|What Would You Give
Author: stealthclaw343 PM
Darkness is coming, and as tensions rise in the clans the three must find the fourth, for the final battle is soon to be. Nowhere is safe, not even their own minds... OOTS book length alternate ending! Starts after book five! R&R!Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Jayfeather & Lionblaze - Chapters: 10 - Words: 30,629 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 06-28-12 - Published: 11-25-11 - id: 7581989
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Ello! Hey, look at that, less time than last time I updated! Improvement! :D I want to thank all who reviewed favorited or added, you are great! However, there is one thing I would like to clear up. I'm sure you didn't mean it rudely, but I got this question:
"Wasn't Lionblaze on his way to the mountains? What kind of author are you?" Maybe it was the way you phrased it… But I'm an easygoing guy so allow me to explain: Lionblaze is indeed on his way to the mountains, I just thought it might be more interesting if I added some more action and diversions while he was on his way. Besides, he is almost there! :D I'm new at this, the only other story I wrote was on another account, it was four chapters and it never got finished, so try and cut me some slack :P. Maybe I did drag it on too long though, my bad. I just wanted to clear that up and I hope anyone else who was confused isn't so anymore! : ) Anyways, I'm glad to be updating but I don't want to drag this on too long either so here is your waiting chapter!
Jayfeather was shocked. His head hurt and he was beginning to think that this was all just a dream. He silently unsheathed a claw and poked himself discretely. Pain blossomed gently from his hind leg. This wasn't a dream. Jayfeather gulped softly.
Firestar however, remained calm. "Is there anything that Thunderclan can do to help Riverclan?" He asked, voice sad and remorseful.
Willowshine shook her head, eyes closed and head down in grief. Jayfeather also sensed a little bit of embarrassment coming off of her.
"Anything at all." Firestar prompted.
"Well, I may have use for some dock, my supplies are running very low." She murmured.
Jayfeather felt a tail on his shoulder, giving him Firestar's approval. He nodded, "Follow me."
As he and Willowshine left the den he sensed something come from her, a jolt of excitement, with a tinge of fear. Mentally though, he shrugged, if it had something to do with him he would know soon enough.
They crossed the clearing and Jayfeather swept aside the moss that now hung over his den's opening. She entered first and he followed close at her heels. With a nod, he heard her sit down as he crossed to the crack in the wall where his herbs were stored. Sniffing around, he soon found the dock and internally groaned. His supplies were low as well. He had no desire to give all of it up but he did anyways, scooping the pile into an oak leaf and gently tying it off with a dry piece of grass. Riverclan needed it more than Thunderclan at the moment.
As he returned to the main den, Willowshine spoke, "He has greencough doesn't he." she asked. Jayfeather nodded slowly, suspicion aroused within him. "We have more than enough catmint in Riverclan if you would like some." She continued, voice lowered.
Not for the first time, Jayfeather was shocked. He voiced this, "Willowshine, what's going on? First you come here telling us of Mothwing's death, then you offer us some of your catmint!"
She sighed and he felt the excitement and fear within her grow, "Jayfeather," She began, "you know as well as I do that all of the medicine cats have received a warning from Starclan to stay away from each other. Starclan is afraid of something, of us, of themselves, possibly even of everything. I feel as though they may be right to fear. Something is coming, I know it. I think you know it too. They say that we need to separate but if something is going to happen we must face it together instead. United we stand, divided we fall. Have you ever heard that phrase Jayfeather?"
"This situation is a perfect example of that. I came to you in a time of need and I am asking Thunderclan's alliance. Mistystar has approved it, she believes that this is the best course of action after I told her what Starclan has told me. I know it isn't normal but life right now isn't exactly normal either. If we do this, it increases all of our chances to survive whatever it is we will face." She finished softly…
She was shaking, Jayfeather could feel it in the air.
He nodded again slowly, "Lets go talk to Firestar."
