A/N: Okay, so this idea just popped into my head one day. I've never seen anything like this before, so I figured I'd write something up to see what people think!
Disclaimer: I don't own Warriors, or The Phantom of the Opera.
StarClan, at the best of times, was a peaceful place. Their hunting grounds were kept in a state of perpetual green-leaf, where the stars shone, prey was plentiful, and there was a serene glow that enveloped the starry forest.
But this was not the best of times. An unusually chilly breeze hissed through the leaves, blowing them about in a slow whirl of color. The stars that hung in the sky above were unusually dim, their brilliant glow dulled slightly.
For something had happened in the world of the Clans. Something unexpected, unexplainable—something that not even the wisest of StarClan could have predicted.
In a rock-strewn hollow sat a multitude of cats. Their pelts were sleek; stars glittered in their pelt like leaf-bare frost. But their expressions were anxious. Uneasy whispers passed between them. Every gaze was trained on the starlit pool in the center of the clearing.
Finally, a solemn blue-gray she-cat got to her paws. "You all know why we're here," she meowed, loudly enough so that every cat could hear her.
"I wonder why," rasped a ratty gray she-cat with a broad, flattened face. "It couldn't possibly be because of the Twoleg who appeared out of nowhere in our forest?"
The whispering grew in volume.
"What do you mean, appeared?"
"How is that possible?"
The standing she-cat flicked her tail for silence. "Yes," she meowed. "A Twoleg." A strange look came over her face. "Or…at least, he was…"
"Was?" A mottled brown tom tilted his head, green eyes narrowed. "What do you mean he was a Twoleg, Bluestar?"
The blue-gray she-cat looked uncomfortable. "He…is no longer a Twoleg," she meowed. "He—"
"He's a cat," the ratty she-cat finished.
Surprised murmurs spread around the clearing. But Bluestar wasn't finished. "There's more," she continued, ears pinning backwards. "He isn't like the other Twolegs we've seen." Turning towards the pool in the center of the clearing, she flicked her tail.
The water shifted and moved, seemingly of its own accord. And across its surface, an image rippled into being.
It was no forest, that was for sure. The pool reflected the inside of what could only be described as the biggest Twoleg nest any of them had ever seen. The whole place glowed with light, and it was filled with the chattering of Twolegs in brightly-colored pelts.
But not one cat's eye was fixed on the gathering of Twolegs. Everyone's gaze was fixed on the scene that was unfolding in a dimly-lit space above it all.
A scruffy-looking male Twoleg was darting across a strange hanging bridge, dodging through tangled bits of an odd-looking vine. It was hard to tell expressions with Twolegs, but this one looked terrified out of its mind.
Behind it, in the shadows, a shape shifted; there was another, taller male Twoleg pursuing the first. The only things that distinguished it from the darkness around it were the occasional flashes of its dark pelt and the soft creak of wood. And it was all too clear that this one was aiming to kill.
The starry-pelted warriors watched as the first Twoleg, in his fear, scrambled clumsily up one of the vine-like things to another ledge. But the shadowy figure followed, scaling up after the other one with the agility of a cat. The dark Twoleg sprang onto the hanging-bridge after the fleeing one. And before his prey could get away, it seized one of the vines and jerked it to the side.
The hanging-bridge lurched beneath the two. The first Twoleg lost his balance, tumbling down onto all fours. But the dark figure was upon it before it could scramble back to its paws. The scruffy Twoleg let out a yowl of fear, trying vainly to escape. But the other would have none of that. It pulled another vine-like thing from beneath its pelt. And before the other could move, it had pulled it around his fellow's throat.
The scruffy Twoleg's yowls were cut off abruptly. It flailed its huge paws, trying to rip it away, to save itself. The second Twoleg pulled the vine ever-tighter.
Finally, after what seemed moons, the victim's throes ceased. Without another sound, the shadow-shrouded Twoleg pushed it over the edge.
The air was suddenly filled with the frightened wails of the other Twolegs. As the remaining figure straightened, watching the chaos unfold below, a stray ray of light hit its face.
Its face was pale, as if it had never seen the light of day. The fur on its head was dark and sleek, and yellow eyes glowered coolly down at the mayhem below. But unlike the other Twolegs, this one had something strange and white over part of its face.
And unlike the other Twolegs, who were screeching and running about in a panic, it looked utterly calm. Emotionless. Remorseless.
Without another sound, it turned on its heel and vanished into the darkness. The starry pool rippled, and the scene disappeared.
Whispers of shock and horror hissed around the rocky clearing as the cats of StarClan took it all it.
