careful next time. We are BreezeClan. Your leader should know we aren't afraid to unsheathe our claws." Lightfeather gave Sweetwing a short glance, as if both thinking that Mudstripe should have not said that.
But Darkfire knew better than to start another quarrel between the two bordered Clans. He gave a mocking suave glance at the cats across the border. "All right then, I guess our business is done here, then," he meowed, and turned around. He slowly padded back to his camp, tail high.
Lightfeather muttered under her breath, "Such arrogence."
Right before the black warrior disappeared into the shadows, he smiled at Sunblaze, and left. The pale she-cat blinked and went along back with her patrol. When they got back, Fogstar was pacing around his den. He walked over to the returning patrol. "What was that fool doing?" he murmured. Beetleclaw perked his ears and looked over at Lightfeather, who faced the leader.
"Hunting or something. Didn't seem like that to me, though," Lightfeather muttered to the leader. Snaketail and Freezestorm glanced at each other, and together the young warriors padded into their den. Redpath soon followed. Sunblaze then realized she needed to get back to her kits.
"How are your kits? Have you named them?" Lilyheart asked Sunblaze, who was resting in her nest.
The ginger she-cat nodded, and flicked her tail towards the small kits beside her. "Flamekit, Mistkit, and Rainkit," she meowed, pointing each of them out by name.
Lilyheart put her paw forward, and spoke. "Lovely. Now how are you feeling?" she continued curiously. Sunblaze replied calmly. "Well." The medicine cat nodded, and flicked her tail to signal her farewell, and padded out of the nursery. She won't ever have to worry about mates, not like me, Sunblaze thought sadly. But still, she was not jealous of Lilyheart. Having kits, and a love, Clanmate or not, was such a genuinely happy thing.
Some how, Sunblaze would make this situation work.
Chapter 16: Benifits of TrustEdit
Peargaze's View The moon was full, and the Gathering place was full of Clan cats. At a tree edging the place, too young warriors sat, hidden from view.
"It's Sunblaze. I'm worried about her," a gray tabby she-cat meowed, concern eding her quiet mew. A brown tabby tom flicked his white tipped tail onto her shoulder. "Why? From what I've seen your old mentor was a determined, brave she-cat."
Peargaze looked down, avoiding his gaze. "It's complicated. It's her kits, I guess," she meowed to Tabbyfoot, her white tipped ears flicking. The stars were bright in the sky, but the night was young. The she-cat wondered why the Gathering hadn't started yet.
Tabbyfoot's gaze darkened. "Kits? But whats wrong about kits?" he meowed, a distant longing in his sweet forest green eyes. The she-cat beside him met his gaze. He wants kits, does he? Peargaze thought with wonder. I hope not right now, because we're still young! Finally the she-cat spoke aloud. "There is nothing wrong with kits, of course," she said, a glint in her eyes. Tabbyfoot gave the faintest nod, seeming to understand. The gray tabby continued. "It's just lately... You know, it's hard to explain. When I see her in the nursery, it doesn't seem right."
Tabbyfoot sighed, and placed his paw on hers. "I know you care about her much, but it's ok, you don't need to worry for her. Having kits is what she-cats do," he meowed calmly. Peargaze felt soothed by his words, and his suave look. Suddenly, a meow sounded the area. "The Gathering has started," Stormstar called.
Peargaze and Tabbyfoot sadly parted ways and sat by their Clanmates, waiting for the start of the Gathering.
Fogstar padded to his place, towering over the Clan cats. He was the last to speak, like always. The tom had always been polite and respectful to other leaders, and let them go first, when he was his normal self. But tension was rising lately, and Sunblaze wondered when he would burst into anger.
"We are doing fine for the end of Leaf-bare. BreezeClan couldn't be better for such a season," he meowed, voice steady. Miststar murmured to the other leaders. "That was brief. Are we done?" They nodded, and hopped down.
"The gathering has ended."
Sunblaze constantly looked around the area, cats bumping into her constantly as they tried to make their way out. Darkfire? Where was the tom? But suddnely, a black cat came into view. He bolted over to the pale ginger she-cat when she met his gaze. "Sunblaze. How are they? The kits?" he asked, panting. Sunblaze nodded, and spoke. "Well. Fawnleap is watching them. I'm such a terrible mother," she meowed with sadness. "I can't even watch over them!"
