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Down a Dark Path

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Sequel to Mistake and fourth book in the BrookClan series. It's supposed to have been moons since the last book.

Allegiances

Leader: Longstar - Long-legged grey she-cat with amber eyes

Apprentice, Rosepaw

Deputy: Redfur - Dark ginger tom with hazel eyes

Medicine Cat: Rabbitstorm - Light brown she-cat

Apprentice, Goldenfrost

Warriors:

Stormwing - Dark grey she-cat with one white paw and blue eyes

Apprentice, Featherpaw

Shadowpelt - Black tom with one amber eye and one green eye

Ospreypelt - Black-and-white tom

Apprentice, Lilypaw

Snowstream - Long-haired white she-cat

Rainpelt - Blue-grey tom with sharp claws

Leafheart - Tortoiseshell she-cat with hazel eyes

Tallcloud - Grey tabby-and-white tom with long limbs

Silverstripe - Silver tom with big white paws

Mothflower - Tortoiseshell she-cat with brown eyes

Apprentice, Applepaw

Squirrelfur - Dark ginger she-cat with blue eyes

Brackentail - Brown tom with a very short tail

Dovefeather - Pale tabby she-cat

Thistlepelt - Muscular pale grey tom

Sparrowfoot - Light brown tom

Ashwhisker - Grey tom with amber eyes

Spiderfang - Very dark brown tabby tom

Apprentices:

Rosepaw - Dark ginger she-cat with hazel eyes

Goldenfrost - Golden brown tom with green eyes

Featherpaw - Long-limbed pale tabby she-cat, blind in one eye

Lilypaw - Pretty ginger she-cat

Applepaw - Dark ginger she-cat with bright yellow eyes

Queens:

Silvernose - Silver tabby she-cat

Kits:

Badgerkit: Small black-and-white she-cat

Larkkit: Tabby she-cat

Rosestream: Fluffy cream-and-white she-cat

Kits:

Honeykit: Cream-and-white she-cat with blue eyes

Fawnkit: Cream-colored she-cat with white patches and darker flecks

Sandkit: Dark cream tom with a white chest

Skyflower: Pretty grey tabby

Kits:

Cinderkit: Grey tabby she-cat with round blue eyes

Slatekit: Grey tabby tom

Fernkit: Small grey she-cat

Milkkit: White she-cat with yellow eyes

Reedkit: Long-limbed dark grey (almost black) she-cat with a white-tipped tail

Briarkit: Golden brown she-cat with green eyes

Mothkit: Brown she-cat

Hailkit: White tom with grey eyes

Elders:

Bluepool - Blue-grey she-cat

Mosstail - Blue-grey and white she-cat

Poppyleaf - Tortoiseshell she-cat with white paws and blue eyes, formerly the medicine cat

Crookedtail - Small brown tabby tom with a crooked tail

Mossear - Blue-grey tom

Cats Outside of Clans:

Seed - Pale tabby with amber eyes

Shadow - Black she-cat

Mallowclaw - Pale ginger tom with blue eyes and one white paw

Stone - Big pale grey tom

Camilla - Pale ginger she-cat who lives in Twolegplace - a kittypet

Deernose - Brown tabby tom with green eyes

Chapter One: Hiding

It was leaf-bare. Prey was scarce, the weather was cold, and the Clan leader's daughter was keeping a secret from her mate.

"Stormwing," meowed Goldenfrost. "You've been acting different lately. Why is that?"

She slowly turned around, took a deep breath, and told him what she'd been hiding from him. He gasped in surprised.

"Shh," she hushed. "You can't tell anyone."

Meanwhile, in the nursery, a golden brown kit was playing with her friends and siblings.

"Tag!" she cried, nosing one of her sisters. "You're it!"

"Hey!" exclaimed the grey tabby. "That's not fair! Briarkit, you cheated!"

"No, I didn't," laughed the golden brown kit. "Now come and get me, Cinderkit."

Cinderkit ran after Briarkit. Eventually they got bored and instead wrestled around with each other.

Badgerkit, Hailkit, Reedkit, and Slatekit joined in. Soon they were a flying ball of black, white, golden brown, and grey.

"Be careful," Fernkit cautioned. "You don't want to--"

Rosestream cried out. The kits had run into the queen, startling her and waking her up.

"We're sorry, Rosestream," apologized Hailkit. "It was an accident."

"Oh, it's fine. Why don't you invite Honeykit, Fawnkit, and Sandkit to play with you? I'm sure they'd love to join your little game."

