Fighting For Who We Love
Episode Ten, Season Four, of Cold.
Seriously, thank you to all my fans who've made it this far, after this, there will be forty episodes of Cold done, and that's an achievement. Thank you all! <3
Special thanks to Wetty, Brighty, and Whitey for being fans of Cold <3
Fighting For Who We Love
Standing at the hill where we looked down on the rogues’ main camp was terrifying. It was thrilling to have Storm and Brownhare standing on either side of me, but I didn’t want to lose anyone in this fight.
Blackstar, Onestar, Mistystar, and Bramblestar had brought their own patrols to aid us in the battle.
Storm looked so confident, and I wished I shared her eagerness in fighting. Everyone was staring at her, waiting for her to call out the first commands of the attack.
I shrank back for a moment, realizing that by giving Storm her position back, I was really no longer needed.
“You look lost.”
Tessa was now pressed against me, her green eyes gentle, “Do you miss being a leader sometimes?”
The ginger she-cat sighed, “You were always born a leader, but decisions and choices takes away what you want.”
“Storm deserves this group though, she led them in the first place.” I pointed out, “I did not.”
“But they respect you now, do they not?” Tessa pressed.
I looked at each and every one of them. From Dawnfur, to Snowbreeze, and then to Willowfur. “Only Dawnfur and Snowbreeze are left of the original group.” Tessa continued, “Technically, you shaped this group too.”
Perhaps I underestimated my own will to survive; maybe I could have changed the way things turned out if I hadn’t...
...pretended I was dead.
This battle, it’s to fight for who we love.
Who do I love?
My eyes flashed from Storm, and then to Brownhare. A pang of grief stabbed me sharply as I remembered Tigerstripe.
Maybe this battle was for me to show everyone what I can really do.
Suddenly Tessa was gone, and Storm was walking beside me now, “It’s strange, you know?” she murmured, “They’re used to you ordering them now.”
I don’t respond, and Storm continues, “It’s almost as if they accepted that I wasn’t coming back, or that you were their true leader. And now that I’m back, everything’s changed for them. So who am I really to them?”
The words are at my throat, but I can’t choke them out. You’re their leader, Storm. I could feel her gaze on me, “You don’t know, do you, Shade?”
“I...I think I know.”
Storm’s eyes were clear and blue, “Then what am I to them, Shade?”
“I’m not a leader, not anymore.”
“Inside, I think you are.”
“Well, how else should I put it?”
I’m a terrible sister.
Or maybe I’m a terrible cat when it comes to sympathizing others. Obviously I didn’t soothe Storm’s heart with my words, and perhaps I just hurt her more. What kind of sister am I?
Snowbreeze was still talking with Graystorm, and I realized that we were walking down the hill now.
Duskshadow and Tessa looked perfect together, their voices blending in with each other, the way the brush against one another, as if they’ve known each other for years. Sometimes life isn’t fair.
Brownhare is padding a little off to the side, while Dawnfur and Willowfur kept close to their Clans.
I trotted forward to catch up with them as Storm took the lead with the four leaders and Frosty and Kitkat taking up the rear. Nervously, I crept towards the front, until I was padding behind Storm, and next to the leaders.
My sister shot me a look I could not decipher, and nodded to me. I felt self-conscious, not sure if Storm was angry or not.
“Shade, do you want to talk?”
I was aware of Brownhare coming up to me from behind. “You seem lonely.” He offered.
I stepped back to let him slip in next to me, and for a few moments, we walked side by side, our pelts barely touching.
Finally, Brownhare spoke up, “Don’t you get those feelings, where you can’t breathe, and you feel as though something’s your fault?”
“Yes, I get that feeling all the time.”
His warm yellow eyes softened, and I found myself relaxing in his gaze, “I saw what happened between you and Storm, she’s a bit prickly, ain’t she?”
Allowing myself a tiny smile, I mewed, “You could say that.”
Brownhare brushed aside the pile of snow blocking my way, and mewed, “Well, do you think it was your fault?”
I knew what he was trying to ask. “I...I guess, I mean, she wanted a straight answer, but I couldn’t give her one.”
I expected him to look at me in a different way, but he didn’t. His gaze didn’t waver as I searched his clear, yellow eyes for some kind of betrayal, “Perhaps it’s not your fault, Shade, Storm needs to find her own answers too. Didn’t she do that when you were...gone?”
