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Ferntail: Her Life as a Warrior

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Do not edit my stories without my permission. For StarClan's sake, don't.

The following story is rated Moderate.

By:Honeyrose34

Allegiances for HollyClan 

Please ask permission by muah before editing this! Thanks :)

Leader: Featherstar - small gray tabby she-cat with bright blue eyes

Deputy: Prickleleaf - gray tom with spiked fur

Medicine Cat: Shadyfur - dark gray and white she-cat

                          App: Blossompaw

Warriors:

Kestrelpelt- speckled brown tom

Mothflight - speckled brown she-cat with white underbelly

                    App: Blackpaw

Grayheart - gray tom

                    App: Daisypaw

Lilypetal - white she-cat

Liontail- muscular golden tabby tom

Midnightfur- pure black tom

Longfur - long-furred golden tom

                   App: Specklepaw 

Leafstem - long furred golden and white she-cat

Rosefrost - golden brown she-cat with ice-blue eyes

Ferntail - golden brown she-cat with amber eyes


Apprentices:

Blackpaw - pure black tom

Daisypaw - black and gray she-cat

Specklepaw - speckled brown she-cat

Blossompaw - long-furred golden-brown she-cat


Queens:

Nightwing - pure black she-cat. Mother of Shadowkit, Smokekit, and Rainkit

Mapletree - pregnant tortoiseshell she-cat. Expecting Kestrelpelt's kits


Elders:

Whitefoot - gray and black tom with white paws

Emberpelt - old tortoiseshell she-cat

Flameheart - old ginger tom

Orangeshine- orange and white she-cat

Prolouge

 "Fernpaw, Rosepaw, do you promise to follow the warrior code and to protect and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your lives?" Featherstar asked.

"I do," answered my sister.

"I do," I answered calmly, but I was in too much excitement to calm down. " Then, by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior names. Fernpaw, from this moment on you will be known as Ferntail. StarClan honors you intellegence and dedication and welcome you as a full warrior of HollyClan."  Featherstar meowed.

Ferntail! I thought excitedly. Featherstar rested her muzzle on top of my head and then as in custom, and I licked her right shoulder.

"Rosepaw, from this moment on, you will be known as Rosefrost. StarClan honors your endless energy and bravery and welcome you as a full warrior of HollyClan."

Featherstar rested her muzzle on my sister's head and then she licked her shoulder too.

"Ferntail, Rosefrost, Ferntail, Rosefrost!" HollyClan chanted mine and Rosefrost's new name. I'm a warrior!

Chapter One

       "Your vigil is over. Follow me, I'll get you guys nests in the warriors' den," Longfur meowed on his way over. "It was cold. Was it a tough night?"

"Not really. You just have to ignore it mostly." Rosefrost stretched as she got up. I stretched too, and then followed Longfur over to the bramble bush that was the warriors' den.

"Over there," Longfur whispered, trying not to wake up anyone. He pointed his golden tail towards where he two empty nests lay. "Have a good rest!"

"Thanks!" I tried to not step over cats, but I ended up stepping on Grayheart's tail. "Uh? What? " The gray tom woke up.

"Really sorry!" I apologized.

"That's okay, just scared me a little. Well, I since I'm awake, I'll go get something to eat." Grayheart got up from where he slept and then padded out of the den.

"Stupid!" I muttered to myself. "First day as a warrior and you screw things up already!" Finally, I made my way to my nest next to Rosefrost, who was getting ready for a  good, well earned rest.

I settled in too. Ready for my first real rest as a warrior.

            

                                                                                             ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


        "Are you going to sleep ALL day? Wake up! It's sunhigh!"  Rosefrost was at least trying to wake me up for the, I don't know, fourth try.

"Fine!" I snapped.

Rosefrost, appearently pleased, left the warriors' den and out into the clearing. I got up, grooming my fur down. It had stuck up from my restless sleeping. When I had finished, I followed my sister out into the clearing too.

The camp was warm and bright from the sun. The kits were outside of the nursery playing while their mothers were laying on their sides, enjoying the sun's warmth. The apprentices were doing mock battles by the fresh-kill pile. A couple warriors that were nearby yelled at them for getting dust on the food. Featherstar was talking to Prickleleaf, her deputy, by the Highboulder. I spotted my sister eating a vole by the apprentice's den. I went over to join her.

"Why are you eating here when we can be eating by the warriors' den?" I asked.

"Oh, okay." She didn't sound very happy.

"What's wrong?" I demanded.

"Nothing!" she replied back.

"You were just fine a moment ago! What's wrong?" I looked at her. Even her normally peppy ice-blue eyes seemed dull.

"Prickleleaf confesed his love to me," she whispered.

"WHAT?!" I screeched.

"Shhh!" Rosefrost put her tail in my mouth. "No one besides you and me should know!" She took her tail out of my mouth.

"His love? Why does he like her? Since when did he like Rosefrost?" I thought.

"He said he didn't want to tell me when I was still an apprentice. I-I-I think I'm starting to-"

I interrupted "Why? Just because he likes you all of a sudden, you start liking him too?"  Rosefrost nodded.

"I'm going to go meet him now. I'm going to say yes." She started to get up.

"To what?" I asked.

"To love him back and to become mates!" She ran off towards Prickleleaf , back to her normal peppy self.

"She just became a warrior and the first day, she already has a mate! She's so mouse-brained!"

Chapter Two

  " Nice catch!" I was on a hunting patrol with Leafstem, Mothflight, and Mothflight's apprentice, Blackpaw. Mothflight came towards me with her freshly caught mouse. " Thanks! This will be going to Nightwing and her kits. Did you know that they are already 5 moons old?"

That had surprised me. It seemed like they were just born at least a moon before. " No, not really. Maybe I'll be getting my apprentice soon!" My tail sweshed the ferns behind me in excitement at the thought of having my first apprentice.

" Maybe. But don't keep your hopes up, Ferntail. This is your first moon of being a warrior still." Mothflight padded away, tracking a scent of sparrow nearby. I walked in the other direction. I caught the scent of a vole on the breeze. A few moments later, I spotted it by a small stream that cut through the woods. I crouched in the hunter's crouch and slowly pulled myself forward towards it. Pawstep by pawstep, I made my way over to it. It wasn't before long that I was only  a fox-length away from the little creature. I checked the air. I'm still downwind and the vole didn't even see me. What it did see me was a little balck figure running towards it.

