This has been edited, and re-posted from my other account The Only Pancake. I've expanded the memory scenes. :D
Hawkfrost lay on top of a flat, smooth rock; in a starless glade; his chilling blue eyes transfixed on the still shadows of the forest around him. His new home, his new eternity, his prison.
All because of Brambleclaw.
Because of his half-brother there were so many things he will never experience. He will never be leader of his clan- his one true ambition. He would never know love, or what it was like to start a family. He will never know the experiences of mentoring, or what it's like to share tongues with Starclan.
Now Starclan was his enemy, they were the very cats that banished him to the Dark Forest, to spend the rest of forever with Tigerstar.
Tigerstar. One can suppose it is really his fault Hawkfrost's life was taken in the beginning of its prime.
It was because of his father that he trapped Firestar, because his father had wanted him to. And because of his father, Brambleclaw had killed him, and now he was trapped in this hell because of it. Because he had believed that Tigerstar was the cat that could help him achieve his ambitions of leading the clan, because he had not been confident enough in his own natural warrior skills.
It was a shame, had he just trusted in himself he'd still be the top warrior in Riverclan right now, maybe with an apprentice, and on his way to the top.
The sound of heavy paw steps made Hawkfrost turn his head, Tigerstar was striding across the small clearing to join him. The massive tabby leapt up beside his son and sat down, wrapping his long tail around his huge paws.
He asked Hawkfrost, "What's on your mind?"
Hawkfrost saw no reason to keep secrets, what was the point? It was just he and Tigerstar now. He sighed; his exhale releasing all of the frosty bitterness he had been stewing in moments before. Hawkfrost admitted, "I was just thinking, about what my life might have been like right now if I was still in Riverclan."
Tigerstar nodded wisely, he had assumed that, because when he first entered the Place Of No Stars he thought about his own possibilities as well. He had thought about Firestar, and Scourge, and even his kits.
The younger tom asked him suddenly, "Tigerstar, do you have any regrets?"
Regret… It was such a weak word.
Many times Tigerstar had told his sons to regret nothing, because it made a cat unsure, and confidence and confidence alone would make them great. However, a darkness flickered across Tigerstar's amber eyes and he bowed his large head.
He has done many evil things in his life; crippling an apprentice, killing a deputy among many other cats, leading a pack of dogs to destroy his former clan, attempting to murder his leader, trying to take control of the entire forest; then even trying to get his sons to do it too. None of that he would have done differently.
Tigerstar growled softly, his voice the gentlest Hawkfrost has ever heard it. "I regret just one thing in my whole life, son. I never went back for Goldenflower."
The mother of his first litter, the love of his life, had been unable to follow him into exile because Brambleclaw and Tawnypelt had been only a few days old. If he had somehow found her, if he had asked her to come to Shadowclan with him, would she have done it?
Had his kits been with him in his new clan, would things have been different? Would he have dared to expose such innocent creatures to Scourge?
He will never know now, and because she is in Starclan, he cannot ask her the question that has been eating away at him ever since his banishment.
Would she have even come?
Tigerpaw felt blood rushing through his veins; adrenaline lent him the power of all Lionclan as he raked his back claws across the belly of the warrior who stood over him. His patrol had been hunting when they heard the yowls of their clan mates in trouble. They had come to help.
Now they were fighting to defend their territory.
The older cat yowled and reared back, fleeing the battle. Tigerpaw leapt to his feet, glaring at the cats that rolled all around Sunningrocks, they would not lose to some fish-eating furballs! Not as long as he had un-ripped claws and blood flowing in his veins.
Tigerpaw had been a fighter since birth. Nothing would ever stand in his way if he set his mind to achieving a goal. Right now, his goal was victory. Survival.
He fluffed out his fur and snarled at Leopardpaw, who had charged closer to him, swiping at her muzzle with all his strength and bowling her right off her feet.
An ear splitting yowl made him whirl around. His eyes grew wide when he spotted Goldenpaw pinned under a cat the size of Crookedjaw! She was elder then he, but she was not as large. The enemy warrior could shred her.
Tigerpaw tossed his head back and yowled a furious war cry, jumping over a pair of fighting warriors and right onto the back of the Riverclan cat.
He scored his claws deeply into her shoulders, clamping his jaws around her ear and yanking. He tore the tip off, spitting blood out of his mouth angrily. The she-cat snarled and threw him to the ground, fleeing to the safety of the river.
Goldenpaw gasped, "Tigerpaw!" She ran over to him, her eyes wide and anxious.
He stood up, shaking off the numbness the hard rock had jolted into his muscles. He smirked, "I'm fine, Goldenpaw, don't worry. No Riverclan cat is a match for me."