"Can we play with you?" begged Honeykit. "Please?"

Briarkit nodded.

"But you can't be clumsy," she ordered.

"And be careful, too," chimed Fernkit. "You're older and bigger than us."

Honeykit joined in, followed by Fawnkit. Sandkit wasn't interested.

"Milkkit," meowed Briarkit, poking her bushy-tailed littermate. "Come play with us."

"She's asleep," scolded Skyflower.

"I'll go ask Larkkit, then," shrugged Briarkit.

"No, you won't," asserted her mother. "Larkkit needs rest because she has a cold."

Briarkit pouted and returned to playing with Cinderkit, Badgerkit, Hailkit, Reedkit, Slatekit, Honeykit, and Fawnkit.

Chapter Two: Prophecy

Stormwing had just dozed off. She found herself in a forest.

"Hello?"

A grey tabby she-cat stepped out, followed by a pale ginger tom kit and a black-grey she-cat.

"Willowmist!" exclaimed Stormwing, nuzzling the grey tabby.

"Stormwing," meowed Willowmist. "I'm sorry. About what...my son...has done."

"It's fine," Stormwing assured. "He hasn't been seen in moons."

"We've come to give you a prophecy," the black-grey she-cat told her.

"Nightstar, are you sure...?" asked the ginger kit.

"Yes, Lightkit," answered Nightstar.

Then she turned to Stormwing and told her the prophecy.

"The kits of the apprentice will grow up to be extraordinary cats..."

Then Stormwing woke up.

"Stormwing?" asked Tallcloud. "You were talking in your sleep."

She ran over to the medicine cat den to see her mate.

"Goldenfrost," she panted. "I need to talk to you."

"What is it?" asked Goldenfrost.

"I had a dream," replied Stormwing. "Willowmist and two other StarClan cats came and gave me a prophecy - 'the kits of the apprentice will grow up to be extraordinary cats.'"

Together they speculated about what it might mean.

"What if the prophecy means--"

"What prophecy?"

They whipped around. Thankfully it was just Goldenfrost's mentor, Rabbitstorm.

"Umm..." stuttered Goldenfrost. "Stormwing had...a dream."

"That's strange," Rabbitstorm thought out loud. "Warriors don't usually get prophecies."

Goldenfrost and Stormwing exchanged a nervous glance.

Chapter Three: Apprentices

"May all cats old enough to catch their own prey come to the Highrock for a Clan meeting!"

The BrookClanners came running over.

"Come here, Honeykit," meowed Longstar.

Honeykit came over and Longstar changed her name.

"Leafheart, you are now ready to take on an apprentice. You will be mentor to Honeypaw. Leafheart, you have shown yourself to be a warrior of kindness and intelligence. I'm sure you will pass on all you know to this apprentice."

Leafheart and Honeypaw touched noses and went to the side.

"Come here, Fawnkit."

Fawnkit came forward and Longstar changed her name.

"Squirrelfur, you are now ready to take on an apprentice. You will be mentor to Fawnpaw. Squirrelfur, you have shown yourself to be a warrior of enthusiasm and thoughtfulness. I'm sure you will pass on all you know to this apprentice."

Squirrelfur and Fawnpaw touched noses and walked away.

"Come here, Sandkit."

Sandkit hesitated, but came over. Longstar made him Sandpaw.

"Rainpelt, you are now ready to take on an apprentice. You will be mentor to Sandpaw. Rainpelt, you have shown yourself to be a warrior of strength and optimism. I'm sure you will pass on all you know to this apprentice."

Stormwing watched as Rainpelt touched noses with Deer...no, with Rosestream's son.

"Honeypaw!" the Clan cheered. "Fawnpaw! Sandpaw!"

Stormwing glanced at Rosestream, who looked proud.

"Congratulations," Mothflower said to her nieces and nephew.

Will they end up like their father? Stormwing wondered.

Chapter Four: Thinking of You

(A/N: The title of this fanfic is hidden somewhere in Chapter Four. The first person who can find it (don't you DARE use the 'find on this page' tool) and tell me where it is will...gets to be a character in this series! If I tell you got it right, just tell me the character's name, description, and personality and they'll eventually appear.)

(A/N: Yes, Chapter Four is named after the Katy Perry song.)

Stormwing watched the three new apprentices playing.

"I'm so proud of them," meowed Rosestream.

Stormwing could only nod.

She really wasn't sure what to think of them. On one hand, Rosestream was their mother.

But on the other hand, their father was one of the most hated cats in the forest.