Darkfire nuzzled her. "A cat as young, brave and determined as you couldn't be a better mother. Just do what you know is right," he purred, twinning his tail with hers. But the touch was brief- he pulled away. "I must go. Farewell," he meowed, and they parted.
Mudstripe came up to her suddenly. "Come here," he said, pointing his tail at a bush. Surprised, Sunblaze nodded. The two cats rounded the bush, and sat behind it. Soon, the dark tabby spoke. "It's Fogstar. I've heard him coughing in his den all night, for the past quarter moon or so. Did you see him shivering like a nut up at the Gathering?"
Sunblaze nodded. "Yes. Why are you telling me?" she said, slightly cocking her head to one side. Her eyes were fixed on the nursery, and Darkfire's words echoed in her ears. But she had to listen to Mudstripe first.
"I just knew I needed to tell a warrior, in case he suddenly passed," the deupty muttered. He beckoned his tail, and they walked out of the spot. But why me? Am I that trustworthy? she thought, padding back into the nursery. Apparently I am.
Sunblaze curled her tail around her three kits. "Was Stormstar mean? Fernkit and Branchkit told me how he's super evil!" Rainkit squealed. Sunblaze licked her white kit's head. "No, dear, he was not," she purred, and looked at Fawnleap's two kits with amusement. The other queen looked up and purred, meeting her gaze.
Flamekit pawed his mother playfully, but Mistkit leaped on him, and the two tumbled on the soft nursery floor. "Haha! You didn't see me coming!" the black she-kit meowed happily, lashing her tail.
Oh Darkfire, I wish you could see them now, Sunblaze thought, looking at the exit to the nursery, eyes full of longing.
Chapter 17: Peace Will ComeEdit
"They're going to be apprentices any day now, Sunblaze," the black tom murmured into his mate's ear. Sunblaze looked off into the distance, into the trees and beyond. The queen could feel Darkfire's breath close on the back of her head. She slowly turned around, lightly touching her muzzle with his. His worried, hard eyes faded into a soft look as the two met each other's gaze.
"You will see them, Darkfire. I promise," she whispered, her tail flicking. She felt worried, a motherly instinct, leaving her kits in the nursery to themselves. The she-cat looked down at her paws, in thought, The StoneClan warrior brushed his tail onto her pelt, sensing her emotions.
Sunblaze looked up into his eyes once more. "I was worried that if they found out about you as kits, they wouldn't understand," she said, seeking for the usual glint of forgivness in his eyes. The tom's happy and understanding personality made him almost perfect. Soon Darkfire nodded, his eyes half closed.
"It's all right. When they are apprentices, they will understand. It's simple," he meowed to her, his energy returning. Sunblaze blinked and opened her mouth to speak. "If only we were in different Clans..."
"It's just that everything, and you and, the kits..."
"It would all be easier, I know. But its all going to be ok."
Sunblaze buried her nose into his soft fur. She could feel the strong muscles of his shoulders. Darkfure nuzzled her arm affectionately. "Go back to the kits. I love you, and remember that I'm always here for you, at night by the border."
"Stand still, Flamekit. Rainkit, please lick Mistkit's sticking up fur on her back," Sunblaze called to her kits. The she-cat licked her ginger and white kit's ruffled fur, and examined all of her kits' fur. They are ready. Darkfire, you would be so proud of them.
"Congratulations, Rainpaw, Flamepaw, and Mistpaw, you may now go and train with your mentors." Fogstar nodded to the newly made apprentices. The leader coughed, and slowly walked down. Mudstripe eyed Fogstar with worry.
Nightwing excitedly tapped Flamepaw's shoulder and the two headed into the territory along with Sweetwing and her apprentice, Rainpaw. Littledust and Mistpaw followed. Sunblaze watched her kits all walk into the territory.
"Good luck!" she called. Rainpaw looked behind, her eyes bright, and mouthed 'goodbye'.
Sunblaze walked over to Beetleclaw, her former mentor. The tom nudged her shoulder. "I can't believe that your kits are apprentices. I remember training you as a newbie like it was yesterday," he told her.