"This is the Twoleg?" snarled a dark brown tabby, his ragged fur hanging in patches from his pelt. "This is the monster that's been unleashed on our forest?"
"Did you see that?" hissed a black-and-white apprentice, pale amber eyes flashing with horror. "He just killed the other Twoleg like it was nothing!"
"Quiet!" Bluestar's yowl finally silenced the rest of the StarClan cats, her sapphire gaze piercing the crowd. "As you saw," she meowed, "this Twoleg poses a potential threat. Some kind of action must be taken."
"Action?" The rag-pelted tabby curled his lip. "He's a murderer! We need to get rid of him!"
"And how exactly do you plan on doing that?" a large white tom replied evenly. "We can't exactly kill him, can we?"
"That would make us no better than him!" retorted a thick-pelted golden tom.
The clearing broke out into tense chatter again as they began to argue amongst themselves. Bluestar raised her voice, unsuccessfully trying to regain control of the crowd.
"I think we should give him a chance."
Everyone turned to stare at the ginger tom, who suddenly flattened his ears against the attention he was receiving. "Go ahead, Flametail," Bluestar said calmly, ears pricked to hear what he had to say.
The former ShadowClan cat swallowed. "Well," he meowed, raising his green gaze to meet his Clanmates', "we all saw what he did. He killed another Twoleg and thought nothing of it." He took a deep breath. "But why are we going to punish him for something he hasn't even done?" He moved his gaze to his paws. "I think…that we should wait before we decide what to do about him."
The rest of the clearing had gone silent as they pondered the idea.
"It's an interesting idea, Flametail," the blue-gray she-cat meowed thoughtfully. "Wait and see what the Twoleg does before we do anything about it."
"I agree." A pretty, amber-eyed tortoiseshell spoke up, glancing over at Flametail. "Here we are, trying to decide his fate before he's even done anything to deserve it."
"He's a killer," growled a voice. "That should be enough of a reason."
"But he hasn't killed yet," the tortoiseshell responded. "We can't predict what he's going to do. If we get rid of him, then we destroy any chance there is of him proving us wrong."
Bluestar nodded slowly. Then she lifted her head to face the whole of StarClan. "All those in favor of suspending judgement?" she asked.
There was a collective mutter from the crowd. But slowly, most of them murmured agreement.
"Very well," Bluestar said, flicking her tail. "We will suspend our judgement on this Twoleg until he deserves it." With that, she sat down once more.
Almost as quickly as they had come, the cats of StarClan turned and disappeared into the shadows of the starry forest. Only three cats remained: Bluestar herself, the old gray she-cat, and the tortoiseshell.
"Well, that went surprisingly well," the old cat grumbled, twisting around to groom her perpetually matted fur.
Bluestar sighed. "Now we have no choice but to wait," she meowed. Her gaze moved above the clearing. "I wonder…did we make the right choice? What if this Twoleg affects things more than we know?"
The tortoiseshell blinked. "You're worried about the prophecy," she said.
Bluestar smiled solemnly. "You know me too well, Spottedleaf." Her gaze wandered to the pool again. "Yes, I'm worried about the Three." Her gaze darkened. "And the danger that awaits them."
Spottedleaf moved to sit by her former leader, ears pricked as she listened.
"The Dark Forest is becoming stronger by the day," Bluestar continued. "The more we wait, the more their power grows." She sighed. "And this Twoleg…he feels no remorse for his actions. He may end up causing more harm than we realize."
The gray she-cat finally looked up from her grooming. "Who knows what will happen?" she meowed, getting to her paws. A look of sorrow flashed briefly across her face. "Even the most evil of cats have their redeeming qualities."
Bluestar nodded. As she watched the pool, another image glimmered across its surface. There, reflected in the water was the very Twoleg whose fate had just been decided. Held in his arms was a smaller, limp figure—a younger, female Twoleg with thick brown head fur. But instead of the cold, unfeeling expression he had worn when he killed the other Twoleg, his expression was warm and kind as he gently placed the female Twoleg down on its nest. After carefully arranging her so that she was comfortable, he left her where she was, slumbering peacefully under his care.
The three star-pelted cats continued to watch even as the last of the ripples washed it away.
Just so you know, a) the Phantom aspect of this story is based mostly off of the musical version with some smatterings of the book and the movie thrown in, and b) the story takes place during The Forgotten Warrior. It'll go AU a little farther along in the story.
On a side note, bonus points to whoever names the StarClan cameos in this chapter! Most of them are pretty easy.