Poseidon paced, in the form of a blue-gray cat. He was well aware of his sea-blue eyes.
His brother, Zeus, in the form of a stormy gray cat, with gray eyes, growled.
Poseidon crouched, watching the shadow come closer.
And as it emerged, he realized it was his love, Hailpelt. Her blue-gray fur matched his.
"I have a kit," Hailpelt mewed. She moved to the side, and a blue-gray kit stood there, shaking from cold.
Poseidon rushed forward, purring, under the careful watch of Zeus. He seized the kit, and felt an aura of power from it. He quickly lowered it, surprised.
"What?" Hailpelt asked.
"This kit - inherited my powers. Or, some of them." Poseidon stared at the kit, who was swaying back and forth on its paws.
Hailpelt blinked. "That's impossible," she hissed. "I made StarClan promise-"
"Have you ever considered that there are cats more powerful than StarClan?" Zeus asked, cutting Hailpelt off. "We are the Gods. We live on Olympus. We have been here since before... Twolegs... and we have unlimited power - over everything. Even StarClan."
Hailpelt growled, low and deep, from the back of her throat.
Poseidon bounded forward. "Don't attack him," he mewed. "He'll kill you."
"I don't kill mortals," Zeus growled.
"Even that mortal in Sparta?" Poseidon asked.
"He was asking for it, defying me and saying that I ought to be in Kronos's stomach with the rest of you," the King of the Gods growled. "Come, brother, we will be late for the Winter Council if we do not hurry. There was a a small pop, and Zeus disappeared.
Poseidon lingered. "Take care of the kit," he whispered to Hailpelt. "I'll be watching over him, and it will know when it is ready."
Hailpelt nodded, and Poseidon disappeared.
"Now, leap!" I commanded.
I watched as the small kit leaped forward, landing on their littermate.
"Good, Longkit," I purred. "Birchkit, you may want to dodge a little faster."
Birchkit struggled upwards from his brother's grasp. Longkit tumbled off.
Tumblekit rushed over. "Teach me!" he begged, "teach me!"
I purred. "Okay, Tumblekit. First, crouch."
The tiny kit obeyed, but fell over a heartbeat later.
"Try again," I purred, my whiskers twitching with amusement.
The kit slowly got up, and crouched again. He stayed up this time, wobbled, and righted himself.
"Good," I mewed. "Now, leap!"
Tumblekit leaped forward, landing on a leaf.
"Good job, Tumblekit!" Longkit purred. "Almost as good as me."
"I have to train now," I told the kits. "I'll come back later."
The three kits sighed, and resumed the play-fighting they had been enjoying before I attempted to show them how to attack.
My mentor, Creamfur, was standing at the entrance of the camp. "Come," she mewed. "Today, we are not training, but going to a ceremony."
I blinked. "For who?"
"Falconpaw... and you."
I leaped into the air. "Really?" I asked.
The creamy white warrior nodded. "You're the oldest apprentice, and you're ready to be a warrior."
I felt my eyes widen.
I rushed to the Highledge, where our leader, Snakestar, made annoucements.
Falconpaw was already sitting at the bottom with his mentor, Grayclaw. Falconpaw didn't bother to glance at me.
"Hi, Falconpaw!" I mewed.
Falconpaw looked at me. "What," he hissed, "in the name of StarClan do you want?"
I stumbled backwards, surprised. Falconpaw was my best friend.
Suddenly, Falconpaw purred. "I guess you wouldn't like me if I was a mean warrior."
I hissed in surprise. "What was that for?"
"Just to try out different personalities," Falconpaw replied.
I purred. "ThunderClan likes you the way you are."
Falconpaw shook his head in despair. "Not Mosspaw."
I stared at him sadly. "I'm afraid I can't help you there. But... be yourself."
The brown apprentice nodded, and dragged his sharp claws in the earth.
Just then, Snakestar came out of his den. He climbed up the fallen rocks that led to the Highledge, and called, "All cats old enough to catch to catch their own prey may join here under the Highledge for a Clan meeting!"
