For once, a oneshot about just what Nightcloud feels for Crowfeather. Rated T cause there's a birth scene.
I yawned and walked out of my den. I wanted to go away. Far away.
I leapt to the top of the hill overlooking the camp. I began to think about the past.
The disastrous gathering. Hollyleaf's announcement. I burned in my memory, yet I could not believe it.
How? How could Crowfeather, my Crowfeather, have had kits with Leafpool? How could the medicine cat have admitted it?
I knew how. I remembered it all. I hated it, hid it, pushed it away for countless moons. But I knew it right from the beginning. All the way from the rabbit. That's how it all started. A rabbit.
My body could not leave its time. But my thoughts could, and they did. They went far, far away. Back to where it all started.
I wandered out of my den. I felt a scar on my hind leg aching. Ever since that battle for Mudclaw's leadership, I had been forced to carry a scar on my hind leg. It was a Thunderclan scar. I had been fighting against my clanmates for Mudclaw's leadership, believing that he was the rightful leader.
I saw differently now. As good of a leader as Mudclaw would have made, StarClan themselves killed him. Besides, Onestar was proving himself a I better leader, not a compassionate, weak kittypet.
I was heading over to the food pile. Crowfeather was looking over it. I went and picked a rabbit for myself.
" Hey, I was going to eat that!"
" Then be quicker!"
He pounced on me. I almost yelped in horror, then I realized that his claws were sheathed. We tumbled around.
" Crowfeather! Nightcloud! What are you doing?!" bellowed Onestar. " When I became leader, I didn't expect to have my warriors acting like kits!"
I felt my tail drop. What were we thinking?
" I tried to steal a rabbit from Nightcloud, and she defended herself with claws sheathed. It's not her fault."
I looked into his eyes. And I melted into a puddle.
It was some time later.
We were out on a hunting patrol, Ashfoot, Crowfeather and me.
I had caught nothing the whole patrol. I was distracted, I guess.
I leapt at another rabbit, and it bounced away. I gave chase, but it went down into its hole.
" Here, quick. Smother this with your scent so Ashfoot won't notice. " Crowfeather whispered. He pushed a freshly-killed rabbit at me.
I grabbed it and covered Crowfeather's scent with my own. Then I turned and looked him in the eyes.
" Why are you doing this? "
" Just an apology for the rabbit."
" Would you even go as far to think an expression of love?" I meant it as a joke.
He looked at me madly. Then a change came over his face.
" Maybe." he said, and sat next to me, purring.
What? Crowfeather would never do this.
After that patrol ,we pretty much were considered mates. But I knew the truth. He was just faking love to show his loyalty to Windclan.
I put it out of my mind, left it alone. I was probably wrong. He probably did love me.
I hung onto that, because it was all I had.
I was in the nursery, waiting for my first litter of kits.
I yawned and stretched out. Just then, I felt an intense pain coming along my side.
" Gorsetail! Get Barkface! I'm kitting!" I yelled to the new queen.
I fell to the ground. This was nothing like what I had felt before. Pain was nothing new, but for the first time, I felt a sense of purpose going with it. Gorsetail ran out of the nursery.
I felt pain progress from my sides to my rear. Blood began to shoot out.
Barkface rushed in. " Eat this!" he hissed as he went around to assist with the kitting. I chewed out the foul herbs.
Finally, a small white bundle fell out. Gorsetail bit it open. She offered it to me.
It was a single black kit.
" Well, what's his name?"
I thought for a moment. I never wanted my son to make the mistake his father did. He need a name that would remind him of what clan he was in, would always be in.
I looked out to the horizon. There they were, Crowfeather and Breezepaw, home from the mountains.
" Breezepaw, Crowfeather! You're home." I said as I leaped out toward them.
"Aw, Mom." Breezepaw said irritably. I smiled as I gave him a swift lick over the ear. He walked away.
"He's been like that since the mountains." said Crowfeather.
" I missed you." I said, not disguising any emotion.
" I missed you too, Nightcloud." he purred as I put my head under his and entwined his tail with mine.
He was a good mate. He was as warm as the sun to me and Breezepaw, and he was a respectable warrior of Windclan.
But beneath all that, I could almost feel the ice. And I knew, that day, that Crowfeather didn't love me.
I decided to make him love me, to be the best mate possible. But Crowfeather, despite my efforts, never warmed to me.
I smiled. My Breezepaw was now Breezepelt. He was sitting vigil outside the camp tonight. My heart felt like it would burst with pride.
Later that day, I saw him with Heathertail. They were sharing tongues and talking. But through my moons, I had learned to detect false love. She did not love him, merely sought him as a mate to show that she was loyal to the clan, rather than that tom from Thunderclan that she likes.
She was Crowfeather's apprentice. Look at all she's learned from him.
No, she is just using him for show. Crowfeather...
is doing the same thing. You mean nothing to him, just something to show his loyalty. His real love is Leafpool, and always will be.
He's loyal to Windclan! He never really loved her!
Then why does he look at her sister's kits that way? He cares far more for them then your kit. Look at Heathertail. Anycat could tell he taught her that. You and Breezepelt meant nothing to him.
I ran from camp, away from this scene, the scene of false love played so many moons ago by Crowfeather and me. But it was only half-false. Crowfeather had no affection for me, but at this moment, this moment of hatred, I realized something.
No matter what Crowfeather did to me and Breezepelt, I would forgive him. Even if he never warmed to me, I would never quit trying.
Crowfeather, I love you. I love you with all my heart. Even if you never return it.
My flashback ended, and I sat there, just watching the hills.
" Nightcloud?" said a voice behind me.
I turned around. There was Crowfeather.
" I never did it, Nightcloud. Hollyleaf lied."
" I understand that, Crowfeather. Leafpool may be their mother, but you are not their father. Hollyleaf just wanted her mother in worse trouble, she's so obssessed with the code."
He seemed relieved.
" Thank you for believing me."
" I never doubted you."
I did doubt him. I saw Jayfeather, and a cat would have to be downright mouse-brained to not tell that they weren't related. But I could never hurt Crowfeather, no matter how much he hurt me.
Maybe someday he would see what I was. Maybe he would fall in love with me. Maybe he would never love me. Then I said the one sentence I had always wanted to say.
" Crowfeather, I love you." And I meant it with all my heart.
Yeah, I don't hate Nightcloud. I really do think she loves Crowfeather, and I'm hoping that he does learn to love her. I know that Rock didn't like her in Cats of the Clans, but he also thought that Hollyleaf was part of the prophecy, and the Erins themselves have admitted that Rock is wrong in some accounts, because he, like any cat, is opinionated and due to exxagerate. Flame all you want. I will still have a firm belief that Nightcloud should have Crowfeather's love.