“I...” I gazed around helplessly, “I wasn’t there when I was ‘gone’, remember?” I then winced, thinking that Brownhare hadn’t been around when that happened.
He merely mewed, “Well, I can tell you what she was like. I had just arrived in the lake, and I heard voices. One of them sounded furious about something, and when I got closer, I heard that her sister was killed.
“I soon got to know them, and even when Storm was driven by the urge to find the murderer, she was still level-headed when it came to orders. They were brisk and firm, and the rest of the patrol followed them without hesitation. She was a true leader at heart.”
I dipped my head as he finished what he had to say, but I didn’t speak. Brownhare’s voice softened, “What I’m trying to say, is that she needs to find her own answers and make her own choices. What you think is none of her business, and it doesn’t define her. Same goes for you, Shade.”
It took me awhile to regain my composure and saunter after the brown tom. I made no attempt to stride up to him, but I wanted to consult to him about something. Perhaps right now was not the time.
Before I could decide, Storm halted and hissed, “We’re here, everyone spread out into your six groups.”
Frosty and Kitkat slipped away, leading the first attack like always. Half of their group would be attacking the side camps, hopefully freeing the rest of the prisoners. Then ThunderClan and ShadowClan climbed the trees, ready to drop down and help when necessary.
WindClan led the next wave, weaving quickly through obstacles and racing into the camp, flooding the area.
Last of all, RiverClan were fishing out cats at the perimeter, tossing them into the nearby stream.
Storm flicked her tail, and the rest of us leaped into the fray, cleaning up the last of the cats.
If only the plan worked perfectly as planned...
First, the side camp raids were a failure. Many of the rogues in Frosty’s group were either injured, or dead. Most didn’t make it out alive, and were held captive by the guards of the camps.
Frosty called out a retreat, scowling madly, “We need to attack one camp at a time, or else we’ll never make it out alive.”
I narrowed my eyes, “Let’s focus on the side camps first,” I decided, “They should be less guarded.”
The white she-cat nodded, and Storm pressed against me as I made the decision. I gulped, realizing that my sister was the leader now, and I shouldn’t be making decisions for her. But her warm blue gaze made me purr, and she whispered. “You make a great leader, Shade.”
“Thanks, Storm,” I purred, “You’re a great leader too.”
Her eyes soften, and she purrs, “Thanks, but I think you’d be better.” Before I can reply, she chases after Frosty.
We’re marching to the camp that had held Duskshadow. Nervousness fluttered in my belly as I strode after the combined patrols, flanked by warriors I didn’t know by name. Bramblestar looked grim near the front, and I could see Rowanfur, the ShadowClan deputy, murmuring urgently to Blackstar.
We reach the camp in no time, and Frosty wastes no time by charging into the camp, ready to fight for her own lost rogue mates.
Everyone else follows suite, yowling out battle cries as we flood the tiny camp. I feel a pain of sympathy for the rogues who might have just been living with the rogue group for shelter, and were being slaughtered for this.
I pushed the feeling away and charged into the battle, tackling a she-cat away from Tessa. The ginger she-cat immediately rolled away, taking on another rogue.
I could feel the heat of her gaze as I picked myself off the rogue before she could kick me off. She hated us, for what reason, I didn’t know why.
“You Clan cats and that other rogue group killed my mate!” She hissed, her eyes blazing with recognizable hate, “I’ll never let you get away with this!”
I didn’t know what in the name of StarClan she was yowling about, but I crouched, ready for her next attack.
She plowed into me with much more force and speed than I thought she would be able to muster. Letting out a yowl of surprise, I kicked her off, but she didn’t budge, “You probably don’t even know Crowheart, but-”
“You know Crowheart?” The words shot out of my mouth.
The she-cat stopped pummeling me for a moment and gaped at me. I took the moment I haul her off.
“Crowheart was my, was my...” The she-cat spluttered, “He was going to be my mate!”
And why is this she-cat in cahoots with a ThunderClan tom? She lunged for me again, but I ducked and she rolled over my back.
“And who are you?” I snapped.
“I’m Sunny, but you took Crowheart away from me!” She spat out, clawing my shoulder with venomous rage.
Of course her name is Sunny, it fits her so much.
“He was mine before he left on the star-forsaken Quest! Those Clan cats changed him, and then the other rogue group killed him!” Sunny snarled.
I’m aware that suddenly Storm is fighting by me, her eyes dark. She had heard everything Sunny had said.