The last ThunderClan cats slipped into the crowd.
My mother, Hailpelt, purred as I licked my chest fur. "Don't be nervous," she told me. "There's nothing wrong with becoming a warrior."
Snakestar continued, his dark green eyes glinting in the morning sun. "Falconpaw and Rainpaw are ready to become warriors. They have trained hard for moons, and learned more than their fair share. Falconpaw and Rainpaw, do you promise to defend your Clan, and stay loyal?"
We nodded. "I do," I mewed. Falconpaw echoed.
"Then you will be warriors. Falconpaw, from this point on, your name is Falconclaw. Rainpaw, from this point on, your name is Rainfoot."
"Falconclaw! Rainfoot! Falconclaw! Rainfoot!" the Clan cheered.
"Tonight," Snakestar continued, over the Clan, "Falconclaw and Rainfoot will sit their warrior vigil."
The Clan dispersed, leaving me and Falconclaw sitting together.
"Good job," Snakestar murmured to us.
I nodded, and Falconclaw replied, "Thank you."
The leader walked away, his tail flicking.
Hailpelt nuzzled my flank. "I like your name!" she purred. "It fits you. When you were a kit you used to step in all the rain puddles... even if there was no rain, you'd find one."
Falconpaw purred. "Your paws were always wet."
I gave him a look that said, Duh!
The brown warrior didn't notice. "Do you want to go hunting?"
I nodded my head, and we left the camp as warriors.
The night was cold, the moon was bright. I noted that there was a Gathering tomorrow.
I sat in front of a puddle, next to Falconclaw. His fur was fluffed up against the cold. I bitterly wished I had long fur.
I watched as the other cats departed, one by one, into their dens, until only we were left.
We couldn't leave. It was our vigil.
I pawed the puddle, sending water flying. It seemed to grow...
Falconclaw inched away from me, his pelt soaked, dripping wet.
I stopped. The puddle was now much bigger then what I started with.
I was scared. I backed away from the puddle. What did Hailpelt say about puddles when I was a kit?
...Even if there was no rain, you'd find one.
I knew something was wrong, but I couldn't think about it now.
I was Rainfoot. A warrior.
And nothing was going to hold me back.
I crept to my den to sleep. The vigil was over.
And the puddle was huge.
That was my last thought as I fell asleep.
I instantly found myself in a strange place. There was a path through the sky, high in the sky.
I warily stepped out onto it, and it didn't break. I ran across.
I followed a stone path up a hill, until I came to a large Twoleg building. I couldn't see the top.
I stepped in.
There were many large Twolegs, each sitting on something. All of them radiated power.
One closer to the center looked so familiar...
The Twolegs had noticed me. One in the center with stormy gray eyes said something that I couldn't understand.
The one that looked familiar nudged him and began to change, ending in the form of a blue-gray cat with blue eyes.
"Hello," the cat mewed.
"Hi," I stammered. "Who are you?"
The one that had said something to me began to transform, too. He transformed into a gray cat with the same stormy gray eyes.
The others followed. A reddish tom with red eyes, a golden cat with golden eyes... even one had purple eyes.
"Hi," the golden-eyed one mewed. "I am Apollo."
"Apollo?" I asked dubiously. "What?"
"Apollo, the God of music? The sun?" the cat mewed, as if it was obvious.
I shook my head.
The blue-gray cat stepped forward. "Apollo," he warned.
Apollo stepped back.
"Hi, Rainfoot," the blue-gray cat mewed. "I am Poseidon."
"Kill him," the red-eyed cat hissed.
"He's my son, Ares!" Poseidon spat. "I wouldn't kill him."
"I knew you when you were a kit," the gray cat mewed.
"You were with me, Zeus," Poseidon mewed calmly. "Now, Rainfoot, you are my son."
"My father is a RiverClan cat!" I spat.
"That is what Hailpelt told you, to protect you. I suppose she told you my name was Riverheart?"
