Cats amongst the Forest is a 'What If' fanfiction. What if Twolegs hadn't destroyed the forest? What if Firestar had killed Bone before he killed Whitestorm? What would have happened?
This book starts at the exact same time as 'Midnight'. Allegiances have been taken and changed. Remember that this is not the same as the real Midnight, and apprentice's warrior names will be different, and such.
See the territories for the last few chapters here. There are many spoilers.
Leader: Firestar, a ginger tom with a flame-colored pelt. Seven of his nine lives remain.
Deputy: Whitestorm, big white tom.
Medicine Cat: Cinderpelt, a dark grey she-cat with a twisted leg.
Medicine Cat Apprentice: Leafpaw, light-brown tabby she-cat with amber eyes and white paws.
Warrior: Graystripe, long-haired grey tom.
Warrior: Mousefur, small dusky brown she-cat.
Warrior: Dustpelt, dark brown tabby tom.
Warrior: Sandstorm, pale ginger she-cat.
Warrior: Cloudtail, long-haired white tom of kittypet origin.
Warrior: Brackenfur, golden brown tabby tom.
Warrior: Thornclaw, golden brown tabby tom.
Warrior: Brightheart, white she-cat with ginger patches.
Warrior: Brambleclaw, dark brown tabby tom with amber eyes.
Warrior: Ashfur, pale grey (with darker flecks) tom, with dark blue eyes.
Warrior: Rainwhisker, dark grey tom with blue eyes.
Warrior: Sootfur, lighter grey tom with amber eyes.
Apprentice: Sorrelpaw, tortoiseshell and white she-cat with amber eyes. Mentored by Sandstorm.
Apprentice: Squirrelpaw, dark ginger she-cat with green eyes and one white paw. Mentored by Dustpelt.
Apprentice: Spiderpaw, long-limbed black tom with brown underbelly and amber eyes. Mentored by Mousefur.
Apprentice: Shrewpaw, small dark brown tom with amber eyes. Mentored by Thornclaw.
Apprentice: Whitepaw, white she-cat with green eyes. Mentored by Brackenfur.
Queen: Goldenflower, pale ginger coat, the oldest nursery queen.
Queen: Ferncloud, pale grey (with darker flecks) she-cat, green eyes.
Elder: Frostfur, beautiful white she-cat with blue eyes.
Elder: Dappletail, once-pretty tortoiseshell she-cat, the oldest cat in ThunderClan.
Elder: Speckletail, pale tabby she-cat.
Elder: Longtail, pale tabby tom with dark black stripes, retired early due to failing sight.
Leader: Blackstar, large white tom with huge jet black paws.
Deputy: Russetfur, dark ginger she-cat.
Medicine Cat: Littlecloud, very small tabby tom.
Warrior: Oakfur, small brown tom.
Warrior: Cedarheart, dark grey tom.
Warrior: Rowanclaw, ginger she-cat.
Warrior: Tallpoppy, long-legged light brown tabby she-cat.
Apprentice: Smokepaw, grey tom with green eyes. Mentored by Oakfur.
Apprentice: Talonpaw, ginger she-cat with blue eyes. Mentored by Rowanclaw.
Queen: Tawnypelt, tortoiseshell she-cat with green eyes.
Elder: Runningnose, small grey-and-white tom, formerly the Medicine cat.
Leader: Mudstar, mottled dark brown tom.
Deputy: Webfoot, dark gray tabby tom.
Medicine Cat: Barkface, short-tailed brown tom.
Warrior: Onewhisker, brown tabby tom.
Warrior: Tornear, tabby tom.
Queen: Whitetail, small white she-cat.
Elder: Talltail, elderly black-and-white tom with a very long tail. Formerly Tallstar.
Elder: Morningflower, tortoiseshell she-cat.
Leader: Leopardstar, unusually spotted golden tabby she-cat.
Deputy: Mistyfoot, gray she-cat with blue eyes.
Medicine Cat: Mudfur, long-haired light brown tom.
Medicine Cat Apprentice: Mothwing, beautiful golden tabby she-cat with amber eyes.
Warrior: Blackclaw, smoky black tom.
Warrior: Heavystep, thickset tabby tom.
Warrior: Stormfur, dark gray tom with amber eyes.
Warrior: Feathertail, light gray she-cat with blue eyes.
Warrior: Hawkfrost, broad-shouldered dark brown tom.
Warrior: Mosspelt, tortoise-shell she-cat.
Queen: Dawnflower, pale grey she-cat.
Elder: Shadepelt, very dark gray she-cat.
Elder: Loudbelly, dark brown tom.
Leader: Leafstar, a brown-and-cream tabby she-cat with amber eyes and Seven lives remaining.
Deputy: Sharpclaw, dark ginger tom.
Medicine Cat: Echosong, silver she-cat with green eyes.
Medicine Cat Apprentice: Sagepaw, pale grey tom.
Warrior: Patchfoot, black-and-white tom.
Warrior: Shortwhisker, dark brown tabby tom.
Warrior: Clovertail, light brown she-cat with white belly and legs.
Warrior: Petalnose, pale grey she-cat.
Warrior: Sparrowpelt, dark brown tabby tom.
Warrior: Duskface, black tom.
Warrior: Bouncestep, ginger tom.
Warrior: Rockpad, black tom.
Apprentice: Mintpaw, gray tabby she-cat. Mentored by Leafstar.
Apprentice: Emberpaw, ginger tom. Mentored by Clovertail.
Queen: Cherrytail, tortoiseshell she cat; mates with Patchfoot.
Queen: Tinypelt, white she-cat; mates with Shortwhisker. Has three kits;
Cats outside the Clans
Barley, black-and-white tom that lives on a farm close to the forest.
Ravenpaw, sleek black cat that lives on the farm with Barley.
Night lay upon the forest. There was no moon, but the stars of Silverpelt shed their frosty glitter over the trees. At the bottom of a rocky hollow, a pool reflected the starshine. The air was heavy with scents of late Greenleaf.
A cat, who had been sitting on the rock above the pool of stars and water, lifted her head. As he got up, many star-pelted cats entered the hollow. They exchanged greetings, and sat down at the edge of the pool.
"I see danger." the cat on the rock meowed calmly, "Danger waiting for the Clans."
The cats looked around, silently, their eyes glittering with fear. One of the cats who had been sitting by the pool, a tom with a stubby and twisted foot, stepped forward, his eyes glittering with a challenge.
"What is this danger, Bluestar?" he snapped.
Bluestar closed her eyes. An image of a brown tom appeared in the pool, causing many of the cats to gasp in shock.
"So you're saying that WindClan is the root of the problem?" the stubby-footed cat snarled, causing many of the WindClan cats in the group to growl and yowl in agreement.
"Yes, yes I am." Bluestar replied, sitting down, "We must rely on the strength of all the Clans. Although he seems like he is not much of a problem..."
Bluestar trailed off, lost in her memories of Tigerstar, and how she was blind to all of his faults until it was too late. She sighed, and jumped off the rock, landing gracefully beside Lionheart and Redtail.
"When the fire has dimmed, the Clans must find a way to replenish it so it may shine brightly." she meowed.
