"Well, well, well if it isn't the beauty and the beast,"
Heathertail whipped her head around at the sound of Breezepelt's voice. Sure enough, the black tom was sitting in a clump of reeds his squinting amber eyes focused with hatred on Lionblaze. Heathertail thrashed her tail defensively. Breezepelt's own tail flickered in an unheard rhythm, his lips twisted into an ugly smirk. He faced Lionblaze.
"You!" He hissed. Lionblaze's muscles rippled and bunched together. Heathertail watched in horror as the two toms sized each other up. Breezepelt stood close to her, his tail draped protectively along her back. Suddenly, he flung himself at Lionblaze, his long claws full outstretched. Breezepelt's fur looked like a flash of black as he cleared the stream in one bound. Lionblaze responded quickly. He reared up and unsheathed his own claws. Breezepelt landed in front of Lionblaze and sank his teeth into Lionblaze's left shoulder. Lionblaze tensed and scratched at Breezepelt's chest, leaving some sizable cuts. Breezepelt snarled and looked away, he kept turning around until he was into the shadows of the forest. Lionblaze squinted. Oh no. Heathertail thought, powerless to help, He's got you facing the sun! Move away Lionblaze! Lionblaze took as little notice of the sun as he would a fly. He pounced onto Breezepelt and slashed the black tom across the face. Breezepelt tried to counter-attack but Lionblaze was too fast, he raked his claws down Breezepelt's other side and used the speed to climb halfway up a tree and bounce back down onto the other cat's back, Breezepelt wailed and tried to claw Lionblaze's ears.
Then, the pain began. Heathertail felt a churning, ill feeling in her stomach, as if her kits were trying to tell her something. After a few seconds, the throbbing turned into pain, REAL pain. Heathertail crumpled and lay on her paws, breathing heavily. Lionblaze must have noticed because he was looking at her worriedly, not a scratch on him. Breezepelt clapped Lionblaze across the face with a sheathed paw. Lionblaze growled something to Breezepelt Heathertail couldn't quite make out; she was in too much pain. Her ears plastered to her head, she panted in agony. She heard hurried sloshing of water and in a heartbeat, Breezepelt and Lionblaze were next to her. Breezepelt just sat about a tail length away, looking a mixture of angry and worried.
"Heathertail!" Lionblaze meowed anxiously, "Just keep pushing OK?" Heathertail nodded. She felt the kits moving and possibly getting into a line of some sort. Lionblaze paced, she knew he had little if any experience of delivering kits but his presence was a great help. She summoned her strength and pushed, letting out a grunt of pain. Lionblaze licked her head encouragingly.
"Breezepelt!" He snapped. Breezepelt grunted in acknowledgement, "Go back to the camp and fetch Kestrelflight! And for StarClan's sake hurry!"
Heathertail didn't know if Breezepelt actually did as he was told or not, her eyes were mashed closed and she couldn't concentrate on anything except her kits and Lionblaze's voice. Lionblaze rolled her onto her back and licked her stomach comfortingly. She relaxed for a moment then tensed up again as a powerful spasm of pain shook her body, suddenly, she felt temporary relief. She forced open one eye. Lionblaze was licking a little gray kit. Where'd that kit come from? Was Heathertail's first thought but then suddenly it hit her. She heard the tiny whimpering of her first kit and soon heard the patting of pawsteps. She opened her other eye, her vision was poor due to the pain but she could make out the mottled gray pelt of Kestrelflight and…and Breezepelt! Heathertail made a mental note to thank him later. Neither of them acknowledged Lionblaze. They hauled her onto Breezepelt's back and as quickly as they could, Heathertail felt herself being moved. She looked behind her, Lionblaze followed from a distance, their little gray kit dangling from his jaws. She relaxed and closed her eyes.
The next thing Heathertail remembered, she was in pain again on a soft bed of moss in the nursery. Sunstrike watching her fearfully as her own two kits, a black tom and a tortoiseshell she-cat slept by her. Kestrelflight was running his paws gently down her stomach, easing the kits out. The pain lessened but it still burned. Her first kit was lying next to her, sound asleep. She knew Lionblaze had been sent outside because of the commotion she could hear from outside the cave. She pushed thoughts of Lionblaze away as another ripple of pain pulsed through her, she knew another kit had been born because Kestrelflight had taken his paws away and Heathertail could hear the soft rasping of a tongue across fur. Another pitiful squeak echoed through Heathertail's mind. With each kit she delivered, the pain was less. After about an hour, Heathertail was asleep with her four newborn kits nestled beside her; three daughters and a son. Her son, a powerfully built golden tom, and his sisters were light gray, dark gray and light brown.
When Heathertail awoke, Lionblaze was sitting beside her, looking lovingly at her.
"Are you alright?" He asked. Heathertail responded with a single nod of her head. Lionblaze purred as he rasped his tongue across the golden tom kit.
"They need names," Heathertail mewed. Lionblaze nodded, "I want to call this one Blazekit, after you because you would have been such a great father."
Lionblaze purred proudly but looked around to see if anyone had heard. Sunstrike and her kits were asleep and all was silent. Heathertail looked expectantly at him. It's your go. Lionblaze pushed his muzzleinto the light brown she-kit.
"This one is Leafkit," Lionblaze decided, "For the life she can never have in the forest."
Heathertail rasped her tongue over Leafkit, the little she-kit lifted her head and squeaked again before falling back asleep. Heathertail's whiskers twitched in amusement. My go. I want Lionblaze to name his son so I'll name our last daughter. Heathertail flicked her tail at the dark gray kit.
"This is Fernkit," She mewed. Lionblaze nodded. Heathertail looked at him. Lionblaze lay down and touched his nose to hers briefly.
"Snakekit," He named the golden tom, "Because he will have great fighter instincts."
Heathertail looked away, her eyes clouded with grief.
"They can never know you're their father," She mewed softly.
"I know," Lionblaze whispered, "Don't let Breezepelt harm them."
"I'll die in their name," Heathertail vowed. She looked back into his warm amber eyes, "This is probably the last time we'll meet like this, isn't it?"
Lionblaze looked down.
"Yes, I suppose it is," He mewed mournfully. Heathertail knew what had to be done.
"I want you to have your son," She mewed. Lionblaze looked shocked.
"What?" He whispered. Heathertail nodded.
"I'm sure Cinderheart will accept him, he does look an awful lot like you," She mewed, "I'm worried that some cat may suspect he isn't Breezepelt's kin, and reject him for it; I don't want that life for him."
Lionblaze looked into her eyes and nodded his head once.
"I promise I'll take care of him," He promised. Heathertail looked at Sunstrike; the tortoiseshell queen was beginning to wake up.
"Go!" She whispered. Lionblaze and Heathertail touched muzzles for the last time. Lionblaze bent down and picked up the golden tom, he hurriedly left the nursery. Heathertail closed her eyes and sighed, she felt as if a huge burden had been taken off of her chest. Lionblaze would raise Snakekit as best as he could and Heathertail was sure that their kits would live long successful lives. She smiled in the way that cats can and pulled her kits close to her and closed her eyes.
"Nothing is impossible Lionblaze," She whispered to herself, "There are no boundaries in StarClan."