Goldenpaw looked up and their eyes met. Her dazzling green gaze made him feel as safe as a kitten in the nursery again. She smiled, "Thanks, Tigerpaw."
Tigerpaw flicked her muzzle with the tip of his tail affectionately, "Anytime."
Tigerclaw sat on the top of Snakerocks, pressed against the shivering she-cat that was perched beside him. The leaf-bare night was bitter cold, but neither minded. The snakes would never come out in the snow, so they were safe.
Besides, as long as they had each other, they would always be warm.
It was the night of a gathering, but because of the cold, Bluestar had left many of the warriors home. The two young cats took the opportunity to steal a moment for themselves, knowing that the clan would be safe without them there.
The pair of felines had shared a playful hunt through the forest before settling down on the pile of boulders. Goldenflower rested her head on the tom's strong chest, a purr rumbling from her throat.
It was so compassionate and kind, Tigerclaw felt his whole being tingle with a fuzzy kind of warmth he's never experienced before. It was better then all the rabbit fur he could ever line his nest with. Better then a thousand days of soaking in the sunhigh rays. What was this feeling she made him experience?
The pretty young queen sighed, and her eyes glittered in the moon light. "It's beautiful out tonight. Look at how the snow sparkles when the moon reflects off of it."
Tigerclaw rasped his tongue over her ear, "Just beautiful, like you."
Goldenflower's ears flushed hotly, and she looked down at her paws, embarrassed by the compliment. Tigerclaw pushed his nose into her shoulder, a light purr (yes, a real purr!) rumbling from deep inside his chest. He closed his eyes, taking in her sweet, gentle scent.
He lifted his head after a few seconds and meowed intensely, "I love you Goldenflower, more than anything. More than Starclan, more than all of Thunderclan!"
Goldenflower looked startled by his sudden, passionate, confession. Tigerclaw's intensity was one of her favorite things about him. The way he could feel everything so very strongly!
A broad smile stretched across her face, "Tigerclaw, I love you too."
Tigerclaw scrabbled into the nursery, his huge shoulders scraping on the protective gorse lining that surrounded the entrance.
He ignored the other queens, moving to sit down by Goldenflower's front paws. Lowing his head, he stared awkwardly at the two tiny bundles nursing at her side.
She purred drowsily, content with his silent presence.
Tigerclaw watched the nameless newborns knead her stomach for milk, greedily lapping it up when it drizzled from her belly.
Suddenly Goldenflower said, "I like Tawnykit for the she-cat."
He perked his ears, glancing at the smaller, leaner, of the two furballs. She was a tortoiseshell, but she had wide shoulders. She would be powerful one day.
He nodded, "Tawnykit is a great name. What about for the tom?"
He beamed when he looked at the tom. Only a few hours old, but already showing he had what a great warrior would need. He had a stocky build, with broad shoulders and a square head. (A sign of a strong warrior!) He even had Tigerclaw's dark tabby fur.
Goldenflower sighed, "You name him."
Tigerclaw twitched the tip of his tail for a few seconds, and then felt his heart swell with emotion. He knew a fantastic name. One that would one day represent power, and pride.
Goldenflower purred happily, and he bent his head down to rasp his tongue gently over each of his kits' pelts.
Tawnykit and Bramblekit, his kin, his blood; the future of his clan!
Tigerclaw felt hatred and fury well up in his heart at he glared at the pack of mangy, low-life, traitors he thought were his supporters. Dare he admit it, his friends?
Not a single one of them had the courage to stand up against Bluestar and leave Thunderclan with him. Yellow-bellied cowards! The entire lot of them.
He had promised them greatness, a life of such wonder they could not even begin to dream of it, and they had turned him down when the pressure was raw and true.
Dustpelt, loyal to the cat that was too weak to defend herself against him, and needed a kitty pet to fight her battles.
Longtail, a lowly lizard whenever the going actually got tough.
Darkstripe! His first apprentice, his 'loyal friend', the cat who could have been deputy to his greatness.
Who needed them, anyway? Who needed such weak turncoats on his side? He would find allies who knew the life of a rogue. He would find strong, loyal, cats that hungered for power like he did. He would seek Brokentail's old supporters.
Tigerstar snarled and whipped his head around; his amber eyes met green ones.
Goldenflower was staring at him with shock, horror, and even a little desperation. At her feet squirmed two tiny kits, just experiencing their first bits of sunshine and fresh air.
Tigerstar let his gaze rest on hers for a moment, silently challenging her. Would she give them up and follow him? No, he knew she would not; no queen would leave her kits behind.
Goldenflower lowered her head, and Tigerclaw snarled, raising his.
Thunderclan would pay! Every last one of them would pay!
He stalked out of the camp, though he couldn't help but feel the last shreds of his heart being torn apart as he thought of the mate and kits he was leaving behind.