"Everyone up!" Lionblaze said, voice ringing through the forest, "Big day today! We reach the foot of the mountains and beyond!"
His voice may have been cheerful and excited but the events of the night before still weighed on his mind. Something had been there, something hadn't been right, but he hadn't seen anything all night. He was exhausted, but determined not to show it. If they made good time, tonight they would rest with the tribe.
Cinderheart stirred beside him at the sound of his voice. Ivypool and Dovewing were on their paws moments later. "We make it there today?" Ivypool asked in awe.
Lionblaze nodded, "It wont take us long to reach the foot, but the climb will be difficult. Best to get going soon, I've already caught us some breakfast." He meowed, indicating a small pile of a few squirrels and mice.
Cinderheart purred at the sight of it, "Your great Lionblaze." she said as she dragged a mouse out.
"I do my best." He muttered sheepishly.
After all of them had filled their bellies they set off again, trekking through the rest of the forest and on toward the mountains. As Lionblaze had hoped, they made excellent time, reaching them just before sun-high. The rocky peaks loomed over the four of them as they gazed upon them. Somewhere in that mess of gigantic birds and bottomless crevices was the tribe. Lionblaze knew that they were closer to the base than they could have been, but that only made it easier for the clan cats. He turned to his comrades. "Is everyone ready to get up there?" He asked, looking each cat in the eye.
All nodded and he flicked his tail excitedly, "Then lets get going."
And with that, he turned and followed the tree line up the mountain. It would lead them somewhere near the tribe, but not before they reached a large crack. This would be a point that they would have to jump over to get to the other side. After that, they would have to fight through the leaf-bare snow and ice to reach the tribe's cave. For four cats who had been traveling for days, it was no small feat.
Soon however, they reached the crack and Lionblaze crept up to it, peering carefully over the edge. He couldn't see the bottom.
Returning to his clanmates he had each of them step forward and take a look. "Anybody got any great ideas on how to get across?" He asked when they came back, gazing at the distance that would be nearly impossible to jump.
Ivypool and Cinderheart shook their heads solemnly but Dovewing seemed thoughtful. She glanced around at their surroundings and her eyes settled on a long piece of wood. It was thin and appeared to be oak, but it looked as if it had been stripped straight from a tree. "We could stretch that across the gap." She suggested.
Upon further examination it appeared to be rotting. Not badly but certainly beginning to decay. Lionblaze turned to the warrior and shook his head gently, "It was a good idea, but we'll probably need a safer way."
She nodded in understanding and continued to look and listen.
Further search yielded nothing and after a while they just gathered around in a small clearing at the edge of the forest, sharing their body heat against the chill of the light snow.
"We need to get to the tribe tonight." Lionblaze announced after a while, staring in the direction of the setting sun. It would be a good time before night, but it would start getting cold faster than he liked. "As risky as it is, I think we may as well try Dovewing's plan."
The others agreed but seemed a little nervous about the idea. Dragging the piece of wood over to the edge, Cinderheart and Lionblaze, being the senior warriors, began to edge the piece out over the gap. Soon it reached the other side, but just barely. Testing it with a paw, Lionblaze found it unstable, but decided to go out on a limb (No pun intended) and test his full weight. Stepping out, the wood held but creaked gently. He padded out into the center, careful not to look down as the wood began to bow. He stopped completely and glanced over his shoulder. Cinderheart stood watching him, fear in her eyes. She gave him an encouraging nod.
Gathering his wits, he padded on to the other side without further incident. When his paws touched the cold ground there he nearly collapsed with relief. He didn't though, and he turned around to his clanmates, beckoning with his tail for Dovewing to come across next.
The small she-cat crossed without to much wobbling, as did her sister. Both however, seemed relieved to be across. Only Cinderheart remained now. Lionblaze watched with concern as the she-cat stepped onto the makeshift bridge. She was lighter than he was but heavier than the two sisters simply because she was older.
His heart started to race as he heard the wood creak and groan. It was already weak.
