It was two days after the dog attack. The clan still grieved for Sootfoot and Cinderclaw, but life must go on. "Aloesong! Blueheart! Redpelt! Leaffur!" The Clan cheered. The four new warriors beamed with pride.
"As tradition goes, you will sit vigil tonight," Cougarstar said. The four littermates nodded solemnly. Purring, Aspenleaf and Cloveclaw congratulated their kits. Cougarstar, still on high rock, looked over at the nursery as Rosekit pounced on Primrosekit. Not wanting to be left out, Marigoldkit pounced on Boulderkit and Yewkit pranced around them. The older kits let Rosekit and Boulderkit wrestle them to the ground. Cougarstar sighed happily, then leaped off of high rock.
"Should I organize a hunting patrol?" Sleetstream asked. Cougarstar nodded. He then turned around, and saw his mother approaching him.
"Share a mouse with me?" Hollyshine asked. Cougarstar nodded, once more. He followed his mother over to the fresh-kill pile, and they settled somewhere out of earshot of passing clan mates. Cougarstar let Hollyshine take the first bite of the mouse. She spoke after chewing. "I just want you to know how proud I am of you, and all your hard work," she said. Cougarstar was sort of surprised by this.
"What about Fiercefang?" He asked. They both looked to where Fiercefang was showing Jaypaw and Dewpaw a battle move.
"I'm proud of your brother, to. I love you both very much. But not everyone can be as brave as you. The Bearstar epidemic was a lot for him, and he wasn't able to handle it as well as you," she said. Looking at Fiercefang, Cougarstar couldn't remember the last time he had seen his brother look so happy.
"Your right," he said. This reminded him of his father Wolfbite, and he felt a wave of grief and he sighed. Hollyshine must have been thinking of her mate, because she sighed to.
"You know, you should invite him to hunt with you sometime. Your clan leader now, and he feels unsure around you now because he didn't do anything when Bearstar threatened to kill me. He's ashamed and thinks your mad," she said. Cougarstar understood what she was saying.
"Your right." (He said again.) Hollyshine smiled and flicked his ear with her tail.
"Of course I'm right, I'm your mother. So next time you hunt by yourself invite Fiercefang. That is, if your not with Ivybreeze," she said, added the last part with a mischievous glint in her eyes. Ivybreeze? What, no! I love Flowerpetal..... he wanted to call Hollyshine back to say that but she was already padding away. He was constantly watching Ivybreeze these days, but whenever Flowerpetal caught him. The thing is she never said anything, and Cougarstar desperately wondered what was going on in her mind. Deciding to busy himself with something, Cougarstar walked over to the kits. When the kits noticed him walking towards them, they skipped around and squealed with delight.
"Cougarstar! Just in time! We're playing clan. We're RoseClan, and I'm leader, Rosestar, leader of the clan. Boulderkit, your my deputy Boulderclaw," Rosekit ordered. Boulderkit grinned and nodded. "Yewkit, you'll be Yewleaf the medicine cat," she said. Yewkit nodded.
"Whatever you say, O great one." Rosekit shot her a glare.
"Cougarstar, your going to be.... Cougarroar the evil.... ThornClan cat! You killed Thornstar and took over the clan and now are trying to destroy us!" She announced. Cougarstar was mildly alarmed by Rosekit's extreme imagination.
"Can we play?" Primrosekit asked, padding over with Marigoldkit, Rowankit, Leafkit, Barkkit, and Petalkit.
"Sure!" Rosekit purred with delight that the others wanted to join her game. She explained everything to them, then named them Primroseheart, Marigoldeyes, Rowanlight, Leaftail, Barkclaw, and Petalmist.
"I want to play," Stripekit said. He usually never played with them, Cougarstar had noticed, and Darkkit was probably hiding in the nursery.
"Okay, your Stripefur," Rosekit told him. Stripekit frowned.
"I want to be Stripefang! It sounds cooler," he pouted. Rosekit sighed.
"Stripekit, you realize your the only one who has complained about their name? It's just a game." The other kits backed up Rosekit by giving him accusing glares. Cougarstar stepped in.
"Rosekit, let him be Stripefang," he said.
"How come you just yell at me," Rosekit said with an exasperated sigh as Stripekit sneered with triumph.
"Because your my kit," he said. Rosekit raised an eyebrow but said nothing.
"Ok. Cougarroar, your going to attack our camp," Rosekit said. Cougarstar pretended to sneak up on them, then he pounced and yowled. The kits squealed with delight. "RoseClan! Attack!" Rosekit squealed, but the other kits were already jumping on him. Cougarstar pretended to collapse and die.
"Yay! We won!" The kits cheered. Cougarstar heard an affectionate purr and looked up to see Flowerpetal.
"Kits, nap time," she said.
"Awww," they complained.
