I figure I'll probably waste away waiting for Twilight in September, so I wrote up a fanfic about what I think's going to happen. If you agree, disagree, or have any suggestions, put them in reviews. Hope you like it!
The Gathering night flared cloudy and humid. Leafpool felt sleepy from the air, but her heart purred with excitement as well as anxiousness. What would she say to Crowfeather, if she saw him? Would he seek her out?
Cinderpelt noticed her worries, but she said nothing, only twitched her whiskers. But there was a rough look in her eyes, as if she wished that she could rebuke Leafpool, but couldn't bring herself to.
Squirrelflight walked beside her on the way there, and Leafpool wasn't surprised to see the familiar cloudy look in her green gaze as she saw Brambleclaw, who walked ahead of them.
"Why don't you speak to him?" Leafpool urged, knowing fully well that she was probably the last cat Squirrelflight should come to for such advice. "You obviously want to."
"Huh?" Squirrelflight snapped to attention. Then, "No, Leafpool! How can I, now?"
"Easily. Just apoligize."
"I didn't do anything wrong!" Squirrelflight protested.
"You've only insulted him and ignored him for the past moon..."
"Only because he's decided to be best friends with Hawkfrost! You know as well as I that he can't be trusted." Squirrelflight's tail whipped with the force of her anger.
"But he's Brambleclaw's brother. Are you really going to force him to only be friends with cats if you approve of them?" Leafpool's paws prickled uneasily.
"No. I'm only offering him some advice, and since he thinks that he's so above listening to everyone else..."
Leafpool sighed inwardly. She knew a cat just like that, but it wasn't Brambleclaw. Still, she would never say something so hurtful to Squirrelflight's face. Instead she only shook her head. "You do what you want, Squirrelflight. But don't go sidling up to Ashfur again. If you annoy Brambleclaw enough he might actually fight him, and we both know who'd win that battle."
She thought she saw her sister's whiskers twitch briefly before she leaped ahead, but to Leafpool's relief she bypassed Ashfur as well as Brambleclaw, pausing beside Sandstorm. Leafpool sank back into her own thoughts, and the lean WindClan warrior began to prowl around her mind again. She looked ahead to see Brackenfur and Sorreltail, matched step for step and their tails curled together as they walked. She was happy for her friend, but seeing them pushed the thorn in Leafpool's heart in even deeper. It seemed so unlikely that she would ever have that with Crowfeather. But was it truly possible?
I love him. I really do.
But that didn't mean that it would work out. What about Graystripe and Silverstream? She had died bearing his kits, and he had to live with the pain of it for the rest of his life. It was proof that such things didn't always work out. And what about Feathertail and Crowfeather themselves?
Leafpool closed her eyes as the cats began to cross the fallen tree to the Gathering. Tell me what to do, StarClan, she prayed, lifting her head to the winds. Could she smell Crowfeather's scent on the breeze?
The medicine cat's eyes snapped open and she stared around to see Spiderleg looking at her critically. "Are you all right?" he asked. "You were about to walk off of the tree!"
"Oh, sorry," meowed Leafpool hurriedly. "Just thinking."
"Are you sure?" he asked. "You look a bit odd."
"No, I'm all right," she mewed, shaking her head. "Looking forward to your first Gathering as a warrior?"
His quizzical look gave way to one of pride. "You bet," he purred, his long tail flicking around his legs. "But you are too, right? Firestar'll be announcing that you're a full medicine cat."
Leafpool nodded, and she felt her paws prickle with her own pride. She couldn't help looking forward to seeing the other medicine cats again; not as Cinderpelt's apprentice, but as their equal.
Ahead, Firestar paused on the end of the log, just as he had once done in Fourtrees. Then he flicked his tail and the cats began to leap off the log and onto the island. Leafpool sniffed the air as she looked around. The island was beautiful, and cats milled around, mewing their approval of it. Bushes and trees grew around its edge, but most of the cats were in the middle, where it was flat and grassy. An enormous oak grew in the middle of the place. Leafpool remembered Mothwing describing it to her, saying it would be the perfect place for the leaders to address the Clans.
Leafpool lifted her muzzle, sniffing the air hopefully, but she did not smell WindClan. Only RiverClan and ShadowClan so far. She sighed, and then watched as Brambleclaw sprang past her, into the deep throng. She wondered if he was looking for Hawkfrost.
Firestar and Sandstorm padded over to where Mistyfoot, Leopardstar, and Blackstar sat at the base of the tree. The medicine cat watched as they exchanged polite greetings. Leopardstar's gaze was wary. Leafpool wondered if she was embarrased about her warriors' actions during Mudclaw's betrayal.
Her ears flicking at Mothwing's familiar voice, Leafpool made her way over to where the golden tabby cat sat, her tail flicking warmly. She felt a flicker of unease when she saw that Hawkfrost was beside her, and hoped that Squirrelflight wasn't watching.
"Hi, there," meowed Mothwing, poking her in the side affectionately. "I've been yowling at you long enough for a half-deaf elder to hear. I suppose I should get used to you ignoring me, now that we're equals and all!"
Leafpool shook her head. "Sorry," she replied, "My mind's wandering tonight." Well, that was true.
"Hello, Leafpool," Hawkfrost meowed. Leafpool forced herself to look at him squarely, and she found surprising friendliness in his icy eyes. "I heard that you were made a full medicine cat. Congratulations."
"Thank you," said Leafpool, taken aback.
"There's no need to be wary of him," Mothwing told her, gently defending her brother against Leafpool's uncertain gaze. "He made a couple of mistakes in the past moons, but nothing that he won't learn from."
Hawkfrost lifted his head in agreement. "Onewhisker and Leopardstar both accepted my apology, which was more than I could hope for."
Leafpool nodded, and was just wondering if there was a polite way to excuse herself to wait for Crowfeather when she heard a familiar mew. "Hawkfrost! There you are! I was looking-"
Brambleclaw paused when he spotted the two medicine cats, and abruptly sat down. "Oh, hi," he meowed quickly.
"Greetings, brother," mewed Hawkfrost, leaning forward to touch noses with Brambleclaw. "I'm glad to see you."
"You too," Brambleclaw responded. He looked pleased to see his half-brother again, but he turned his eyes to Leafpool for a moment, a pleading message in them. Don't tell Squirrelflight!
Hawkfrost's gaze flickered back to Mothwing. "This is our sister, Mothwing," he meowed. "I'm not sure if you two have met before."
"We haven't," Mothwing meowed, nodding politely to Brambleclaw. Her amber eyes were distinctly curious. "My brother has nothing but praise for you."
"And I'm sure you're an asset to RiverClan, as their medicine cat," Brambleclaw replied. He too looked curious, eager, even, to meet another of his kin.
Leafpool, who had been intending to leave, was caught up in her own wonderment. Hawkfrost and Brambleclaw looked so alike- the reflection of the other except for their eyes. Mothwing looked nothing like her brother, though she too held herself in the odd way he did; completely straight, her tail and head raised as if she was intending to stop any attacker before they had a chance to strike. But her eyes were not round, cool, and blue, but amber, and as she saw them together, she realized that they were the same amber as Brambleclaw's. As Tigerstar's.
The three kin were so similiar, in ways that they themselves hadn't realized. Leafpool couldn't help wondering if their futures were locked together. But would they be fighting with one another, or against? And if they were all on one side, what side would that be?
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