There was another yowl of alarm from the StarClanners, causing another cat to step forward, a large tom with ragged fur. He flicked his tail in annoyance towards Bluestar, and hopped onto the rock, stumbling as he turned around.
Bluestar glared at the cat, and sighed. "Do you have a better idea, Raggedstar?"
Raggedstar nodded confidently. "ShadowClan will attack WindClan, if you want. We'll easily over-power them..."
A small tom snorted, cutting Raggedstar off. He, like Raggedstar, smelt like ShadowClan. "You're thinking like Brokenstar, you realize."
"Sorry, Badgerfang." Raggedstar sighed, remembering how the apprentice had been cruelly killed in a battle with WindClan.
The cats sat in silence, remembering the horrors the past leaders had brought amongst the Clans. There was Brokenstar, who cruelly apprenticed kits at the age of three moons, then there was Tigerstar, who brought Scourge into the forest and killed many Clan cats.
"Wait-" yowled Redtail, climbing onto the rock, "I have an idea."
The cats sat down, eager to hear what the ThunderClan deputy had to say. Bluestar smirked as he went on.
"What if, we sent messages to the Clans, like we always do? Perhaps four from each Clan?"
"That's what we always do. We can't do anything else?" snarled Raggedstar.
Bluestar closed her eyes, and thought hard. "We can't do anything from up here, Raggedstar."
Four cats entered the clearing, causing all of the other cats to tremble and back away. Three were she-cats, the other a tom.
"This bickering is sense-less," snarled the large tom.
Bluestar tipped her head in respect for him, and glanced over at Redtail nervously.
"But, Thunder," Bluestar began, "We need to do something! I have seen the destruction that awaits the Clans if we let this happen..."
Thunder glanced over at the other Ancient leaders, and nodded.
"Very well, then. If one of you wishes to return to the living, we can do that. But at a price."
The cats shied away, too alarmed or frightened, or even too dumbstruck to want to do it. But a sweet smell entered the clearing, as a small tortoiseshell she-cat came forward.
"What is your price?" she meowed, her voice soothing the cats.
"My price..." Thunder purred in amusement, "Is that you cannot tell any living cat who you truly are."
The cat nodded. "Is that all?"
River stepped forward, her eyes sparkling as she spoke. "No. You will look and smell nothing like you do now."
"And-" Wind added on, "No cat will truly trust you."
The fourth cat, Shadow, snarled. "And you will return to StarClan when your deed is over."
"Very well then," the she-cat meowed, "I wish to do this task for you."
Thunder purred, and the four leaders circled around the cat. Bluestar buried her head in Redtail's starry fur, unable to watch her loyal Medicine Cat leave StarClan. It had never happened before, and what if something were to go wrong?
"Thunder, Wind, River, Shadow, Sky," the leaders chanted, "Shall grant you one more chance at life."
The she-cat's fur glowed brightly as she sunk through the clouds. She closed her eyes, feeling her fur turn solid once again. But, she realized she was getting smaller. And smaller. And smaller...
The moon shone, shining more bright than ever before. The pelts of the ThunderClan cats were pale in the moonlight as they made their way towards the four trees that towered over the entire forest. Not one dared to make a sound, but instead followed the two cats at the front, one with fur like flames, and the other's fur as white as the clouds.
The cats arrived at Fourtrees, purring and meowing at the other cats, greeting and talking with them. Firestar, the flame-colored cat, and his deputy, Whitestorm, made their way over to the giant rock that was nearly half the size of the Great-Trees.
"Greetings, Blackstar. Greetings, Leopardstar." Firestar meowed, dipping his head in respect for the RiverClan and ShadowClan leaders as he hopped onto the Great-Stone.
The leaders glanced around, wondering where Tallstar and his clan could be. Firestar sighed with relief as he noticed the WindClanners approach, lead by a brown tom and a dark grey tom.
"Tallstar?" Leopardstar meowed as the brown cat jumped onto the Great-Rock, "Where is he and who.."
"Mudclaw." the grey cat snarled, "Or as I should say, Mudstar."
"Silence," Blackstar ordered, "Let us begin the gathering."
The cats crowded around the Great-Rock as they heard Blackstar order the beginning of the Gathering. Their eyes were fixed on the black-footed leader of ShadowClan.
Blackstar chuckled as he stepped forward, flicking his white tail in content.
"ShadowClan has been doing well over the past moon. I am happy to say that Tawnypelt, one of our warriors, is having kits with me."
Goldenflower gasped, putting her head into her son, Brambleclaw's fur. She couldn't believe that her kit- who was only a warrior for a few moons, mated with the ShadowClan leader.
"It's alright, Goldenflower." Brambleclaw whispered, before turning to look at Blackstar again.
"ShadowClan is also very pleased to say that we have two new apprentices, Talonpaw and Smokepaw."
There was a yowl of pride from the ShadowClanners, who then stopped as Blackstar stepped back, allowing Firestar to come foreward.
"ThunderClan is doing well. It is a very nice Greenleaf, after all." he began, happiness in his voice, "And we are also very pleased to say that Sorrelpaw, one of our apprentices, has been given her warrior name, Sorreltail!"
"Sorreltail!" Sandstorm yowled, who had been her mentor. The other cats joined in with her chanting.
Firestar purred, and stepped back. Leopardstar came forward, her eyes sparkling like they did every gathering. She looked down at Mistyfoot nervously, and then up at the cats.
"RiverClan is fine, as always. Just last night, Dawnflower gave birth to three kits, Riverkit, Ivykit and Stonekit!"
Brambleclaw looked over at the RiverClanners, who were sparkling with pride. Leopardstar nodded, and stepped back. All three of the leaders waited for Mudstar to tell them why he was now the leader of WindClan.
"WindClan-" Mudstar began, "Has been a great Clan for many moons. Sadly, my leader who I served faithfully as a deputy, retired, leaving me with the position of WindClan's leader. Webfoot is my new deputy."
The ThunderClanners looked up at Mudstar, confused. Brambleclaw couldn't help but see a spark of tyranny in the new leader's eyes as he stepped back.
"Very well, then," Firestar meowed, "We shall stay a little while longer then return to our camps."
The cats scattered as the leaders jumped off the Great-Rock, going to greet their inter-clan friends. Sandstorm and Firestar made their way over to Onewhisker and his group of WindClanners, excitement in their eyes as they spoke.
Brambleclaw watched, realizing Firestar's expression fell while Onewhisker spoke. What was he saying? Why was Firestar not content with what he said? Brambleclaw shook his head, and looked over at Blackstar. The fiend that had mated with his sister.
A few moments later, Firestar yowled to get the cat's attention.
"ThunderClan, we return to camp!" he yowled, rushing out of Fourtrees, Sandstorm and Whitestorm at his side.
Brambleclaw joined Sorreltail, Brightheart and Cloudtail, who followed Firestar as he rapidly made his way past the Owl-tree and over the shallow river that crossed into the Sandy Hollow. They were soon at their camp.
Wordlessly, Firestar darted into his den, with Whitestorm. Brambleclaw watched as the big white cat entered Cinderpelt's den, coming out a few seconds later with both the grey she-cat, and her apprentice, Leafpaw.