" Ferntail! Ferntail! Where are you?" That was Blackpaw's voice. He appeared a moment later. The vole was now gone, but I didn't care. Balckpaw had fear-scent on him. " I'm here Blackpaw." I stood up from my hiding spot. " What's wrong?"

" It's SnowClan! They've crossed the border and are attacking Mothflight and Leafstem. They're in trouble. I-I-I had to run here to find you to get help." His black fur was now bristling with fear.

" Run. Run like you never had before back to camp and tell Featherstar. I'll go for back-up for them. Don't you worry." I raced of. Leaving Blackpaw on his own to get back to camp. I could here fighting and screething and the smell of spilled blood. " Please let them be okay! Help StarClan. We're in trouble!"  I prayed. As I made my way to the border that we shared with SnowClan, I saw Leafstem and Mothflight surrounded by attacking SnowClan cats. When I got close enough, I jumped on top of the nearest warrior. The tom threw me off and a went flying into a tree, and everything went black.


                                                                                        ~ ~ ~  ~ ~                

" Will she be okay?" I started to hear voices. Then I opened my eyes a little and I saw blinding white light. " Did i join StarClan? Am I dead?" I wondered.

" Ferntail?" I heard Rosefrost's voice speaking. I couldn't be dead. Unless she's dead too. " She'll be fine. Just beat up a little. She hit the tree hard. Thank StarClan that Blackpaw came quickly." I started to reconize Shadyfur, the medicene cat's voice, so I couldn't be dead. Yet.

" Huh, what? Rosefrost? Shadyfur? Is that you?" I started to open my eyes wider and saw my sister looking over me. Her icy-blue eyes resting on me. " Ferntail! You're alive! " She noticed me waking up and buried her nose into my flank." You're alive." She murmured into my fur.

" Yes. Now stop worring about me. I'm fine." I croaked. " No you're not. You got pretty beaten up. You're going to stay here for awhile. Now get some rest." Shadyfur commanded as she padded over.

" Sweet dreams, my sister. Sweet dreams---". That's all I heard 'cause I was already drifting into sleep.

Chapter Three

"I think that you can start doing gentle warrior stuff. That includes, hunting or patroling." Shadyfur was checking me again. It's been almost half a moon since my black-out. " Fine, but will this absence make less of an able warrior?" I asked.

" No, I'm sure Featherstar would understand. I mean, a least once each cat stays here, unable to do normal duties." Shadyfur looked at her. " You were hopng for one of Nightwing's kits to mentor, wern't you?" " Well...." I began.

 " No, I'm not mad or anything, but I'm surprised for you to expect something like that so soon to happen to you. That's all. Anyway, Blossompaw was going to go out into the forest with you to stretch a bit, but it looks like it's going to rain." Shadyfur looked up at the sky.

" Mouse-dung. It was even nice and sunny a moment ago. Oh well, I'll go find Rosefrost. I'm sure she's all prettied up with Prickleleaf." I headed off by myself and towards the fresh-kill pile where Prickleleaf was, no doubt, with my sister sharing tounges. " Hey, Ferntail! How are you feeling?" Prickleleaf noticed her and stopped licking Rosefrost's left ear.

" Well. Shadyfur said that I can start on gentle warrior stuff." I replied, taking a sparrow from the pile and settling down beside them. " That's great news. Hey, maybe we can go hunting when you're done with that." Rosefrost meowed.

" It looks like it's about to rain, though. Maybe tomorrow." I answered. I took my first bite. " Yum. What some?" I passed the sparrow towards my sister.

" Sure." She took a bite too. Right when I was about to take another bite, a raindrop landed on my nose. Followed by more and more before it was a steady downpour.

" Mouse-dung!" I cursed. I took the sparrow with me in the warriors' den, Rosefrost and Prickleleaf, behind me.


Chapter Four

I scented the air. I smelled a mouse, but it was stale. I scented again. This time a gentle breeze brought the scent of a vole nearby. I followed it's scent tail until I saw it by a puddle from last night's rain. I got in the hunter's crouch and slowly pulled myself forward. Right when I was ready to leap, it turned around, almost looking at me. I layed still, hoping that I just looked like some brambles. My luck stayed and it turned it's head back around. I unseathed my claws and leaped in the air, but as I was leaping, I layed a shadow over the vole and it tried to run. I was too fast for it, and I chased it and leaped again with a little body limp under my claws. " Yes!" I cheered. I got back up and picked the vole up and into my jaws. I took it over to an ash tree where I was already stashing some prey that I already caught with Rosefrost. 

Right when I was about to go hunt some more, Rosefrost appeared on the other side of the tree. " Good job!" I noticed the blackbird in her jaws. " Thanks. You too. Maybe we should head back to camp, we already have too much prey to carry already." She dropped her catch down on the pile with the rest. " Okay." We each took two small pieces of prey in our jaws with a bigger piece of prey under our chins. We looked like geese, but we didn't care, at least we could carry more that way. When we arrived back at camp, Nightwing's kits came up to us.

" Hey! You look funny!" One said. " I do? Well how about you?" I took the rabbit I was carrying under my chin and dropped it right on the kit. " Smokekit! You just got crushed by a rabbit!" The second kit came up to the crushed Smokekit and pulled the prey off him.


" Ha ha! Mom's going to like this!" The third kit ran off towards the nursery. " Hey, wait up, Shadowkit!" The other two ran off towards Shadowkit and into the nursery where their mother was waiting.

" Kits!" I took my rabbit back and headed off towards the fresh-kill pile. Dropped the prey on the pile and went to the thorn enterance, where Rosefrost was waiting for me. " Ready to go get more prey to look like silly geese again?" She asked.

" Not unless you want to drop a rabbit on a kit making fun of you." I let out a merrow of laughter. " Sure. Anytime to shut them up!" Rosefrost ran off and out the thorn enterance and out into the forest. Then I ran after her, almost thinking that we were still carefree apprentices.


