Episode Two, Season Five, of Cold.
It’s hard to look for your sister, and to realize she’s standing close to Brownhare, and the two are oblivious of the world around them. But it’s funny when you put your face close to theirs, and when they finally break apart, your sister starts screaming.
I was trying to find my sister because the leader’s had some urgent meeting about more threats, and when I did find her...
“Shade?” I called out, padding through the undergrowth, “Shade, where are you?”
I stopped short and stared. Shade and Brownhare were leaning on one another, their eyes closed.
Smirking slightly, I padded softly to Shade, and leaned in close and breathed on her muzzle. Her eyes flickered open, and she shrieked when she saw my face so close to hers. Brownhare jerked back looking startled, his yellow eyes focusing on me. “Storm?” he asked in confusion, “What are you doing here?”
“What are you doing here?” I gave him and Shade a pointed look.
Shade mumbled something that suspiciously sounded like “Confessing our undying love for one another.” And I glared at her instead, “What?”
“Nothing, we were just spending the afternoon with each other.” She rolled her eyes, “Now why are you here?”
“To get you...?”
“Why?” She looked startled.
I sighed, “The leader’s are having a meeting about some new threat. They want you to be there.”
“Of course I’m going to be there.” I snorted, “Bring Brownhare and the group while you’re at it.”
“Mm, okay,” Shade glanced at Brownhare, and I muttered something inaudible before stalking away.
When everybody had finally gathered together, I registered that Graystorm was among the crowd. I leaned over to Shade, “Why is he here?” I had absolutely no idea who he was anyways.
“Oh, he saved Snowbreeze’s life, and the two kind of paired up together after that.” Shade explained.
Huh, I guess he’s one of us now.
Blackstar, who looked terribly feeble croaked, “We need to decide what to do with this new threat.”
I exchanged looks with my group. What threat? It’s been pretty peaceful since we’ve driven off the Vicious.
Mistystar nodded, “That’s right, from what I’ve heard, that young she-cat, Sunny I believe, has a side group that is laying siege on ThunderClan.”
Everyone noted to absence of Bramblestar.
“When did this happen?” Willowfur snarled, “We can’t just stand by and watch the rogues kill off ThunderClan!”
“Exactly,” Onestar cut in, “We must decide on what to do.”
“We have to attack of course!” Willowfur glared at the WindClan leader, “There’s nothing to discuss, just go and attack!”
“Willowfur,” Mistystar cautioned, “You do not speak for everybody. Please take a seat.” The RiverClan warrior looked furious as she sat down next to Dawnfur, who shrugged nonchalantly.
Blackstar coughed, “Let’s continue then.”
Willowfur bared her teeth, and whispered something in Dawnfur’s ear. The cream colored she-cat shook her off, looking annoyed. The RiverClan she-cat sat back, looking miffed.
“Alright, I vote that we join forces and face this threat once more.” Mistystar declared, “And yes, that includes fighting back the siege on ThunderClan.”
Onestar nodded briskly, “Saving ThunderClan would be the first step, but we need a better plan.”
Blackstar narrowed his eyes. His pelt was matted and unkempt, and for the first time I realized how old Blackstar was.
“Perhaps each Clan should attack in different waves, starting with WindClan because they can run fast enough. By attacking the siege, we can draw the rogues out.” The ShadowClan leader started.
I caught on to the plans, “And then, we can lead them out to the forest, where ShadowClan is comfortable in. By attacking them from the trees and from the undergrowth, you can drive them towards the lake, where RiverClan will be waiting.”
“What will we do?” Shade queried softly.
“We’ll finish off the rogues who are still attacking the camp.” I mewed tersely. “Are we agreed?”
The leaders all nodded, and Shade whispered in my ear, “I’m proud of you, sister.” I gave her a small smile.
The plan was to be executed at moonhigh, so that the leaders could organize the attack. I lounged in the makeshift camp of ours, and Snowbreeze was gone. Presumably with Graystorm again.
Tessa and Duskshadow were having a conversation close by, their heads bent. Shade and Brownhare weren’t speaking, but they had their tails linked.
Dawnfur was curled up in her nest, her tail wrapped over her nose. Willowfur was sitting on the side, her blue eyes dark and stormy.
“You know,” the RiverClan she-cat sighed, “it’s a wonder how you go through life everyday and still be happy enough.”
“How do you go through life?” I heard about how Willowfur seemed to have admired me, but she didn’t seem so kind to Shade.
The gray she-cat didn’t look at me, “With difficulty. With the knowledge that perhaps your little brother would be alive if you didn’t stop watching him. With the fact that you don’t belong in anywhere in the world.”
I stared at Willowfur. “What do you mean?”
“Of course you wouldn’t understand,” she growled irritably, “You’re just a rogue after all.”
I stiffened at her harsh words. Shade had warned me about this snappish and rude she-cat that should have become excellent friends with Dawnfur.
“Oh that’s right,” I snapped, “I forgot that I was ‘just a rogue’, I obviously don’t have feelings either.”
She stared at me for a few moments, her blue eyes glowing. “Do you know how it feels?” I didn’t ask what she meant; I knew already.
“Really,” she sounded skeptical.
“Yeah, so does everyone else. It’s a thing we call ‘life’.”
Willowfur rolled her eyes and turned away again. “Well life’s not so kind, is it? Cats often ask me why I’ve changed. Ever since that fateful day...you could say something in me snapped.”
“I suppose you and Shade could get along well with memories like that,” I mewed slyly. She only flinched slightly.
“I don’t know why I’m telling you this, but I suppose it’s because I’ve always admired you. You and the famous group that saved the Clans when I just became a warrior. I’ve always wanted to be like you.” Willowfur admitted.