The two had a close, fond relationship since the time she was a young apprentice. Sunblaze nodded. She flicked her tail onto his pelt before heading off to join the patrols.
Mudstripe padded along Sunblaze in the BreezeClan territory. The deputy glanced at her as they padded alongside the thin trees. "Congratulations on your kits, Sunblaze. They will do well," he meowed. There was a slight glimmer in his eyes. Sunblaze felt hot for a second. Did he know about her and Darkfire's secret? No. That can't be. the she-cat thought.
The two continued on in silence.
Soon they returned to camp, the whole patrol's mouths filled with prey. Peargaze game rushing up to Sunblaze. "It's Fogstar! He's in his den, he's not feeling well!" she meowed, distraught. Sunblaze padded over to Mudstripe and informed him, and the two rushed to Lilyheart and Lakefur.
"Fogstar, are you ok? How do you feel?" Mudstripe meowed. Fogstar feebly looked up.
"I'm just nearing the edge of my last life. Don't worry about me."
The five cats in the den looked at him with surprise. "No! You can't..." Peargaze said, her mouth hanging open. Lilyheart ran her paw over his forehead, and looked at Lakefur, as if a signal. The medicine cat apprentice nodded, and ran into the medicine cat's den, and returned with moss soaked in water. But Lilyheart stopped her apprentice, and looked at Fogstar.
The tom nodded. "It's just about time for me to join our ancestors. I leave you in good paws. Mudstripe, take care of our Clan," he said with a slight cough, and slowly closed his eyes.
The great leader Fogstar was dead.
Chapter 18: When We Walk in the StarsEdit
Sunblaze, wide eyed, looked up at Mudstripe, who was sitting up on the Great Branch, looking at the distraught cats below him. He sighed, and closed his eyes. Then the soon to be leader began to speak.
"We all now know of Fogstar's death, and we will sit vigil tonight," he meowed. Grief greatly edged his tone. Mudstripe continued to speak. "I will go to the Mooncave tonight. But before Lilyheart and I journey, I should pick a deputy."
Sunblaze perked her ears.
"I say these words before StarClan, and I hope that our ancestors and Fogstar will approve of my choice. The new deputy will be Sunblaze."
The pale ginger she-cat gasped, and she felt her heart thumping hard. This can't be! I'm deputy? she thought.
Rainpaw, Flamepaw, and Mistpaw all came happily charging at their mother, and nuzzled her warmly. Rainpaw's eyes glowed. "Congrats, mother!" she meowed. Flamepaw and Mistpaw nodded, their gazes bright. Sunblaze purred her thanks and climbed up the low branch.
Mudstripe touched his nose to hers with respect. Sunblaze withdrew, and sat with him for a moment, hearing her Clan call out her name.
"Sunblaze! Sunblaze! Sunblaze!"
The pale ginger she-cat caught Beetleclaw's eye. He nodded to her, eyes warm.
Suddenly Sunblaze felt guilty. But wait! I can't be deputy- I'm breaking the warrior code! she thought with dispair.
"Mudstripe, I can't-"
"I know what you've done, Sunblaze. I've seen it myself. But the way you managed to put your duties ahead of yourself, and the way you kept confident and loyal, I chose you. StarClan believes in you." Sunblaze held back a gasp. He knows... she thought.
"But Darkfire. I've always loved him. And no matter what happens, I'm always going to love him, whether I'm seeing him or not."
"I told Fogstar the same thing about Petalfoot when he chose me. In my heart I know that I still love her. But I am loyal. We put our past behind us."
Sunblaze's body heat started to cool down. "Thanks, Mudstripe. I will prove to you my loyalty."
Sunblaze sat at the border at night. This would be their final meet. The tom padded up to her.
"Hi, Sunblaze!" he purred.
The she-cat nodded. "Hi Darkfire. I have some news. I was appointed deputy today after Fogstar died. And Mudstripe knows about us."
Darkfire gasped with delight and licked his mate's cheek. "I'm so proud of you! I really am! But, Mudstripe..." he said. Sunblaze nodded sorrowly.
"We can't see each other again. But I promise no matter what happens, I will always love you."