                                                                                                   ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

" Mapletree's giving birth!" A loud voice woke me up. " I'm coming!" Kestrelpelt's voice came from ahead of me.

I opened my eyes to see him getting up and running out of the den. He was Mapletree's mate and he seemed to be really excited about his first litter of kits.

Rosefrost was now awake too, sitting up and grooming herself. It was the dead of night, so it was dark and cold out. I got up and out of the den and Rosefrost followed me. I saw Blossompaw running from the medicene cat den and into the bramble walls oof the nursery. Nightwing and her kits were waiting outside of the nursery so they wern't in the way of the medicene cats at work. The kits were bouncing around asking their mother lots of questions, " Is there lots of blood in there?" " Where do the little kits com from inside of Mapletree? And why do they?" " When they're born ,can we play with them?"

Nightwing looked at her kits, "Alright, I can't answer all your questions, and first of all, Rainkit, how can you play with them at midnight and when they were just born, they can't even walk or speak yet!" She nuzzled Rainkit. " And anyway, you'll be apprentices tomorrow. You can't play with kits when you have to be brave apprentices!"

" No way ma'am! I'm not going to play with kit when I'm going to be a warrior apprentice!" Smokekit boasted. " Or me! Unless, they ask..." Shadowkit tried to imitate Smokekit's chest puff, but he ended up falling forward.

" Ha!" I chuckled softly. I headed towards them. " I think that you will be really great warriors!" I added a little sarcasim, but Rainkit didn't reall pick it up. " Really?" His bright blue eyes stretched really wide. " Really, Rainkit. Really." I rested my tail on his little head. He tried to shake it off. It still stayed there.

After a couple more games of, Try to Shake the Tail of Your Head, a little golden head appeared in the nursery enterance. " Mapletree gave birth to four kits! Come meet them!" Blossompaw popped her head back in and I followed three jumpy little kits into the nursery.

Inside I saw Mapletree laying on a mossy nest on the far side of the nursery. Four little wet bundles of fur lay by her stomach feeding. Kestralwing, the father was laying beside Mapletree licking the top of her tortoise-shell head. " Come and meet, Sparrowkit." Mapletree  pointed her tail at a speckled brown tom, like hs father. " And Oakkit." She pointed at yet another tom, but he was ginger and brown. " And our only daughter, Smallkit." She was a tortoiseshell."And finally, Mosskit." The last was a brown, ginger, and white tom with a flecked head. 

" They're just beautiful." I purred. " Thank you." Kestralwing thanked. Rainkit padded up to Smallkit. " She'll be my best friend 'cause she's so pretty." He licked her head and she made a grunting noice that almost seemed like a purr.

Chapter Five  

It was dawn when I came out of the nursery. Some other cats had woken up. There was some rustling, and a few moments later, the dawn patrol appeared, Featherstar at the lead. " Morning, Featherstar. Did you know that Mapletree's kits were born?" I asked.

" Yes, when they were coming, Daisypaw came and found us, told us." Featherstar answered. " Oh, okay." I started to pad away but, " Wait, Ferntail, go get your sister and meet me in my den." She went towards her den under the Highboulder. " Oh, okay." I called back to her. I didn't know what it was all about, but I knew it was something good. I ran off and into the warriors' den, finding Rosefrost on her nest grooming herself. " Rosefrost." She looked up at the call of her name. " Featherstar needs us in her den." That's all it took, 'cause there was a soft grunt of thanks from her and she was charging out the den past me. 

I ran off after her and ended up passing her up. " Ha!" I pounded down on the ground to go faster, spraying my sister with dust. " Thanks!" 

" Oh, you're so very welcome." I said sarcasticly. Then I stopped in front of Featherstar's den. Ferns covered the enterance, so I couldn't see in. I called a soft greeting, and padded into the den. The den was a cave in the bottom of the Highboulder. It was dark, but there was the light of the sun that made it past the ferns.

Featherstar was waiting for us in the next part of the den in her mossy nest. When she saw us, she sat up. " Rosefrost, Ferntail, you know very well that Nightwing's kits are 6 moons old, and are having their apprentice ceremonies today--."

" This is it, I'm going to be a mentor!" I thought. 

"-- and I would like you two to be two of the kits mentors."

" Yes!" I cheered in my head.

" I would love to, Featherstar." My sister answered. " And I would be delighted." I replied after her.

" Great! I'll hold the ceremony in just a few moments. Go get something to eat first." Featherstar meowed.

" Yes, Featherstar." I got up. " And thanks." I added. Featherstar purred, " You're welcome. You two are very hard workers and I'm sure will be great mentors."


                                                                                            ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I walked past the waiting crowd around Highboulder. Featherstar already called the meeting. " This is it!"  I thought excitedly. Rosefrost was behind me, looking very happy as well. I jumped up on one of the crumbling rocks surrounding the Hightboulder. A moment later, Featherstar juped up to the hightest part of the Hightboulder where she normaly stood for announcements. The kits came out of the nursery. All groomed, making them all look shiny and sleek. Rosefrost jumped up to the rock beside me. Liontail ,the third kit's mentor, was waiting at the bottom of the rock I stood on because of it already being crowded.

" Cats of HollyClan, today, the kits of Nightwing have reached their sixth moon. They will now be one step closer of being true Clan warriors!" Featherstar's voice belowed around the clearing. Featherstar beconed for the kits to come forward. They ended up being right under the rock I stood on.

" Shadowkit, come forward." Shadowkit did has told. " From this day forward, untill you earn your warrior name, you will be known as Shadowpaw. You will need a warrior to mentor you and guide and lead you to become a cat such as them. Liontail, this will be your duty. Please be a good mentor to this young cat." When Featherstar finished speaking, they touched noses. " Rainkit, step forward. You will be known as Rainpaw. Rosefrost, you will be this apprentice's mentor. To guide and lead. This will be your first, so mentor him well." Rosefrost jumped down from the rock and padded over to the waiting Rainpaw. They touched noses too.

