I got this idea in my head, one about how Leopardstar always felt guilty because of the things she did in the past, no matter how far back they had occured. We never knew if she was ever worried about the things she had done, or what happened during her death. This is my version.
Summary: Crookedstar was one of the greatest RiverClan leaders of all time. And following in the shadow of his death, was a she-cat that worried about upholding the greatness he had brought to the Clan. Leopardstar made alot of choices. Some of them threatened to rip her Clan apart. Through her entire life, the only thing this leader is worried about is the memories she will leave behind. After the death of a noble leader, all thoughts of terror seem to be erased from RiverClan.
Disclaimer: Blah blah blah I don't own Warriors blah blah blah Erin Hunter does. So shut up.
Leopardstar... she was a strong leader, to stay the least. She would be remembered for a lot of things. Caring for RiverClan throughout the journey to the new Clan homes. Fighting for Sunningrocks. Leading her Clan alongside the others to battle BloodClan.
But to many, the last one is not a thing of glory.
A victory was won that day. A valiant one. But after the battle that ripped through Lion and Tiger, there was a memory left. And that memory, reminded every RiverClan cat that their leader had once allied with the monster that started this war.
In her mind, she knew it was a mistake from the second she allowed ShadowClan warriors into the RiverClan camp. But when one of the most powerful cats in the whole forest comes to you asking for a truce, what else can you do but agree? Tigerstar could've ripped Leopardstar's Clan apart, and almost every warrior, apprentice, queen and kit knew that in their hearts.
During that time, Leopardstar couldn't even really be called a leader. She sat by and watched as her deputy was slaughtered before her by merciless claws. She seen the moment when two young apprentices cowered in terror on their own territory. RiverClan wasn't RiverClan anymore, and it was her fault.
Crookedstar had trusted her. In his dying moments, he had been confident that his deputy would be another great RiverClan leader. But staring down from StarClan, the tom can't help but wonder what is going through her head. How could this she-cat, how could Leopardstar be the cat he watched now? Tigerstar had invaded her mind, her judgement, and there was nothing he could do. Crookedstar watched as his once trusted deputy unknowingly brought terror to the Clan he once called his own, all because of a certain cat that stood on a pile of bones commanding them all. Leopardstar allowed a power-hungry cat to rip apart her Clan in one murderous sweep.
When Tigerstar fell, killed by one slash of Scourge's claws, Leopardstar then knew she had to take control of her Clan. It wasn't easy, with fragile minds and terrified souls, ShadowClan and RiverClan alike. But wasn't that the reason Crookedstar had chosen her? He had been confident that no matter what happened, his deputy would rise above the terror to conquer the enemies that threatened to shatter the only life any cat in the forest had ever known. And Leopardstar, fierce and proud, wouldn't let one battle destroy her. And in the end, Crookedstar chose right. Leopardstar, along with the other three leaders, lead LionClan to victory and reclamied their lives. And maybe, just maybe, Leopardstar turned into the leader she was always supposed to be.
But, how would she be remembered? If some cats still thought of the battle with BloodClan, they would remember how Leopardstar had allied with a tyrant. Loved a tyrant, in a way. When she went to StarClan, would the cats she cared for be glad? Would they be joyous that a leader who had once almost torn them down was dead? Leopardstar could only hope, and pray to StarClan that wouldn't happen, no matter what.
"M..Mothwing. This time is going to be my last. I know you were not yet born, but I want everyone to know I am sorry. Sorry for all the terror I caused RiverClan. I never wished to be like that, but I did many things I am ashamed of," Leopardstar choked out, her voice coming in a soft rasp. Her voice was barely audible, the sickness reaching into every corner of her body and weeding out her life. Her spotted flanks rose and fell, shuddering with each breath she took.
The golden pelted she-cat, Mothwing, sat next to the eldery leader, staring down at the sick-filled cat with pity in her amber eyes. Leopardstar was more than RiverClan could have ever asked for.
"Don't worry, Leopardstar. We all know everything you have to say and apologize for. And speaking on behalf of every cat in this Clan, I know, we all forgive you," she whispered, pushing her nose into her leader's fur. The Medicine Cat stayed that way for a few heartbeats, shaking as she felt the life slowly disappear from Leopardstar's body.
When her breath stilled, and an eerie silence filled the den, Mothwing rose to her feet, delicately picking her way around her leaders side to the den entrance. Cats milled around the edge of the clearing, some sat by the rivers edge, gazing into the depths of the water. All at once, RiverClan cats turned to look at the Medicine Cat, taking in her grief filled eyes and flattened ears. And then the wails broke out. Heartbroken wails of cats that had just lost their leader. Mistyfoot pushed past her into the den, returning a few moments later with her fur spiked along her spine in horror. Reedwhisker glanced across the clearing towards his mother, knowing that she was now his leader. Two tiny kits cowered at the entrance to the nursery, staring with wide eyes towards the leader's den and the cats that crouched around it, heads bowed.
Their reactions almost comforted Mothwing, in a sad way. Not one of these cats were angry with Leopardstar for her choices. Some of them, the ones born here at the lake, knew nothing of the cat Leopardstar had once been. There were some, Blackclaw, Mistyfoot, Mosspelt, and possibly others, that would remember about the things Leopardstar had done.
But if RiverClan was willing to forgive their leader, erase every bad decision she had made from memory, even after her death... wasn't that what mattered the most?