Blazonedheart – Ashfur's Loyalty: Well, later she does. Now she's still getting over the shock of not being a warrior.

Grace of Masbolle: Thanks.

Zan-Aburame: Yeah…she needed to be a bit more…rawr and a little less…mew. Also, it's spelled "rebellious". No offense.

Claire: Read on! It's not that far away! Hurrah!

----Chapter Three of: One Leaf Left: A Rough Beginning----

Spottedpaw's eyes grew wide. "Limpingfoot, what are you doing here?!" she exclaimed.

The crippled tom hung his head. "I'm sorry I haven't been around long enough for you to learn much. I'm sorry I was so harsh with you. I'm sorry. Dogs attacked camp, and, well…I died."

She stood there, silent. "Limpingfoot…" Her eyes brimmed with tears. "I'm so sorry." She buried her face in his fur, and all was dark.


Spottedpaw blinked open her eyes. She was lying in the clearing, her head and shoulder throbbing. Her shoulder was covered in cobwebs and her head had a bandage of cobwebs wrapped around it. Quickly she stood up, balancing on three legs, and limped to a water puddle. The cobwebs on her head were sticky and red with blood.

She turned, seeing the limp body of her mentor. Spottedpaw felt weak. She sank to her knees. Lionheart dropped a dripping ball of moss and a mouse at her feet. "Hopefully you'll feel better," he meowed. Then he got closer. "I'm so sorry."

Spottedpaw didn't reply. She leaned down and began sucking on the soaked moss. When even the last drop was milked from the moss ball, she took a bite from the warm, juicy mouse. Quickly she finished it, but she became dizzy and her world swam before her. She vomited on the ground and rolled onto her back. Bluestar bounded toward her.

"Spottedpaw, are you okay?" she mewed, her eyes brimming with worry.

"Yes, I'm fine," she replied. "Just…a little weak, is all." She looked around her. Mousefur was licking a deep wound in her flank. Redtail lay beside her, nursing a slash on his foreleg. Her mother, Dappletail, licked the gash on Willowpaw's hip. None of them knew the exact herbs to use.

Determined, Spottedpaw padded into the medicine cat's den. "Limpingfoot," she whispered. "What should I do?" Use marigold. It prevents infection. She nodded, and poked her head out. "Willowpaw, I'll see you first." Bluestar looked up, amazed, but with her eyes full of happiness.

The medicine cat's sister limped into the den and plopped down on a nest, gasping for breath. The wound began to bleed again. Spottedpaw chewed up marigold leaves and petals and pressed it to the wound. Willowpaw took in a quick breath, and her sister relieved some of the pressure she was giving to the flank. "Take this," she murmured, dropping two poppy seeds in front of her. Willowpaw obediently licked them up. "And this." A small strip of willow bark dropped from Spottedpaw's mouth.

While Willowpaw worked at the bark, Spottedpaw wrapped cobwebs tightly around the wound. There was a loud swallow. "Okay. Now rest."

The young cat carried poppy seeds, cobwebs, marigold, and willow bark out into the clearing. She quickly stepped over Limpingfoot, and stopped beside Mousefur. The flank wound kept bleeding. She chewed up the marigold and treated the rest of her. The same she did for Redtail, Dappletail, and Bluestar.

Good work, Spottedpaw. I'm very proud of you.


Spottedpaw woke, blinking. It was almost sunhigh. "Why hasn't anyone woken me?" she muttered, standing up and stretching. Willowpaw lay on the nest, slumbering quietly. "Willowpaw, wake up. I need to check your wound."

The gray she-cat's bright blue eyes opened, and she yawned, leaning her leg up for Spottedpaw to check. She bent forward and clicked her teeth together, biting through the thick layer of cobwebs. The bandage fell away, showing a puffy red slash, gaping open horribly. Spottedpaw poked it just barely with a claw, and Willowpaw yelped, jumping away. "It's infected!" the medicine cat exclaimed.

Spottedpaw mewed gibberish under her breath as she rummaged through the herbs, coming up with a few small, knobbed roots. She chewed them into a thick, sticky white paste and pressed her paw to the puddle. "You may want to bite this." Spottedpaw rolled a stick toward Willowpaw. Obediently the gray cat took it into her teeth. Taking her paw out of the paste, she began rubbing it onto the wound. Willowpaw gave a small whimper, but dug her teeth into the twig.

It went on like this until the puddle was just a tiny splotch and the paste already applied was pink from blood. Spottedpaw wrapped some cobwebs around the puffy wound, and began walking towards the clearing to check their wounds.

Mousefur's injury was clean; it just needed a fresh swathe of cobwebs after applying chewed burdock leaves to it; Redtail had slight puffiness, but it smelled clean. She gave it some burdock leaves and another wrap of cobwebs. Dappletail's was infected, also, but she quickly pressed on some paste.

"Bluestar?" she mewed, poking her head through the lichen curtain. Bluestar lay in her den, eating a vole. The cobwebs were red with blood, but it all looked dried.

"Come in. Are you here to check my wound?" Bluestar had deep claw marks across her cheek, and she couldn't open her jaws all the way because of the cobweb wrap. Spottedpaw nodded as she bit through the cobwebs. The slashes looked fine. She applied some burdock leaves and more cobwebs.

"Did you know today is the half-moon?" Bluestar meowed.

"No. Why?" she said, gathering her surplus supplies. She brushed some earth off her cobwebs with her tail.

"Well, you must tell the Clans of what happened. StarClan will give you your full medicine cat name, also." Bluestar finished her vole and swiped her tongue across her lips.


"Yes…now get some fresh-kill, and rest. You're wounded also, you know." Bluestar let out a small chuckle.

Spottedpaw nodded. "Yes, Bluestar." She parted the lichen, carrying her herbs in her teeth, and stepped into the sunlight. She dropped her herbs by the fresh-kill pile and picked out a plump rabbit. They were not always chased after, but when one or two appeared in the pile, she adored their tender, warm taste. She began eating, and looked around as her cobwebs, roots, and leaves scattered. Sandkit glanced at her, looking guilty. "Sorry, Spottedpaw," she squeaked. "I didn't mean to."

"That's fine." She began gathering her herbs, and smiled gently as the kit began rolling roots toward the large leaf with her nose. "Thank you, Sandkit."

She sat down and finished her rabbit. Spottedpaw buried the remains under a bush at the edge of camp, licked her lips, and set her herbs beside it. Then she twitched her whiskers and hurried into the forest to collect herbs.

Spottedpaw lifted her nose. She knew, from this morning, that they were almost out of marigold—oh, and cobwebs. She noticed a web on a bush and noted to get that on her way back. She definitely didn't expect to see Limpingfoot appear. His lips were curled back, showing his teeth, and he seemed furious. But he looked past her.

She turned. A huge tabby cat hissed back at the fierce medicine cat. "I told you! Spottedpaw was to be a warrior!"

"Thistleclaw, this is not up to you. It's up to the warriors and medicine cats of StarClan!" Limpingfoot yowled.

"Don't amuse me with your sorry little stories of that place. I'm so glad you finally found the Shiny Pool of Water," he said mockingly, "but I'm afraid Spottedpaw wasn't to be a medicine cat."

"You're dying of envy because you're locked in the Dark Forest, alone without your precious little Tigerpaw to back you up on things he shouldn't!"

Thistleclaw's eyes grew wide, and his fur puffed up. His amber eyes turned to flames. "Don't you dare speak of Tigerpaw that way! He will be the greatest leader ever known to the cats!" Then his eyes fell on Spottedpaw. "Um…Limpingfoot."

They stared down at her. "I think…we have a problem," he said.