I nodded slowly.
"I was a RiverClan cat, for a time. To see what being a Clan cat was like. But then I met your mother, a ThunderClan cat. She was beautiful..."
I sat on the floor, glancing at the other cats to see if it was okay.
Poseidon continued. "I wanted her to remember me. So..."
"You had me," I guessed.
"We had you," Poseidon corrected. "Me and Hailpelt."
"What's the big deal?" I asked. "Can I go?"
"No, Rainfoot," Zeus boomed. "You have some of Poseidon's powers. You have some control over water."
"Control?" I asked. I suddenly remembered the puddle... how it had grown.
"I understand," I quickly mewed.
"Good." Apollo stepped forward. "You are interrupting the Winter Council."
The other cats nodded. Poseidon mewed, "Goodbye, Rainfoot, my son."
And I was awake.
I woke up, blinking. The winter sun shone through the gaps of the den, and I shivered.
Falconclaw was stirring, too. "It's cold!"
I nodded and stood up. "I'm going to go hunting, okay? With Hailpelt."
The warrior nodded. "Have fun."
I left the den. Hailpelt was under the Highledge, talking with Snakestar. I bounded up to her.
"Hi, Rainfoot!" Hailpelt purred.
"Would you like to go hunting?" I asked Hailpelt.
The blue-gray she-cat nodded. "Bye, Snakestar!" she mewed. She followed me out of the camp.
I instantly asked, "Where would you like to go? Someplace quiet?"
"That would be nice," Hailpelt murmured. She looked nervous.
I led her to a cliff overhanging the lake.
Suddenly, Hailpelt stopped. "Can we talk?"
I nodded. We sat down on the cliff.
"What's wrong?" I asked my mother.
"I'm having kits," Hailpelt mewed.
I purred. "Congratulations."
Hailpelt scuffed her paws in the earth.
"Are they Poseidon's kits?" I asked.
Hailpelt gasped. "How did you know?"
"He came to me in a dream. With the rest of them."
"You interrupted the Council!" Hailpelt snarled.
"They summoned me, somehow," I spat, defending myself.
"Who was there?" Hailpelt asked. "Who did you meet?"
"Um... Apollo, Zeus, Poseidon, Ares," I mewed, reciting the four names I had learned in my dream.
"Only those four Gods?" Hailpelt asked.
"There was more, but those were the only ones addressed my name," I explained.
I suddenly felt a presence surrounding me. One more powerful than StarClan.
There was Poseidon, standing on the water. "Come down," he called to me.
I obeyed, jumping off the cliff. If he was a... God... he would protect me.
I landed on the water, without hurting. I didn't sink beneath the water, but I stood on it.
"Now, walk to me," the God called.
Facing my father, I shivered as a cold blast of wind blew my way.
"This is the greatest secret in the history of the Clans," Poseidon told me. "Swear on the River Styx that you will tell your sister when she is ready. You will mentor her yourself. You will develop your powers and be the most powerful cat ever. Swear to me, Rainfoot."
"I swear," I murmured.
Thunder boomed above me.
"The deal has been made," Poseidon mewed. "Do not break it."
Lakekit opened his eyes the moment he entered the world.
I was standing there with the the medicine cat, Leafheart.
Leafheart was astonished. "That's really scary," she mewed. "What if there's a problem with him?"
"There isn't," Hailpelt mewed.
"He's beautiful," I mewed. He looked just like me, but his tail was longer and his eyes were a greenish-blue.
When I pointed this out to Hailpelt after Leafheart left, she named him Lakekit. "When you're the son of Poseidon," she explained, "your name has to be related to water."
I agreed with a nod of my head.
The kit stood up and pawed my leg, his tiny claws brushing my fur.
"I'm Rainfoot," I whispered. "And you're Lakekit."
"Rainfoot," Lakekit squeaked. "Rainfoot."
Then the tiny kit fell asleep against Hailpelt's body, his nursery-soft fur fluffed up against the wind.