"What's going on?" Brambleclaw asked Cloudtail as he padded by.
Cloudtail sighed. "Who knows? Firestar's probably worried about Mudstar and WindClan. You know him, the cat who treats every Clan as his own."
Brambleclaw couldn't help but laugh at that. He just couldn't see Firestar liking every cat in the forest. After all, Firestar hated Brambleclaw. He couldn't help but see his father, Tigerstar, every time he saw Brambleclaw.
"Stupid Firestar." Brambleclaw muttered making his way into the Nursery.
Ferncloud smiled as Brambleclaw entered. She looked down at her bloated body, and smiled.
"Good afternoon." Ferncloud meowed, laying down on Goldenflower.
Goldenflower half-smiled at Brambleclaw. He could clearly see she was worried. Probably about Ferncloud's kits, Mudstar, Tawnypelt...
Brambleclaw shook his head. He was worried about Tawnypelt as well!
There was a yowl from the Highrock outside, causing Brambleclaw to jump. Goldenflower chuckled.
"You'd better go." Goldenflower meowed.
Brambleclaw padded out of the Nursery, sighing as he saw Firestar and Whitestorm on the Highrock, cats surrounding him. Brambleclaw padded over to Brightheart and Cloudtail, and sat down, looking up at Firestar nervously.
"Cats of ThunderClan," Firestar meowed, his green eyes sparkling in the moonlight, "You all know that Mudstar..."
There was a yowl of disgust from a cat in the crowd. Speckletail, an elder, snarled.
"Is this what this meeting's about?" Speckletail yowled, glaring at Firestar, "To protect the other Clans? When will you learn that you're not the leader of the entire forest?"
Firestar growled, and snarled at the she-cat.
"I was simply going to say that all patrols must go in groups of five. I don't like the looks of Mudstar."
Speckletail stepped back, her eyes showing great embarassment. She stalked off, into the elder's den without another word.
"You all heard me; I will not let you leave camp if you do not go in groups of at the least three." Firestar meowed, worry in his mighty voice.
Brambleclaw sighed. Firestar was way too concerned about the other Clans...
Brambleclaw's eyes flickered open, hearing the alarmed yowls of his Clanmates from outside. They had woken him from a wonderful dream... one of Tawnypelt and himself together in ThunderClan. Brambleclaw got to his paws, and padded out of camp, seeing his clanmates crowded around as the sun rose over the camp.
"What's going on?" Firestar roared, seperating the crowds. He gasped, and his eyes widened as he saw what they had found.
Brambleclaw padded forward, seeing Sorreltail in the center of the camp. Beside her was a small apprentice-sized cat, who's pelt was as black as midnight. The cat looked vaguely familiar, but Brambleclaw couldn't recognize the cat.
Sorreltail's eyes opened, just in time to see Whitestorm rush out of his den and rush to her side.
"This... kit." she muttered, laying down in her blood, unable to move.
Whitestorm buried his head in Sorreltail's fur, before getting up to fetch Leafpaw and Cinderpelt. Before long, they were out in the center of the camp, Leafpaw mopping up the blood with moss, and Cinderpelt carefully moving Sorreltail to her den with help from Firestar. The tiny cat twitched, and immediately jumped to her paws. Wordlessly, Whitestorm jumped on her and pinned her down.
"Who are you?" Firestar meowed, his eyes fierce.
The tiny cat hesitated, her unnaturally blue eyes twinkling with fear as she opened her mouth to speak.
"I'm Stripe." the cat whispered, rolling on to her back to reveal mysterious grey stripes on her stomach.
Firestar growled. "And why are you here, Stripe? More importantly... why did you attack Sorreltail?"
Stripe looked at her black and grey paws, hanging her head in shame.
"Leopardstar... my mama... she told me I wouldn't make a good warrior and left me by the river. I was starving, and went to eat some fresh-kill, but..."
Brambleclaw snorted, clearly seeing that the cat was lying. Firestar seemed to believe her, much to his dismay.
"Ah, the cruel RiverClanners..." Firestar meowed, licking Stripe on her tiny forehead, "Well, we shall make you an apprentice of ThunderClan."
Firestar climbed up on the Highrock, and yowled, "All cats old enough to catch their own prey, gather beneath the Highrock for a Clan meeting!"
Whitestorm sat by the entrance to the Medicine Cat's den, sorrow in his eyes. Graystripe, Brightheart, Cloudtail and Brackenfur were immediately sitting by the Highrock, Cloudtail motioning for Brambleclaw to join them.
Brambleclaw padded over to the cats, watching the others approaching the Highrock. Firestar sighed, and looked over at Stripe.
"As you all know," Firestar meowed, "Leopardstar has abandoned one of her kits, Stripe. Stripe has been welcomed to ThunderClan, and will be known as... Streakpaw."
Streakpaw shuddered at her new name. Brambleclaw barred his teeth, knowing that this cat was clearly not of Clan origin. Firestar looked at the cats who had been watching him, and nodded.
"Brambleclaw, you will be mentor to this apprentice. You are a true and trusted warrior, and I hope you will pass your knowledge to your new apprentice."
Brambleclaw shuddered. Now he was supposed to mentor the little liar. He couldn't believe it; was StarClan trying to punish ThunderClan?
He padded onto the Highrock, and touched noses with his apprentice. Streakpaw beamed with pride as Brambleclaw stepped off the Highrock, and Firestar ended the Clan meeting. The cats went back to what they had been doing before; Sootfur and Rainwhisker getting patrols ready under Whitestorm's supervision, Brightheart tending to the elders and apprentices...
"Brambleclaw," Streakpaw meowed, "Can we do some training now?"
"No." Brambleclaw snarled, before stalking towards the nursery to visit Goldenflower.
"Leafpaw!!" Cinderpelt yowled, before turning back to Ferncloud.
Ferncloud yowled in pain. Two of the kittens had come, and were being tended to by Whitestorm and Ferncloud's mate, Dustpelt. Ferncloud hissed in pain as the last kit came, before blacking out.
"I'll take care of Ferncloud," Cinderpelt meowed as her apprentice darted into the nursery, "You take care of... the last kit."
Brambleclaw gasped as he walked in on Ferncloud giving birth. He turned away, but was pushed towards Whitestorm by Goldenflower.
"You help warm the little scrap up." Goldenflower whispered, before leaving him alone.
Without another word, Brambleclaw licked the tiny kit. It was attempting to meow, but not a sound came from it's mouth. Brambleclaw licked harder, trying to warm the kit up.
"Alright, thank you, Brambleclaw, Whitestorm and Dustpelt. Now if you'd please, Leafpaw and I need to tend to Ferncloud now. Please leave." Cinderpelt meowed, reminding Brambleclaw of Yellowfang, or atleast the stories about her.
Brambleclaw padded out of the nursery, sighing as he made his way over to Brackenfur, who was forming a patrol.
"Come on, Streakpaw." Brambleclaw meowed to his apprentice, who had been sitting beside Shrewpaw and Spiderpaw.
The days had passed since Streakpaw had joined ThunderClan. Cinderpelt and Leafpaw were away at the Medicine Cat meeting, and all was calm. Although Firestar seemed to have more on his mind than clan duties...
