|Rising of the Moon
Author: SilverIcefire PM
The time of peace after the Great Battle is threateningly close to an end. But can one cat light the way for the Clans to an eternal peace? T for potential language and violence. More details inside.Rated: Fiction T - English - Chapters: 16 - Words: 24,337 - Reviews: 34 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 03-02-13 - Published: 06-08-12 - id: 8198593
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AN: Okay, yeah, so I'd like totally abandoned this story. But coming home to a few positive reviews was...**criessniffle** a little inspiring. (cough cough FlowerFur )
By the wayz, I reread the other chapters before writing this, and I noticed quite a few errors in sentence structure, grammar, and deleted ends of sentences -_- I'll try and fix that ASAP.
Also, imma try and pick up from chapter 14 of randomnesssss.
So. Here we go.
"Wake up!" Moonspirit whispered loudly in Night-talon's ear. She prodded him gently. "Nmngh...pfft."
"WAKE UP!" She yowled, a bit less kindly.
"Squirrelflight's having her kits!"
"What?" Night-talon bolted upright and ran out in the general direction of the nursery. A loud thud was soon heard as he collided with something that wasn't the nursery. Moonspirit sighed and followed him out.
Shadesong dropped her fresh-kill on the pile with a sigh of tiredness. Moonspirit was just settling next to Night-talon by the nursery. "Shadesong!" the silver she-cat called. "Squirrelflight's kitting!" Shadesong's ears pricked in excitement, and she headed towards her brother and friend, but a patch of ginger against the sandy hollow caught her eye by the apprentices' den. Who's that? Firepaw...? She went to investigate.
As Shadesong approached, Firepaw dug his claws into the ground. "What's wrong?" Shadesong asked, tipping her head to the side. The red apprentice looked up at her, gritting his teeth. "My siblings are being born as I speak. And I'm not even a warrior yet," he hissed. Shadesong choked slightly on a laugh. "Well...who asked you to follow Stormpaw when he went to catch fish? And who told you that frogs from ShadowClan taste good? Which they don't, but..." Firepaw shuffled his paws awkwardly. "Well. Those were both my ideas..."
Shadesong's eyes glimmered with amusement. "I'm trying to be tactful about this. But if you ever want to be a warrior, you need to learn to respect Clan boundaries," she teased. But please become a warrior soon!She thought to herself.
Bramblestar sat by the den entrance, just in front of Night-talon and Moonspirit, who waited eagerly outside to greet the new kits, along with half the rest of the Clan. Like father, like son, the Clan leader had gouged huge recesses in the earth with his claws in nervousness. "Why's it taking so long?" He mewed worriedly. Squirrelflight lay on her side, panting heavily. Neither of the medicine cats responded. "Lilycloud, get me some more cobwebs," Jayfeather muttered.
Cobwebs? Moonspirit thought, with a faint glimmer of apprehension. For bleeding?
"Why does he need extra cobwebs?" Night-talon whispered. Luckily, they seemed to be the only two who had noticed.
Squirrelflight let out a wail. Bramblestar leapt to his feet and went into the den, ignoring the medicine cats' protests. He touched his muzzle to his mate's ear and whispered comfortingly, "It'll be okay, I'm here..." Lilycloud returned with the cobwebs.
It was too hard to see what was happening in the nursery, with both medicine cats, Bramblestar, and Daisy crowded around Squirrelflight's nest. Moonspirit suddenly became aware of the crowd around her. She sighed and shuffled back a couple tail-lengths. "Give them a little space, guys," she called over her shoulder.
"Good job, Squirrelflight!" Lilycloud's excited meow floated out. Everyone shuffled closer again. "Back." Moonspirit hissed. Surprisingly, they listened.
"The first one's a tom," Bramblestar announced. Even Firepaw pricked up his ears in excitement. "I have a brother!"
Squirrelflight hissed loudly in pain. "Here's the second," Jayfeather meowed, passing another bundle to Bramblestar. "And the third!" Lilycloud added. They came too soon together, Moonspirit thought darkly. "Do you smell that?" Lionblaze whispered to Dovewing behind them. Moonspirit glanced over her shoulder at her father. "What?" Dovewing asked. "Blood," he whispered. Moonspirit tasted the air. The harsh, metallic tang was just seeping out of the nursery.
