[Author's Note: Hello people of fanfiction. Here I am with yet another story (Yes, I know I can barely even keep up with the ones I have currently, but I came up with this awesome idea and I want it published, so don't judge me). Anyway! If the summary doesn't make sense, don't worry: I'll explain it all in good time, my friends. The clans in this story are OC: PineClan, BlizzardClan, RockClan, and MossClan. Their territory is sort of an arctic, rocky area. This is rated T for awesome, bloody violence, but nothing too creepily extreme. Enjoy!]
In the shadows of the nursery, in the early hours of the morning, a cream-colored she-cat lay exhausted on a thin bed of shredded moss. Her eyes were closed but a sliver of green showing through, and her chest rose and fell feebly as she recovered from her ordeal.
Curled against her side, three kits lay suckling contentedly, kneading their mother's soft belly with their paws. One was a pale orange tabby she-kit, with stripes so faint they were barely noticeable. The second was another she-kit, as black as night with a tiny smudge of silver on her small nose. The third was almost identical to his tabby sister, but was at least twice her size, an almost abnormally large kit.
Two figures stood over the mother, their faces shadowed by the darkness of the den. One of them had stormy blue eyes that were hard and determined, and was watching the kits with a serious expression. The other had orange eyes that, while while remaining a buisness-like gleam, seemed more relaxed and pleased by the warm den with the scent of milk and the squeaks of the kittens.
"Very good, Lightpelt." The orange-eyed cat said mildly to the queen. "Three healthy little furballs."
"She can't hear you, Patchheart." The first, blue-eyed cat sighed. "She's obviously unconscious. Probably just passed out from exhaustion." A paw prodded the she-cat's side, and through her last sliver of awareness, she felt it, but was too weak to respond.
"Very nice kits, though, aren't they?" Patchheat remarked. "The clan will benefit from cats like them very well."
"Of course. Lightpelt has borne a good litter. Strong, healthy, handsome." The blue-eyed cat agreed. "A shame their father can't see them, I suppose."
"Yes, Mountainclimb's demise was rather tragic, wasn't it? And when she was barely a moon from giving birth." The orange-eyed cat's voice was tinged with regret.
"Yes, that cougar attack was very unexpected. But he died a warrior's death." The blue-eyed cat said briskly, turning back to the kits. "Look at that one, Patchheart. The tabby."
"The huge one, idiot. Look at that frame. He's going to grow up enormous. And muscular. Look at those shoulders, and those paws!" Blue-eyes sounded rather impressed.
"Wonder where he got it from?" Patchheart contemplated. "Not his mother, she's a little thing. And Mountainclimb was built like a she-cat."
"Perhaps his grandfather. Appleclaw was well-built." The first cat suggested. "Really, though, look at that kit! Positively marvelous. He'll be a candidate, won't he?"
"For sure, Greystar." Patchheart agreed immediately. "I think more than a candidate."
Greystar purred rustily. "Oh, I agree. I think you may be looking at PineClan's new pugna."
The she-cat laying on the ground in front of them barely heard the threads of those words in her half-consious state, but it was enough to send ice rushing through her veins. Oh, please no. Please no.
"Indeed." Patchheart leaned forward to the tiny kit still sucking in the rich milk. "It is an honor, kitten." He whispered in its velvety ear. "A true honor."
[Author's Note: Yay for short first chapters! No, really, the chapters will probably be longer than this, but I thought this might be a nice start to this fic. FYI: The name pugna is Latin for 'fight/battle' (Thank you, Google Translate), hence this story's title and will make sense later. Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease REVIEW! :3]