Brambleclaw shook his head, and glanced over at the Apprentice's den. Streakpaw twitched in her sleep. How could Firestar believe her, when she was clearly lying? Leopardstar didn't even have a mate... wasn't it against the Warrior Code?
"Hey, Brambleclaw..." whispered Dustpelt from the other side of the Warrior's den.
"What do you want?" Brambleclaw replied, resulting in an annoyed push from Mousefur.
Mousefur hissed. "We're trying to sleep. Go chat outside."
Dustpelt and Brambleclaw immediately got to their paws, and padded outside. Dustpelt went over to the fresh-kill pile, and pushed a thrush towards Brambleclaw.
"It's against the Warrior Code-" Brambleclaw began, but was hushed by Dustpelt.
Dustpelt smiled. "I haven't had my prey yet."
Brambleclaw bent down to eat, and dug his teeth into the warm prey. Dustpelt sighed, and sat down, pushing the prey closer to Brambleclaw.
"I'm worried." Dustpelt meowed simply, "You've seen the way Firestar's been acting... perhaps he is nothing but a useless Kittypet, after all."
Brambleclaw jumped. This didn't sound like the Dustpelt he knew...
"Did you see the way he welcomed that cat into the Clan? It's obvious she's not a RiverClanner..."
Brambleclaw sighed, and looked up at the sky. The air was colder than usual, and the Greenleaf trees were beginning to change color. It was fairly obvious that Leaf-Fall was coming. Brambleclaw glanced over at Firestar's den nervously, hoping the leader wasn't eavesdropping on him like he normally did.
"What's wrong?" Dustpelt meowed to Brambleclaw, "Afraid that big old Kittypet will get you?"
"He's... not a Kittypet." Brambleclaw snapped, before turning away.
He couldn't just tell Dustpelt what he thought about Firestar. What if Dustpelt threatened to tell Firestar what he had said? Brambleclaw shuddered, and imagined being exiled or killed by his Clanmates.
"Whatever. I thought you'd might want to help me, but nevermind." Dustpelt growled, stalking off towards the dens.
Brambleclaw looked over at Dustpelt curiously. "What do you mean?"
Dustpelt turned around. "I'm planning to start a war between RiverClan and ThunderClan using your apprentice."
Brambleclaw was shocked. Dustpelt, one of the cats that had once been one of Firestar's friends, was turning against him. Of course, there was nothing that Brambleclaw could say without making enemies with Dustpelt. He was, after all, a Senior Warrior.
"Fine. I'll do it. What's the plan?" Brambleclaw meowed.
Dustpelt chuckled, and sat down. "I knew you wanted to help me rid the world of Firestar. Now, the plan is that we rough ourselves up, and during a patrol, meet up with the RiverClan patrol. We'll tell them that we tried to rescue their kit that Firestar had taken, and instant war, right there."
Brambleclaw wanted to roll his eyes. It might not work, espescially if Streakpaw wasn't even of RiverClan origin. But wait- even Dustpelt knew that... he had even mentioned it earlier.
"Dustpelt..." Brambleclaw snarled, "I know what you're up to."
"And what might that be?" Dustpelt growled, unsheathing his claws.
Brambleclaw stopped. He couldn't say anything else. "I'm going to speak with Firestar now."
Dustpelt snarled, and jumped on Brambleclaw, placing his claw at Brambleclaw's throat. His eyes were full of murder...
"Don't say a word," Dustpelt snarled, "Or you die."
Streakpaw's eyes opened, and she saw Dustpelt and Brambleclaw. She glanced around nervously, and yowled as loud as she could. The apprentices- and the warriors awoke, all exiting their dens as fast as they could.
"Dustpelt!" Sandstorm yowled, seeing Dustpelt and Brambleclaw on the ground, "What have you done?"
Dustpelt glared at Brambleclaw. "This... he's plotting against Firestar!"
Streakpaw barred her teeth. "Dustpelt is lying!"
Dustpelt snarled, and pushed Brambleclaw. "Who would you rather believe, a Senior Warrior, or a RiverClan apprentice?"
Firestar bolted out of his den, and glared at the two.
"Whitestorm," Firestar ordered, "You will keep these two in my den until I return from the Moonstone."
Firestar entered Cinderpelt's den, and left with herbs in his mouth. Whitestorm ushered Brambleclaw and Dustpelt into Firestar's den, sitting at the entrance with his claws unsheathed.
Brambleclaw sighed. It had been a chaotic night. Atleast he could rest... Dustpelt would not dare hurt him under Whitestorm's watch.
"Wake up." Whitestorm snarled into Brambleclaw's ears.
Brambleclaw opened his eyes, and sighed. Dustpelt was still there, glaring at him from across the den. But he, Whitestorm and Dustpelt were no longer the only cats in the den. Now Streakpaw, Firestar and Cinderpelt all stood at the entrance to the den.
"Firestar has spoken with the Medicine Cats and StarClan," Cinderpelt meowed, to Dustpelt and Brambleclaw, "And they have told him who is guilty."
"And...?" Dustpelt snarled.
"Dustpelt has been plotting against me." Firestar snarled, glaring at Dustpelt, "And you have until Sunrise to get off ThunderClan territory."
Dustpelt glared at Brambleclaw, and stalked out of the den. "I'll be back..."
Whitestorm sighed. "Firestar... why didn't you just kill him? He could cause alot of trouble, just as Tigerstar did..."
Firestar shook his head. "Bluestar was just in simply exiling him. Dustpelt could decide to come back, as a true ThunderClan warrior."
"Like that'll happen..." Brambleclaw muttered, padding past Firestar, Whitestorm and the others.
The leaves fell, upon the sheltered ThunderClan camp. The winds beat against the walls, some wind slipping in and giving the warriors sudden chills. Shadekit, Reedkit and Fishkit, Ferncloud's kits, had been growing healthy and strong, under Cinderpelt's intense care. Brambleclaw couldn't help but feel uneasy, ever since Dustpelt had been exiled from ThunderClan.
"You alright, Ferncloud?" Brambleclaw meowed, padding into the nursery.
Ferncloud sighed, and licked Shadekit affectionately. She had been rather miserable since Goldenflower left the Nursery to become an elder once again, and Dustpelt had left.
"I suppose so." she replied, glancing over at her kits.
Brambleclaw felt rather guilty that he was depressing Ferncloud.
"Umm... I bet I could get Goldenflower to watch the kits if you wanna go to the Gathering tomorrow." he meowed, purring.
Ferncloud closed her eyes. "That would be nice. I've been wanting to see Tawnypelt for a while now."
Brambleclaw shuddered as Ferncloud mentioned his sister. Who just happened to be pregnant with Blackstar's kits.
"Alright, then. I'll convince Goldenflower." Brambleclaw meowed, padding out of the nursery.
Whitestorm sat silently on the Highrock, speaking with Firestar. Brambleclaw could just barely make out bits of the conversation.
"He... scared... what... kits?"
"Yes... Mud... Wind... att... protect..."
Brambleclaw sighed, and turned around. Perhaps Dustpelt was right... what if Firestar really was over-protective of the other Clans?