She had reached the center by the time it gave out. With a howl of fright, she pushed off with her hind legs, reaching out for the other side. Lionblaze lunged forward and sank his claws into her shoulders. He hated to hurt her but it was the only way that she was going to survive. She howled in pain and struggled to get a purchase on the cliff face as the pieces of wood showered down around her.
After all of the debris had fallen Lionblaze began to pull her up, both of their faces gritted in pain or concentration. When he finally pulled her over the edge she collapsed onto him, breath completely taken from her body, wounds on her shoulders bleeding freely.
After a few moments everyone had recovered from the initial shock and Cinderheart twisted her head to look up at Lionblaze, then at the sisters, then finally back at Lionblaze. "I love you so much." She whispered.
"I love you more." He replied, licking her cheek and then her wounds.
After he worked on them for a little while they stopped bleeding and he sat back. "We need to rest, but not for long." He said, gazing back at the sun.
"No," Cinderheart said, shaking her head, "I can go on, we need to make it to the tribe tonight, we already wasted enough daylight."
Lionblaze nodded, admiring her courage and loving her determination. "Lets go then."
As they padded on, the ice and snow grew thicker until it reached their flanks and stuck to their faces. The clear skies began to turn darker as time went on and the sun sank lower in the clouds. As Lionblaze watched, he got a bad feeling that there was a snowstorm on the way…
It hit only a little while later, light snow dust beginning to cloud their vision as they pushed onward through the snow that was already on the ground.
Lionblaze turned briefly and called back to his clanmates, "We have to be getting close!" He hoped it was true though, for if it was not, this storm was going to get worse and they would be stuck in the middle of it.
His paws started going numb and the other three indicated that theirs had as well. Fear began to tighten Lionblaze's stomach but soon his eyes, shut to slits that they were, detected a silhouette in the distance, approaching rapidly.
A cat raced up and stopped before them, white fur whipping in the wind as his paws kicked up snow. His eyes widened and his tail flicked in excitement at the sight of them, "Clan cats! You must come quickly!"
"Firestar?" Jayfeather called into his leader's den.
A weary meow was the only reply and Jayfeather took it as his invitation to enter, Willowshine close on his heels.
Firestar was laying in the back of his den with Brambleclaw by his side, waves of worry came from both of them. "Brambleclaw and I have been discussing some things." The orange tom began, "Jayfeather, Brambleclaw knows."
Jayfeather let out an inaudible gasp and felt his eyes widen. Confusion spiked from Willowshine and he felt her eyes bore into him for a moment. Turning to her he shook his head and spoke, "Not now, now we need to discuss what you have suggested to me."
She shuffled her feet but nodded, clearing her throat. Both Brambleclaw and Firestar noticed this and interest suddenly charged the air.
"Mistystar and I believe that it would be in our clans best interest if we were to join forces in a temporary alliance." The small she-cat began, voice soft but beginning to gain momentum. As Jayfeather listened it also gained strength and intensity. She relayed her feelings and those of Riverclan as well as the dream that had been sent to all of the medicine cats. As she ended her little speech Jayfeather already knew Firestar's decision.
"Between what you have told me," The tom said, "and what Jayfeather has told me, I couldn't agree more. This is a time to fight as one, not apart. Take the herbs Jayfeather has given to you and go to Mistystar. Tell her that tomorrow at sun-high we shall meet with her. The clans must go on as one."
Willowshine nodded sadly but gratefully and left the den, her tail running along Jayfeather's flank for just a moment…
He turned quickly to snap at her but by the time he opened his mouth she was gone.
"Jayfeather," Firestar muttered, snapping him out of his gaze, "We have some things to discuss. I know that there are things that you have not told me. Brambleclaw has been informed of all that I know but now you must tell everything, it could be vital to the survival of the clans. You can trust us, don't forget who the prophecy was delivered to first."
