Warriors: The Last Saga

Chapter 16 - Undying Love

Leaf-Fall


A/N - Hello all, glad to know you're liking the story! So sorry for no update.. I think I'm back on track and will be updating a little more frequently. See you next time, and as always please review! Thanks! ~SnowArabian

To my reviewers...

Wyldclaw: Holy cow, indeed! There may be reasoning behind Cinderheart not accepting her destiny.. Thank you for reviewing both of the recent chapters!

StormxRaven: Thank you~! Hope you are enjoying the story! :)


'I would really like to meet the kits sometime, would you mind introducing them to me at the next gathering?'

Tigerheart's words burned through Dovewing's mind. I can't believe he's asking me to introduce his children to him in front of members of all four clans! I knew he was into testing his luck, but I didn't think he would be this risky! Dovewing sighed. She hadn't able to meet very often with Tigerheart recently since both had been busy with clan duties. This prophecy has been controlling my life, Starclan can grant me this favor and let me meet with my forbidden lover, right? However, the usual clan drama had been cooling down, and there had been no major conflicts mentioned at the last gathering. Dovewing had been on her way to meet with Tigerheart when she was reminded of his dangerous request.

I know he is the father and hasn't yet met his kits, which is an unusual situation with most cats. I worry about them, they won't know Tigerheart as their father, but as a friendly acquaintance of their mother. If only I could tell them the truth...

Dovewing's heart beat faster as she saw the brown tabby coat of her mate. "Hello Tigerheart," she greeted politely.

He beckoned with his tail for her to sit beside him. She accepted his request and leaned against his shoulder. "Good evening Dovewing," he murmured in her ear. Dovewing didn't mind sitting and just being in the general presence of Tigerheart all night, since they came from different Clans, the time they had together was precious.

Tails entwined, the two continued to share humorous stories for the remaining time, the borders between ShadowClan and ThunderClan dissolving into the cold night air.

"Follow me, there's someone I want you to meet," instructed Dovewing as she led her three kits toward the ShadowClan group of cats.

"Geesh. She's treating us like we're newborn kits," Hawkpaw complained. "This isn't our first gathering, we don't need her leading us around everywhere.."

"Hush, Hawkpaw. Obviously Dovewing's excited for us to meet someone from ShadowClan, be respectful," Robinpaw scolded her brother gently. "It's good to meet new cats from the Clan."

"Good to be friendly with cats that you'll be fighting in a few moons, eh.."

"Shush!"

Dovewing led two of her three kits towards their father's shadow. The previous night they had decided on a meeting place. She had explained that only two would be coming because the third was still recovering from an injury.

Approaching the tabby tom, Dovewing said, "Hawkpaw, Robinpaw, this is Tigerheart of ShadowClan."

"Why hello young ones, how goes your training?" Tigerheart peered down at the smaller figures, a soft purr in his voice.

Robinpaw was the first to respond. "My training is going great. I've been sparring with Hawkpaw here and our mentors have been setting us against each other for competitions. It really is quite fun to be going against Hawkpaw, he is a great opponent."

"Yeah, yeah. You're only happy about it because you're winning..." Hawkpaw grumbled.

"Oh, I see.. Sibling rivalry, correct?" A gleam passed through Tigerheart's eyes, almost a hidden meaning.

Robinpaw shrugged happily and Hawkpaw glared at the ground. "Briarpaw should be training with us.. but she was injured a few moons ago. Jayfeather said she should be out soon.. I really hope so, it'll be so much more fun to train with her than Robinpaw."

"Hey!" Robinpaw protested, giving a friendly shove to her brother.

Hawkpaw, irritated with all the high spirit around him, targeted Tigerheart. "How do you know Dovewing anyways? I thought we weren't allowed to have close friends in other Clans."

"Hawkpaw, shush!" Robinpaw scolded once again. "I apologize for my brothers behavior.."