" I'm next!" I thought eagerly. " Smokekit, from this day forward, you will be known as Smokepaw. Ferntail. Despite your accident half a moon ago, you are an amazing warrior and that is why I'm giving you Smokepaw to mentor. Please, the same as Rosefrost, this being your first, mentor him well." Featherstar had finished speaking, so I jumped off the rock I had sat on, and padded over to Smokepaw. " We'll have a great time together." I whispered to him as we touched noses. The Clan cheered as we finally touched noses. " Smokepaw, Rainpaw, Shadowpaw! Smokepaw, Rainpaw, Shadowpaw!" They cheered. Before I knew it, a crowd of congradulating cats surrounded us.

" Come on." I said as the crowd dismissed after a while. " Let's go explore our territory!" I raced off, hoping he'll chase after me, and sure enough, we almost ran in to me as I slowed down to see if he was even coming. " Just don't run like this too much, you'll scare all the prey here to the end of SnowClan territory!" I joked as we slowed down a bit to admire the early forest beauties. 


Chapter Six

" Smokepaw, attack me." Smokepaw looked confused. We were in the training hollow. He was a couple tail-lengths away from me, ready to be told to do the next command.

" Attack you?" He asked. " Yes attack me. I want to see how well you could do with a cat my size." I replied.

" Well, if it's okay..." He still looked uncertian. He bunched his muscles and leaped inot the air and landed right on top of my shoulders. Surprised at his accuracy, I rolled on my back, trying to crush him. Instead, he got off, and when I got back up, he went right under me. I was too fast and dropped myself right on top of him.

" Nice try, Smokepaw." I congradulated. " I'm, squashed!" he croaked from underneath me. I got back up. " Thanks!" he breathed as he shook the dust and grass from his pelt. " You know, you have only been training for a few days, and so far I think you're better than I was when I started my training." I praised.

" Really?" He asked. I gave him a little laugh. " Yes, I do. Now, can we get back to camp so I can go eat?" I started to leave and he followed me. " You know, tonight's the full moon. You may be able to go to the Gathering." I said as we were walking through the forest. " It'll be great to go! My first Gathering! What will it be like?" He asked. " Well, it'll be big, and have lots of cats. If you thought that our Clan was big, try having SnowClan, BreezeClan, and MarshClan all together!" I answered. the camp's gorse walls were coming into view.

" Wow, I can't wait!" He said. Smokepaw then raced off and into the camp enterance. " Ha, I guess I was like that too!" I laughed. He really brought out my young side.


                                                                                        ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

" Go meet some other apprentices from the other Clans. Just don't reveal anything about our Clan it's self. We don't want to sound weak." We just arrived at Four-Rocks. I was warning Smokepaw on what not to do.

" I can do that?" He asked. " If you mean meet other cats, yes. Revealing stuff, no. Just go have fun before the Gathering starts." i shooed him off.

" Come on, Rainpaw! Let's go meet some other apprentices!" Smokepaw called to his brother. " Coming!" Rainpaw raced after him.

" Hey, your name's Fernpaw. Right?" I turned around. I saw a small light gray tabby she-cat looking at me. She had the scent of BreezeClan on her. " Yeah, it was. I'm Ferntail now. What's you name?" The she-cat smiled. " Silverflight. Nice to meet you, Ferntail. Seems to me that you are a good warrior."

" Yeah, thanks. Anyway, how'd you reconize me?" I meowed. " I saw you at the Gathering last moon. You were a peppy apprentice." Silverflight answered. " What changed you?"

I almost replied "After my black out." But I stopped myself, not to give anything away. Featherstar would take care of that. When I was about to give my substitute answer, a loud yowl drew my attention to the large four rocks. On each of them, a leader stood. Depending on which rock a leader was on, was where his or her's Clan sat. Featherstar was on the far right so I padded over there, away from Silverflight. I saw Shadowpaw, Smokepaw and Rainpaw sitting next to each other near the front. I sat next to them to get a better view of the Gathering. Once all the cats settled down, Lilystar, the leader of SnowClan began.

" SnowClan is doing well with prey and all. We recently had a new litter of kits born by Mousefoot. The kits names are, Jaykit, Cloudkit and Twigkit. We also have had a little border problems....but all is well." I hated that Lilystar paused after the border news. I knew what that was. Other cats in my Clan seemed to reconize it too, for the fur on the backs of their necks were rising. Even little Rainpaw, who isn't very violent, was angered too.

" May I go next? MarshClan's leader, Yellowstar, spoke up from the rock next to Featherstar. The other two leaders that didn't go yet nodded so he continued, " We have had some border issues as well." That shocked me, but not completely. MarshClan's borders SnowClan as well. No doubt SnowClan is trying to expand their territory. 

"  Lilystar, why? We were just at peace. Why must you do this so close to Leaf-fall." The old yet wise leader asked. " You just answered your own question, Yellowstar." Lilystar suddenly sounded harsh. " It's almost Leaf-fall, whicn means the birds we eat are starting to get ready to fly to their warm place. We will starve. Didn't you hear me just a moment ago, we need more food. We just got new a litter of kits. If their mother starves, they won't get milk and die!" Now, we are going to be taking some of your territory. We need food to survive Leaf-bare. We're taking it and there is nothing you can do about it!"

With her done speaking, she jumped off of her rock, rounded her Clan up, and left. " Well, that's something new." Longfur muttered behind me.


Chapter Seven

" So, how was the Gathering?" Midnightfur was standing guard when we came back from Four-rocks.

"Um, I think Featherstar's to announce it." I meowed, seeing that Featherstar was jumping up to Highboulder. " Let all cats of HollyClan, gather below Highboulder to listen to what I have to tell you."

I went over to where the rest of the cats were waiting patently under Highboulder. Orangeshine, one of the elders was talking to Daisypaw. Daisypaw had gone to the Gathering, so she was telling her what happened.

" HollyClan. You all know very well that we resently had a small battle with SnowClan a moon ago." Featherstar's words had every cat murmuring agreement.

" That was just the begining. Today at the Gathering, Lilystar declared that she will be taking all of the other Clan's, including ours, territory for extra prey. The want to have more prey for the Clan before Leaf-bare so they won't starve."

Meows of shock and protest came form the cats that hadn't already heard. One cat. Nightwing, spoke up, " Featherstar, don't they have their birds to eat?"