They didn't really look like him. But sometimes they reminded her a bit of him.

For example, Sandpaw flicked his paw over his ear when he groomed himself the same way Deernose did. Fawnpaw had flecks in her fur that were the same color as his tabby pelt. Honeypaw had his same habit of chewing on her tail.

If they turn out anything like him, Rosestream will be devastated.

"What are you thinking about, Stormwing?" asked Rosestream.

"Oh, nothing," she lied.

Will they walk down a dark path like he did?

Goldenfrost came up to Stormwing and nuzzled her. She nuzzled her mate back, but she couldn't keep her mind off Deernose.

She walked away.

"Stormwing!" yelled Thistlepelt. "Hunting patrol!"

Stormwing went hunting with Thistlepelt, Tallcloud, and Longstar.

Chapter Five: Badgerpaw and Larkpaw

(A/N: Congratulations to Mallinois for being the first person to find the title.)

(A/N: Sorry for so much filler!)

When Stormwing came back, she saw Redfur touching noses with Badgerkit.

This must be their long-awaited apprentice ceremony.

Badgerkit - she must have been Badgerpaw now - and her sister were supposed to be apprentices at six moons, but they snuck out and Stormwing's mother punished them by postponing their apprenticeship.

Later, she noticed Larkpaw playing with Honeypaw.

"How's Honeypaw doing, Leafheart?" Stormwing asked her cousin.

"Pretty good," answered Leafheart. "How's Featherpaw?"

"Great," meowed Stormwing.

She had something on her mind, though. She had to go talk to Goldenfrost.

Reedkit was in the nursery feeling quite bored.

"There's nothing to do," she complained to her mother.

"Why don't you play with the others?" suggested Skyflower.

Reedkit pounced on Mothkit.

"You startled me!" exclaimed Mothkit.

They played together for a while.

"Hey, Mothkit," meowed Reedkit.

"Yes?"

"Did you ever notice how I look a lot like Longstar?"

"Not until just now," replied Mothkit. "But yes, you really do look like Longstar."

Meanwhile, Goldenfrost and Stormwing were having a conversation.

"But what could it mean?!" she cried. "It's so unusual that I got a dream with a prophecy in it. I'm not a medicine cat!"

"Calm down," shushed Goldenfrost. "You don't want the others to hear us."

"Maybe I got the dream because..." she began, and then trailed off.

Chapter Six: That's Against the Warrior Code

"Skyflower," whined Briarkit. "How old are we?"

"Almost four moons," answered Skyflower.

"How much longer until we're apprentices?" asked Briarkit.

"Around two moons," Skyflower explained to her daughter. "And no matter how much you beg her to, Longstar cannot make you apprentices before then because that's against the warrior code."

"Ok," shrugged Briarkit.

Briarkit didn't really know what the warrior code was, but it sounded important and fascinating.

"Warrior code," she repeated inaudibly to herself. "What is the warrior code?"

A few days later, she asked Skyflower the same question.

"How old are we?"

"Four moons."

"When can we be apprentices?"

"In two moons. Just be patient."

"Aww!"

Briarkit tried and tried to be patient. But eventually she just couldn't wait anymore.

"I wanna be an apprentice!" she shouted suddenly, startling her mother and littermates. "Skyflower, when do we get to be apprentices?"

"This is the third time you've asked me this," sighed the queen. "You are four and a half moons old. You can be apprentices in one and a half moons."

After a long time, Skyflower one day answered that they were five moons old.

"Yay!" squealed Briarkit. "We get to be apprentices really soon!"

Goldenfrost was in the nursery, treating Slatekit's infected tick bite. He fondly looked over at Slatekit's golden brown sister.

"Hi, Briarkit."

"Hi, Goldenfrost."

"Goldenfrost seems really fond of me," she gossiped quietly.

"He treats me that way, too," whispered Mothkit. "I guess he just likes us."

"But why isn't he this fond of the other kits?"

"Think I know?"

Chapter Seven: Gone

(A/N: A big, big secret will be revealed in this chapter...)

Stormwing was in the medicine cat den talking to Goldenfrost when suddenly Rosestream came running in.

"Goldenfrost, Stormwing!" the cream-and-white warrior cried.

"What are you so excited about, Rosestream?" snickered Goldenfrost, sarcastic as usual.

"Reedkit, Briarkit, Mothkit, and Hailkit are gone!"

Goldenfrost's jaw dropped open in shock. Stormwing gasped, horrified.

"Missing?!"

"Yes," Rosestream replied, panting from running so fast. "They're m...missing."

