Cold icy claws gripped Jayfeather as he plunged into the water, trying to save his fellow Medicine cat. Jayfeather stopped moving, his muscles screaming in pain as the icy water submerged him. He started to thrash around, trying to get to the surface. Then he felt movement around him.
It was dark. Jayfeather could suddenly see. Flametail was across the water, not moving. He looked defeated, but peaceful as if the tom had realized death wasn't as bad as it seems. Jayfeather swam over, grabbing him by the scuff of his neck. Flametail looked at him, unable to speak, his eyes gleaming with tiredness.
It's ok. they seemed to say. It's peaceful now.
Jayfeather realized with a jolt that he knew he was going to die. Jayfeather shook his head and tried to swim up, only to hit solid ice again. Flametail weighed him down, and his paws churned uselessly as they both sunk to the black bottom below the lake.
"Let him go!" The blind, hairless cat Rock had appeared in front of him. "It is his time to go, not yours." His words vibrated within his mind. Jayfeather saw logic and let him go, watching Flametail's body disapear beneath the ice blackness.
Jayfeather scrabbled out of the water, shivering violently, his teeth chattering so hard he was afraid his teeth would break. He could hear the yowls of fear, suprise and grief from Shadowclan as they clawed at the ice beneath them, trying desperatly to get to their medicine cat. He could hear Dawnpelt and Tigerheart yowling his name as Tawnypelt and Rowanclaw ran along the ice. He could feel their grief like a claw to the ear. Jayfeather flinched as he padded away slowly.
I didn't save him Jayfeather thought as he walked, Shadowclan's grief still seared his pelt as he padded back into the forest, his fur still plastered to his body.