" Yes, but Lilystar stated that they had migrated already, leaving them starving." Featherstar answered. " I highly doubt that, for they have the rabbits that now and then run through their territory. As well as some fish from the creek on the edge of their territory. I do not know why the need more prey than that. They normaly are very well-fed, even in leaf-bare." 

" What should we do? Fight?" Leafstem piped up from behind me.

" No, I don't think so. Not until they are really a real threat. I don't want a battle so close to leaf-fall, so we'll try to spill less of our blood as possable. This meeting is at an end. Get some rest everyone. This ain't over yet." Featherstar jumped of Highboulder.

I turned to go to the warriors' den but, " Wait, Ferntail." I turned around. Featherstar came up to me. " I want you to quicken Smokepaw's battle training. If there's going to be a battle, he needs to be ready."

" Of course, Featherstar." I dipped my head. " I'll make sure he's ready."


                                                                                                   ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

I was laying down by the fresh-kill pile. Enjoying the late greenleaf sun. A figure appeared in front of me, blocking the sun. "Hey!" I meowed. I got up and realized it was Rosefrost.

"Um...can we go talk in the forest?" Rosefrost added. "Alone?'

"Sure." I said, getting up. She seemed nervous. Maybe it was something bad. I followed her sister out of camp and into the woods. We stopped at a pile of rocks, deep in HollyClan territory.

I climed up them and layed down on a flat one I was near the top. Rosefrost sat next to me." What is it, Rosefrost?" I asked.

" Well, before I came to find you, I had a bellyache. I went to see Shadyfur. She fed me some berries, but it didn't work. Then, Shadyfur looked me over again and-" She stopped.

" And what?" I asked.

Rosefrost looked at me, " I-I'm having....kits."

" Kits? You and Prickleleaf, having kits? That's wonderful! I'm so happy for you! Do you know how many?" I asked.

" No, not exactly, but Shadyfur is guessing two or three." She answered.

" Did you tell Prickleleaf yet?" I jumped down from the pile of rocks and started to head back to camp. She ran up to me.

" No, I wanted to tell you first." She said.

"Me? I'm not your mate!" I meowed shocked that she told me before she told her own mate.

" I know, but you're my sister." She said. " Let's get back to camp so I can tell him. He'll be so happy!" Rosefrost ran off towards camp, so I had to run after her. She was so happy when she thought of Prickleleaf. 

" Will I be like that if I find a mate of my own?" I wondered as a raced to camp with Rosefrost. I instantly thought of Smokepaw. We were good friends, but we weren't going to ber mates. We wouldn't be getting close like that. Would we? 


Chapter Eight

Four moons later..........

" Good job, Smokepaw." Smokepaw was now strongly built. His dark gray coat rippled with the muscles underneath....."Snap out of it Ferntail you don't like him! He's your apprentice!" Smokepaw was doing a practice battle with Shadowpaw. Rainpaw wathched from the side. Giving his brothers pep talk now and then," Scratch his hind leg, Shadowpaw!"

Rainpaw's mentor was Rosefrost. Rosefrost had, a moon ago, moved to the nursery. Rainpaw was given to Midnightfur to be mentored for the rest of his apprenticeship. " All right, guys, break it up. We need to get back to camp. It's getting late." Liontail, Shadowpaw's mentor, was now rounding up the apprentices and guiding them towards camp.

" You did very well, Smokepaw." I praised Smokepaw as he came to join me.

" I did? I thought I messed up a lot." Smokepaw looked at me. " I felt great out there, but when I mess up, my spirit loses it's gleam."

" Hey, just because a battle with SnowClan's coming, doesn't mean that my apprentice has to be the weaker one out there." I cuffed him around the head. " You would have beat your brother, but we had to cut the battle short. You are one of the greatest fighters I've evr known."

" I know I am!" He puffed out his chest." I--" I swift streak of white came from behind a tree and pushed Smokepaw down.

" Attack!" It was a SnowClan warrior! The white warrior now came after me. Before she could leap at me, I ran towards camp. As fast as my legs could carry me. The white warrior was chasing me. "No! I can't bring him into camp!" I thought, so instead, I turned back around, and faced the warrior. He jumped into the air, and I went underneath him. He landed a few mouse-lengths away from me, where I was a moment before. I turned to face him, and looked in my enemy's blue eyes. That's when I reconized him. He was the SnowClan warrior who, 5 moons ago, threw me into that tree that caused my black-out.

" You piece of fox-dung! You almost killed me!" I jumped up low, and ended landing on the warrior's shoulders. I dug me claws in his back and held on tight. He screeched in pain ran around, trying to throw me off. He didn't succeed,and ended running all the way where he ambushed Smokepaw a moment ago. I saw Liontail and Rainpaw fighting a muscular brown tom, while Shadowpaw was dragging a gray she-cat off of Midnightfur. Where was Smokepaw. I then saw him, hiding under a holly bush near the clearing.

" Smokepaw! Go to camp and get help!" I screeched from the warrior's back. He saw me, helplessly fighting the white tom, and charged out of his hiding spot, and towards camp. " Run!" I yelled after him.

One tom, a black one realized where Smokepaw was going. " He's getting a rescue party! Go get him!" At his command, two warriors stopped fighting, and charged after Smokepaw. " Oh, no! Liontail!"

I unseathed my claws, and jumped off of the white warrior. Liontail looked at me and stopped fighting. He charged after Smokepaw's persuers.

I looked at the tom that attacked me. He was laying on the ground. His back had my claw marks on it. Blood poured out of them. His eyes: closed. he was dead. I killed him! He must have lost lots of blood while I clung onto him. Right when I was about to drag him out and into a bush for his Clanmeates to get him, his eyes opened.

He's alive! I bowed over him," I'm sorry. I-I didn't mean to almost kill you." I said. I took hold of the scruff of his neck and dragged him into some ferns nearby. A thought occured to me when I was.

When I layed him down gently in rhe ferns, I said," Hey, I'll make you a deal. If you can send your Clanmates home, I won't kill you now. If you don't I will. We wanted peace. Not spilled blood. If you can't agree to that, I'll kill right here. Right now."

The tom looked at me." Fine. I'll do it. I'm just going with what my leader said." " Wait. Why does Lilystar want every Clan's territory for prey?" I asked.

