[Author's Note: ...And here's the chapter that should have been up half a month ago! :/ Yeeaaah, sorry guys. I procrastinate really badly, and my computer sucks and school has been crap lately and blah. Enough with the excuses, anyway, here's the chapter! Also, quick question, does anyone want be to post the Allegiences? Or do you just want to try and figure it out yourselves?]
"This doesn't make sense." Darkstar growled for the fifth time, stalking back and forth across the den to the point that her paws were wearing a rut in the earth.
"Well it's obviously true, so stop yammering about it." Patcheye snapped.
Darkstar wheeled around. "Why are you still even here?" She growled at him and Haretail.
"Because you haven't told us to leave yet." Haretail sighed, scratching his ear with his hind paw.
"Well you're obviously not needed here at the moment, so do the clan a favor and get back to your nests for some rest. I want you two patrol-ready tomorrow." Darkstar ordered. The cats obeyed without complaint.
Darkstar sighed and rubbed her face with one paw. "Dear StarClan, give me the strength to get through this night without biting someone's throat out." She muttered to herself. straightening up abruptly, she whirled around. "Meadowsplash!" She shouted.
The orange and grey she-cat turned around from where she was seated near the back of the den. Her green eyes flashed in the dim light. "Hmm?"
"Get over here."
The medicine cat loped over, her tail twirling wildly in an attempt to keep her balance. Her clumsy side had returned, after momentarily being subdued during the crisis (If you could call it that).
"What is it? I should really get back to-" She began, only to be cut off.
"No, no." Darkstar hissed menacingly. "You are talking, now."
Meadowsplash froze, then sat down meekly. "Okay." She murmured submissively.
"What the hell is going on." She hissed. "Two strange cats show up outside camp reeking of Twoleg, you tell me they're unconscious and practically hibernating, and now you're telling me they woke up and attacked you in the middle of the night, and you're also trying to convince me they're harmless and innocent kits? What kind of leader do you take me for, Meadowsplash? These cats are a present danger."
"Darkstar, I promise you they aren't." Meadowsplash burst out immediately.
"And how would you know that, Meadow?" Darkstar snapped. "Where are they anyway?"
"Sleeping off their ordeal in the back of the den. They wouldn't get back in the box. One of them tried to explain, but I couldn't understand him." She shook her head and turned back to Darkstar. "Darkstar, they're just confused, and they're so young, probably the age of a young apprentice. Please, you can't have us kill them!"
Darkstar growled. "Then we'll chase them away. Out of our territory, out of the clans. They can be rouges for all I care, but I want them out."
"No!" Meadowsplash wailed, leaping to her feet so quickly she almost slipped back down. She regained her balance and stared pleadingly at Darkstar. "No, Darkstar, please! You can't, they're barely past kithood! They'll never survive!"
Great StarClan, Darkstar thought to herself, are there tears in her eyes?
"Please, they're just confused. I can help them. Please, I'm, I'm a good medicine cat. I, well, I think I am." Meadowsplash trailed off for a moment. "But I know I can help them. Darkstar, I promise I won't let them hurt anyone anymore. I know they can be great cats, think about it! Don't we need more warriors?"
"No, we don't." Darkstar growled almost inaudibly. "Great StarClan, Meadow. You're a medicine cat. You're treating them like your kits. You know you wouldn't be able to raise them, right? The code won't allow it, and I won't allow it."
For a second, Darkstar saw almost a flicker of disappointment in the medicine cat's eyes. The leader wanted to spit out, Get over it, but her tongue froze at the last moment. She swallowed the remark and the thought and turned back to Meadowsplash.
Her green eyes glittered with unshed tears, and her ears were flattened appealingly. "Please." She whispered so softly it was almost not heard. There was almost defeat in her voice, like she knew what Darkstar's decision would be.
But Darkstar, being stared at so intently, knew what she would say. And, StarClan, she hated it. But she knew, being pleaded with so desperately with those emerald orbs, she would give in. She hated it, she hated the reason, she hated Meadowsplash right now. But with a taut sigh and a snarled curse, she turned back to Meadowsplash.
Her nod was almost invisible.
"Sleeping?" Darkstar questioned as they sat overlooking the two kits, their tails curled over their paws. They had gotten past the whole ecstatic thank-you fest, which Darkstar had cut short before Meadowsplash hyperventilated and imploded from happiness.
"Yes, deeply. But not totally unconscious, like last time." Meadowsplash responded, her voice still tight with restrained excitement, like a kit who was taken outside the camp for the first time but was told to be calm.
"Can we wake them up?" Darkstar questioned.
"I think they should get their sleep." Meadowsplash objected. "They've been through alot and-"
"If it's not medically necessary for them to continue sleeping, I have a few serious questions I need to ask them." Darkstar said sharply. "I don't want to wait until morning."
"What do you need to ask?" Meadowsplash meowed, moving in front of the kits slightly, as if to shield them from Darkstar.
"Well, first of all, who the hell they are." Darkstar snapped. Then she sighed and lowered her voice. "I'd also like to know their genders. From what I can tell they're identical, so it would at least be nice if they were opposite genders. Identical cats in the clans is just confusing and annoying. I'd also like to know where they came from, why they were with Twolegs, if there's anything wrong with them, and why on earth they decided to go for my medicine cat's throat and thought that was a good idea."
