A shooting star fled across the sky.

"A sign from StarClan?" he inquired, tilting his head to the sky with interest. Each star in the indigo sky was reflected in his green eyes, shining like tiny specks of dew on spring-time grass.

She closed her eyes, jarring herself from the thoughts, before lifting her own head to gaze.

"Sometimes," she laughed softly, "a shooting star is just a shooting star."

He frowned, shaking his head. "How do you know when it isn't?" He still didn't break his posture, and his eyes still shined in the starlight.

She rolled her shoulders slowly. "We just know." With an inaudible sigh, she whispered, "You know, you're supposed to wish for something when you see a shooting star."

He lowered his stare. "What'd you wish for?" There was laughter in his eyes, but she knew he was also vaguely curious.

Her eyes twinkled. "I didn't see it; you did."

"That doesn't count," he objected teasingly. "I saw it first, but you saw it, too." Before she could protest, he added firmly, "I'm not wishing unless you do."

"Stubborn, cheeky tomcats," she muttered lowly. "Fine, fine; I'll wish."

She closed her eyes and found her deepest thought, her most-coveted dream, and breathed it out in a single puff of air. When her eyes opened once more, she saw that he, too, had his eyes closed with a wish.

As she watched, his eyelids fluttered open and he met her gaze. He smiled then, an adoring gesture that sent butterflies beating their wings in her stomach.

"What did you wish for?" She hardly dared to ask, but the words came out without warning. She lifted her eyes once more to the night sky.

He followed her stare. "Forgiveness," he replied simply, "from Sandstorm."

Such a straight-forward wish.

"What'd you wish for?" asked he, as he continued to watch Silverpelt, his tail sweeping gently over the ground.

She refused to answer for a few more agonizing moments. Then: "Strength." The single word was almost as if an ominous prayer.

"For what?" There was only curiosity and mild wonderment in his voice.

For doing what is right. For putting my Clan first.


The stars, none the wiser, watched them coldly.