“It kind of started when I was an apprentice...
“Willowpaw, look at me!”
Cedarkit was on his kind paws, swaying slightly as he stretched to grip the willow tree above him.
“Be careful!” Willowpaw shouted, eyes wide as she watched him toddle from side to side.
“I’m going to be the best apprentice in the whole world!” Cedarkit squealed. Willowpaw’s heart lurched as her brother tilted forward.
The gray apprentice shot forward, trying to reach her brother before he tumbled to the ground.
There was another scream.
Her mother came streaking out, her silver and white tail streaming out behind her. “Oh my poor kits!” she exclaimed. She then rounded on Willowpaw, “How could you let him do such things? You should have been watching over him!”
Willowpaw’s eyes were wide with horror, “I was watching him! I-”
“You never do things right!”
Willowfur bit her lip, her eyes narrowed by the contents of her story.
“Oh, that’s terrible!” I mewed, slightly shocked, “Why would your mother blame you for such things?”
The gray she-cat’s eyes were bitter, “My mother favored Cedarkit, and she never liked me. Ever since she had her son, she forgot all about my own needs. It was like I only existed so she could have someone to blame.”
“...sorry? Don’t be.” Willowfur snapped.
“She became really distant after that...
Willowpaw trotted into camp, her jaws clamped around the fish she caught while out hunting. She spotted her mother and her brother playing. She bit her lip and turned away. Cedarkit lifted his head and spotted his sister.
“Willowpaw!” he squealed, “You’re back! Now you can play with me!”
But her mother dragged her kit back and scolded him for being foolish, “I’m sure Willowpaw has much better things to do than play with you.” To Willowpaw, she purred without mirth, “You know how kits are, I’m sorry if my kit bothered you.”
Willowpaw nodded curtly, and turned away, tears stinging in her eyes, “There was nothing she could do to stop the on flow of pain. Her mother didn’t even acknowledge that she was her daughter.
That night, Willowpaw felt a paw prod her in the side, “Cedarkit is gone!” Her mother hissed, “Where has he gone?”
“I don’t know!” Willowpaw was fed up with her mother, “You act like I should be watching him every single moment, but obviously that’s not my job!”
“Go find him then!”
“Why don’t you?” Willowpaw snarled, her ears flat, “You only have one son, one kit for that matter too.”
“Just go find Cedarkit!”
Willowpaw bit back tears and shouldered past her mother and raced out of camp. She streaked through the territory, not even caring where she went.
The gray apprentice froze and saw her brother stranded up a willow tree, “Willowpaw, I can’t come down.”
“Cedarkit, it’s alright, I’ll get you down.”
The brown kit whimpered, “Willowpaw, it’s scary up here.”
Willowpaw began clambering up the tree. “It’s okay,” she soothed the little kit, “I’ll make sure you get down safely.”
“Mother always says you can’t do anything right.”
Willowpaw dug her claws a little more firmly into the bark, “Well, Mother is wrong.” She snapped.
Cedarkit seemed to be sliding down the tree now, “Well, she always says how she only has one kit now, because my sister died a long time ago.”
Willowpaw hissed in frustration, “Well whatever she says, I’m still your sister.”
Cedarkit toddled out onto a branch, “Look! I’m climbing the tree again!”
Willowpaw let out a gasp, “Cedarkit, get back here right now!”
But her little brother wouldn’t listen and then...
My eyes widened, “What happened to him?”
Willowfur sighed, “He fell off the tree and broke his neck. After that, my mother tried to kill me, claiming that I had broken his neck to get revenge on her. Mistystar had to restrain her, and later on she died of greencough that leaf-bare. But not after reminding me that my little brother was dead.”
“It wasn’t your fault though.”
“I can still feel the pain.” She retorted. “My mother acted like it was all my fault, it may not have been, but I wasn’t her kit to her anymore.”
The gray she-cat gouged her claws into the dirt, “And perhaps, she wasn’t so much of a mother to be anymore either.”
“Okay, let’s go.” Onestar urged, “Blackstar and Mistystar, take your Clans and position yourselves.”
The other two Clan leaders dispersed, and WindClan moved on towards ThunderClan’s camp.
I flicked my tail for my patrol to stop, and we watched as the slim tails of the WindClan cats disappeared.
Snowbreeze stayed with us, as did Dawnfur and Willowfur. They decided that it was best they helped us finish off the rogues in the siege.
We heard the harsh cries of a battle begin. Then, there was a pounding noise, and Onestar and his cats poured through the forest, racing for the ShadowClan area. There were shrieks and cries, and I flattened my ears, trying to shut out all the noise.
“Okay, let’s go.”
We streaked silently through the forest, and we reached the camp. There were still several cats on the outside, forcing ThunderClan to stay put in the camp.
“Dawnfur, Willowfur, deal with the outside guards. The rest of us, charge in.”
The two warriors I called out separated, both rushing off to finish their job. I led the charge, pushing guards aside as we forced out way into the camp. I saw only rogues, and Sunny was standing in the middle of it all.
“Ah, you came, Storm.”
I stared at her, “Why are you here?” I spat, “I would have thought that the Vicious were attacking.”
“No, our group is the Ashes, we burn everything down, no matter at what cost.” She spat, there was something else in her eyes when she saw me.
I responded by lunging for her.
A full fledged battle started in minutes. Sunny had a mutinous look in her eyes, and I realized that I didn’t know much about her.
“You loved Crowheart, didn’t you?” She spat.
I stared at her, “I did, but I didn’t at the end.”
“But he loved you.”
“You’ll never understand,” she whispered, “Never.”
Then I realized too late that her claws were slashing down at me.