I purred. "I'll leave you two," I mewed. "You must be tired."
My mother nodded, and with that, I left the nursery.
Falconclaw was digging his claws into the dirt outside. I could tell he was nervous, he leaped up as soon as he saw me.
"How many?" he asked anxiously.
"Just one," I told him. "A tom, we named him Lakekit."
Falconclaw purred. "What does he look like?"
"He looks like me, except his tail is longer, and his eyes look like the lake." I purred. "He's beautiful."
Falconclaw nodded. "Can I see him?"
"He's asleep," I told him.
Just then, Tumblekit, Longkit, and Birchkit raced up to me. "Lakekit is cool!" Longkit squeaked. "But when will he be old enough to play?"
"I don't know," I mewed.
"Will you play with us, Rainfoot?" Tumblekit begged.
"Please?" Birchkit asked.
Falconclaw purred. "Have fun."
And once more, I commanded, "Now, leap!"
"Your mentor will be Rainfoot."
After six moons of waiting, Lakepaw had finally become an apprentice.
The small cat leaped up in glee, and touched his nose to mine.
"Good job," I murmured in his ear.
Lakepaw looked up at me. "What are we going to do first?"
I sighed. "I was going to teach you how to gather moss for the elders."
Lakepaw groaned. "Why can't we do something interesting?"
"Because. I'm your mentor, and a warrior. I know what's best for you," I replied.
Lakepaw stared at his paws, ashamed.
"I'll show you the territory before I show you the moss," I told him.
Lakepaw looked at me, excited, and hopped onto his paws.
"Let's go," I told him.
The gray-blue apprentice nodded, and left the camp faster than I could say "Wait for me!"
I sighed, and followed him.
Outside the camp, there was no sign of my brother. I looked around, and didn't see him.
"Rainfoot!" a faint voice yowled.
I raced in the direction of the voice.
Lakepaw was hanging off the cliff... if he fell, it would lead to his instant death.
I bounded forward, and seized the apprentice by the forepaw and heaved backward.
Lakepaw breathed a sigh of relief as he realized he was alive. "Thank you," he whispered.
As I led him away from the cliff, I noticed he was smelling the air.
"Can we go to the lake?" Lakepaw asked. "I want to see it."
I sucked in my breath before meowing, "Okay. Then we get moss."
The apprentice nodded, and he followed me to the lake.
Lakepaw bounded down to the lake, running into the water. The water splashed around him.
I searched for any sign of powers.
I felt a presence of a cat swirling around me... not a normal one.
"Tell him," my father whispered.
"Not yet," I whispered. "He's not ready yet. I'll tell him the third moon."
I felt anger, my father was angry. "Tell him now," he hissed. "Or I will myself."
The presence disappeared.
"Lakepaw," I called.
The wet apprentice came running. "Yes?"
"Dry off," I commanded.
Lakepaw's fur was suddenly dry. "Done," he mewed. "I don't know how, but... done."
I stared at him. "Now... get wet again." As he turned to run, I added, "Without running to the water. Make the water come to you."
Lakepaw stared at me, sat, and flicked his tail. A large wave came at us, and when I emerged, I was dry, and he was soaked.
"How are you dry?" he wailed.
"Because," I mewed. "I'm a son of Poseidon."
My brother stared at me. "What?"
"Poseidon," I called, "show yourself!"
The God appeared, sitting there, in cat form.
"He looks like... me!" Lakepaw mewed in astonishment. "And you! And Hailpelt!"
I nodded. "This is Poseidon. Or... Riverheart."
"You're Riverheart?" Lakepaw asked.
The God nodded. "I am Poseidon, God of the Sea and of the Earth. The Earthshaker."
Lakepaw stared at me. "What?"
I didn't understand what it meant, either, but I knew it didn't matter now. "Poseidon," I began, "can you tell him? About you?"
Poseidon nodded, and began.
"I'm Poseidon," he began. "Brother of Zeus and Hades, one of the Big Three."
