AN: I am so sorry that it took so long to finish this D: I mean, I had ideas for the epilogue but than scrapped them as soon as they were typed. But than I thought of this and... yeah. Anyways, this is the last chapter to LakeClan. I can't even begin to thank you guys enough for your reviews, so I'm just tossing out as many plushies as I can for every review you have left. Big thanks to Graywhisper for letting me use her charrie, and since nobody reviewed EVERY chapter in the story, I guess there's no big prize needed. But anyways, enough with the author's note, I'll continue at the end :)
The battle had finally ended between LakeClan and LightningClan. The Clan had searched for the remaining rogues, but a tom named Sparrowheart had asked if LightningClan could remain. Dovestar had been reluctant to let the stay, but Sparrowheart was a peaceful cat. Dovestar finally agreed that they could keep WindClan's territory as their own, as long as they followed the warrior code and carried on Clan traditions. Sparrowheart had agreed to the terms and became Sparrowstar, with a cat named Flowertail as his deputy. They had lost Pineheart in the battle, and the blow was a tragic one. But Crookedstripe carried on as if nothing had happened, like he always seemed to.
All in all life had returned to normal for LakeClan. Dovestar's kits were about to become warriors after succeeding in chasing off a badger from the territory. Emberleaf's kits were bouncing around the nursery's entrance as they waited for the ceremony to start. Flosspelt and Aspencreek were still inside, but Dovestar could hear their warm purrs. Raincloud had announced that Aspencreek's kits were due any day now, and soon the Clan would have plenty of apprentices.
She's a good medicine cat, Dovestar thought as Raincloud emerged from her den. Raincloud had been devastated when she found out about her mentor's death. When they sat vigil over Mothwing's body it felt as though the whole of StarClan had mourned. Now the Clan had moved on, and Raincloud filled in the role as a full medicine cat.
Dovestar sighed as she jumped onto the Willowbranch. Tonight she would hold warrior ceremonies for her kits. Just thinking about it sent shivers of excitement and worry down her spine. Memories of watching them grow up coursed through her. She wondered what they would have been like had the original four Clans survived. Would they know that Tigerheart was their father? Would they know who their aunt or grandmother and grandfather were? Dovestar shook her head at such thoughts.
Maybe it's better that I don't know, she decided as she gazed across the clearing. I wish you were here with me Ivypool, she added when she looked up at the darkening sky. You would have been my deputy. You would have kept the Clan safe no matter what.
"We spotted a fox!" Dovestar's ears pricked forward when she heard the excited yelp of Leafpaw. She spotted her daughter trotting into camp with Hollyleaf, Pepperfoot and Mudpaw. All three of them looked worried when Leafpaw bounded ahead. "It was right near the border," she exclaimed when Tigerheart asked where they had seen the fox.
"Did you see what it looked like?" Nightfire suddenly pushed his way through the nursery's entrance. Dovestar restrained a roll of her eyes as she saw the hope within his yellow eyes. He was thinking of Pyre, the fox cub he and Graywhisper had tried to raise moons ago.
"It had a strange black tail tip," Mudpaw replied. "You said their tails are usually white," he added to Pepperfoot. The gray tom nodded in agreement to his comment.
Nightfire's eyes widened, but he said nothing more as Dovestar heard Graywhisper gasp in surprise. She knew the odds of the fox cub remembering them were slim. Foxes were lethal and cold. They would eat a cat rather than viewing them as a friend.
"The fox won't be causing us any trouble," Hollyleaf meowed in a formal voice. "It was headed for WindClan's old territory."
Dovestar watched in amusement when Nightfire lowered his muzzle. He was so caring, even towards other creatures. Graywhisper shared his sense of wonder towards the world, but she remembered her duties as a warrior.
"Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't get very far," Dovestar told her after giving her chest fur a few thoughtful licks. "And I think it's time to hold a ceremony for certain apprentices." She eyed her kits calmly, and Leafpaw's eyes widened in excitement. Mudpaw simply stared at her in disbelief while Whitepaw bounded over to her siblings' side. "Pepperfoot, Nightfire, Hollyleaf, do you believe that your apprentices are ready to become warriors?" By now the Clan was gathered after Leafpaw had alerted them about the fox.
Hollyleaf's eyes gleamed with pride when she answered with an, "I do."
"Mudpaw has excelled in his training; he is ready," Pepperfoot replied.