Darkfire seemed to understand, but his eyes were dark. "I'll look out for you on the border. And at a Gathering, show me the kits."
Sunblaze nuzzled him with her muzzle. "I will."
Darkfire nodded. "After, we will meet again in StarClan, where there is peace. I promise."
"I also promise. But until then, be a good, loyal warrior for me, ok?" Sunblaze whispered. Darkfire touched his nose lightly against hers, and they both parted ways. Until we walk the stars, my dear, until we walk the stars.
Sunblaze curled up in the warriors' den that night while Mudstripe was recieving his lives. She thought about what had happened today.
This was my choice. It was my choice to meet Darkfire. My choice to stay loyal. Everything seems to be sorted out. Maybe there will be peace.
Chapter 19: Family MeetingEdit
It was a beautiful day, the sky was bright and the sun was shining, and the clouds were the usual poofy and white, like sheep grazing across a land of blue. Sunblaze glanced up at Mudstar, who was eatingfresh kill with her. The dark tabby tom met her eyes, and tilted his head, as if wondering what the matter was. Sunblaze narrowed her eyes.
"Do you trust me as your deputy?" Sunblaze asked, her claws nervously piercing a bone of the sparrow she had just finished.
"Why would I not? You've ended your meetings with Darkfire and you've been as loyal as any cat could ever be. You've been a great help to me," Mudstripe murmured, giving her a slight nod.
Sunblaze sighed. "It's just that I feel like something is wrong."
"It's natural to feel that way, when you've realized something you've done is truely wrong."
"I guess I know what you mean. It's just hard to shake off."
Sunblaze remembered that she wasn't the only one who had a forbidden mate. The leader, Mudstar, had told her that he had done the same as a young warrior. But why can't I get his eyes out of my head? she thought, wincing at the warm yellow-amber gaze, that would always meet hers.
Mudstar got up and said, "I think you should send off more hunting patrols. Everyone's been fed, but we still can't have a very low supply of fresh kill." Sunblaze nodded, and headed off towards the clearing.
"All who wish to hunt, please gather by me!" the pale ginger she-cat called. Rainpaw, Flamepaw, and Mistpaw all darted up to her, eyes bright. Their mentors caught up to them.
"We want to go, mother!" Rainpaw meowed, looking at her mentor, Sweetwing. The white she-cat glanced at Sunblaze, with a nod.
Soon more cats approached the deputy, and Sunblaze sorted out the patrols, going out on one herself. Her patrol later returned with a lot of prey, which pleased the hungry younger warriors. Snowcloud watched, and snorted with annoyance.
"Young ones. They think they can eat all they want." She sighed and padded back into her den. Flamepaw giggled.
Soon Mudstar came into view, and he climbed up onto the branch, and looked at the cats below. "It is time to go to the Gathering. It is a warm, lovely night I believe that every warrior should attend this Gathering."
The Clan murmured in agreement.
"Now, we will head out."
The Clan followed their leader out of camp. Just about every warrior came along, except for Quickfoot, who was resting in the medicine cat's den, as he had caught a cough. Sunblaze padded alongside Mudstar. Soon, they reached the place of the Gathering.
The other leaders nodded to the brown tabby tom as he jumped onto his branch. They were still waiting on LightClan.
Sunblaze nodded to Darkfire, and whispered to her kits, "Follow me." Without a complaint, they followed her. Soon, the five cats were out of view.
Sunblaze started, "My kits, I think you should now know who your father is."
Rainpaw stared wide eyed at Sunblaze, and Flamepaw and Mistpaw stood extremely still.
Darkfire nodded. "I'm your father."
Flamepaw gasped, and Rainpaw took a few steps back. Mistpaw looked at her father's pelt, seeing a striking resemblance. She looked into the tom's eyes. "W-what?" she hissed. She turned to her mother. "How could you break the warrior code?"
Sunblaze shook her head. "We all make mistakes."
After a small quarrel between the cats, the kits were finally able to forgive their parents.
"Just know that I'll always love you, okay?" Darkfire whispered. His dark eyes looked empty. He reached out his paw and touched Mistpaw's. "And... you look so much like me..."
The family said their goodbyes, and they parted off.
The Gathering started.