Author's Note: During "Into the Wild", RiverClan won the Sunningrocks battle. It ended after Redtail called the retreat and the ThunderClan cats disappeared. So how did Redtail and Oakheart die? There was no time for Oakheart to be crushed under the rock fall. So I can only suspect that Tigerclaw disobeyed Redtail's command to retreat…and fought again!
Chapter One: Redtail's Murder
The moon glowed on the granite boulders, bathing them in a strange silver sheen. The river glinted in the night air as well, flowing, undisturbed. Then, the shadows stirred, alive: but not shadows, warriors bearing the scent of RiverClan.
And then, the clearing burst alive with frenzied yowling, cats attacking cats, claws clashing against claws. In the midst of the turmoil, a muscular dark tabby with glinting amber eyes pinned down a handsome bracken colored tom; Oakheart of RiverClan.
"Oakheart!" the tabby growled menacingly, his amber eyes boring into the yellow ones of the tom. "How dare you hunt in our territory? The Sunningrocks belong to ThunderClan!"
Oakheart snarled as well and tried in vain to get to his paws, his golden eyes glinting with hatred. "After tonight, Tigerclaw," he spat angrily, "this will be just another RiverClan hunting ground!"
Suddenly, a warning yowl sounded, calling: "Look out! More RiverClan warriors are coming!"
It was the dead of night, but the stars of Silverpelt sparkled clearly enough so Tigerclaw could see the RiverClan cats swimming through the river to join in this battle of Sunningrocks.
"You may swim like otters, but you and your warriors do not belong in this part of the forest!" Tigerclaw snarled, getting ready to give Oakheart a bite to the shoulder that would send him screaming back to RiverClan territory, when…
…A desperate scream pierced the night air, and Tigerclaw was forced to leap away from Oakheart. A RiverClan warrior had pinned down a wiry brown she-cat and was ready to give her a killing bite to the throat.
"Run, Mousefur!" Tigerclaw snapped angrily, knocking the enemy warrior away. Now, there was only he, his apprentice Ravenpaw, and Redtail fighting this battle, along with three other ThunderClan warriors. But he would not allow ThunderClan to be defeated in their own territory!
"Tigerclaw, this is useless! There are too many of them!" the yowl came from Redtail, a white tortoiseshell tom with a distinctive ginger tail. "Bluestar would never expect her warriors to fight against such impossible odds! We should retreat!"
"No, Redtail!" Tigerclaw snarled, drawing back to avoid an enemy's claw.
"ThunderClan will honor your courage," Redtail exclaimed, "but we will have another chance to avenge our defeat!"
The two toms locked glances for a short instant, and then Redtail yowled; "Retreat! ThunderClan, retreat!"
The RiverClan warriors exchanged confused glances. Was their victory that easy? But then, the ThunderClan warriors obeyed Redtail's yowl, and Oakheart caterwauled his victory.
The ThunderClan warriors were racing away, until suddenly, Tigerclaw whipped around to face Oakheart and yowled: "Sunningrocks does not belong to RiverClan yet!" he lunged forward and attacked an unsuspecting RiverClan tom.
Redtail yowled in surprise and skidded to a halt. "Tigerclaw! I said retreat!" he exclaimed.
Tigerclaw hissed as he wrestled with his enemy. "ThunderClan will never be beaten in their own territory!" he exclaimed angrily. The other RiverClan warriors let out a yowl of anger and leapt at the muscular tabby.
Redtail let out a yowl of dismay. The RiverClan cats would tear Tigerclaw apart! He bolted forward, back into the fray, leaping on top of the bracken colored tom called Oakheart. Ravenpaw, Tigerclaw's apprentice, also returned to fight once again.
"So you ThunderClan cats are sneaky, sly, and deceiving!" Oakheart was hissing, as Redtail pinned him down to the ground.
The white tortoiseshell lashed his red tail, but inwardly, he was agreeing with Oakheart. He had called the retreat yowl, yet Tigerclaw continued to fight? There would be consequences about this back at camp…if they made it there alive.
Oakheart leapt to his paws, noticing the lapse in Redtail's concentration. Redtail hissed and clawed at the bracken colored tom, and Oakheart was forced to back away. Suddenly, Oakheart collided against a rocky cliff, and there was a rumbling. Redtail looked up with alarm. The rocks were falling!
