Note from the Author
Yes, this is your typical Kittypet-Gone-Warrior Story. With a few twists. :)
Just so you're wondering, this story (Unlike some of the others) will have very little extensive research on it. So if Flametail died in Sunrise, that's too bad. He gets another chance to live, then. XD
(This book takes place twelve moons after Sunrise. Pretend 'The Fourth Apprentice' doesn't exist. A Greencough epidemic killed many of the cats in ShadowClan (Littlecloud, Smokefoot, Toadfoot, Applefur, Ratscar, Olivenose, Dawnpelt, etc). Leopardstar attacked ShadowClan, killing herself, many of her Clanmates, and almost killing Blackstar. He was sent to the elder's den, missing a leg and Russetfur became Russetstar. And that's where our story begins...)
Also note that Ferretpaw became Ferretclaw (And became deputy, LOL...), Pinepaw became Pinestorm, and yeah. X3
Oh, yeah... Firestar died too, but no one cares about him. xD
Let me get this straight before we begin- I never wanted to leave Gallop Ranch.
Bug and I sat quietly on the fence that separated Gallop Ranch from our owner's home. Horses thundered by, nearly knocking us off the fence. One of them, a small brown pony, who our owners called Princess, wasn't that strong. She slowly made her way by, close enough for one of us to jump on. Of course, we weren't that mousebrained...
"Hey, Ladybug," I meowed to my sister, "Wanna go explore?"
Ladybug shook her head. "Do you not remember our housefolk yelling at us about 'Koybotes' or something like that? I'd rather stay here."
I let out a sigh, and hopped off the fence. Bug never wanted to do anything fun anymore. I quickly made my way through the open door of the Barn, and into the Sand-Room. It was a large, open space that our House-folk often brought Kits in to ride the Horses.
I suddenly heard my Twolegs coming in, and I quickly got out of the Sand-Room. Our Twolegs hated it when we wandered around in the Sand-Room. I watched, as I realized One of them had Bug in their arms. No one paid any attention to me... It was always Bug. I growled, and darted past them. A few seconds later, Bug was at my side, a worried look on her brown-and-black face.
"Is something wrong, Mouse?" Bug asked me. I shook my head, and picked up my pace.
She sighed. "Was it the Twolegs? Tell you what, Mouse, I'll go explore with you today."
I purred, immediately cheered up. "Let's go, Bug! There's an entire forest to explore!"
I darted out of the Barn, Bug by my side. We quickly made our way out of the Clearing that surrounded Gallop Ranch, and into the forest of Trees that I loved to explore.
I smelt the air. Unlike the air around Gallop Ranch, I could actually smell stuff other than Horses. The trees smelt fresh. The ground was soft, and covered with dirt. Not the rocks that made up the outside of the Ranch. But I smelt something else- a scent I had never smelt before. Bug was carefully following behind me, jumping at the sound of my pawsteps.
"Wow, Bug... what's wrong with you? You're all jumpy today!" I exclaimed, "You should learn to relax and enjoy the forest."
Bug gulped. "It's not that, Mouse... I smell something. And I really don't like it."
That was when we heard it. We both froze in place, and hid behind a nearby tree. I listened carefully, hearing the steps of other creatures, hearing their soft, muffled voices.
"I bet it's those ThunderClan kittypets. Firestar's probably on his way to that Twoleg Nest to recruit more pathetic Kittypets." I heard a cat say.
Bug and I remained in silence. I looked at my paws, at my blunt claws that I had just unsheathed. If these were those Koyoties, then we were in trouble. According to our friend Lizzie, they were the size of a horse, and could tear a cat apart in seconds.
The voices continued to get louder, and the pawsteps closer. I was afraid now... what would happen to us if the Koyoties found us? We'd be... food to them.
"They're over here. Their fear-scent is disgusting me, so let's get this over with." A Koyotie growled.
"It's over, Mouse." Bug whispered to me. She looked up at the sky, and closed her eyes. Although I didn't want to admit it, Ladybug was probably right... those Koyoties were going to eat us.
I jumped as three cats surrounded us. One was a large ginger tom, one was a black she-cat. The one in front of me was the largest, he was a dark gray tom. They all looked equally vicious, but for some strange reason, I wasn't afraid of them.
"What are you two Kittypets doing on ShadowClan territory?" the black she-cat growled. She flexed her long claws, and I was suddenly terrified.
"Uh... er... Sorry, we didn't know you cats had already claimed this territory..." I meowed, looking at Bug, "Bug and I will be going, now..."
"Scorchfur, please escort them back to their nest. I don't think Russetstar would like two Kittypets getting their disgusting scent all over our territory." she snarled. The large gray tom nodded, and poked me with his claw.
"Let's go." Scorchfur snarled. Without another word, or even waiting for Scorchfur, Bug and I darted off, towards the Horseplace where we lived.
