My secret son by Wyldclaw

Plot: A kind of a POV reflection though the eyes of Graystripe's father to some StarClan kits. Don't own anything but and my warriors' books. I based the parts where he's talking to the kits from Cats of the clans. Italics are flashbacks and underlined is thoughts. Enjoy!

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Hello little ones, would you like to hear a story?

what are your names? Marigoldkit of ShadowClan? Yes I've heard about you and your littermate from Yellowfang you poor dear . here you need not be afraid of foxes or Brokenstar for he is in the Dark Forest and will never come here. Yes I'm aware he was mean to your older sister. No I'm not going to bite you, Mosskit. You remind me of your mother Bluestar. I was her denmate for a while. No, you silly kit it was not when the great clans walked the earth- silly kit. Hello, Nightkit, you can sit closer if you want to. – don't worry. You look so much like your mother Leopardfoot when she was your age.

Where are my manners? I'm Patchpelt, the black and white son of Adderfang and Swiftbreeze. Brother to Spottedleaf, Redtail, Leopardfoot and Willowpelt of ThunderClan. yes Nightkit that means I'm your uncle.

Have you heard of Graystripe, the great Firestar's best friend? The ThunderClan warrior who took a RiverClan mate only to lose her during kitting- don't hiss like that Marigoldkit I'm aware that's against the warrior code. The same Graystripe, who sacrificed himself to a twoleg monster to save his Clanmate and ended up journeying to the clake with the help of Millie, an ex-kittypet who is now his mate. Sheath your claws Nightkit-just because your Pinestar abandoned your family to become a kittypet doesn't mean they are all bad.

I have seen his trials and achievements with a mixture of pride and sadness. All his life graystripe has known me from a tiny kit to a young warrior but he does not know the sad truth: I am his father Yes, Nightkit, it's true- he only knew me as his mother's older brother- never as his father. I admit I was surprised when Willowpelt told me. I can still remember how she told me. It was a warm late greenleaf day and we were out hunting...

I crept up on the thrush as quietly as I could. The bird was peck the ground for worms and did not sense my presence until I pounced on it. It tried to fly away but I jumped up and swatted it down. I killed it with a bite to the neck.

"Well done" Willowpelt commented from a few feet away.

"'Fanks" I muttered with the fresh kill in my mouth. I buried the bird in a hole in the ground she made and covered it up. I spat out a few feathers from my mouth.

"Good job... for an old tom" Willowpelt teased.

I pretended to swipe at her "Hey, I 'm a senior warrior. Sis. Show some respect to your elders, sis"

She rolled her eyes at me. "Yes, oh wise older brother of mine. " her whiskers twitched in amusement.

" This old tom's still got a few more battles left in him , thank you very much"

We moved on through the forest. "Did you hear about Redtail?" I meowed.

She purred. "Yes, I did. Brindleface was telling me - she seemed to glowing with pride so much I almost thought she was a StarClan cat. I think he will make a wonderful father-he's such a good tom. Much better than..." the pale gray cat trailed off. I knew why- Tawnyspots, Darkpaw's father and our old deputy who had forced himself on her. She had come to me after she found herself pregnant with the vile cat's kin. It didn't help that Darkpaw would be made a warrior very soon.

I licked her face. "don't worry Willowpelt , I'm sure that Darkpaw won't turn out like...you know. you'll find a loving mate one day. Someone who will see your true beauty and love you for who you are"

"there's something else...".She sighed and motioned with her tail for us to sit down in a little clearing we had come to.

"What's the matter?"

She looked away for a few minutes and sighed "Patchpelt.."

"hmm?"

"you remember a moon and a half ago when we were gathering catnip for Spottedleaf and we got caught in that rainstorm and had to take shelter in that old tree?"

"I think so" nodded, trying to recall. think Patchpelt. . It had been a cold day and she had sent us to find the herb before the rain came. Willowpelt and I had gathered a lot but then it started pouring on us so we found an old fox den to wait out the storm . I had some of the catnip in my mouth so it wouldn't get wet in the den. I remembered accidently swallowing some and that's when my memory got fuzzy...

she looked away for a heartbeat and then looked at me with her blue eyes. "a few sunrises ago I was feeling tired and my stomach kept on growling for more food even after I . I went to Spottedleaf to see if it was a bad piece of fresh kill and- and. Sh-she told me- "

oh no! I mated with her under the influence of the catnip! y jaw dropped. my eyes went wide . oh great StarClan! This can't be happening! I lowered my voice. "you're having kits. Not just any kits-my kits "

"y-y-yes" she hiccupped. "sp-spottedleaf asked who was the father and I couldn't lie. She's gonna keep our secret . it's not right! y-you're m-my brother! It's n-not r-right" she choked on the words like it was a piece of mouse stuck in her throat.

I went up to her, wrapped my tail around her body and licked her cheek. She buried her face into my pelt and started whimpering.

"hey, it's okay, willowpelt. Don't cry. It's going to be alright" I repeated in a soft tone. Oh great I'm turning into Swiftbreeze. I thought of something. "at least you're not having a ShadowClan's cat's kits"

She got her face out of my fur and looked up at me with a disgusted look. " yuck . I'd rather be turned into a kittypet"

Yes I agree with you both Nightkit and Mosskit. Her statement would be quite ironic"

"look, what if you made up the father" I suggested.