"Very well, then." Brambleclaw turned to see Whitestorm jumping off the Highrock, his white pelt glistening in the Sunhigh sun.
Firestar stood proudly upon the Highrock. "All cats old enough to catch their own prey, gather under the Highrock for a Clan meeting!"
Brambleclaw sat quietly by the Warrior's den, Brightheart joining him. She seemed sadder than usual.
"I need to go see Firestar." Brightheart whispered to Brambleclaw before going to join Firestar on the Highrock. Brightheart was soon replaced by Cloudtail and the still-injured Sorreltail.
"Cats of ThunderClan," Firestar meowed, "It is with great pleasure that I announce a few things. First of all," Firestar shot a look at Brightheart, "Brightheart is expecting kits."
So that's what she was upset about. Brambleclaw thought, purring with amusement as he looked over at Cloudtail.
"Second of all, I have an announcement towards Dustpelt. As many of you know, he was plotting against me. If any of you find him on ThunderClan territory, you have all permissions to kill him."
Ferncloud shuddered from the entrance to the nursery, and padded back inside to her mewing kits.
"That is all." Firestar meowed, jumping off the Highrock.
"Brambleclaw," Firestar meowed to Brambleclaw, "Streakpaw has told me that since you've taken her on as an apprentice, which was a moon ago, you have only taken her out to train once."
"Yeah, And?" Brambleclaw replied, rolling his eyes.
Firestar snarled. "Streakpaw is your responsibility. And now that responsibility is being passed onto Whitestorm, who will actually train his apprentice."
Brambleclaw nodded, and turned around. He left Firestar's den wordlessly, and glared at Whitestorm, who was sitting quietly by the fresh-kill pile, sharing tongues with Mousefur. Brambleclaw sighed- why couldn't he have a normal apprentice?
"Hey," Streakpaw meowed, approaching Brambleclaw, "Did ya hear? Whitestorm's my new mentor."
Brambleclaw snorted. "And I care why?"
Streakpaw sighed. "You are no fun whatsoever."
Brambleclaw stalked away, glaring at every cat he met. He was upset... that was a fact.
Brambleclaw's eyes flashed open as he heard the cries from outside. He got to his paws, and darted outside. The howling winds of Leaf-fall blasted against his pelt as he latched onto the WindClan Deputy, Webfoot. Brambleclaw bit Webfoot's ear, and pulled.
Before he could think, Brambleclaw was knocked off Webfoot by a large white tom with black paws. Blackstar!
"What...?" Brambleclaw meowed, confused. Both ShadowClan and WindClan were attacking them...
Brambleclaw clawed at Blackstar's face, temporarily stunning the leader of ShadowClan. Brambleclaw turned, and noticed Whitestorm and Firestar battling side-by-side. Mudstar, the WindClan leader, pounced on Firestar, knocking him back. Firestar was stunned...
Wait... Firestar wasn't stunned! Brambleclaw ran towards Whitestorm, and Firestar, and realized that Mudstar had made Firestar lose a life!
How could such a battle-wise leader be defeated by Mudstar? Brambleclaw shook his head, and attacked Mudstar with Whitestorm. The two attacked him furiously, but Brambleclaw stopped when he realized that Whitestorm was not fighting.
Brambleclaw glanced over at the spot where Whitestorm was looking at, and gasped. A ShadowClan warrior, Oakfur, had killed Shadekit.
"NO!" Brambleclaw yowled at Oakfur, biting into his neck. He didn't care if it wasn't honorable. Attacking kits wasn't honorable, so they were even.
Oakfur fell to the ground, lifelessly. Brambleclaw couldn't help but feel guilty... after all, Oakfur was from his sister's clan.
Firestar got to his paws, dazed. He glared at Mudstar, and the two were soon in a battle in the center of the camp. Brambleclaw wanted to help, but was too busy battling Onewhisker.
"Wait!" Onewhisker meowed, sheathing his claws. Brambleclaw immediately paused, but did not sheathe his claws.
Onewhisker glanced over at the other cats, who were battling with their lives.
"I will not fight for no reason. Mudstar was wrong- and I admit it. I will not fight any more." he meowed, closing his eyes, "Kill me."
Brambleclaw, for a brief moment, wanted to kill the WindClan warrior. But he did not.
"I won't kill you." Brambleclaw meowed, "If you help us drive out the attackers, we'll help you... somehow."
Onewhisker sighed, and unsheathed his claws once again. He turned to face Blackstar, who was dealing with Squirrelpaw, Streakpaw and Whitepaw. He pounced on the large tom, raking his claws down Blackstar's backside. The mighty leader let out a yowl of pain, and shook Onewhisker off.
"ShadowClan! Retreat! Let WindClan rot if they want to!" Blackstar yowled, running off. Russetfur was at his heels.
Mudstar snarled. "Cowards!"
Webfoot glanced around nervously, and growled.
"Fool! We need to retreat, Mudstar!" Webfoot snarled, before yowling for a retreat.
The WindClanners fled, leaving behind severly wounded ThunderClanners... and a WindClanner. Firestar approached Onewhisker and Brambleclaw, limping as he went. Sandstorm gasped as she realized that Mudstar had made a deep wound in Firestar's leg.
"Onewhisker..." Firestar snarled, "Why are you still here? Leave now before I kill you."
"I'd like that." Onewhisker sighed.
Firestar sheathed his claws, and the hostility in his eyes faded. "Why?"
"Mudstar... he's attacked RiverClan and ShadowClan in the past moon. Blackstar has allied himself and plans to exterminate the ThunderClanners and RiverClanners. I do not wish to do this."
"Firestar," Streakpaw meowed, approaching the WindClanner, "Why not let Onewhisker join ThunderClan?"
"I'd like that," Onewhisker replied, looking up at the apprentice, "Anything is better than serving Mudstar."
Brambleclaw sighed, and looked over at Firestar. The ginger tom took a few moments, then nodded.
"Very well. From this day forth, Onewhisker, you will serve ThunderClan. Just don't get divided loyalties, or I won't hesitate to banish you." Firestar meowed, attempting to sound threatening.
The winds only got crueller. Brambleclaw could not sleep, not just because of the reek of WindClan and ShadowClan, but because of the winds and freezing cold rain that fell through the cracks of the den. The leaves on the trees rustled outside, causing Brambleclaw to shudder. He sighed, and looked at his paws. The gathering was just so close...
What if Mudstar attacked again during the gathering? And what if StarClan did nothing about it? Brambleclaw shuddered again, just thinking about it. The memories of poor Shadekit crept into his mind... the blood on the ground... the yowls of the cats...
"Brambleclaw..." meowed a voice from the entrance to the den, "Are you alright?"
Brambleclaw looked up, and saw Squirrelpaw sitting in the light of the Moon. "Firestar wants you to come to the gathering with us."
"Alright, I'm coming." Brambleclaw purred at the apprentice. She was so beautiful, and although she was slightly annoying, Brambleclaw felt himself attracted to the apprentice.
Squirrelpaw and Brambleclaw made their way through the center of the camp, to join Firestar, Whitestorm and many other ThunderClan cats.