" She...doesn't want it for food. She just wants power. Lilystar, is getting weak. She's on her last lives. She's just trying to make the best of her life before she dies." The SnowClan warrior answered.

"Well that's just mose-brained. Just, take your Clanmates home. We mean no harm anymore." I helped him up. I guded him to the battle where the remaning cats still fought.

" Stop!" The warrior shouted. The cats stopped fighting under his words. " We're going home."

The tom started rounding his Clanmates up. " But, Badgerclaw-" One apprentice that had fought started to complain, but a brown tom cuffed hime around the ears. "Respect your deputy, Bumblepaw!"

" Deputy?" I thought as I watched the SnowClan attackers leave. In the distance, I heard a battle cry. Not any battle cry, Prickleleaf's! I turned around to see a large HollyClan attacking party charging towards the clearing.

" Wait! They left in peace!" I explained. I padded over to the slowing down cats. " I had their deputy promice that if he sent his cats away, I wouldn't kill him. If he didn't I would kill him. You see, he was weak already, and I had to threaten him to get the Clan to leave us alone."

Prickleleaf appreared from inside the crowd and came up to me. "Good job, Ferntail. But I think we should just settle with words, not threats or claws." He said.

"Okay, but it worked." I padded after him and the rest of the cats that were ready for a battle that didn't even need them. Thanks to me!


Chapter Nine

We just arrived back in camp when I saw the nursery was surrounded by cats. " Rosefrost!" I though immeditly. She was early. I was worried. The whole time I was fighting, my poor sister was giving birth. " I'm coming!" I barged past the cats. Each one protesting my shoving. When I made it through the crowd and to the enterance of the nursery, I saw Prickleleaf pacing anxously.

" Prickleleaf?" He looked up. "Is-Is she okay?" I asked.

" I don't know I'm so worried. She's been doing this since when you left for battle practice with Smokepaw." He answered. I closed my eyes. "Please let everything be okay. Please. Please StarClan." I prayed. For the next couple minutes, I kept praying, and praying until: " There's three of them. Two she-cats and a tom." Blossompaw, now known as Blossomfall, appeared at the enterance of the nursery.

"Oh, thank StarClan!" Prickleleaf charged into the bramble thicket behind Blossomfall. I followed. Inside, my sister lay where Mapletree lay after she gave birth a couple moons ago. Beside Rosefrost was three little bundles. Each of them, my new nieces and nephew.

"They're beautiful, Rosefrost!" I said. "What little cuties!" Rosefrost looked extremely tired. " Rosefrost? Are you okay? Do you want me to get you something to eat?"

"No-no. I'm fine. Just tired." She said.

"Oh, okay." I replied. "Did you want to name them yet?" I asked. I looked at the little kits. The tom, a golden-brown furred kit, was closer to Prickleleaf, who was sitting on Rosefrost's right side. One of the she-cat's, golden-brown and white, was sleeping already. The second she-cat, gray, was slurping milk up.

"Well, I thought..." She pointed at the tom." ...that he would be named Dock-kit." I looked at Dock-kit. I loved the name, and surely, it looked like he did too, for he nuzzled deeper into the mother.

"What about the she-cats?" I asked.

Rosefrost looked happily at her daughters. "How about, the gray one, Shadekit and the other one, Honeykit."

"I love them, sweety." Prickleleaf murmured into his mate's fur.

"I love the names too, Rosefrost. I'll leave you guys in peace now. I'll come back tomorrow." I got up and left the nursery. The crowd of the cats had gone down. The only cats left were Blossomfall and Shadyfur.

I couldn't belive it. My sister, a mother. Me, an aunt! Wow, what was next? I looked at the apprentices' den. And sure enough, I saw Smokepaw. I DO love him. Don't I?

Chapter Ten

" Um, Smokepaw?" I padded up to him. He looked up to me.

"Ferntail? Do you nedd me for something?" He asked, getting up. I put my tail around him.

" Let's go talk privately." I gudied him out of camp. We went into the forest and headed towards the pile of rocks where Rosefrost told me she was having kits. When we arrived there, I climbed up to a rock and sat down. Smokepaw stayed at the bottom.

"What are we here for?" He asked. " And why are we alone?" I gave him a stare to shut up, and he did.

" Um, Smokepaw, have you ever...liked, someone before?" I asked carefully. " Like, love." He looked at me strangly but, he looked at me and smiled joyfully.

" Yes!" He breathed. " I do!" I looked at him and smiled back. " Well, I feel that way...too. Smokepaw...." I stopped. I couldn't let the words leave my mouth.

Smokepaw finished for me, " Love you? Me too." I let out abreath. He DID love me!

" Yes. Love you." I replied. I jumped off the rock I had layed on. " You- You really love me?" He nuzzled my flank. I took it as a yes.

" Did, you like me for awhile? I did. I-I the only reason why I made fun of you, when I was a kit, about how you looked was because I loved you. I just wanted you to notice me." Smokepaw purred. " But I still didn't expect to be crushed by a rabbit!"

I cuffed him around the ears. " Come on, it's getting late. We should be heading back." I walked towards camp, now with a cat that I loved, who loved me back.


                                                                                           ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

" Hey, how are you." It was the next day. I was now just padding into the nursery. Mapletree and her kits, now almost 5 moons old, were laying in a corner of the bramble walls that made the nursery. The kits were playing Leader versus Leader. Sparrowkit was one, while Smallkit was the other.

" Fine. Just super tired." Rosefrost replied form her mossy nest. Her kits were sucking form her stomach. One of the kits,Honeykit, was now wandering away. I picked her up and gently put her back beside her mother. " Thanks." Rosefrost stiffled a yawn.

" Want me to go get you some mice?" I asked, getting up.

" Yes, please. And if you see Prickleleaf, tell him to come see me." She replied, looking at her kits again. I walked out of the nursery, and headed towards the fresh-kill pile.On my why there," Let all cats of HollyClan, gather below Highboulder for a Clan meeting." I stopped in my tracks, and changed my course to the Highboulder.