Tigerheart, surprised by the young warrior's forward attitude, stood in shock for a second. Recovering quickly, he replied, "That is a good question Hawkpaw. Your mother and I, we went on a quest to retrieve the water in the lake. Many moons ago, the Clans had a drought and there was only a small amount of water."

Robinpaw's eyes expanded to the size of the moon. "That sounds like an amazing quest! Dovewing, how come you haven't told us about it yet?" Hawkpaw's ears perked up with interest.

"It happened a long time ago, hardly worth mentioning. If you really want to hear the story, I will tell you sometime later," Dovewing explained.

"The gathering is going to begin soon, but it was nice to meet you Robinpaw and Hawkpaw. Hope to see you sometime soon, preferably not in battle!" Tigerheart purred, and left to join his Clan.

"Nice meeting you, as well!" Robinpaw called out after him.

Once Tigerheart was out of earshot, Dovewing turned to her two kits. I don't think my kits are trustworthy enough at their age to tell them Tigerheart is their father.

"So… What did you think about Tigerheart?" Doveing prompted.

"He seems really nice and a good warrior," Robinpaw gushed. "I can only hope we won't have to face him in battle anytime soon!"

"..I guess he was okay," Hawkpaw grumbled.

Dovewing let out a sigh of relief. If her kits accepted Tigerheart as a stranger from another Clan, the result of the truth would hopefully be less shocking. "C'mon, let's head back to our Clan, the Gathering is about to start…" Dovewing murmured, ushering her kits along.


Later that night...

Robinpaw walked back from the Gathering with Hawkpaw since Dovewing had been preoccupied with talking to Ivypool. She noted that her brother scowled at the ground and overall, hadn't been in the greatest mood this night.

"Hey? Are you doing okay?" she asked concerned.

"Yeah. I'm fine," Hawkpaw muttered, quickening his pace so he was ahead of his sister.

"No, seriously.. You don't seem fine. You know that you can talk about anything with me, right?"

Hawkpaw looked up to meet his sister's eyes, then diverted his attention back to the ground. "If you haven't noticed it yet, then there is no reason to tell you."

"Noticed what?" Robinpaw's curiosity sparked.

"... Nevermind."

"Pleaseee?" Robinpaw begged. "You can have an extra bite of my mouse next mealtime?" Robinpaw knew that Hawkpaw could never quite satisfy his hunger and more than often helped himself to his sibling's meals.

Hawkpaw tilted his head. "You really don't notice it?"

Robinpaw shook her head.

"There's something more behind Dovewing and Tigerheart's relationship.. Rather than just an old quest tying them together. And I'm going to figure it out."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa. Are you becoming suspicious of our own mother!?"

Robinpaw's shrill voice attracted the attention of several cats walking ahead of them.

"Shhh! Well when you say it like that, it just makes me sound stupid… But if that's the way you want to consider it, then sure.."

Robinpaw stared at her brother in disbelief. How could Dovewing, the most honest, caring, and loving cat they had ever known, be hiding something?

"..." Hawkpaw glared back at his sister. "Oh, feel free to stare more... Loving all the sibling attention I'm getting right now.."

Shocked out of her trance mode, Robinpaw hastily apologized. "I-I'm sorry. I guess its just a weird concept for me to grasp. But I trust your instinct, and won't tell anyone."

"..Okay. Thanks."

Noticing the older cats were a few tail lengths away, Robinpaw bounded towards them with her usual energetic self. "Come on Hawkpaw. Let's make it back to camp quickly, I have some scary stories to tell you in the apprentice den."

Seeing the mischevious glint in his sister's eyes, he let out a deep sigh and sprinted to catch up with her. A cold breeze whistled through the woods, chilling the two apprentices to the bone. 'Maybe Robinpaw is right, and I'm just being crazy..' Hawkpaw thought, doubting himself. 'But I swear.. I swear that his scent is familiar and that Dovewing has come back from the forest smelling like him...'

Brushing off his thoughts since their arrival at camp, Hawkpaw and Robinpaw grabbed prey from the catch-pile before preceeding to head to the apprentice den for the night.

..I pray to StarClan that it's just my imagination..