"Ha!" I purred with a trill of triumph. "I caught one first!" Barley looked over at me in disbelief and caught sight of the mouse still attached to my claws. My whiskers twitched in amusement at the expression of shock plastered against my best friend's face.
"No way!" he exclaimed, climbing up to the loft to join me. "You can't have found a mouse that fast! That's impossible!"
I purred and butted my head into his shoulder good-naturedly. "It's possible when you're a world class hunter!" I meowed teasingly. "Maybe you should work on your stalking skills, Barley."
Barley's eyes stretched wide in confusion. "World class hunter? Where? I don't see one!" he retorted with a playful gleam in his eyes.
I rolled my eyes. "Ha, ha, ha," I replied sarcastically. "You're hilarious. But as funny as you are, I'm starving. Let's go share this mouse; it's plump enough for the two of us." We headed down to the floor-level to eat. I had to climb slowly, though, to keep in step with the black-and-white tom.
As much as I hated to admit it to myself, Barley was getting old. Okay, not just getting old, he was old. If we had taken Firestar's offer to join the Clans in their new home far from here, I knew Barley would be in the elders' den. And when cats got old…I pushed away the thought. I couldn't bring myself to think about losing my best friend.
After we finished the mouse, I yawned widely. The sun had set on our farm, and I knew it was time to settle down. I glanced out of the barn doors first, though, and gazed at the sky. Stars were already dotting the sky, and making the fields surrounding us turn silver. I sighed contently. Nothing could be better than this- living here.
"Don't you ever think that maybe you should find someone?" Barley's voice came in my ear. Oh, great, I thought. Here he goes again. I turned around to see he had padded up next to me. I tilted my head to the side questioningly, however, feeling confused. Though Barley had been talking strangely like this for moons, this question was new.
"What do you mean? I have all the friends I need," I meowed, feeling puzzled.
Barley shook his head as if he were trying to find the best way to say what was on his mind. "I'm not going be to around forever, Ravenpaw," he meowed solemnly. "You're going to need someone around when I'm gone."
"Let's not worry about that right now," I muttered, looking away. It was hard to thinking about losing the only cat left in my life.
"Then when will we?" he challenged. "When I've gone cold?"
I sighed and faced my friend once more. "What are you trying to say, Barley?" I asked.
"Maybe you should try finding a mate," he said matter-of-factly. I gagged on a m'rrow of laughter. "It's not funny," he snapped, looking quite embarrassed.
"A mate?" I choked out in between amused purrs. "Barley, that's never been my destiny, and you know it. I don't want a she-cat. When you're gone, I'll have the old Twolegs watching over me, and I'll take care of the farm just like you have for all these seasons."
"Will that be enough?" he demanded. "Nothing beats the company of another cat."
"StarClan willing, I won't be alone forever," I meowed. "Though no cat will be as good as you, I'll make new friends again." I butted him in the shoulder again. "Honestly, Barley, quit worrying. Let's just enjoy the time you have left here." I climbed up to my nest on the top of the hay.
"I don't think you're taking this very seriously," Barley grumbled as he settled in his nest.
"I am, trust me," I replied with a momentary note of worry. "The last thing I want is to lose my best friend, but honestly-" I snorted again. "-a mate, Barley? Sometimes I think age is getting to your head." I closed my eyes for the night and fell asleep, still feeling amused.
A/N: I actually wrote this chapter two or three months ago, but right as I was about to post it, I saw that someone had started a story similar to the one I had in mind. But the author has not updated further than chapter one since that time, so I decided to go ahead with my vision for this story! :)
PLEASE REVIEW! I know some of you are shy, but you have no idea how much reviews mean to be.
P.S. If you are the author of which I was speaking of previously (sorry, I forgot their pen name) I didn't steal your idea. Actually, the only reason I didn't post this 3 months ago is because I didn't want it to come across that way. Thanks!