"Jayfeather..." Bramblestar growled in alarm, "Why is she bleeding so much? And why aren't the second two meowing?" Lilycloud raised her head. "Shut it and start licking!" She snapped, unlike herself. Eyes wide, Bramblestar bent his tabby head and obeyed. "How many more?" Lilycloud asked. Jayfeather touched his paw to Squirrelflight's belly. Another bundle landed in the mossy nest. "Two more after this one," the medicine cat said. "A littler of six?" Shadesong gasped. The Clan was becoming tense. By now, everyone smelled the blood and knew about the unusually large littler, and almost every cat was gathered around the nursery.
"Oh, StarClan," Lilycloud gasped. "What is it?" Bramblestar squeaked. Lilycloud dropped the last bundle in front of him and nipped the sac. Two kits tumbled out together. Firepaw gasped and leapt forward. "Wait!" Shadesong called. "They need help!" He insisted, and bent to help his father to lick his six siblings to life. Lilycloud stepped away from Squirrelflight's nest to check on them. The Clan drew a collective, sharp breath when the bloody mess came into view. The white patches on Lilycloud's fur were stained with scarlet, and Squirrelflight's entire underbelly was dark red. Moonspirit pressed against Night-talon's side.
"They're all alive," Lilycloud announced, sounding slightly relieved, "but the smaller of the twins isn't as strong as the others. I think they'll make it." Bramblestar heaved a sigh of relief, but then he caught sight of Squirrelflight.
"Bramblestar?" She whispered faintly. "What...no!" Bramblestar shot a panicked look at Jayfeather. "What went wrong?" Jayfeather frowned. "I...I don't know," he admitted. "I'm not sure why there were so many." Squirrelflight's breathing was becoming shorter and more ragged. A ginger tom bent over her, concern in his emerald eyes. "F-" Moonspirit began, about to scold Firepaw again, but then her eyes widened. Firestar? No. Oh no, she realized what this meant. Feeling Dovewing and Lionblaze stiffen behind her, Moonspirit figured they saw him too. "I...I love you, Bramblestar," Squirrelflight whispered feebly. "Don't let them die," she gasped as her head plopped down. Graystripe turned and ran out of the camp. Millie uncertainly followed him, knowing who was on his mind.
"NO!" Bramblestar yowled, pressing his head against hers. Then Firestar showed himself to ThunderClan's leader. "Bramblestar," he meowed brokenly. "Why did you take her?" The dark tabby growled. The Clan was confused as to whom he was yowling at, save Dovewing, Moonspirit, Jayfeather, Lilycloud, and Lionblaze. "It was her time," Firestar whispered. A faint outline of Squirrelflight rose from her nest and touched noses with her father. Then she turned her eyes on Bramblestar. Unspoken love and sadness shone in them for a moment, then she turned back to Firestar, and the two walked off to StarClan, fading into the bracken.
ThunderClan stood with shocked expressions on their faces. Their eyes turned from Bramblestar, who was standing, frozen and wide-eyed, at Squirrelflight's unmoving body, and then at his six kits and Firepaw, whose expression matched his fathers'. No one spoke or moved. Then Bramblestar yowled once in anguish, and toppled over in a faint.
He blinked open his amber eyes to the starry hunting grounds of StarClan. "Squirrelflight?" he called. "Are you there?"
Bramblestar stood and looked around. There was a pale ginger cat sitting a few tail-lengths away, speaking with a tortoiseshell. Sandstorm...and Spottedleaf? The two she-cats notice him and padded over. He dipped his head respectfully. "Where's Firestar and Squirrelflight?" he asked. Spottedleaf smiled and nodded over his shoulder.
Behind him stood his former leader and mentor, alongside his mate and another silver tom who he immediately recognized, but didn't immediately acknowledge. "Squirrelflight," he cried, and raced forward to touch noses with her. She purred softly. "Bramblestar, I'm so sorry. Not even StarClan saw this coming." Bramblestar whirled on Firestar angrily, "It fits too well into Moonspirit's prophecy! What's the meaning of this? Why did she have to die? To empty the deputyship position?" Firestar actually took a step back, shaking his head. "StarClan didn't mean for this to happen, Bramblestar, but the prophecy is the least of our concerns. Dark times are approaching. Squirrelflight will actually be safer here with us." Bramblestar dug his claws into the grass, but didn't protest.