Redtail yowled. Although they lived in different Clans, Redtail would
not allow Oakheart to be crushed without warning. Oakheart glanced up
in panic, but it was too late for the both of them: they were buried
in the falling rocks!
Tigerclaw was busy grappling with a RiverClan warrior behind a bush, but both he and his apprentice Ravenpaw noticed that the ThunderClan deputy and the RiverClan deputy had been crushed under the falling rocks.
"Redtail!" Ravenpaw yowled, horrified, his eyes wide.
"Get back to camp, Ravenpaw!" Tigerclaw ordered, his amber eyes blazing. Redtail's death! This was perfect…surely Bluestar would now appoint him ThunderClan deputy now! But then, he saw the rocks scatter, and Redtail emerged, battered and bruised, but…alive!
Tigerclaw burned with anger. Redtail was alive! But no cat could have survived that rock fall! Oakheart, certainly, was dead. His bracken colored tail was sticking out of the pile, ominously still.
Redtail was backing up; wide eyed, backing up into the bush that Tigerclaw had been fighting behind. Tigerclaw unsheathed his claws, his amber eyes glittering. Surely it would be all right to kill Redtail now? No RiverClan warriors were around, they had all fled when the rocks fell, and he had sent Ravenpaw back to the ThunderClan camp. Besides, he would be a great deputy of ThunderClan. He could tell the cats that Redtail had died in the rock fall…or that Oakheart had killed Redtail.
The great tabby's mind was made up, and he waited, crouching in the bushes, his teeth bared and his claws unsheathed. Redtail soon stumbled into the bushes, and Tigerclaw had him pinned down in an instant, his teeth bared.
Redtail blinked up at him, his eyes widening. "Tigerclaw! Great StarClan, you scared me. It's just me, Redtail; now get off me, you stupid furball. What do you think you were DOING when you disobeyed my order to run? You could have…"
But then, Tigerclaw silenced Redtail with a swift slash to his chest. Blood blossomed up, and Redtail stared up, shocked.
"Tigerclaw? What are you doing? It's me, Redtail!" the tom's voice was panicky and pained, stunned.
Tigerclaw let out a chilling laugh. "I know that, Redtail," he meowed ominously, amber eyes glittering, "I am going to kill you nevertheless." He lifted an unsheathed paw to bring down on Redtail's throat, but the tom exclaimed: "But why? We've fought together! We were made warriors together! We shared our kit hood together! Why would you kill me, Tigerclaw?"
The dark tabby purred maliciously. "Sorry about that Redtail, but you see, I'm going to tell ThunderClan that you died bravely, doing your duty, crushed under that rock fall or killed by Oakheart. They'll never know…"
"But why are you trying to kill me?" Redtail yowled, struggling to get up; but it was no use, the blow to his chest had weakened him.
"Because I want your rank," Tigerclaw snarled, anger glinting in his amber eyes, "you know that Bluestar should have appointed ME deputy when we succeeded on that mission together, but she chose you. Now, with your death, she's bound to choose me…good bye, Redtail," he meowed quietly. In a flash, he brought a massive paw down on Redtail's throat, claws out…
The tom let out a gurgling cry…
…Then stilled. Redtail was dead.
Ravenpaw backed away, horrified, his eyes wide. Although Tigerclaw had ordered him to go back to camp, how could he run away like a coward when his mentor and the Clan deputy were still fighting? So he had lingered, hiding in the bushes…and he had witnessed murder.
Redtail…Redtail was dead! And not just dead—murdered! By Tigerclaw, no less! Tigerclaw, Redtail, and Lionheart had all shared their apprenticeship together and been made warriors together. Yet Tigerclaw had killed Redtail, his friend since kit hood! But why? 'Mouse brain', a voice in his head meowed, 'you know how ambitious Tigerclaw is. He must have killed Redtail because he wanted to be deputy!'
Suddenly, Tigerclaw stepped away from Redtail's stiff body and turned around…to look straight into the eyes of Ravenpaw, his apprentice…
…Who had seen everything.
End Note: Well, I hope you enjoyed! This is not going to be a one-shot, it will have a second part to it, but that's it, I'm not too good at continuous stories that have a million chappies. So leave a review if you want to see the second part to it! –Addie