"Hello, Brambleclaw." Ferncloud meowed, purring as he passed by her.
Brambleclaw nodded to the queen respectfully, and turned away. He followed the cats as they passed by the Sandy Hollow, then the shallow stream. He refused to leave Squirrelpaw's side as they began to encounter RiverClanners, and then eventually, ShadowClanners.
"Alright, Firestar and Leopardstar are here." Blackstar snarled as the cats entered the Fourtrees clearing, "Let us begin the Gathering."
Firestar and Whitestorm made their way towards the Great-Rocks, and sat down. Brambleclaw snarled as Leopardstar attempted to speak, but was cut off by Mudstar.
"WindClan, tonight, has many important announcements." Mudstar snarled, his eyes gleaming with evil, "First of all, Onewhisker, one of our most treasured warriors, has been taken captive by ThunderClan."
There were yowls of alarm from many of the cats. Onewhisker stepped forward, and glared at Mudstar.
"I left of my own accord!" he snarled.
Mudstar shook his head. "They've threatened to kill him if he speaks the truth. Do you not see how evil their leader is? Kidnapping innocent cats and attacking us!"
Leopardstar looked at Firestar, then at Mudstar. She had no idea who to believe.
"We should drive out Firestar and his Clan!" Mudstar continued, as he glared at Firestar.
Firestar's mouth dropped open, but he immediately closed it. "I will not be accused of such actions. Onewhisker left of his own accord."
"Why do we have evidence of your cruelty, Firestar? We've learned that you starve elders... take away the kits of Queens the moment they can be apprenticed... Dustpelt himself has told me."
Brambleclaw snarled. Dustpelt had joined WindClan!
"I'm sorry, Firestar, but Mudstar's evidence is convincing. Why else would such a loyal Warrior leave your Clan?" Leopardstar hissed, glaring at Firestar.
Mudstar cackled quietly.
"Why should we let him stay here, then? I say we chase the horrible Clan out!" Mudstar spat, yowls of agreement rising from the other Clans.
"The forest cannot survive without four Clans," Firestar hissed back at Mudstar, unsheathing his claws for a brief moment.
Blackstar snorted. "Is that all you have to say? I agree with Mudstar; ThunderClan should not be permitted to stay!"
Firestar stood his ground. "You can't chase us out on the Night of the Gathering."
"Tell you what, Firestar... being the kind and generous leader I am," Mudstar hissed, "If you give yourself up as a prisoner to WindClan, we'll let your Clan stay."
Brambleclaw stared in amazement as Firestar nodded. What kind of leader was he?
"You may not touch ThunderClan." Firestar snarled, before going to sit by Mudstar.
Mudstar nodded, and purred in content. Without another word, he left, Firestar caught in a crowd of WindClanners. Brambleclaw just couldn't believe it... ThunderClan was leaderless! Of course, on the bright side, Mudstar couldn't touch them... unless he found a loophole.
"I guess the gathering is over..." Leopardstar trailed off, jumping off the Great-Rock without another word.
Whitestorm turned to face the ThunderClanners, and sighed. He padded through the crowd of cats, signaling for them to follow him. Brambleclaw looked over at Squirrelpaw, and imagined how horrible it must be for her... after all, her father was now a prisoner of WindClan...
The days dragged on, seeming endless to Brambleclaw. Every night was horrible, full of Nightmares and restlessness. Worst of all, Squirrelpaw had lost her cheerfulness ever since Firestar had left with Mudstar. He shuddered, wondering where Firestar could be, and why he was dreaming about such awful things.
"Brambleclaw," Whitestorm meowed to Brambleclaw, who had been lost in his thoughts, "I thought you might want to see... the ceremonies."
Brambleclaw dragged himself out of the den, feeling no urge to watch a ceremony. Whitestorm pounced on the Highrock, and urged for Streakpaw and Squirrelpaw to come up.
"Although it would normally be Firestar who would perform such ceremonies, I felt it was time for these apprentices to become warriors, and so did their mentors."
Whitestorm purred. "I Whitestorm, deputy of ThunderClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on these apprentices. They have trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend them to you as warriors in their turns. Squirrelpaw, Streakpaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and to protect and defend your Clan, even at the cost of your life?"
Remembering how he had felt at this moment in his own Warrior Ceremony, Brambleclaw watched as Squirrelpaw shook for a moment, before replying, "I do."
Streakpaw nodded in agreement, and Whitestorm purred louder.
"Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior names. Streakpaw, Squirrelpaw, from this moment you will be known as Squirrelflight and Streakflash. StarClan honors your courage and your determination, and we welcome you as full warriors of ThunderClan."
"Squirrelflight! Streakflash!" Brambleclaw roared, starting the calls of their warrior names. He felt hot as Squirrelflight winked at him.
The cats soon spread apart, leaving only Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight in the center of camp. The ginger she-cat approached Brambleclaw, and licked his forehead.
"We're going to rescue Firestar." Squirrelflight meowed, shocking Brambleclaw.
Brambleclaw stepped back, before being licked again by Squirrelflight.
"Have you not seen Sorreltail sneaking out of camp? She's told us everything, where Firestar is being held, who's guarding him..."
"Us," Brambleclaw meowed, closing his eyes, "Who is 'us'?"
Squirrelflight chuckled. "Sorreltail, Cloudtail, Whitepaw, Streakflash, Rainwhisker, Thornclaw, Brackenfur and I. You'll help, won't you?"
How could Brambleclaw resist? He wanted Firestar back as much as Squirrelflight, and if he said no, she'd probably never speak to him again. Brambleclaw made a quick and silent prayer to StarClan that all would end well as he meowed, "Yes, I'll help."
Squirrelflight's face lit up. "You're really going to help? Oh, thank you, Brambleclaw! Thank you!"
Her face suddenly turned serious, and she looked at her paws. "I don't like decieving Whitestorm, but we're leaving at Moonhigh tonight. That leaves you a half-day to get ready."
Without another word, Squirrelflight padded off, presumably to get more followers. After all, it was pretty hard to attack an entire Clan with only ten cats. Brambleclaw padded into the Warrior's den, which was oddly empty with the exception of Streakflash and Mousefur.
"Nice day, isn't it?" Mousefur meowed as Brambleclaw sat down in the corner of the den.
Brambleclaw shrugged. "I guess it is."
Brambleclaw opened his eyes. Squirrelflight was at his side, pushing him lightly with her face.
"Come on!" Squirrelflight whispered, "They're waiting!"
Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight padded gingerly past the sleeping cats, and darted across the camp, to join the group of warriors waiting for them.
"Alright, is everyone here?" Squirrelflight meowed, scanning the crowd, "Brambleclaw, Whitepaw, Cloudtail, Sorreltail, Streakflash, Rainwhisker, Thornclaw, Brackfur, Sootfur..."
Brambleclaw glanced over at the grey tom, happy that Squirrelflight had managed to recruit one more cat. Without another word, the cats were off, running after Squirrelflight as she dashed towards the river. The cats padded across the river, using the rocks that attached RiverClan territory to Sunningrocks. Glad that the RiverClanners were fast asleep, they easily made their way onto the Twoleg bridge and onto WindClan territory.