"It can't wait till morning?" Meadowsplash questioned flatly, knowing what the answer would be.
"No." Darkstar said briskly. "I'm not going to sleep tonight with strangers in my camp." She pushed Meadowsplash aside and leaned over the kits. "It's time they stopped being strangers."
The one kit's eyes opened before Darkstar's paw even touched it. The cat leaped to its feet, slipped, fell down, and cowered on the moss, claws unsheathed and teeth bared fearfully.
"Calm down." Darkstar said sharply.
"We won't hurt you." The medicine cat added.
"Not as long as you don't make us." Darkstar muttered under her breath, causing Meadowsplash to shoot her a look.
The kit didn't sheathe its claws, instead just flicked its yellow-golden eyes back and forth between Meadowsplash and Darkstar, looking confused and uncertain. It gave a low growl.
"Do you think you could wake up your friend up for us?" Darkstar questioned simply, trying for a gentle and patient voice and failing badly.
Thank StarClan Darkstar never had kits, Meadowsplash thought in amusement. The poor kittens would probably be traumatized for life.
The white kit paused uncertainty, then, without taking its eyes off Darkstar, turned one paw and prodded its companion sharply in the side. The cat snorted, blinked, and sat up. It cowered instantly and began a low snarl.
"Calm down." Darkstar repeated.
"You're safe. We're not going to harm you." Meadowsplash said in a more soothing voice.
The cat swallowed slowly and turned its eyes back and forth between the two clan cats warily. Then its fur slowly relaxed and its face looked expectant. It opened its mouth, made a mumbling sound, then looked puzzled. It licked its lips, pursed its lips, and tried again,
The word was sloppy, as if the cats tongue was numb, but it made both clan cats prick their ears up.
"Hello!" Meadowsplash cried back excitedly, causing both kits to flinch at the sound.
"Meadowsplash, be quiet." Darkstar snapped. She turned back to the kits. "Can you say anything else, perhaps?"
The kit who had spoken looked uncertain, then slowly opened its mouth and tried again,
"I don't... I'm not sure...where...we are." It stuttered. By now Darkstar could recognize its voice as male, but the other cat had remained stone silent, so she couldn't tell its gender.
"You're in the ShadowClan medicine cat den." Darkstar explained. "I am the leader, Darkstar. This is Meadowsplash, my medicine cat, who you had no right to attack, I'll add." Darkstar's voice took on a more sharp tone at the end.
The male kit swllowed and his ears twitched nervously. "D-didn't know... s-s-sorry... Meadow... Meadowsplash."
Meadowsplash smiled happily. "It's okay, sweetie." She said pleasantly.
"No, its not." Darkstar hissed at her. She turned back to the kits. "What is your intent here? You don't attack for no reason."
The kit looked frightened again. He gave his friend a quick glance before stuttering out, "D-didn't know... Thought you were... you were..." He trailed off, looking confused. "I... can't r-remember."
"Remember what?" Darkstar questioned.
"Anything." The first kit spoke finally. Darkstar was pleased to hear the obvious female tinge to her voice. A male kit and female kit. That would make things easier.
"What do you mean, 'anything'?" Meadowsplash questioned.
"We can't remember anything." The kit snapped, her eyes narrowing.
"Names?" Darkstar meowed.
"No." The male kit supplied after a moment hesitation, as if trying to see if he could remember.
"Why were you with Twolegs?" Darkstar pressed.
This earned blank looks from both kits.
"Two-legs?" The girl kit sounded out slowly.
"Yes. They dropped you off from one of their monsters just outside our camp." Darkstar explained impatiently. "Why were you with them? Are you kittypets?"
The kits heads were almost visibly spinning at the strange words, the strange cats, and just exhaustion. The boy kit seemed close to tears, and the girl kits' claws were unsheathing again.
"Okay, fine." Darkstar said reluctantly. "That's enough for today. Go to bed."
The kits nodded wearily, exchanging another glance.
"Are you going to get in the box?" Darkstar asked after a moment.
"Box?" The boy kit ventured blearily.
Meadowsplash pointed with her tail to the kits' mode of transportation.
Both bristled instantly, claws unsheathed. "No." The boy kit said quickly.
Darkstar didn't press it, just yawned and nodde.d "M'kay. Well, Meadow, get them to bed. I'll deal with all of this mess in the morning." Then, with a wave of her silky tail, she was gone.
Meadowsplash watched as the kits snuggled down into their makeshift bed, tucking themselves into the moss, pressing against each other until they were just one blend of white in the shadows of the den.
Meadowsplash turned to head to her nest, then turned back once more.
"Just one last thing." She said quickly. "Are you brother and sister?"
One pair of eyes opened, shining golden in the dim light. The other didn't bother stirring.
"Of course we are." The boy kit mewed, like he was stating the obvious. Then he yawned, showing a tiny pink mouth, and closed his eyes again.
Meadowsplash smiled as she went back to her nest.
[Author's Note: Well, there you go. How was it? The next chapter is when things get more interesting. I want to say I'll have the next chapter up in a week, but realistically, expect about two weeks. (Who knows, maybe I'll get one up on time this time (...Yeah, probably not)) Ciao! :3 Please review!]