Lakepaw gave Rainfoot a confused look, and Poseidon explained. "We - me, Zeus, and Hades - are the most powerful Gods."
Lakepaw and Rainfoot nodded. Rainfoot hadn't heard this before, and he was listening intently.
"Our father, the evil titan Kronos, ate me, Zeus, and Hades when we were born. Well, at least, he thought he ate Zeus. Our mother, Rhea, gave him a rock wrapped in a blanket to trick him into not eating Zeus. Zeus was raised in Crete safely.
"But, we were still growing inside Kronos. Hades and I just had to wait for the right time. We were planning an escape ourselves, but Zeus, who was unknown to us, saved us." Poseidon paused.
Lakepaw took his chance. "Was it gross in there?"
Poseidon laughed, but he didn't answer. "Zeus destroyed Kronos, and sent his remains to Tatarus, a large pit in the Underworld. He was forced to regurgitate us."
"Zeus became the King God, and married Hera, his wife, and Queen Goddess. I became the Earthshaker, the God of the Sea. And Hades, against his own will, became the Lord of the Dead, and is banned from Olympus except for on the Winter Solstice, when we Gods meet."
The two cats looked confused. "So..." Rainfoot began, "what now?"
"Nothing," Poseidon replied.
"The story's over?" Lakepaw whined.
"What about Apollo, and Ares?" Rainfoot asked.
"Apollo, the God of the Sun, and his twin sister, Artemis, the Goddess of the Moon, were born on the island of Delos, against Hera's will. Ares, the God of War, is Hera and Zeus' only son."
"Are there any more Gods?" Lakepaw asked.
"Athena, who was born from Zeus's head," Poseidon told him. "And Demeter, the Goddess of Plants."
Lakepaw pulled his paw away from the weed he had been playing with and looked up. "I'm in trouble," he whispered to Rainfoot.
"Hephaestus, Hermes, Aphrodite, and Dionysus," Poseidon finished.
Rainfoot nodded. Lakepaw laid his head on his paws and began to yawn.
"Rainfoot! Lakepaw!" a voice called.
Rainfoot nudged Lakepaw from his position, waved his tail goodbye to Poseidon, and disappeared in the shadows.
"I will be watching over you, my sons," Poseidon whispered.
As I led my apprentice back to camp, I pondered what Poseidon had said. Lakepaw had been equally surprised with the history of the Gods, and I wanted to know if he thought it was real.
"Lakepaw," I began hesitantly, "have you seen any of the Gods besides Poseidon?"
Lakepaw, to my surprise, nodded. "I think so. I haven't met them. I had a vision, and they were all talking, and Poseidon - I think it was him, he was a Twoleg - looked at me before he said something."
I blinked. "I've met two, and two spoke in a dream. Not to me..." I struggled to remember if Apollo had said something to me.
"Will I get a dream?" my brother asked.
"I hope so," I whispered.
The next day, I took Lakepaw out again, this time to actually get the moss.
"But why?" Lakepaw complained.
"You're still an apprentice of ThunderClan," I informed him, "no matter who your father is. The Clan expects you to live up to it, and you have to show them you are worthy of it."
Lakepaw didn't say anything.
I continued. "Poseidon will be telling us about him, and being his son, when we sleep. But when we are awake..."
"We have to be a part of ThunderClan," Lakepaw finished.
I nodded. "That's right."
"Let's get the moss," I mewed. "We'll spend all day, and go to sleep with all the other cats."
Lakepaw nodded. "We'll do the best job ever!"
I purred. "Let's go."
Finding myself there wasn't as surprising this time, but it was still high up. Lakepaw was with me, and he began to shake when he looked over the edge.
"It's high," he whispered.
"The Gods will protect you," I told him. "Let's go."
Lakepaw had to pulled away from the edge. He was beginning to sway in fear.
"Come on," I grunted. "It's just a dream."
Lakepaw instantly stood up. "Okay," he mewed.
I blinked. "Um... can we go now?" I asked.