I didn't know why, but I was just as fascinated with these cats just as I was scared. I was tempted to go back, but I knew that those ShadowClan cats wouldn't hesitate to claw our pelts off. So I took one last glance at the forest, and we made our way into the barn.
But there was a tiny detail I didn't notice when I stared at the forest that evening, after eating the food our Twolegs set out for us. Besides the forest, besides the leaves that covered the ground, was the silhouette of a cat, watching us from the shadows.
If I had of noticed that, none of this would have happened.
I woke the next morning, feeling refreshed. The thunder of our Housefolk's Horses could be heard, but I liked that noise, especially when you couldn't hear anything else. The sun was shining, through the window that was in front of the tiny bed I slept on with my Twolegs. I stretched, and jumped off the bed. I was starving, and wanted something to eat. Badly.
I sniffed the air. Bug's scent was there, but it was stale. Without waiting for Bug, I ran past the fence and into the barn. The scent of Horse was overwhelming as I ate the stale food that we ate every morning.
I turned spotting Lizzie in the doorway. Lizzie lived in town, far east of Gallop Ranch. But once every moon or so, she'd come over for a visit.
"Where's Bug? I was looking for her, but nearly got stepped on by one of them horses out there." Lizzie growled, beginning to groom herself.
I shrugged. "I haven't seen Bug since last night. She's probably getting scratched by a House-folk in the Warm-Room."
The Warm-Room was just as it's name implied, a Warm room. It had a large window that you could look through and see the Sand-Room. House-folks often went in there to watch their Kits ride the horses.
Lizzie laughed. "I can just see Bug on one of those disgusting House-folk's lap right now. She loves attention."
I rolled my eyes. "As if I haven't figured that out."
Lizzie and I spent that day goofing off together, and basically getting into trouble. It was Moonhigh by the time we got back from our little day of fun. I said goodbye to Lizzie, and wished her a safe journey back to the House-folk Place. I padded into the barn, purring as I noticed Bug sitting alone ontop of a stall door.
"Hey, Mouse!" Bug meowed, gracefully jumping off the door. She purred, and we both made our way to our Twoleg's Nest.
"Say," I meowed, "Where were you all day, Bug? Lizzie came, but you missed her..."
"Um... er... I went into House-folk Place with the House-folk tom today." Bug meowed nervously. I knew something was up.
"Bug, come on. The tom didn't even leave the Ranch today. Where were you?" I growled, not liking the fact that Bug was lying to me.
Bug let out a sigh. "I can't tell you that."
Without another word, Bug darted past me and crawled through the small entrance to the Nest. I followed, not even trying to keep up with her.
I never expected this to happen.
I awoke the next morning, everything as it was last night. With the exception of the floor, which no longer had Bug sleeping calmly on it. I growled, and got to my paws. I knew today was going to be another boring day.
And I was right... the next few days were as boring as a pebble. Bug was never there, and all I did was sit in the Warm-Room, until I got hungry, or wanted to sleep.
Then came that one, sunny day...
It was that day I was sitting on the fence that held a tiny chestnut-colored horse, which our House-Folk named Magic, and I was staring out into the woods. Nothing but the leaves on the trees moved, giving me a calm feeling. Then I noticed her; Bug, her black and brown figure, appearing from the trees. She froze, and backed away cautiously.
"Bug!" I hissed, jumping off the fence, "Get over here! You have so much explaining to do!"
Ladybug looked at her paws in shame. She padded over to me, and sighed. "Okay, Mouse... I'll tell you the truth. I'll tell you everything."
"I... you know that tom that was supposed to bring us back?" Bug hesitated, wondering if she should tell me.
I nodded, and to my surprise, Bug continued without delay.
"The day after that, before you woke up... I was outside the barn, watching the horses. He... came over to me... and..."
I would have never expected what she told me next.
"Oh, Mouse... I'm pregnant with a ShadowClanner's kits!" Bug confessed.
I stared in shock at Bug, not speaking a word. I couldn't gather the strength to say anything. I couldn't believe she'd go and foolishly mate with a Wild Cat... He hated us, for the Horse's Sake! Or, atleast... I thought he did...
"Great. Now what? We can't have a Wild Cat wandering around the Ranch! If the horses didn't kill him, our Twolegs would!" I suddenly snapped, my anger taking over, "How could you be so foolish, Bug?"
Bug turned away. Had I been too harsh on her? After all, I knew what being separated from your true love was...
"I thought you were going to handle this more maturely, Mouse, but I guess I was wrong." Ladybug hissed, flicking her tail, "I didn't yell at you when you decided to go run away with that mangy trash-eater."
I barred my teeth. No one spoke about Flame that way. Even if he did live in a barn with two disgusting cats, that didn't make him a trash-eater.
"Shut up." I spat, unsheathing my blunt claws. In a feeble attempt to keep my anger under control, I padded away, towards the the grassy fields that were behind the Barn.