He looked over at the Fourtrees, remembering the events that had taken place there only a half-moon ago. He shuddered, before gaining speed.
There was a WindClan warrior watching them, Brambleclaw realized, as a WindClanner let out a yowl. Cats began pouring out of the camp, standing protectively in front of it.
"Squirrelflight!" Cloudtail yowled, "We'll distract them! You and Brambleclaw go in!"
Squirrelflight looked over at Brambleclaw, pleading him to come. He nodded, and the two dashed off as the warriors all went towards Cloudtail and his distraction.
"We're in!" Brambleclaw whispered as the two entered the camp.
Squirrelflight cast a worried glance at Brambleclaw, and darted towards the center of the camp- towards the largest den. Brambleclaw gasped as a brown tom with a short, stumpy tail made his way out of the den.
"You're here to rescue Firestar, I presume?" the cat meowed, looking at the cats, "Go ahead. I refuse to serve Mudstar any more."
Brambleclaw purred as they entered the den, gasping as they saw a skinny, and frail, ginger tom.
"Squirrel...paw.... Bramble...claw..." Firestar whispered, trying to get to his paws.
"You got to come with us, Firestar!" Brambleclaw meowed, helping Firestar up, "ThunderClan needs you!"
Barkface, the cat who had been outside, glanced over at the warriors nervously. "I'd hurry if I were you..."
Firestar took a step forward, almost falling. Brambleclaw licked Firestar nervously, helping him stand.
And that was when they noticed who had taken Barkface's place.
"Mudstar!" Squirrelflight hissed at the mottled brown tom, hatred in her eyes as she stood in front of Firestar protectively.
The WindClan leader chuckled. Brambleclaw seemed to be seeing alot in his eyes lately... now he could see clear insanity and bloodlust. Mudstar unsheathed his claws, and stepped forward.
"Firestar, Firestar, Firestar." Mudstar laughed, his voice etching itself into Brambleclaw's head, "You've broken our deal. I'll just have to deal with you all now."
"No." Firestar wheezed, stepping forward.
"Kill me. Not them. They did nothing to break our deal; it was me."
Mudstar shook his head, and clawed at the ground. He cackled again, causing Brambleclaw to shudder and close his eyes.
"The odds are against you, Kittypet. StarClan is nothing more than Kit's tales."
Firestar growled, remembering the words that Scourge had said before the battle of BloodClan had begun...
"StarClan!" Scourge sneered. "Tales for kits. Forest Fool, StarClan won't help you now!"
Mudstar snarled, digging his claws even further into the ground. There was a rumble of thunder outside. Squirrelflight sighed, and looked over at Firestar.
"Just let him come with us. We'll leave the forest." Squirrelflight meowed, calmly.
"Lies, lies and more LIES!" Mudstar roared, pouncing on Squirrelflight. His dirt-coated claws were dug into the ground beside her.
Silently, Mudstar lifted a paw up and stroked Squirrelflight's chest, leaving behind a brown line. He grinned, and dug his claws into the line, causing it to gush out blood.
"No!" Brambleclaw yowled, unsheathing his claws and pouncing onto the insane leader. With all his might, he clawed, bit and pushed into Mudstar, before being flung off.
"It stings!" Squirrelflight yowled, twitching as Mudstar was thrown off of her, "Firestar! Brambleclaw! Do SOMETHING!!"
Barkface slipped into the den, and dragged Squirrelflight out, while Mudstar was occupied with Brambleclaw. The she-cat fell silent, and allowed the Medicine Cat to tend to her.
"You. Will. DIE!" Mudstar yowled, fury in his voice as he attempted to attack the nimble cat. Brambleclaw clawed Mudstar's face, blood pouring out.
Mudstar was stunned, and stepped back. He shook his head, and gasped as he realized in the brief moment that he was blinded by his blood, Brambleclaw and Firestar had escaped.
"Squirrelflight..." Brambleclaw meowed quietly at the cats returned to camp, Squirrelflight collapsing as she passed through the entrance of the camp.
The ginger she-cat purred, and looked up at Firestar. "That was brilliant, pretending you were sick."
Firestar hushed his daughter, and silently sat down beside her.
"Sorreltail, Sootfur, get Cinderpelt, please." he ordered, licking the wound on Squirrelflight's chest.
Brambleclaw watched the cats run towards the Medicine cat's den. He shuddered, remembering the insanity of the new WindClan leader. He knew that Mudstar could easily overpower even three of ThunderClan's strongest warriors, and sighed. What if Mudstar managed to wipe out ThunderClan?
"Firestar..." Brambleclaw meowed, watching Cinderpelt and Leafpaw rush out of their den, "We need to leave. Now."
Firestar sighed, and backed away, allowing the Medicine cats to tend to Squirrelflight. Brambleclaw was right, he knew that for a fact. But could he bear to leave the forest, the place that he had grown up in?
"Hush, Leafpaw. Squirrelflight doesn't need you weeping in her ear." Cinderpelt scolded her apprentice, before returning to the cobwebs she was wrapping around Squirrelflight. The strands of the web immediately turned red, and before long, Squirrelflight looked like a ginger she-cat with a giant red stripe around her.
"Come with me, Brambleclaw. We need to discuss things." Firestar meowed, padding towards Whitestorm and a few elder warriors.
The warriors looked concerned as they made their way to Firestar's den, and sat down. Brambleclaw sat down on Firestar's bed of moss, and looked up at his leader. He couldn't believe that he had been invited to a Senior Warrior's meeting!
"As you all know," Firestar meowed, looking at his paws, "Mudstar has kept me prisoner for the last half-moon. I wouldn't have survived if it weren't for WindClan's medicine cat, Barkface. And I have decided that it is no longer safe to live here."
Whitestorm, Sootfur and some of the other warriors in the den yowled with alarm.
"And I have recieved a message from StarClan; They wish for us to settle in a place where Twolegs once roamed. But since my departure, they've abandoned the area, and now there are places perfect for a camp. StarClan wishes for us to settle by SkyClan."
"What?" Brambleclaw gasped, looking at his leader, eyes wide.
He couldn't just leave Tawnypelt, and her kits alone. There was no way he could go. Brambleclaw looked up at Firestar, and sighed.
"We have no choice in the matter, Brambleclaw..." Firestar meowed, looking at his paws, "You've seen how cruel and vicious Mudstar is. We must leave, at least until we can be positive that Mudstar has died, and all of his vicious followers."
Brambleclaw sighed, and nodded. "But what about Brightheart, and Ferncloud?"
"Cinderpelt has assured me that Brightheart will not kit for atleast another two moons, and Ferncloud's kits are old enough to make the journey." Firestar replied, assuringly, "Now, Whitestorm... come with me. We need to break the news to the Clan."
The leader and deputy padded out of the den, the warriors following closely behind. Brambleclaw watched as Firestar called the clan meeting, and felt pity for the others. They had no idea what was coming...
"StarClan will lead us to the Gorge, I assure you that we'll lead a wonderful life there until all of the evil in the forest dies out." Firestar purred, lifting the spirits of the cats slightly. At least Mudstar would no longer be a problem...