“I’ll avenge Crowheart’s death!” Sunny gasped out, “You’ll never get away with killing him!”
Storm didn’t reply, her eyes dark and furious. She obviously wasn’t pleased at the thought of Crowheart being in love with a rogue from this vicious group. “We didn’t even kill me.” I spat.
Sunny’s stormy blue eyes lit up, and she lunged for me. Storm intercepted, shoving Sunny away.
We sparred for a few more moments, and then Sunny whispered, “I don’t care who took him from me, but I’ll find them, and I’ll kill them.”
She heaved Storm off of her, kicking aside my sister, then her blue eyes flashed, and she was gone.
“And I...loved him.”
I didn’t know what to say to my sister. She had uttered the words after Sunny, who stopped and turned to stare at Storm.
Storm let out a bitter laugh, “I wasn’t the only one, sunshine. He loved somebody else himself. Guess he just wanted the she-cats to love him.”
Her eyes darkened, “You won’t find the cats who loved Crowheart tonight, they’re dead, gone.”
Sunny’s wide blue eyes stared at Storm, then she turned and fled. Storm turned to stalk away, but I stopped her with my tail, “What do you mean, ‘they’re dead’? You’re not exactly dead.” I snapped, fear shooting through me at the prospect of Snowbreeze lying dead on the ground.
Storm’s eyes looked a lot older than she was, “I mean, the spirits that loved that tom don’t exist anymore.”
Sometimes, I think that Storm is a lot older than twelve moons old.
The attack on the side camp had been a success, and Frosty was grimly watching the main camp, which was fortified.
Brownhare was standing next to me, and I felt comforted by the brown tom’s presence next to me.
“When the battle cry calls,” he explained, “We’re charg-”
Something that sounded like, “Roguesandotheridiotsahhhhh!” or whatever Frosty came up with came from somewhere ahead of us, and I took that as the battle cry. Obviously the rogues had fierce battle cries.
Brownhare was racing alongside me, so apparently Frosty’s battle cry was to call everyone but her rogues idiots, and to scream like the she-cat she is not.
Great StarClan, I’m turning into Storm.
Howls of fury and pain erupted from the clearing, and I heard another cry. “Vicious, forward!”
And that battle cry was ten times better than what Frosty came up with.
Adding onto to that, we just learned the rogue group’s name because of their (cooler) battle cry.
I think it’s safe to say that I’m definitely turning into my little sister.
StarClan, I don’t know how to deal with this stream of sarcastic thoughts. Pushing my (sisterly) thoughts aside, I plunged into battle, tearing at fur and skin.
I lost my sister’s pelt in the fray, but perhaps that was for the better. Brownhare fought at my side, his eyes bright and filled with anger. By the stars he was cute when he was angry. Especially since Brownhare usually showed no emotion.
I need to do something with my life.
Someone crashed into me, pulling my aside. I groaned in pain as I doubled over, and straightened when I realized that it was someone who looked painfully like someone I knew.
But those startling eyes met mine, and then he was gone. I only saw a glimpse of yellow and a black streak, but the next time I blinked, I couldn’t spot him.
Something was amiss.
Only when another cat barreled into me did I move again. Ducking and slipping out of the tom’s grasp, I let him roll over me. He let out a yowl of surprise as he grip loosened, and he went tumbling to the side.
I feinted to the left, then rolled over to the right, butting the “Vicious” rogue away from me as he paws flailed in mid air.
His yowls of pain are satisfying, and I grimly let myself slash and tear at everything I see. The rogue goes down, his dark red blood pooling at my paws, and I shuddered and quickly found another rogue to fight.
I lost myself in the midst of fighting this rogues, and I continued to let myself tear at fur and slash at pelts.
Something pressed against me, and I whirled around, snarling. It was only Brownhare. His eyes were more yellow than they’ve ever been, and I sucked in a deep breath, realizing that I cared more and more about him.
“Shade, it’s over.”
I felt the anger ebb away as Brownhare curled his tail around mine, “I’m glad you’re okay.”
“I’m glad you’re okay too.”
Brownhare purred, “You know, you and I have things to do after we settle down, huh?”
I smiled shyly, “Perhaps I have a thing or two to tell you, I don’t know.”
“I’m a traveler,” he reminded me, “But yes, perhaps in time, some old habits could be let go.”
My heart beat faster, “I...I think I love you, Brownhare.”
“I think I love you too.”
The End. Be prepared to go back to Storm!