"What happened?" asked Goldenfrost, starting to panic.

"Cinderkit told me that she was outside playing with them. Suddenly a ginger tom came up to them and told them to come with him. They went with him and haven't come back."

"Mallowclaw," Stormwing mouthed.

"Cinderkit!" called Rosestream.

"Yes?"

"The cat who took Reedkit, Briarkit, Mothkit, and Hailkit - what did he look like?"

"He was light ginger with blue eyes and white feet. He smelled of rogue."

Stormwing let out a shriek of dispair and started crying.

Cruel, evil Mallowclaw had stolen her kits. Her kits, the only thing more precious to her than her mate. Her mind wandered back to the day they were born...

Flashback

The grey she-cat lay in the snow in a meadow far off from camp. On one side of her was her dear friend Rosestream, one of the only cats who knew her secret, whispering encouragement in her ear. Goldenfrost was on her other side, helping her with the kitting.

"It's ok," soothed the brown tom. "Now push, Stormwing!"

Stormwing cried out in pain, then the kits were out.

Goldenfrost nipped the sac open. Out came a she-kit who looked just like him. She was small, even for a newborn kit, so as Rosestream licked her she wrapped her tail around her to keep her warm.

The next kit was a little white tom. Goldenfrost took this one, cleaning the film out of his eyes and ears.

After the tom kit came another she-kit, with the same goldeny-brown pelt as her father and sister.

The last one to be born was a dark grey she-kit with a white-tipped tail; she took after Stormwing. Goldenfrost also took this one.

Stormwing breathed heavily. One she was calmed down, she opened her eyes and looked at her kits with pride.

"That one is Briarkit," she smiled, nosing the first-born kitten. "She looks like you. And the other brown kit looks like a Mothkit."

"I think this one should be Hailkit," Goldenfrost said, referring to the only tom.

Stormwing nodded.

"Hailkit. And Rosestream, you can name the last one."

Rosestream looked touched, then glanced down at the grey she-kit.

"Reedkit, maybe?"

End Flashback

Stormwing gave birth to her kits. They were inside her body for two moons. If only Goldenfrost weren't a medicine cat, she could have nursed them herself. Unlike Skyflower, she wouldn't have let them wander off...no, she couldn't blame Skyflower. It wasn't her fault that they didn't know not to talk to cats they didn't know. Well, in a way it was, but there was no traveling back in time.

"We will find them," she said in a rather determined tone.

(A/N: I bet you didn't see that coming!)

Chapter Eight: Dawn

Reedkit woke up and didn't recognize her surroundings.

She had been taken to somewhere she had never been before. She could see and smell other cats.

She looked down; she was in a soft nest. Not far from her were Briarkit, Mothkit, and Hailkit.

Where is everyone else? she thought.

"...Cinderkit?" she called, increasingly frightened. "Slatekit? Fernkit? Milkkit, Skyflower? Anyone?!"

I should have looked around before calling for help!

When Reedkit looked around, she found that she was in a place that reminded her of the nursery, but she didn't feel so safe and comforted. She could see kits all over the place - plump kittypet kits with colorful collars around their necks, lean rogue kits with sharp claws, and other kits with scents she didn't even recognize. There was even one kit with mud streaks in his pelt.

She shook the kit nearest to her, the one with mud streaks.

"Wake up! Wake up!"

The kit looked up at her with big brown eyes.

"Who are you?" he asked. "And I wasn't asleep, I was just trying to relax."

"I'm Reedkit," she panted. "I woke up and I was here with my siblings over there. What's your name?" When she said 'siblings,' she gestured to Briarkit, Mothkit, and Hailkit.

"Reedkit?" he said, wrinkling his nose. "That's a strange name. I'm Fish. Fish That Swims Down the River."

"Well, yours is weirder. Where are we and how do we get out?"

"I don't know where we are."

Meanwhile, a brown tabby tom was watching the kits from above. In particular, he was watching Reedkit, Briarkit, Mothkit, and Hailkit.

Reedkit looked a lot like his love. She could have been a younger version of her.

Mothkit, unfortunately, was the exact color of her accursed father. There was almost no trace of her mother in her face.

Hailkit didn't look much like either of his parents. The brown tabby tom didn't think much of the white kitten.

And then there was Briarkit. She still took after Goldenfrost, but she looked like Stormwing when she slept. He smiled a little.

"Those kits should have been mine," he whispered to himself. "Soon they will be. And I'll have my revenge."

"Deernose, you're needed downstairs," meowed a she-cat.

