For Dogfood's other contest
About a very special someone :P
“ One day I’ll be old, my little Graykit,” said the queen.
The kit playing with her tail looked up. He couldn’t fathom how this great creature could ever be anything less than his universe- her silver fur was an endless sky, her blue eyes were boundless lakes.
“ You isn’t,” he chirped, leaning up to press a paw to her muzzle. She purred, but there was a hint of sadness to her voice.
“ I will be-“
Graykit gasped “- are you legs gonna fall off?”
“ Um, yes. And when they do, my precious son, what will you do for me?”
His little brow furrowed and he scratched thoughtfully at the ground. Then his eyes brightened. “ I’ll carry you, Mama! Because I’m gonna be big an’ strong!”
He laughed and pounced on her tail again, but the queen’s eyes remained where he had been standing a few moments before.
Birdsong danced through the air, lacing the gentle rustling sounds of the breeze. Sunlight filtered down to the forest floor and caused the newly-named Graypaw to squint. His mentor’s white pelt was painful to look at.
“ Today,” Whitestorm rumbled. “ You begin on the path StarClan has laid out for you. This journey will not be easy, but it cannot be hard when you have the support of an entire Clan with you. Take a moment- look around you. These cats here, they are your family.” Thoroughly confused, Graypaw met Sandpaw’s equally perplexed stare. The ginger she-cat looked as though she were trying not to laugh. Next to him, he heard Dustpaw snort and could imagine the young tom rolling his eyes.
Whitestorm frowned. “ You might think it amusing, Dustpaw. But these are the cats you’ll see beside you when you fight. When the other Clans are out to kill you, these are the cats who will fight tooth and claw for you, and you for them. What would you do for your Clanmates, Graypaw?”
The apprentice’s head snapped around from the butterfly he’d been watching. “ Huh-what? Oh, my Clanmates! I’d give my life for them!” he puffed out his chest and grinned.
What a fool he'd been.
His heart swelled with joy as his mother welcomed her newest litter to the world.
Whitestorm stepped aside as he entered. Although Graystripe couldn’t help but feel slight bitterness in his heart, he wanted his mother to be happy. And now his mentor, a father figure to him for so many moons, was now a true father to his half-siblings.
“ Graystripe,” Willowpelt purred. He purred back, bending down to inspect the mewling kittens even closer. “ Graystripe, what would you do for them?”
He looked up at his mother, overcome with emotion, and bowed his head. “ Anything.”
Once, he was hungry at night. He’d been forced to give up a juicy squirrel to an elder and now, when the whole Clan was asleep, seized his chance to eat a proper meal.
But instead, he saw the lonely figure of a cat sitting in the moonlight. “ Fireheart?” Graystripe whispered, padding to the ginger tom’s side. “ What are you doing? Go to sleep, how are you even awake?”
The tom’s green eyes remained fixed on the sky. “ Thinking.”
“ Everything.” The ginger tom lowered his voice. Graystripe pricked his ears. “ With all that’s been going on, you know, how we found out Tigerclaw didn’t kill Oakheart. It makes me wonder who I can trust. Can I trust you, Graystripe?”
Shock hit Graystripe like a blow to the stomach. His mind flew back to the beautiful she-cat who’d rescued him from the river, and the pure betrayal in Fireheart’s eyes when he found out. Irritation and an odd determination surged through him. Didn’t Fireheart understand?
“ Of course you can,” Graystripe growled. “ I would give anything for my family and my Clan- and Fireheart, you are family. I would lay down my life for you. For all of my Clanmates.”
For the first time since he’d begun speaking, Fireheart’s eyes met Graystripe’s. “ Do you really mean that?
“ Somehow,” Fireheart said, turning away. “ I find that hard to believe."
Silverstream was having his kits. He'd given his heart and soul to her. This soul was singing with joy, but his mind told him nothing good could come from this.
The day she d-
The day he came to meet her, he saw her fall onto her side and eyes glaze over with pain. He was beside himself, screaming for someone to come, do something, help her stop it fix it what is happening is she going to d-
Her silver pelt was darkened by blood, a scarlet poison covering the rocks. He pressed his forehead against hers, trying to save her with the mere power of his wishing.
His paws were numb and he felt as though he were floating, watching himself as though in a dream.
This isn’t happening, he told himself, told her. But it was. He watched the rise and fall of her flank painfully, knowing every painful contraction of her chest could be her last.
He focused on the sunlight, the murmur of the river against the rocks, and the warmth of her beside him. He imagined himself in another place, a better place. Just both of them together as they were always meant to be.
“ I love you,” he told her, and those three words were his final wish. If the stars would hear him, they would listen to this desperate plea. “ I love you.”
She purred. Her gentle voice was weak and hoarse now. “ I love you, too.”
Then why are you leaving me? he screamed in his mind. “ I would do anything for you,” he croaked. “ I would give my life over and over and over again. I would give up my nine lives for you.”
Willowpelt Sandstorm Dustpelt Whitestorm Sorrelkit Sootkit Rainkit Fireheart-
“ But you don’t have-“
“- I know.” He closed his eyes and sensed her life slip away. “ I know.”
So, in case you didn't notice, Graystripe's nine lives are all the times he's promised to do something for someone. Obviously I skewered the timeline a bit, but its fanfiction, so shh.
My inspiration for this comes from the fact that I found an Into the Wild book in some shady corner of my room a few days ago. It was due to my old library four years ago. Whoops!