Hello, hello! This is another one of my FlowerClan Challenges: Genre Challenge. With this story, I hope to qualify for Warrior status! Yay!
Disclaimer- I do not happen to own the Warriors series.
Eaglepaw couldn't imagine not telling Ashpaw something. It seemed impossible. They were the best of friends and always told each other everything, no matter what.
But this. This was something Eaglepaw couldn't share with anyone. A few tail-lengths away from him was where Raventalon stood. The SandClan leader lay before her paws in a pool of blood, and Eaglepaw had seen it all. Sagestar's heaving chest soon stopped moving all together, and Eaglepaw had no words. Nothing could express what he was feeling in that very moment. Fear? Confusion? Shock? He didn't know. Maybe it was everything.
Raventalon gazed back at Eaglepaw, her deep, amber eyes expressed the same emotions that he himself was feeling, but then how had she been able to act? To move herself so quickly... to take Sagestar's final life before he could declare war on FireClan over a mere rabbit. Eaglepaw no longer knew what was taboo. Was killing the leader in order to save the lives of the clan the right thing to do? Or was it not? Eaglepaw didn't know. For a moment before Raventalon began to move toward him, he wished that he could have stopped her. Even if the decision cost lives.
Then his thoughts went to Ashpaw. What if Ashpaw had been killed by Sagestar's foolish decision? The burden grew heavy on Eaglepaw's shoulders. Eaglepaw found himself looking to Raventalon for guidance. She was his mentor, and she was a good cat. Eaglepaw knew that. So he trusted her. He trusted that she had made the right decision, even if it was an awful burden to bear, he would carry it upon his broad shoulders for the rest of his life.
When Raventalon finally met Eaglepaw's eyes again, there was new resolve flickering within the amber. She knew what she had to do. Eaglepaw could look to her for answers, for she would have them then.
"Eaglepaw. We could only manage to run the fox off... but it was too late. It had already gotten Sagestar," Raventalon said slowly, "We could not save him." Eaglepaw took these words to heart, memorized them. Then Raventalon bared her claws at Eaglepaw, giving him the appearance of battle. Both the truth weighed heavy upon Eaglepaw's heart.
Both returned to camp with wounds. Some that would leave scars, and others that would fade away over time. Not once did Eaglepaw stop believing in Raventalon either. He believed she had done the right thing, yet he could never forget it.
"Eaglepaw... are you okay?" Ashpaw's voice penetrated the dark memories of Sagestar's death. Eaglepaw turned sharply, his tabby brown and white fur standing on end. His dark amber eyes were wide with fear. Ashpaw looked worried then frightened as well. Upon realizing that it was Ashpaw, Eaglepaw allowed himself to calm down, but still, he remained careful with his words.
"I... I'll be fine," Eaglepaw replied, barely keeping himself from talking to Ashpaw. He wanted to. He wanted to confide in someone, anyone but could not. Ashpaw looked as if Eaglepaw had struck him. Not only had his pride been injured, but his feelings were hurt. Eaglepaw was pushing him away. Ashpaw couldn't believe Eaglepaw was lying to him.
"I'll be fine, Ashpaw," Eaglepaw insisted, "I just have to figure this out on my own."
"But you don't have to," Ashpaw responded. His yellow eyes practically begged Eaglepaw to say something, to stop doing this to him, but Eaglepaw ignored his pleas.
"No. This is something I have to work out on my own," Eaglepaw confirmed. Ashpaw was hurt. He couldn't even pretend not to be. Eaglepaw's words had really hurt him. Eaglepaw had always turned to Ashpaw for help or comfort. What had happened to make that bond no longer matter?
"So you can't talk to me or won't?" Ashpaw couldn't stop the anger, the rashness of his words, "I'm your friend, Eaglepaw, whether you want me to or not." Eaglepaw looked so sad, but still he turned away and left Ashpaw standing there, alone. Ashpaw couldn't believe that that had just happened. He wanted to call Eaglepaw back, beg for him to talk to him, but there was no more fight left in him. Ashpaw was just hurt. So he hid. He hid from everything. His duties, his family, SandClan, and most of all, Eaglepaw.
"Ashpaw?" the soft meow of Honeypaw trickled through the thick, holly leaves of the bush that Ashpaw was hidden within. She could scent him clear as day, though it helped that she was a little better at smelling things than most SandClan cats. She had her ancestry in LeafClan to thank for that.
"Yeah...?" Ashpaw meowed back. A warm pur erupted from Honeypaw's belly.
"I knew it was you," she told him gently, "You know, Eaglepaw's been looking all over for you, and so has Tigerpelt. They're both pretty worried. Well, actually, Tigerpelt's here with me." Ashpaw wanted to bury himself in the dirt. His pelt was warm with embarrassment. But Eaglepaw had been looking for him. He was worried.
"Is he really?" Ashpaw asked carefully.
"Who? Tigerpelt or Eaglepaw?" Honeypaw responded.
"Well, I'm here," Tigerpelt's distinctly gruff voice meowed.