"Coming, Charlotte," Deernose answered.

(A/N: *Gasp* Deernose is back!)

Chapter Nine: RogueClan

(A/N: I'm sorry that I haven't updated this story in like, forever. Well, here's a good chapter to make it up to you guys! :D)

Stormwing rushed to the place her kits were. They didn't know exactly where they were, but they could faintly trace their scent.

"I'm going to kill Mallowclaw," she growled. "I don't care if he's my father. He deserves to die."

Goldenfrost looked at her and nodded.

Deernose... she sadly thought. Why, Deernose? Why? I love you like a brother. I wish you didn't have to be evil.

She told herself that she couldn't waste time worrying about someone it was too late for. She had to get to her kits.

They finally found the place where Reedkit, Briarkit, Mothkit, and Hailkit's scents were the strongest. Stormwing gasped.

What would they be doing here?

It was an abandoned Twoleg nest, and it was very old-looking. It appeared as though no one had lived there or even been in there for countless seasons. But she could hear, smell, and see cats in there.

She took a deep breath, then went in with the Clan.

"It's alright, Stormwing," meowed Longstar, thinking that her daughter's hesitation was due to fear. "We'll find them."

A large group of cats immediately came up to them and blocked their path. Stormwing gasped; just that group was more cats than all the warriors in BrookClan.

"Go away," hissed a black tom. "This is RogueClan territory."

"RogueClan?!" cried Longstar. "Absurd. There is only one Clan in the forest, and I am its leader."

"We only obey our leader and deputy," a young ginger-and-white she-cat calmly meowed. "We are asking you to leave."

"No!" Stormwing yelled. "My kits are trapped here!"

"We don't care," the ginger-and-white cat told her.

Stormwing tackled the ginger-and-white cat.

"Who are you and what do you think you're doing?"

"I...I'm Lily, and I'm on strict orders to not let intruders in. Please don't hurt me."

Stormwing realized how timid and frightened this poor Lily was. She was no match for the warrior; she looked apprentice-aged.

"Take us to where the stolen kittens are."

"Yes," Lily nodded.

The other RogueClanners shot Lily a deadly glare as she showed the BrookClanners the way.

"Ahem!" a tom's voice said. "What do you think you're doing, Lily?"

She froze. So did Stormwing, when she saw who it was.

"Mallowclaw!" she snapped. "You took my kits!"

"Stormwing, we're giving you one more chance," he explained. "If you want your kits back, you'll join RogueClan. But if you don't, you'll keep being stubborn."

This was absolutely it. She had had more than enough.

"I choose...neither!" she fumed.

She proceeded to run up to Mallowclaw, bite his neck, and rip his head off.

The RogueClanners all screamed.

"You killed our deputy!" wailed a small dark grey tom.

A pale grey cat stepped forward; Stormwing recognized him as the rogue Stone.

"Let's see what our leader will do," Stone snarled. "If he's in a good mood, he might spare you."

Who are these cats? Stormwing wondered as she, along with her Clan, was being led away. Who is their leader? Why would anyone make Mallowclaw deputy? This isn't a proper Clan at all!

They got to the place where this 'leader' was and BrookClan gasped in shock.

Deernose was the leader of RogueClan.

End of Book Four

(A/N: Here's a little speech:

*Claps* Go Stormwing! Look at you, ripping my least favorite character's head off! You are so awesome.

Do you guys kinda see the sad part of DeerxStormxGolden? I sure do. And does Stormwing and Deernose's relationship remind you of Annabeth and Luke from Percy Jackson and the Olympians? It sure does remind me of Annabeth and Luke. DeerxStormxGolden is a lot like LukexAnnabethxPercy, too.

Speaking of Deernose, he's a lot more complex then you might think; in fact, probably the most complex character in the entire series. And he might not be as bad as he seems, either. Quote from J.K. Rowling: "I enjoy writing, although wouldn't particularly want to meet, Snape." That's how I feel about Deernose...

The next book is gonna be the last. I'm really sad that this series is ending. It's taken me nearly a year to finish, but it seems like I started it just yesterday. I wonder if this is how all authors feel when they end their stories. I get extremely attached to my characters and stuff.

I'd like to thank all my readers. You guys are so wonderful. Without you, I wouldn't have the motivation to write this series and you wouldn't be reading this right now. *Hugs you all very tightly* Thanks so much. I'd better stop now, this is making me all emotional and overdramatic...very OOC for me, LOL...)

Teaser for Book Five

Coming soon...

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