"Ashfur," he growled, turning to the silver tom. "You'd better take care of her." Ashfur dipped his head and nodded. "Of course, Bramblestar. But she'll be waiting for you," he added, glancing at Squirrelflight, who was still gazing sadly at Bramblestar. She took a few steps forward and nuzzled against his neck. "The sun is setting, love," she whispered. "The Clan returned you to your den. Other tragedies have yet to come." She glanced down between her forepaws, where a tiny kit stood, looking up with awe at his father. Dead already? Bramblestar realized with shock. "What...what's his name?" he asked, recognizing him as the smaller of the twin kits. "Whitekit." Squirrelflight replied. "He's safe now. But the others are not far from StarClan. And leaf-bare is approaching. The Clan needs you."
Bramblestar opened his jaws to protest, but he was already fading back into the world of the living. I love you, Squirrelflight... wait for me.
"Bramblestar?" Moonspirit stood as she noticed her leader stirring. His amber eyes blinked open, and she cringed at the deep sadness in them. "Where...are they?" he asked.
Moonspirit ducked her head. "One is dead, Bramblestar...the others are with Daisy. They cry for milk. There are no other queens..." Bramblestar stood and went out to the clearing. Moonspirit followed.
Squirrelflight's body was neatly arranged in the center of the clearing, where the Clan had assembled to sit vigil. Nestled next to her neatly groomed belly was one white kit. The cries of the other five were heard from the nursery. What are we going to do? Moonspirit wondered, despair creeping in on her mind. No! I'll figure something out.
We need help from the other Clans. But Bramblestar's in no condition to travel and ask for aid... "Jayfeather!" she called. The medicine cat looked up tiredly, poking his head out of the nursery. Moonspirit bounded across the clearing and entered quietly.
Firepaw sat with his five remaining siblings, trying to help quiet them down with Daisy. Despite the recent loss of his mother, the young tom had determination in his eyes. Moonspirit touched his shoulder gently with her tail-tip, and he acknowledged her with a stiff dip of his head. Jayfeather cleared his throat. "What?" he meowed. "They need milk," Moonspirit started. "No, really?" Jayfeather said dryly. "It's not like we can just march on over to one of the other Clans and demand their queens."
Moonspirit drew a long breath. "That's not what I was going to suggest. I came to ask your permission to go to the horseplace, since Graystripe isn't around and Bramblestar isn't going to discuss anything right now, you're the top authority around here." Daisy's head shot up. "The horseplace?"
Jayfeather cocked his head to the side, thinking, and then he nodded slowly. "The Twoleg keep animals' milk there. It's not ideal, but it's better than letting the kits starve." Daisy added, "In the barn where I used to live, they keep cows for their milk. But the pails don't sit outside, they take them into the house."
"I can't let you march into a Twoleg dwelling just like that," Jayfeather sighed. "Let me go," Firepaw suggested. "I'm smaller than she is."
"Not...really," Moonspirit pointed out. "And as much as I hate to rub it in, you have no respect for Clan boundaries." She turned to Jayfeather. "Would you prevent me from trying to save lives?" she challenged. The medicine cat flattened his ears and hissed. "Let me go," Moonspirit spat back. "They'll die."
Daisy hesitantly spoke again, "Sometimes, they put the milk into little glass containers that I used to steal, when they get left on the windows. You could easily carry one of those back." Moonspirit nodded her thanks. Jayfeather growled at the two she-cats. "Bramblestar will have my pelt for this. But I'm obliged to try to save them. Go, quickly, then. Run!" Moonspirit nodded and ducked out of the den, pelting out of the camp as quickly as her limp would allow. No cat questioned her.
She streaked through the darkening forest, heading for the lake, where she could pass through the other Clans' territories unchallenged. Soon, she was at the ShadowClan border. She caught scent of another cat. Raising her hackles slightly, she called, "Who's there?" A black shape moved through the trees. But that's on ThunderClan's territory! An invasion is the last thing we need right now, she thought grimly, glancing over her shoulder at the glowing lights of the horseplace across the lake, then turning back towards the movement in the woods.
Growling, she flung herself at the intruder, pinning him to the forest floor. "Get off my land!" she hissed. "Ipth maupth lauth, toof!" He mumbled around a mouthful of dirt. "Night-talon?" Moonspirit gasped. "I'm so sorry!" She stumbled off him and he coughed, repeating, "It's my land too, you stupid furball. I'm coming to help you. Jayfeather sent me." He ruffled his fur, shaking off the leaves and dirt. "You can't carry much on your own," he pointed out. Moonspirit allowed a short purr of laughter. "I'm glad it's you," she meowed. "Let's go."
The two cats ran along the border of the lake, meeting no patrols along the ShadowClan boundaries. As they neared the end of WindClan's land, they were spotted by a patrol, but the WindClan cats let them go without question when they continued along.