" Hey, Blackpaw, Daisypaw! You're going to be late!" Mothflight, Blackpaw's mentor called into the ferns that were what made the apprentices' den

" It's their warriors ceremony!" I realized. Blackpaw then appeared with his sister at his side. They had their heads held high as they made their way to Highboulder. Cats cheered as they went by. When the two cats arrived at the rocks surrounding Highboulder, the ceremony begain.

" HollyClan, these two apprentices of ours have proved that they are worthy of being true warriors." Featherstar meowed. " Blackpaw, Daisypaw, do you promice to uphold the warrior code, and to protect and defend this Clan, even at the cost of you life?" Two answers of ' I do' had Featherstar continue. " Then, by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior names. Blackpaw, from this moment forward, you will be known as, Blackwhisker. StarClan honors your bravery and hard work and welcome you as a full warrior of HollyClan." Featherstar rested her muzzle on top of Blackwhisker's head. He licked her shoulder in turn. The same ceremony happened again, and Daisypaw was then called Daisypelt. The Clan congradulated them, and the whole meeting was then over. It wasn't before long when I was heading towards the warriors den.

That was when I remembered Rosefrost's mice. I ran off towards the fresh-kill pile. I then padded over to the nursery to where Rosefrost was now mad with me for almost forgeting about her food.


Chapter Eleven

I was dreaming. It wasn't really about anything but me chasing a furry butterfly. Wait, did I just say furry?

" Hey, get off my tail! I'm not a kit toy!" A sound woke me. I opened my eyes to see a mad Blackwhisker looming over me.

"Sorry!" I meowed. He still looked mad, but curled back up to sleep. Already, a couple days after he was turned into a warrior, he seemed like one of the Sr warriors. For StarClan's sake, I was older than him. Just the other day, he had yelled at me for tripping over a rock on the evening patrol, when I was leading it! I got furous that day. Today I still got mad, but not as mad as Blackwhisker had when I just stepped on his tail. I gave up on wanting to give him a not so friendly chat and got out of the warriors' den. It was already after dawn. I saw some warriors laying under the Highboulder to eat and talk. I looked at the nursery and-- Rosefrost was out with her kits! They were still very young, but their mother was just feeding them from outside.

" Hey!" I said as I walked over to her. " What they doing outside?" One of the kits were murmuring something. I leaned down to hear better. Then I heard:" Havn' fun!"

" You're talking, Honeykit!" Rosefrost heard her too. "Well done!"

" Me talk too! Me smart like sis!" That was now Dock-kit." Me talk like other kitties!" He got up and stretched. His wide ice-blue eyes looked around.

"Their eyes opened as well." I commented to Rosefrost. "Dock-kit here has your eyes." Rosefrost purred with delight seeing what I meant.

"Yes, so does Shadekit." She nuzzled Shadekit, who had just fell asleep. "Hey, if you're going to sleep, go in the nursery. K?" Shadekit got up and lumbered sleeply like a badger into the nursery.

"Why Blossomfall have stinky moss with her?" Honeykit asked. She pointed her tail towards Blossomfall who had some mouse-bile soaked moss.

"The stinky stuff on the moss is mouse-bile. If you dab it on cat's fur, you can make their fleas go away." I answered, pointing Blossomfall, who was now dabbing the moss on Emberpelt, one of the elders." See?"

"Yuck, I don't want that stuff on MY fur!" Dock-kit said making a puckered face.

"Hey, Honeykit, lets go explore the camp. I want to see what it looks like!" Dock-kit said to his sister. He then, like a good kit, looked to his mothe for approval.

"Yes of course. Just don't get under anyone's paws." She said, nudging her kits out into the clearing. "Go have fun."

The two kits ran off, running towards the ferns the made the apprentices' den first. "Don't bother them!' I called after them. Knowing Honeykit, the mischevious kit would do it anyway. I looked at Rosefrost and saw on her face that she was thinking the same thing.

"I just hope that they don't try to find Featherstar's den. Or try to climb up Highboulder." Rosefrost meowed worried. A flash back came to me with Rosefrost's words. We tried to do those things. Well, when we were kits. We had gotten in huge trouble hten with our mother. The thought off my mother brought back ram memories. My mother was killed a few days after I was apprenticed. A badger broke into the camp. The badger had made a bee-line for the nursery. I knew 'cause I watched it all. My mother was inside, nursing my younger brother. He was born a couple moons after I was. The badger killed both. My mother and brother's names were Goldenheart and Badgerkit. Yes, Badgerkit, because the day he was born in this world was the day he left this world. He was named after the creature that killed him. My father, Tigerthorn, was killed the same day too. 

"Ferntail, you okay? You just went .......blank." Rosefrost voice woke me up from my day dream.

"What? Huh? Oh,sorry. What-What you just said about Honeykit and Dock-kit could try to climb Highboulder and stuff...well it reminded myself of Goldenheart." I meowed.

"Oh,sorry. I did know that something like that would bring back her memories. Sorry. I guess that I said that because off our own experence." Rosefrost appologized." I guess no matter what we do will remind us of our parents and brother."

I closed my eyes. Tears were now pouring out. "Y-Yeah, I-I guess so..." I walked away. I went out of camp and to the closest ferns I could get to. I settled down in them as some unexpected cat came up to me and sat next to me. I didn't bother to look to see who it was. I knew it was Rosefrost. I reconized the golden-brown fur.

But something about her scent.... I put it aside in my thoughts. "Rosefrost...I-I miss t-them." I muttered between sobs. "I-I just want them back..."

Rosefrost put her paw under my chin and dragged my face so I could see her. No. It couldn't be. I looked at the cat next to me. It was my mother.

Chapter Twelve 

"M-Mother? But y-your--" Goldenheart but her tail over my jaws. "Dead?" She finished for me.

"Yes. But how are you--.How are you--". I stopped. It didn't matter. She was there to accompany me. " You came to b-be with me?" I asked instead.

She nodded."Yes. I-I saw how upset you were and--" SHe stopped in midsentence too. She licked the top of my head. "You have found him." I was confused. Me finding who?

"Who's Him, Goldenheart?" I asked her. She smiled. She then shook her head to show that she wan't answering. I guess I- oh!! OH!! "Smokepaw?"

