It's Dustpelt and Fernpaw, not Fireheart and Sandstorm. Get over it. Many thanks to Acornleap, who this chapter is dedicated to them because they help me when I was low on ideas. If you are awesome enough and review you can have biscuits. Please review, I've plenty of biscuits to give.
For the first time in many moons he felt whole. His life was on the up stroke, he had an apprentice and he was finally being somewhat respected by his Clanmates. The only thing missing was Sandstorm. His best friend. Someone he could talk to, someone who shared his views. At least, she used to.
He glared across the camp, staring claws into the she-cat's back. And of course, who was she with?
"Fireheart," he spat.
He glanced around, searching for Fernpaw, the most pretty cat in ThunderClan, at least the was his opinion. It used to be Sandstorm, then she walked away from him, and began swooning for Fireheart. Fireheart. Of all cats.
'She'd be better for with a ShadowClan cat!'
"Dustpelt? Are you okay?"
His anger faded as his eyes met with the grey apprentice's ones. "No, but I wouldn't expect you to understand," he murmured with no disrespect or anger in his tone.
"Is it about Sandstorm? You know, if you actually talked to her she might understand what she's putting you through. And it's not buttercups and roses for her either. She isn't as lucky as you, she doesn't have an apprentice, or anything to commit to, only Fireheart. And it's Fireheart, not you, who is breaking her heart."
"Thanks Ferpaw, but I'm not sure that'll work." He turned and trotted over to Fireheart. "Fireheart, is it okay if I take Ashpaw and Fernpaw out training, if that's okay with Darkstripe?"
"I sure that's fine," Fireheart meowed.
"Good," as he walked away he remembered what Fernpaw had said. "Oh, and Fireheart," he fixed him with a piercing gaze. "You're a lucky cat, don't you dare break her heart."
For the first time over the past few moons, he left camp safe in the knowledge that he had helped his old friend.
The forest chattered around him as he walked through the trees. The dappled light fell through the branches. He found himself thinking about something he rarely gave any time to. Love.
He thought he was in love with Sandstorm, he really did, but he wasn't so sure. Fernpaw woke something in him, and, StarClan, did it burn. Fernpaw was so different from Sandstorm, Sandstorm with her fiery tongue and sharp wit, and Fernpaw with her delicate ways and intelligent demeanour. It was so hard to tell who was better, but that didn't matter, he wasn't even sure he loved either of them. Sure, his feelings for them were different than what he felt for the rest of the Clan, but that didn't mean he loved either of them, let alone one.
At times, it was hard to carry on without Sandstorm, but it was even harder to continue without Fernpaw.
Walking through the woods, he came to a conclusion. If he was to love one of them more than the other (he still wasn't sure he loved them at all), it would be Fernpaw he'd choose. Partly because Sandstorm was already Firestar's mate, or as good as, and partly because Fernpaw was his opposite, and opposites attract.
He crouched, dropping low to the ground, and caught a finch that was pecking lazily at a tree-stump. Taking it back to camp, he decided to ask a certain light-grey apprentice a question.
Fernpaw was chatting away with Ashpaw and Lostface when he found her.
"Fernpaw, a word?"
She nodded. "I'll only be a moment," she muttered to her friends.
He beckoned her away from the other apprentices, leading her to a silent and undisturbed spot under the shadows of a thorn bush.
"Fernpaw, what would you say if a tom came up to you and said he loved you?"
She blinked, guessing where he was going with this. "It depends on who it was, if it was Firestar, I'd be grossed out-"
"Why?" He interrupted.
She wrinkled her pale pink nose. "Because he's leader! And also, Sandstorm would kill me if I said anything!"
He laughed, but grew quiet as he debated how to say the following words. "What if this tom said that he wasn't sure if he loved you or another cat?"
"W-what?!" He stuttered. "I never said-"
"You're cute when you're embarrassed," she meowed, nonchalantly. "Also, how mouse-brained do you think I am?"
"I don't think you're mouse-brained! And I object to being-" he faltered. "Wait, what?"
She shrugged. "You're cute when you're embarrassed."
"You're beautiful whenever," he breathed.
She flicked her ears, embarrassed. "I have to go now," she whispered. "It was nice talking to you."
Dustpelt watched her go, a spring in his stride.
"What's up with you?" A pale ginger she-cat asked.
He smiled. "It's a beautiful day!"
Dustpelt padded away from the bemused Sanstorm.
"Firestar!" She called. "I think there's something wrong with Dustpelt!"