"I guess that just leaves Eaglepaw..." Honeypaw meowed, "And he is. He told me that you two had a fight, and if I saw you I ought to let you know he was looking. Anyways, I recommend you come on out now. Ravenstar's going to call a clan meeting soon." Ashpaw slowly crawled out of the prickly bush. Honeypaw was happy to see him coming along, and Tigerpelt merely shook his head.
"I'll let you off just this once," he warned Ashpaw gently. Ashpaw nodded swiftly in response, his pelt warm with shame.
"All cats old enough to catch their own prey, gather before your leader," Ravenstar yowled, loud and strong. Ashpaw felt a little disappointed that he wouldn't have a chance to talk to Eaglepaw before the clan meeting. Ashpaw sat next to Lilypaw and Honeypaw.
"Did you get to talk to Eaglepaw yet?" Lilypaw hissed softly. Ashpaw looked at her in confusion, "I'll take that as a 'no'." Lilypaw actually looked a bit excited as well.
"Today SandClan shall welcome two new warriors," Ravenstar meowed. Her amber eyes scanned the crowd, but Ashpaw already had an idea of who she was talking about. It had to be Eaglepaw and his brother, Redpaw. Before he knew it, he was just as excited as Lilypaw was.
"Eaglepaw, Redpaw, please join me before the clan," Ravenstar continued. The two toms padded forward. Their sister, Dovepaw - who was also the medicine cat apprentice - looked on excitedly. Her pelt shone with pride. Ashpaw couldn't believe how happy he was just to see Eaglepaw being honored before the clan.
"Redpaw, do you vow to uphold the warrior code, even at the cost of your own life?" Ravenstar asked slowly. Her voice was strong and steady.
"Yes," Redpaw replied confidently. His amber eyes glowed with a certain intensity.
"Then from this moment forward, you shall be known to all as Redtail," Ravenstar responded. The clan immediately burst into enthusiastic cheering.
"Redtail! Redtail! Redtail!" With a wave of Ravenstar's tail, the cats fell silent once more.
"Eaglepaw, do you vow to uphold the warrior code, even at the cost of your own life?" Ravestar asked once more. Eaglepaw didn't look confident like his brother. He looked solemn, experienced.
"Forever," he meowed in a steady voice. Ravenstar was shocked for a moment by his response before she finally continued.
"Then from this moment forward, you shall be known to all as Eagleheart," Ravenstar's voice was a bit softer, gentler even. It expressed her soft spot for her young apprentice. She was glad to see him becoming a warrior, and she was happy to be the one to name him.
"Eagleheart! Eagleheart! Eagleheart!" the clan roared with enthusiasm. Ashpaw cheered along with them, his heart bursting with pride but also a bit of pain. Were they still friends? Eagleheart's amber eyes quickly found and met Ashpaw's nervous, yellow eyes. A shiver passed through Ashpaw at the feeling.
"Ea-eagleheart...?" he stammered. Lilypaw snorted softly, whispering to Honeypaw, who purred in response.
As the clan dispersed, Eagleheart slowly made his way toward Ashpaw. He was stopped for a moment by the SandClan deputy, Whiteface. She was an old cat though, and Ashpaw couldn't guess what she was talking to Eagleheart about. Then, Eagleheart finally stood before Ashpaw.
"Ashpaw..." Eagleheart began in a soft tone, "Could you take a walk with me?" Ashpaw, without question, followed Eagleheart into the marshy territory that surrounded SandClan's camp. After walking for a while, Eagleheart suddenly spoke, "It just didn't seem like something you could understand..." For a moment, Ashpaw was completely lost, but then he realized, Eagleheart was apologizing.
"Even if I didn't, I wanted to help. If only just to listen..." Ashpaw replied. He was immediately finding the words he had wanted to say to Eagleheart the entire day, "I know you, Eagleheart. You need to talk about things." Eagleheart's name felt good rolling off of Ashpaw's tongue. Eagleheart stopped walking.
"But that's what you don't understand, Ashpaw!" he snapped. Ashpaw froze, staring at Eagleheart with wide eyes, "I can't talk about it. I don't even want to lie about it, especially not to you, Ashpaw." Eagleheart sounded worn down, tired, maybe even broken. Seeing him like this was breaking Ashpaw's heart, and Ashpaw couldn't even begin to comprehend what he was going through.
"Well I can't know that if you don't tell me," Ashpaw reasoned gently. He didn't want to fight with Eagleheart anymore. He was ready to find a truce, "We don't even have to talk about it. Just let me be there for you, okay?" Eagleheart looked up at Ashpaw in shock.
"O-okay," Eagleheart agreed slowly. Ashpaw then pressed his flank up to Eagleheart's gently. His gray fur mingling with the white and brown tabby fur. A bittersweet happiness filled Ashpaw's heart. I really love you, Eagleheart.
And then we end with some angst. Yay! Anyways, there will be a continuation of this (sort of?) as my other FlowerClan challenge OS. It's not typed up yet, but it shall be posted eventually.