"Don't you argue, get right in your nests," Flowerpetal said firmly. The kits knew better then to argue with Flowerpetal. Flowerpetal nuzzled his ear. "You have work to do, go he a leader." Cougarstar nodded. He walked over to Sleetstream who was about to take Brackenpaw out for training.
"Can you take Birchpaw out as well? I'm going to lead a border patrol on the Wildclan border. Honeydew's patrol reported that they seemed a bit scratched up," he said.
"Certainly," Sleetstream replied. Cougarstar went over to his brother first.
"Join me on a patrol, please," he said. Fiercefang smiled and nodded. Cougarstar looked around to see who didn't look busy. "Juniperberry, Wavetail, Sunclaw, Hawkflight, Cloveclaw, Firestorm, Specklewhisker, Frostclaw, Runningbreeze," Cougarstar looked around some more. Snowfoot was sharing a rabbit with Huntingclaw, Cascade was sharing tongues with Pinefur, Spruceheart was instructing Stormpaw to clean the elder's den, but Gorseburr and Robintalon looked free. "Gorseburr, Robintalon, and Ivybreeze, join me on a border patrol," he said. Ivybreeze was by his side in seconds, Cougarstar found himself trying to spend time with her whenever he could.
"Can my apprentice come?" Juniperberry asked. Cougarstar nodded, and she went over to fetch Rainpaw. When everyone was gathered around him, he took the lead and slipped out of camp.
"Cougarstar! Wait!" He turned around as Cinderflame's voice called him back. She stepped out of the medicine cat den. Cloverface and Thistleshade followed her, looking sad. Cinderflame took a deep breath. "Cougarstar, I'm going back to Wildclan," she said. Alarmed, Cougarstar asked,
"Why?" He head Ivybreeze gasp.
"It's not that I don't like it here, after all I was born here. But I was trained as a Wildclan medicine cat, but when Bearstar was killed I came back to Spiritclan to be with my siblings. The longer I'm away from Wildclan, though, the more I feel the pull to go back," she said. Cougarstar dipped his head, though he was very disappointed.
"Spiritclan will miss you, Cinderflame. I respect your choice to return to Wildclan," he said. She dipped her head in return, and then the good-bye's began. Thistleshade touched his nose to her muzzle.
"Goodbye, Cinderflame. You were a great friend. Mapleleaf, Ivybreeze, Blazerunner and Flamestride covered their sister with licks and good-byes. It felt like a moon had passed before they finished.
"Cinderflame, you can tag along our patrol. That way we have more time for good-byes and can see you to the border," Cougarstar said. Cinderflame nodded.
"Can we come, to?" Asked Blazerunner.
"Of course," Cougarstar replied. They set off at a mild jog, and slowed once they reached the border. They looked left, right, and straight ahead. "Hmm. Wildclan's not here," he muttered.
"What do you mean, Wildclan's not here?" Snipped Dawnfur, as she and her patrol slipped from the undergrowth. It indeed looked like Wildclan had been in a scuffle. Dawnfur had a long scratch down her shoulder, and the warrior Leopardpelt who was closest to her had a healing bit mark on her left ear. The others were hard to see, they were still in the shadows of the undergrowth.
"Hello, Dawnfur. What happened? Is Wildclan okay?" He asked. Dawnfur rolled her eyes, but hesitated before answering.
"Of course Wildclan is okay. We just had to fight Fierceclan. They were stealing prey," she said.
"We won of course," Leopardpelt jumped in. "But it's not Spiritclan's business. It's not like they ever told us anything." She was clearly referring to when Cheetahstar was leader. Some of his Spiritclan cats started to bristle, so Cougarstar flicked his tail to signal him to be quiet. I guess they still don't trust us. I don't blame them, even with the truce. This lead to an alarming thought. We only have one and a half more moons of truce! Cougarstar quickly decided to change the subject.
"We're not here to argue. Besides renewing border markers, we're hear because Cinderflame wants to return to Wildclan," he said. The Wildclan cats looked immediately interested. Cinderflame stepped out from behind the patrol.
"I would like to return to Wildclan," she stated.
"Of course we'll have our medicine cat back," Dawnfur said, with emphasis on 'our.'
"Oh, but don't be surprised, when you see you were sort of... replaced," Leopardpelt sneered.
"What?" Cinderflame gasped. Replaced? Does Wildclan have another medicine cat now besides Willowheart?
"That's enough," Dawnfur snapped, just as Ivybreeze stepped up, standing nose-to-nose with Leopardpelt.
"Don't talk to my sister that way," she threatened. Mapleleaf stepped up beside her, and their brothers growled in agreement. Leopardpelt stared back innocently. Ivybreeze turned her attention back to Cinderflame.
"I'll visit at gatherings," she promised.
"You better," Ivybreeze mumbled. The Wildclan cats turned and walked away, and so did Cougarstar. He kept looking back at Ivybreeze's sad face, and wished he could say something to cheer her up.
Yes! Got a chapter out