Sorry for re-uploads. It kept messing up... :/
I found a What If...? story today, and it had a one-shot of what could have happenedafter the confrontation with WindClan, about the prey stealing, back when Bluestar was kinda 'crazy' mood thing of hers. It gave me an idea, so about an hour ago I started writing this. It's about what could have or would have happened if Fireheart had been exiled in Book 5.
Bluestar led her warriors back to the camp in a tense silence. At the entrance to the clearing, Fireheart bounded ahead to talk to Mousefur, a small dusky brown she-cat, who was sitting outside of the warriors' den.
"Any problems?" He murmured.
Mousefur shook her head and answered earnestly. "No, no trouble at all," She reported. "You should know that Frostfur has taken out the apprentices on the dawn patrol with Brackenfur and a couple of the apprentices. You don't seem to be missing any fur. I suppose the peace talked worked." She added jokingly.
"Yes, it did. And Mousefur, thanks for taking care of things here."
Mousefur dipped her head. "It was nothing." She meowed. "I'm going to get some sleep. You're going to need to send out a hunting patrol soon, the fresh-kill pile is running low."
"I'll lead a hunting party." Fireheart promised, the words barely out of his mouth as an unexpected scent washed over him.
"No, you wont Fireheart." Bluestar snapped as padded up behind him. Her eyes were chips of fiery blue ice. "I want to see you in my den. Now." She stalked across the clearing without looking back to be sure he was following.
Fireheart's fur prickled with dread. He had been expecting some sort of recrimination from his leader, though that didn't make it any easier now that it was about to happen.
"I'll see to the hunting party," Whitestorm meowed sadly, giving him a sympathetic look as padded over with Sandstorm and Dustpelt.
Fireheart nodded his thanks before heading towards Bluestar's den. By the time he had reached it, his leader was seated on her bedding with her paws tucked under her. Fireheart watched uneasily as the tip of her tail twitched back and forth.
"Fireheart." Bluestar's voice was quiet; Fireheart would have been less afraid if she had yowled at him. "It's strange that Tallstar chose such a convenient time to talk to me about the prey theft, as if StarClan had told him themselves." She paused for a heartbeat, and Fireheart tried not to betray himself.
"That was your doing, wasn't it?" She swept on. "You're the only cat who knew I was planning to attack WindClan. It's only you that could have betrayed us."
Fireheart noted that she sounded as if her mind were clearer than it had been in some time, as if the instinct that had sharpened her senses on the moor had settled deep within her certainty. She was behaving more like the noble leader he had once respected, giving him a deep agonizing pang as he sensed what they had lost.
He still thought he had not betrayed his Clan, but he knew that he had given away the advantage of surprise, because Tallstar had been wise enough to realize that a battle must be close. Would Bluestar send him into exile? Fireheart shivered at the thought of being forced to live as a rouge, stealing prey and having no Clan to call as his own.
He took a single step towards Bluestar and dipped his head. "I thought it was the right thing to do, Bluestar." He meowed quietly. "Neither of the Clans needed to fight this battle."
Bluestar's eyes bored into him. "I trusted you, Fireheart," she rasped. "You, out of all my warriors."
Fireheart at last forced himself to meet his leaders flinty gaze. "I did it for the good of the Clan, Bluestar. And I didn't tell him about the attack. I only asked him to try and make peace. I thought-"
"Silence!" Bluestar hissed, lashing her tail. "That is no excuse. And why should I care what happens to traitors?"
A wild light was growing in Bluestar's eyes again, and Fireheart realized with a sinking heart that her moment's of clarity had gone.
"If only I'd kept my kits," she whispered sullenly. "Mistyfoot and Stonefur are noble cats. Far nobler than this ragtag bunch in ThunderClan. My children would never betray me."
"Bluestar..." Fireheart tried to interrupt as his alarm grew, but Bluestar ignored him.
"I gave them up to become deputy, and now StarClan are punishing me. Oh, StarClan are clever, Fireheart! They knew of the cruelest ways to break me. They made me leader then let my cats' betray me! What's it all worth, now, to be leader of ThunderClan? Nothing! It's all empty, it's all..." Bluestar broke off, her paws working furiously among the mossy bedding. Her blue eyes were glazed, staring at nothing, and her mouth was gaped in a soundless wail.
Fireheart was startled, and he coldn't help it as he shuddered in dismay. "Let me fetch Cinderpelt." He pleaded.
"Stay...where...you...are." Each word rasped out separately. "I need to punish you, Fireheart. Tell me a good punishment for a traitor."
Nearly sick with fear and shock, Fireheart forced himself to choke out a reply. "I don't know, Bluestar."
"But I do," Her voice was now a purr, with a strange note of amusement in it. Her gaze locked with Fireheart's, making his belly clench with fear. "I know the best punishment of all. You came into this Clan, and now, you shall be cast out. Oh, that should please StarClan. May they give you joy of it, Fireheart. If you ever dare step a paw into my territory again, I swear, I will flay you myself. Now get out of my sight!"
The last words were spit out. Fireheart was too shocked to reply, so he just backed away from her, into the clearing. He felt as if he had been in a battle after all. Bluestar's despair pierced him like sharp claws. But he couldn't help feeling that Bluestar had let him down too, by not even trying to understand his motives; she had labeled him a traitor without even considering what would have happened if they had fought in a battle against the WindClan cats.
Head down and heart aching, Fireheart padded across the clearing, headed for the camp entrance, unaware that another cat had approached him until he heard Sandstorm's voice.
"What happened, Fireheart? Has she sent you away?"
Fireheart reluctantly looked up. Sandstorm's green eyes were anxious, though she did not move close enough to comfort him with her touch. But that didn't matter anymore, she could never be with him now. He wasn't willing for her to leave her home just to be with him.
Instead of replying, he turned his head away. Refusing now, to meet her gaze. He heard her distinctly draw in a faint breath as she took a single step away from him. "Just... just send Cinderpelt to see Bluestar. She's ill." He murmured before padding out of the camp, away from his home.
"Fireheart, wait!" Sandstorm wailed, her voice shaking in shock and disbelief.
Fireheart didn't look back. Why make it any harder than it was? He knew he was going to miss her, and Cloudpaw. But he knew he would miss everything else, too. This had been his home for countless seasons, and now, he was nothing more than a lost soul.
They'll be fine. He told himself, over, and over again. He knew Brindleface would look after his sister's kit, and Sandstorm will move on, and Graystripe... Graystripe is happy in RiverClan, with his kits. Maybe this was the best thing for the Clan after all? He could stay with Ravenpaw, or perhaps join another of the Clans?
He shook his head as the thought crossed his mind. He knew he could never be truly happy while living with another Clan. He just hoped there would be some happy ending to this, for him, and all the Clans.
Comments/reveiws appreciated. ^^