"But Yellowfang-"

"No Sagewhisker. My destiny is what I make it. It is not what you think it should be. I am a warrior. This is the path I chose. You need an apprentice, but I will not be forced into it." Yellowfang said, calmly but firmly. She turned and walked away from the medicine cat with her head held high.

Sagewhisker watched her leave, tail drooping. She knew Yellowfang was right, but she had hoped she could be talked into leaving life as a warrior. She sighed. She would have to watch the kits for any signs of interest.

Raggedpelt padded over to where Yellowfang was laying in a rare patch of sunlight that reached the camp. He laid down next to her, nuzzling her. "I'm so glad you didn't give in to her," he whispered. "I'm glad I can remain your mate."

A purr rumbled in Yellowfang's throat. "You stupid furball," she meowed affectionately. "I would never leave you." Yellowfang rose to her paws. "Will you take a walk with me in the forest?" She padded toward the entrance, and Raggedpelt followed. After leaving the camp, he bounded up to her side, and their tails twined together.

"Where are we going Yellowfang?" he questioned.

"Toward the Thunderpath." He tried for an explanation, but received none.

Once they reached the edge of the forest, she stopped. "Raggedpelt... I'm going to have kits!" she said, nervous but excited.

Raggedpelt's eyes glowed with delight. "I'm going to be a father! Yellowfang, that's great! Our kits will be the best warriors and queens the clan has ever known. One of them might be clan leader one day..." he trailed off. "I'll be the best father."

She looked at him warmly. "I know you will."

Together, they padded back to the Shadowclan camp, and Raggedpelt went on to make sure everyone knew the big news.

"Sagewhisker, Sagewhisker! Hurry!" Cloudpaw called. He ran into the den. "She's kitting!" It had been three moons since the announcement, and one moon since she had moved to the nursery. Raggedpelt paced anxiously.

Sagewhisker looked at him. "You want to come in with me, don't you?" He nodded hesitantly. "Well Lizardstripe wants nothing to do with this, so there is room. Come on." He padded in after her. Yellowfang lay curled in her nest, and a moan escaped her throat.

"Here, bite this," Sagewhisker said, presenting her with a stick. "It will help."

"What can I do?" Raggedpelt asked nervously, pacing.

"Go get moss dipped in water. She will need water to help the milk come." He hurried away.

"Toms," Sagewhisker muttered. "They are no help when it comes to this."

Yellowfang whimpered. "You're doing great Yellowfang. Keep pushing."

Sagewhisker kneaded her stomach. "I can see one!" A small body slipped out. The small kit opened her mouth soundlessly, and was pushed into her mother's stomach. Yellowfang dropped the stick and licked her daughter between the ears, flinching as another spasm hit her. A few moments later, she whimpered and a second kit slid out unassisted and wormed his way toward his mother's stomach. The third kit slid out soon after her brother.

Raggedpelt pushed his way through the brambles, jaws filled with dripping moss. His eyes glowed with happiness and he set the moss down at Yellowfang's head. "They're beautiful." he purred. He touched his muzzle to her head. "Just like their mother." She purred.

Sagewhisker quietly padded out, not wanting to interrupt. Raggedpelt was rarely this affectionate.

Raggedpelt came back the next morning, bringing his mate a large frog. He set it down by her head and looked at his kits. "Good morning, little kits," he purred. He sat next to Yellowfang as she ate. "What should we name them?"

She tiredly gestured toward the eldest, a gray tabby she-kit with two black paws. "Silverkit."

He nodded, and pointed at the tom with his tail. He was a dark brown tabby with a bend in his tail. "What about Kinkkit, after the kink in his tail?"

Yellowfang agreed. Now all that was left was the youngest, a fluffy black she-kit with tufted ears. She had longer fur than her brother or her sister. "I think her name should be Nightkit."

Raggedpelt purred. "They are beautiful names, and perfect kits." He nuzzled his mate's cheek and gave each of his kits a swift lick. "I have to go on patrol, but I'll be back soon."

After he left, Yellowfang drifted to sleep once more.