Brambleclaw let out a sigh; things were just getting worse and worse. First Tallstar retires. Then Mudstar attacks. Then Firestar is taken prisoner. And at last, the cats were being driven out of their territory, forced to go to a place that only the leader knew about.
"We will leave first thing tomorrow," Firestar meowed, "So prepare yourselves."
They traveled for many days. It had been nearly a moon since Firestar had bravely led ThunderClan to the gorge, but now they were there. But not without a loss, for Speckletail had died of Greencough before they arrived. But now, Brambleclaw looked out at the SkyClan camp, and gasped at what he saw. Little specks, which were cats, moved around, hunting, teaching, healing... it was amazing.
"Breath-taking, Isn't it?" Firestar meowed, letting the breeze slap against his face, "We must now go speak with Leafstar."
Brambleclaw gently picked up Fishkit once again, and padded slowly beside Squirrelflight, Goldenflower and Ferncloud. The cats slowly made their way down to the gorge, watching as the cats of SkyClan turned to watch them arrive. There was one cat, a brown and cream one, that stood tall upon a pile of rocks that got Brambleclaw's attention.
At last, the cats of ThunderClan had arrived. Firestar dipped his head with respect as the ThunderClanners gathered around the pile of rocks.
"Greetings, Leafstar." Firestar meowed, flicking his tail in greeting.
Leafstar- who Brambleclaw presumed was the brown and cream she-cat, dipped her head as well.
"Firestar... I had almost forgotten what you looked like. We've never forgotten what you did for us, though. Is... is this your Clan?" Leafstar meowed, examining the crowd of cats.
Firestar nodded. "Sadly, we had to leave the forest. Mudstar- a horrible cat, forced us to."
"And you wish to stay here?" Leafstar meowed, sitting down, "I don't know..."
Sharpclaw purred in amusement. "I'm pretty sure they want to stay in a differant spot, Leafstar."
"Oh." Leafstar laughed, looking up at the ledge above them. There was a forest on one side, and plains on the other.
"I guess we could house another Clan," Leafstar meowed, "But Firestar, it is pretty late. Would you and your Clan like to stay in our camp until tomorrow?"
Firestar nodded. "I thank you for your generousity, Leafstar."
"Anything for the Hero of SkyClan." Leafstar purred, as the ThunderClanners settled.
"This is the Shining Cave," Leafstar meowed as the two leaders padded into the shining den, "Simply touch the great stone in the middle."
Leafstar backed away, giving Firestar more room. He padded over to the Shining-Rock, and touched it with his nose. He felt a chill run down his body, and he fell asleep.
Firestar opened his eyes, relieved to see many familiar faces. Bluestar, Redtail, Lionheart...
"We are relieved to see that you have made your way to the gorge," Bluestar began, "But you are not done yet."
"We will tell you when it is safe to return to the Forest by uncovering the moon of clouds, all you must do is pass this on to your children... I can assure you now that you will live to see the return of ThunderClan."
Firestar looked over at the starry four-trees that surrounded them. He could see the faint outline of many cats coming and going as they made their way around StarClan's territory. Firestar nodded, and sighed.
"But we fear that two clans may cause chaos..." Redtail sighed, flicking his tail, "And we have decided that you must divide ThunderClan into two Clans, so that there may be three Clans at the gorge."
"How will I do that?" Firestar gasped, his eyes wide.
Bluestar purred, and licked Firestar's face. "Cloudtail and Brambleclaw... they'll help you."
And with that, Firestar's dream began to fade, leaving him to face reality.
"Firestar?" Sandstorm meowed, sitting by her half-awake mate.
The ginger tom purred, relaxing. He let out a worried sigh, and closed his eyes. "Sandstorm..."
"What do you need?" Sandstorm replied, leaning against the side of Leafstar's den.
"Get me Cloudtail and Brambleclaw." Firestar ordered, watching his mate wordlessly run off, towards Sharpclaw's den, then to the Warrior's den. He wondered if he sounded slightly too harsh.
Soon the two toms were sitting beside Firestar, wondering what he could possibly want with them.
"Cloudtail, Brambleclaw..." Firestar meowed, his eyes clouded with worry, "I want you two to live in the forest, with some of the ThunderClanners. Cloudtail, you will travel to the Shining Cave tonight, and you will awaken as Cloudstar, leader of CloudClan."
Brambleclaw scowled. "And what do you want with me?"
Firestar purred with amusement. The look on Brambleclaw's face was full of shock and anger.
"You will be Cloudtail's deputy." he replied, watching Brambleclaw's face suddenly light up.
"Wow..." Leafstar meowed, watching the other two Clans arrive, "The first Gathering at Sky-Rock. This is amazing, Sharpclaw."
Leafstar looked up at the moon worriedly. It was covered with clouds. Although Firestar said that was how StarClan would alert them, she couldn't help but feel uneasy.
Cloudstar and Firestar, the two leaders of FireClan and CloudClan arrived, their Clanmates trailing behind them. The two leaders sat by the edge of the Sky-Rock, purring as they met eachother.
"It's been a moon, and already we have two new and flourishing Clans." Firestar purred, sitting tall.
Cloudstar nodded, glancing over at Brambleclaw. He yowled abruptly, causing all of the cats to stop and stare at him. Leafstar scowled.
"What?" Cloudstar purred, "That was how Blackstar got our attention."
And the first Gathering at Sky-Rock had begun.
"That was awesome!" Fishpaw meowed, running beside his mentor and deputy, Brambleclaw. Although he was only five moons old, CloudClan needed apprentices badly.
Cloudstar purred with amusement, padding into the new camp. He looked at the Nursery worriedly, as he didn't like leaving Brightheart alone, even if Leafpaw, who was now Leafgorge was there. He ran over to the nursery, purring as Brightheart looked at him, pride in her eyes.
"They came while you were away." Brightheart meowed quietly, before turning to reveal three kits, all of them resembling their mother.
"What will we name them?" Cloudstar meowed, sitting beside her.
Brightheart paused. "Since two are she-cats, I'd like to name them Sparklekit and Blazekit."
Cloudstar purred. "And the tom can be named Whisperkit?"
"Perfect." Brightheart replied, looking up at her mate with pride.
The sun was setting, and the winds were calm. It had been a wonderful Greenleaf, especially for CloudClan. Blazestar looked in the elder's den, purring as she saw the elderly Fireheart sleeping. The nearly ancient tom really didn't do much, especially after he left FireClan to live in CloudClan. Blazestar turned, nearly jumping as she noticed Streakflash, her deputy.
"What can I do for you, Steakflash?" Blazestar meowed, before noticing the worry on her deputy's face, "Are you worried about the Gathering tonight?"
Streakflash shook her head. "I won't be going to the gathering. My duties are done."
Blazestar was confused. "What in StarClan do you mean?"
"I am returning to where I once came from," Streakflash meowed, suddenly fading, "You must go without me."
Blazestar gasped as Streakflash was gone, back to Silverpelt where she belonged. She was even more shocked as the moon came into sight. But it wasn't covered by clouds.
Tonight, at the gathering, Blazestar would replenish the fire so it would shine brightly.