The days passed, and soon the warm, Grassy days turned to breezy Leaf-Change days. Bug and I were still as cold towards eachother as ever, and even though she looked like she was about to burst, she still crept off into the forest when our House-Folk weren't looking. Even though I was angry with her for mating with some Cat, I was still concerned for her safety. To me, it sounded like she mated without ShadowClan's permission, and those Wild Cats wouldn't hesitate to kill her.
But all of those emotions changed the day she gave birth.
It was a long, and horrible one. The House-Folk tried to help, but they were only making it more painful for poor Bug. After half-a-day of watching my sister suffer, it was done. Six kits, all tiny and only the size of Bug's leg, were crawling around, looking for their mother.
Little did I know their long and horrible journey.
It was a cold Snow-Fall night when it happened.
The winds outside were beating against the walls of the barn. The cruel breeze snuck into the barn, sending shivers up the poor kit's spines. Bug and I had long since made up, and together, we had raised the kits. Strangely, ever since the birth, Bug never left the barn. Not even to go see her mate.
"Hey, Bug..." I meowed to my sister, "Do you think this Scorchfur guy is gonna come visit you?"
Ladybug gave me a shrug. "I don't know. But I wish I could see him... if only I had of told Scorchfur that I was pregnant with his kits..."
I gasped. Bug had never told Scorchfur about the kits. Suddenly, the howl of the winds got louder, then was muffled once again. Probably some House-Folk preparing to ride the Horses, I figured. I poked my head out of the empty stall that the House-Folk had put us all in, but crawled back in as one of our House-Folk entered with another House-Folk and her kit. They made cooing noises at us, but then I gasped as the Kit picked up one of Bug's kits. Talon, to be exact. He was the most adorable little kit... with his frosty blue eyes and his fluffy gray fur...
Bug let out a yowl, and hissed at the House-Folk's Kit. The House-Folk suddenly backed up, taking Talon with them, and they closed the door.
That was the first kit to go.
Bug was pretty broken up about Talon's abduction. But the same thing happened. The House-Folk came in. They left with a kit. One by one, the kits were taken. Talon. Dune. Snow. Leaf. Pebble.
Bug was terrified after that. She slept with her last kit, the one she hadn't named, but resembled her mate, and never left her side. I could understand, though. But then, one the cruellest, coldest Snow-Fall night imaginable, Bug approached me with a serious look on her face.
"Please, Mouse... it's our only chance! We have to leave! Scorchfur will know what to do! We can live in ShadowClan!" Bug meowed.
"No... don't you remember how they yelled at us when we first met them? They'd never let a couple of "Kittypets" join their Clan..." I meowed, recalling the first encounter with the vicious wild cats.
Bug looked at me, then at her kit, desperately. How could I say no to that?
"Fine." I meowed, picking the little gray tomkit up by the scruff, "Let's go."
Luckily, our Twolegs were busy in the Sand-Room with the same Twoleg Kit that had taken Dune. However, the front door was shut. I glanced over at Bug, and then noticed a small crack in the dirt flooring.
We slipped out easily, but slowly. I was afraid that we'd hurt the kit if we rushed. The winds outside were vicious, nipping at my pelt as Bug and I trudged through the snow, towards the snowy forest. As we made our way further into the forest, the scent of the Wild-cats got stronger and stronger. Soon, we were at the place where we had once met the cats. That was when the kit let out a wail.
"Mamaaaaaa! It's fweeeeeezing!" he cried. I felt a pang of pity for the cat as he wrinkled his nose, "And it stinks here! Did you make dirt, mama?"
Then we heard a snarl.
"I smell those Kittypets again, Pinestorm." A tom snapped. I could easily tell they were getting closer. Even if I couldn't fight them off, I would die trying to protect Bug and her kit. I unsheathed my claws, and waited.
I then heard a cat sniff the air. "I can't smell any fear-scent. It's probably not them, Rowanclaw. Trust me, according to Scorchfur, those Kittypets were terrified by the time they got back to their nest."
"Hey, you two... maybe you should go back and tell Russetstar about these cats... I'll make sure they don't run away."
Bug's ears twitched. I suddenly had the feeling that Scorchfur was with these two cats, and that he was staying behind for a particular reason...
"Fine, Scorchfur. We'll be back soon... keep them alive." I heard the tom, Rowanclaw, say.
The scent of the she-cat and Rowanclaw faded away. In a few heartbeats, Scorchfur, the gray tom, was staring at us from beside a tree. I noticed his amber eyes, which glimmered in the thin moonlight that covered the ground.
"You had kits, didn't you..." Scorchfur trailed off, before shaking his head, "But that doesn't matter now. What are you doing here?"
"Scorchfur... the Twolegs are taking the kits... I've come to you with my last kit. Please let us stay in ShadowClan with you!" Bug meowed, begging with her eyes.