She looked at me . "you mean pretend?"

I nodded. "yup. If any cat asks Tell them that you were hunting alone when a passing rogue forced himself on you and you couldn't defend yourself"

She shuddered. "like a rogue would be able to do that to me without earning some claw marks and insults in return" .

" and I promise that I will go along with your ploy and not tell any cat. I'll just be the kits' uncle. Heck to avoid wary looks I'll move into the elder's den a few moons after the kit is born . These old bones aren't what they used to be. "

she blinked her blue eyes. "you'd do that? F-for me?"

"what are big brothers for?" I grinned.

"thanks. You know Goldenflower will be dissapointed. She wanted to have kits with you"

"well..." my mind went to the pretty golden she cat. " technically I'm not in StarClan yet. So she could-"

Willowpelt swatted my head with her tail. " you sly fox. thanks again for keepnig our secret , Patches" she used her kithood nickname for me. "you're the best"

"any time. now lets see if we can bring down another squirrel " We got up, left the clearing and resumed hunting.

I never regretted my promise but it was hard having to see my son grow up. No, Mosskit, I didn't tell a soul- not even Bluestar. Spottedleaf could see how hard it was to keep the truth inside. Indeed when he was first kitted I wanted to shout the words " I'm a father to healthy handsome tomcat". I wanted to announce it like Redtail had a few sunrises beforehand. She let me see him after he was born and I felt the joy and pride of seeing that tiny kit. At that moment the truth didn't seem so bad at all knowing I had helped shape this wonderful living into the world. after he was born it was the first and only time I whispered the words "my beautiful son" to him.

. It was tough when he visited the elder's den. one time he asked me the one question I could never answer:

"Wake up, you old coot " Halftail's deep voice penetrated m wonderful y dream of which I was playing a father- son game of moss-ball with Graykit and laughing.

I sleepily opened my eyes and stared at the old brown tom as he poked me with his paw. "I wasn't sleeping I was just resting my eyes" I mumbled as I got to my paws and yawned.

"sure you were" One-eye replied. "that's what they all say" Dappletail was sound asleep.

"wh-why did you wake me up? I was having a good dream" I yawned.

" cause we got little visitors coming" Halftail told me. sure enough I saw three chattering bundles of fur coming toward us on the leaf-dappled ground- one a pale ginger, one a brown tabby and a certain gray bundle of kitten fluff I knew all too well. .

the ginger kit got to the den first- Brindleface's daughter Sandkit. "I win! You guys are to slow"

A brown tabby padded up to her, carrying a mouse in his mouth- her best friend Dustkit. He put the mouse in front of us. "you should have waited, Sandkit. I was picking out a mouse to bring here"

"is it my fault I'm fast Dustkit?" she pouted.

"um. .." he turned his attention to a small gray tom kit who was catching up to them. "come on Graykit! Don't be so slow"

Graykit ignored him as he padded over with a fat mouse in his mouth. I stared in awe as he put it down in front of me, he looked at me with his yellow eyes. "here you go, Patchpelt. Willowpelt said you really like mice and she took me to the training hollow and I caught it by myself"

. How handsome he's gotten I remember seeing him when he was born- a tiny lump of pale gray fur. Now the kit had grown bigger and there was a darker gray stripe on his back. "all by yourself?" I questioned

he looked up at me and nodded. "uh-huh. Willowpelt said- she- said that you and her were littermates"

Halftail looked at me and then at Graykit. "you mean your mother is related to this furball? " Think of him like your nephew , think of him like your nephew and not your son I told myself . "um. Willowpelt was from a different litter than me. " I ate the mouse. I looked up at the small tom. "thank you for the meal, young one. She's right- I do like mice"

"Patchpelt, did you know who my father is?" I was rendered speechless at this inquiry and almost gagged on the mouse. " She never really told me about him"

" well, she was pretty distraught. She was out hunting when this rouge came out of nowhere and pinned her to the ground. She couldn't defend herself and-"

Halftail's next few words made me want to 'accidently' claw his pelt. "willowpelt didn't fight back? That doesn't seem like her- "

Sandkit piped up, basically saving my pelt. "Can you tell us a story?"

One-eye looked down at her- her expression soft . "certainly dearie, which story would you like to hear?"

"how about when Bluestar was an apprentice?" Graykit asked.

"no I wanna hear about LionClan" Dustkit and Sandkit pleaded at the same time.

I chuckled. "okay young ones. We'll have time for all those stories. Want to hear the tale of how snakes came to the forest."

"yeah!"

All six young eyes sparkled with excitement and kept their eyes on Halftail, One-eye and I as we began the story

Looking back, I did not regret my promise. I did not want us to be ostracized for the shameful deed that landed on my shoulders. No you three-I am glad with my choice. I am glad that I got to see my son become a warrior before I died. Sadly I have never meet my grandson Stormfur only my beautiful granddaughter Feathertail.. I see by your chattering you three have talked to her.

I can still look down on Graystripe and my other kin as they live out their lives on . It is hard knowing he will never know the truth but one day when he arrives in StarClan, I will tell him the shameful truth about him being my secret son.

Come, little ones. I'll race you to that rock . okay? on the count- Hey! i haven't said go yet!

The end