It was completely dark by the time they reached the horseplace. Moonspirit noted the Twoleg house, glowing with its yellow lights against the darkness. Like Night-talon's eyes.
They padded forward softly until they reached the dwelling. A pile of crates was against one door. Moonspirit leapt up them to peer in through the window. The Twolegs were gathered around a strangely glowing box, their backs to the window. Just inside was an area where she assumed they prepared food, judging by the smell and scattered morsels.
And there, on the shelf a few feet in, sat three glass bottles of milk.
The Twolegs made a loud sound, and Moonspirit pressed herself down in fear. "It's just laughter." She jumped at the voice in her ears, which was not Night-talon's. "Firestar?" The ginger tom was perched on the windowsill before her. "Firestar!" Night-talon exclaimed. ThunderClan's late leader dipped his head to his great-granddaughter and the black warrior. "I thought you might need some help. Bluestar disagrees with your plan, but I admire your initiative. Some former kittypet knowledge might be useful here," he explained.
"Thank you," Moonspirit replied, dipping her head in return. "How can we get in?"
"Get in?" Night-talon meowed in alarm. Firestar beckoned with his tail for them to join him on the sill. "Don't worry, they won't see you. Twolegs worship that thing. It's called a television, I think."
He reared up on his hind legs. Moonspirit copied him. "See that stick-thing?" Firestar pointed out. "Yeah," she replied. She was still shorter than the average warrior, and had to stretch a bit to see what he was indicating. "Give it a little push," Firestar instructed. Moonspirit extended a paw and switched the stick to the other side. A soft click was heard. Slightly off-balance, Moonspirit wobbled dangerously.
"Got you!" Night-talon leaned over and grasped the scruff of her neck just as she slipped. "Thanks," she breathed. Firestar looked amused for a moment, then turned his attention back to the task at hand. "Okay," he meowed. "Now it's unlocked. Push gently here," he placed a paw on the edge. Night-talon nosed the window open. It slid open smoothly and soundlessly. Moonspirit stepped in without pausing. Night-talon followed more slowly.
The silver she-cat padded slowly along the edge of the kitchen counter, keeping one eye on the Twolegs, who stared intently at their glowing box.
She reached the three milk jugs. Reaching out carefully with her teeth, she grasped the metal ring around the top and drew her head back. Her head and neck were forced down unexpectedly by the weight, and the jug was just about to clink against the edge of the counter, but Night-talon stuck his tail to soften the sound. It silently bumped against his black fur, and he stifled a yelp against the pinch. Moonspirit's eyes glittered with laugher, and she stepped to the side for him to take a jug.
Everything was going perfectly. They turned around and were headed to the window, and then the wind treacherously blew a strong gust through the window, slamming it shut.
The Twolegs jumped and turned around. One female screamed. The kid yelled "KITTIES!" The male grabbed what looked like a long , fat stick (baseball bat...). "RUMG!" Moonspirit yowled. (translation: RUN!) "WHREMNG? THF FINDOF SHufF!" Night-talon responded panicked-ly. (translation: where? The window's shut!)
The male with the baseball bat approached quickly. Moonspirit ducked to avoid a blow and darted down off the counter, skidding off the unnatural floor. She heard Night-talon following her. With the Twolegs in hot pursuit, the silver and black cats swerved around the corner into a hallway. "Thrrr! Glurfph door!" Moonspirit meowed. (there! Glass door!) "WHAF?" Moonspirit didn't reply, but pelted full speed at the glass door, staring straight out at the fields outside until the last minute, when she ducked her head to the side and smashed through. A jagged cat-sized hole was left in her wake, through which Night-talon followed. Firestar was outside. "Quickly! Get away from there!"
Moonspirit, Night-talon, and Firestar raced towards the lake. After a while, the Twolegs gave up, and they staggered to a halt, dropping the milk jugs. Moonspirit stretched her aching jaws and then fell over, purring in laughter with the other two. "Are you ok?" Night-talon asked, sounding concerned. "You're bleeding. Did you reopen your wound?" Moonspirit glanced down at her pelt. Stupid of me to use that shoulder to break the door...She noted, rolling it painfully. Her side was streaked with blood. "I think I just scraped myself on the glass," she said. "I'm okay. Let's get back to camp."
Okay yeah, that's not how I wanted to end this chapter, but it's getting kinda long so I figured I'd break it up. Next one will pick up right here.
Hopefully it was good-ish. Reviews are nice ^_^