The blue-gray apprentice nodded, and we arrived where I had first seen the Gods in heartbeats.
I squeezed through the small opening. Lakepaw followed.
The only God there was Poseidon, in cat form. "Hello," he mewed in his deep voice.
My voice sounded small next to it. "Hello," I mewed.
Lakepaw didn't say anything.
I glanced at him. "You summoned us?" I prompted, turning back to my father.
The blue-gray God nodded, a purr rumbling in his throat. "Your brother is nervous."
"Yes," I mewed impatiently.
"Today, I will be showing you how to use a power of yours, the power of drying instantly," Poseidon began.
"We already know how to do that," Lakepaw mewed. "Rainfoot showed me."
"You know how?" Poseidon asked, turning to me in surprise.
"Well, show me," Poseidon growled.
I nodded, and I flicked my tail. Water roared by me, magically summoned. When the water disappeared, my pelt was the only one that was dry. Poseidon had not done anything to get rid of the water in his pelt. He was staring at me in surprise that I knew how to get the water. Lakepaw was shivering with cold, not knowing how.
"You're thinking too hard," I told my apprentice. "Just think about being dry, and you will be."
My brother nodded, focused for a heartbeat, and in another his pelt was dry.
"Father," I mewed, "are you okay?"
He nodded. "Maybe Rainfoot will need his advanced training now, while Lakepaw learns the basics."
Lakepaw glared at me, complaint flashing in his eyes.
"It's not my fault," I growled. "I just know how to do it."
"Lakepaw, why don't you go home now?" Poseidon asked him calmly.
Lakepaw stared at the two us in sadness, and slowly left our sight.
"You'll learn how to fight tomorrow!" I called after him, but I wasn't sure he heard me.
I sighed. "He's jealous."
Poseidon didn't acknowledge my statement. He led me to a small pool of water and began to teach me how to use my powers.
Lakepaw didn't look very excited when I told him that I was going to teach him to fight. He shook his head and walked away.
Hailpelt was at my side in an instant. "What's wrong with Lakepaw?"
I told her about his knowledge about the Gods, informing her that I was trying to cheer him up by teaching how to fight.
Hailpelt sighed. "I can't believe Snakestar gave you your own brother as an apprentice."
I stared at my paws. "Poseidon influenced him somehow."
Hailpelt nodded. "He wanted you to tell him."
"It's not exactly something a cat expects to hear," I pointed out.
Lakepaw suddenly appeared beside me. "Tumblepaw and Grayclaw are inviting us to fight against them. Tumblepaw wants to try advanced moves."
"Do you want to go?" I asked him.
Lakepaw shook his head silently.
"Then we're going anyway. It was polite of them to ask us," I decided.
Lakepaw groaned. "You're not the boss of me here!"
"Snakestar said I was," I pointed out. "And I'm a warrior."
"And Poseidon likes you more," Lakepaw muttered.
Hailpelt didn't say anything. She stared at her feet, ashamed.
"Why do you look sad?" I asked.
"I'm - I'm having another kit."
I gasped. "Not another?"
I shook my head. "No, Hailpelt."
"I'm not having the kit with Poseidon, though," Hailpelt added. "Snakestar- it's his kit."
"Lakepaw, from now on, you will be known as-"
I jumped forward as Snakestar's eyes clouded and he shuddered. Poseidon's taking over, I thought. Lakepaw looked alarmed.
"It's okay," I whispered. "It's... him."
Lakepaw seemed to calm down.
Snakestar continued, "Lakepaw, from now on, you will be known as Lakefoot."
ThunderClan, still in astonishment, did not cheer.
Pondkit did. "Lakefoot! Lakefoot!" she yowled.
I stared at Hailpelt's new kit. Her blue-gray fur matched mine and Lakefoot's.
Snakestar stared at her, too. She had his green eyes.
ThunderClan cheered, "Lakefoot! Lakefoot!" as they realized that there was a new warrior in their midst.
Lakefoot nodded and retreated to the center of the clearing.