She nuzzled my head as in reply as,"Yes". I got up. I heard Featherstar's Clan meeting summons. Goldenheart got up and shook her star filled pelt that I hadn't noticed before. "Smokeclaw is to lead your life to happyness and bring a new Golden-Tiger into the forest." She said those words with an automatic voice like someone told her to say thosse words. Smokeclaw? Golden-Tiger? Before I could aske my mother anymore, she slowly disapeared and the summons of a Clan meeting lead me home confused.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I arrived in camp just in time to see my apprentice nicely groomed form top to bottom. His brothers looked the same with their mother leaning over them doing the grooming. Their Warrior Ceremony!! I had totally forgoten. Just the other night, Featherstar had warned me that it would happen very very soon. I didn't know she meant TODAY!! I ran over to Highboulder and took my place besides the other two mentors, Liontail and Midnightfur. Midnightfur wasn't really Rianpaw's true mentor. Rosefrost was. But since she moved to the nursery and has to still take care of her three kits, she had Midnightfur take her place. I could see Rosefrost right now looking through the crowd of cats. She was sitting right next to the nursery so she was close to her kits. Featherstar appeared to do one final yowl to get every cat present to the meeting and jumped up to the highest peak of the Highboulder. "Cats of HollyClan." Featherstar begain. " We are gather today to witness the change of apprentice to warrior for these three cats." She gestured towards Smokepaw, Rainpaw and Shadowpaw. " Rainpaw, Smokepaw, and Shadowpaw, do you promice to uphold the warrior code and to protect and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?" They looked bravely towards their leader and back. "I do." The three of them answered. "Then, with the power of StarClan, I give you your warrior names." Featherstar said, starting to leap further down towards them. When she arrived next to Shadowpaw, she continued. "Shadowpaw, from this moment on, you will be known as Shadowstrike. StarClan honors your bravery and great fighting skills and welcome you as a full warrior of HollyClan." She rested her chin on her head. Shadowstrike licked her shoulder in return. A chorus of cheers came form the Clan. Featherstar waited till they quieted down before continuing.

"Rainpaw, from this moment on you'll be known as Rainpuddle. StarClan honors your honesty and strength and welcome you as a full warrior of HollyClan." She again did the head/lick thing and the cheering continued. Then when the noise went away, Featherstar made her way towards Smokepaw. Pride swelled through me. My apprentice was becoming a full warrior!

"Smokepaw, you now will be known as Smokeclaw." A feeling that a cold rock went in my stomach came out of nowhere when Featherstar announced Smokeclaw's new name. Smokeclaw? The memory of my mother just coming to me went through my head. She had said something about a Smokeclaw bringing me happyness and a new Golden-Tiger to the forest.....It was him.

Preface

A wave of pain and tiredness went through me. "That's it. That's the last one." Shadyfur announced. I just finished giving birth. The sound of two mewling kits came to me when I opened my eyes. I saw a bundle of black and brown fur and another one of golden-brown fur. " A boy and girl." Smokeclaw just then came in the nursery. He sighed a breath of relief. He padded over to me as Shadyfur left the nursery.

"They're beautiful." He said nuzzling our new children." He nuzzled the golden-brown kit." Looks like the fur color never grows old." I smiled. Mother was right. Happyness. I licked his right ear.

"Names?" I asked him. He looked at me with a dark stare. Followed by a lightened smile. He was thinking. Hard. After what felt like moons," Goldenkit and Tigerkit." He whispered. The same cold stone feeling went through me again like during his warrior naming ceremony. Another memory of my mother saying those same words.

"And he'll bring you a new Golden-Tiger to the forest......." "Oh, okay." I said. "After my parents. Right?" When he nodded, a let out a little breath. At least he was being kind for that. Well naming our daughter and son, that is.

"Smokeclaw! Hunting patrol!" A sound came from outside the nursery.

"Fox-dung!" Smokeclaw muttered under his breath. "I-I better go. Just don't get any more beautiful while I'm gone." He said as he backed out of the nursery. I giggled.

"I'll try!" I called after him. A loud burst of laughter came from somewhere in the camp. He heard. I almost started laughing again if it weren't for the shimmering lights coming from the other side of the nursery. A moment later, a golden-brown she-cat appreared in the nursery.

"Hi, sweetheart. Lovely kits!" It was Goldenheart.

"Mom! Don't do that! Another cat could have seen!" I yelled at her whispering. She smiled. Then settled down next to me.

" So, the prophecy is almost fulfilled." She meowed nuzzling my head. I got confused.

" No, it is done. Smokeclaw is well, Smokeclaw. He has given me pure happyness ever since, and well.." I pointed my tail towards my kits, now suckling.

"Not yet." Goldenheart told me. Now whispering," Golden-Tiger will follow the Clan towards a time of dispair and one will rise to the stars." Her eyes, now pools of amber water, shone like stars in a red sky.

" Goldenheart? What do you mean?" I asked. I didn't get my answer. She was gone.


Next in the 'Their Lives as Warriors' Series...Tigerstrike:His Life as a Warrior

Here's a sneak peek....


Sneak Peek of Tigerstrike:His Life as a Warrior...

"Tigerpaw, from this moment on, you will be known as, Tigerstrike. StarClan honors your bravery, and strength...." I replayed that moment over and over in my head all day. Ever since I was free of my vigil, I've been thinking of it. Even while I was asleep after my vigil, and when I was hunting after sun-high. I finally snapped out of it when my sister Goldenpaw, no, Goldenbud, now, smacked me right side up after a short meal.

"What in the name of StarClan, are you moping around camp thinking about?" She asked. I shrugged my shoulders. Just some words said by our fearless leader, Featherstar. Not much...

She slapped me with her furry tail. I know what your thinking, mister, and you need to get out of dreamland!!" My sister has always been overly protective and loving towards me. I hate that about her, but at least I'm still in one piece today...

"Hey, warriors, of mine! How's it feel to be powerful?" That's my mother, Ferntail. And guess who's right behind her? Dad. Mom once explained to me once when I was young why she and dad were always like tree and root. Never to be apart.

"We were well, destined to be together. Everyone knew we were to be together. Even my sister." That's what she said. That's it really. I knew there was more...

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