Jayfeather nodded and spoke, the words coming out in a massive torrent. He told everything and left nearly nothing out, the dark forest warriors, the message from Starclan to the medicine cats, picking the ancient Stone-teller…
By the time he was done the only thing he had omitted was his relationship with Half-moon. The way he saw it, it was sacred and in his dreams the laws of the clans no longer applied. He just wanted to be happy and keep it to himself with no one to interfere.
"This is worse than I thought." Was the leader's first flat comment. "I now know who it was that tried to kill me and who it was that most likely killed Mothwing! Jayfeather how could you keep this from us? So much trouble could have been avoided!"
Jayfeather hung his head low in shame, "I'm sorry Firestar." was all he said.
The flame colored tom sighed and Brambleclaw spoke up, "You should have come to us before, but we shouldn't linger on the past for too long. The information is out in the open and we need to take action on it."
Firestar nodded, "I agree. Jayfeather, there is no reason to fear us. Everything is vital. If something else happens don't hesitate to come to us, no matter how small it is. Tell us everything… Now, the sun is not yet set but I suggest that you go and get some rest, you look like you need it. We all do."
Jayfeather nodded and turned to leave, meowing his thanks. As he bounded down the rock face toward his den he realized just how tired his whole body felt. It would be great to sink into sleep and just dream… As this thought ran through his mind he felt a jolt of excitement, if he dreamed, he would see Half-moon. He let out a silent purr to himself, if anyone could make sense of his life, she could, all his troubles just seemed to melt away when he was around her…
Slipping into his den he padded silently over to his nest and curled up in it, laying his tail over his nose and shutting his eyes. Sleep took him only moments later…
Darkness surrounded him once again, warm and inviting. A glimmer from the sky above gave away the stars that hung overhead so far away. Jayfeather breathed in deeply as he gazed up at them. How could so many fit in such a small space? He had never seen Silverpelt before and as his eyes found it he was mesmerized. Everything in this world seemed more brilliant and beautiful…
Speaking of beautiful, he felt a warm presence beside him and turned to stare into twin emerald orbs. His heart melted at the sight of her and he licked her cheek, a favor she promptly returned. "It couldn't be soon enough." Half-moon whispered.
"Never." He replied. "Wanna do some exploring?"
She let out a purr, "I sure do! Where do we begin though?"
He shrugged, "Anywhere and everywhere so long as I'm with you."
She giggled, "The same back at you! Now come on!" She ran off into the trees and Jayfeather let out a surprised hiss.
"Hey, wait up!" He called after her before starting off. She must have slowed a little because he caught up with her fairly quickly. After they ran a little farther they reigned in to a walk, tails twined together and pelts brushing.
They strode on for a while until they reached a shimmering pool, the exact same pool that Jayfeather had encountered on his first venture there. Peering over the edge, he darted a paw down and flicked some water up at the she-cat beside him. The water fight that ensued was accompanied by meows of laughter and splashes that rang throughout the clearing…
After a while however, they got tired and lay down to rest for a little before continuing on their way. Close together, they stared up at the moon high in the sky and chatted contentedly.
Their night together was not over and they would continue their exploration soon enough, but for now, as he lay there, Jayfeather was happy. He was happy for that moment in time despite all the confusion and fear and responsibility that constantly weighed down on his shoulders in the waking world.
Happy. It felt good…
Alrighty! Updated finally! I was really happy with this chapter, I found it slow in a few parts but I think it finally tied a few things off. And hey, no cliffhanger this time! ;) Timing was better too and I hope to have the next chappie earlier than this one! A quick note, I know that Omen of the Stars six is coming out very soon. As you've probably guessed, this story is an alternate ending of sorts to the series. I hope that despite the actual book coming out that you all will continue to enjoy this story! Myself, I cant wait to see what the Erins have come up with but have no intentions of cutting this story just because the real ending has been released. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this chapter and will be ready for the next one, cause itsa comin! Thanks for reading and don't forget to tell me what you think! And as always, have nice day!