"Leafpaw is ready as well," Nightfire meowed.
"Then I, Dovestar, leader of LakeClan, call upon my warrior ancestors so that they may look down upon these apprentices. They have trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend them to you as warriors in their turn. Leafpaw, Mudpaw, Whitepaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code, and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your lives?" She gazed down at her kits and remembered with a shiver her own ceremony. That seemed like moons ago.
"I do," Leafpaw replied. Mudpaw and Whitepaw echoed her shortly after, their eyes shining with excitement as they looked up at her.
"Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior names. Leafpaw, from this moment on you will be known as Leafstorm. StarClan honors you for your courage and leadership skills, and we welcome you as a full member of LakeClan." Dovestar jumped down to touch noses with her daughter, who in turn gave her shoulder a lick.
"Mudpaw, from this moment on you will be known as Mudheart, in honor of your spirit and kindness, and we welcome you as a full member of LakeClan." She did the same with Mudheart, who gave her shoulder a lick as well.
"Whitepaw, from this moment on you will be known as Whitefrost. StarClan honors you for your fighting skills and speed, and we welcome you as a full member of LakeClan." Whitefrost closed her eyes as she tried out her new name. Amusement washed over Dovestar when she touched noses with her.
Once the ceremony was over she jumped back onto the branch. "Leafstorm! Mudheart! Whitefrost!" The Clan cheered their names, and Dovestar quickly joined in.
The Clan was at peace. Dovestar knew that StarClan wanted them to live on, and not even the Dark Forest could stop them.
Leader: Dovestar - gray she-cat with blue eyes
Deputy: Hollyleaf - black she-cat with green eyes
Medicine Cat: Raincloud - silvery gray she-cat with green eyes
Tigerheart - dark brown tabby tom with amber eyes
Smokefur - large dark gray tom with yellow eyes; former kittypet from the horseplace
Flosspelt - creamy gray she-cat from the horseplace
Pepperfoot - gray tom with darker gray paws
Forestpelt - tawny colored tom with green eyes
Nightfire - smoky black tom with yellow eyes
Honeylight - brown and white she-cat with amber eyes
Graywhisper - gray she-cat with light gray paws and chest
Flashwind - gray and white tom with amber eyes
Crookedstripe - tabby tom with unusual stripes
Mintwhisker - dark gray tom with amber eyes
Snowfire - gray and white she-cat with amber eyes
Olivelight - tortoiseshell and tabby she-cat with greenish amber eyes
Mudheart - muddy brown tom
Leafstorm - ginger and white she-cat
Whitefrost - tawny colored she-cat with white paws
Emberleaf - ginger she-cat with pale green eyes, mother of Pepperfoot's kits; Petalkit and Heatherkit
Aspencreek - dark gray she-cat with pale blue eyes; expecting Nightfire's kits
Duskfur - brown tabby she-cat
Petalkit - ginger she-cat with gray dapples
Heatherkit - ginger she-cat with patches of gray along her fur
Leader: Sparrowheart - young small gray tom with amber eyes
Deputy: Owlpaw - small gray-flecked tom with amber eyes
Healer: Flowertail - dark brown and white she-cat with green eyes
Pounceclaw - ginger and white tom with green eyes
Maroonpelt - dark ginger tom with amber eyes
Lionpelt - big brown tom with a single white paw
Longpaw - dark gray, almost black she-cat with unusually long ears; has green eyes
Tinyflower - small tabby she-cat with amber eyes; expecting Lionpelt's kits
Darksky - gray and black she-cat with blue eyes; mother of Shade, Storm and Marsh
Shade - silver and black tom with amber eyes
Storm - gray and black she-cat with amber eyes
Marsh - pale tabby she-cat with amber eyes
Cats Outside Clans
Stoneheart - fluffy gray and white tom with yellow eyes
AN: Okay, so LightningClan's new customs are slightly different from the Clans. Sparrowheart kept most of their customs, such as having a leader, deputy and medicine cat. But he's only giving warrior names to those who really want them. And Darksky is a queen who joined a few days before the battle. And I know the epilogue seemed a bit rushed, but hopefully you understood what happened. Dovestar's kits have finally become warriors, and there is a reference to the second book hidden in those paragraphs.
So with those final words, I am saddened to say that this story is finally finished. The sequel will likely be posted next month or in a couple of weeks depending on how I feel. But thank you for all of your support, and I hope you enjoy your April :)