Leader: Willowstar - mottled gray she-cat with amber eyes
Deputy: Leafheart - brown tom with white paws and tail tip
Medicine Cat: Addertooth - dark brown tom with long fangs and blazing amber eyes
Warriors: Cinderlight - gray-and-white she-cat with twinkling yellow eyes the color of dawn
Briarheart - brown she-cat
Ashwhisker - gray tabby tom
Sparrowflight - brown and black mottled she-cat
Applemoon - pale ginger she-cat
Paledapple - light gray tom with white flecks
Sycamoreshade - broad shouldered brown tom
Feathersky - gray-and-white tom with a fluffy tail
Brightdawn - thin-striped tabby she-cat
Cherrywhisker - bright red she-cat with white legs and tail tip
Plumleaf - smoky gray tom
Apprentices: Nettlepaw - tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat with spiky fur
Emberpaw - dark tortoiseshell tom with russet colored paws, tail, and muzzle
Streampaw - silver tabby she-cat with amber eyes
Queens: Freckleheart - white mottled she-cat (mother to Badgerkit, Foxkit, Hawkkit, and Wolfkit)
Lionfang - brown-and-ginger tabby she-cat (mother to Specklekit, Leafkit, and Patchkit)
Tigerstripe - dark brown she-cat
Elders: Sorrelwish - gray she-cat
Pinethorn - brown tom
Clawear - dark gray she-cat with shredded ears, formerly known as Braveclaw
Leader: Dapplestar - tortoiseshell-and white she-cat
Deputy: Ivystorm - brindled tortoiseshell she-cat
Medicine Cat: Splashstorm - black she-cat with white splotches and brown eyes
Warriors: Cinderstep - black tom
Houndheart - tortoiseshell tom with a long tail
Whitefur - white tom
Birdfrost - brown-and-white she-cat with narrow face
Frogfang - mottled dark brown tom
Cloverfur - light brown she-cat with cream patches
Willowpelt - lean tabby tom
Smoketail - black she-cat with a fluffy tail
Duskpool - thin-striped brown tabby tom
Queens: Owlheart - grayish-brown queen
Snowthorn - sandy colored she-cat
Leader: Froststar - white-and-gray tabby she-cat
Deputy: Jayclaw - gray tom
Medicine Cat: Laurelfoot - brown she-cat with a kink in her tail
Warriors: Reedwing - black she-cat with an extra toe on all four paws
Fernpuddle - tortoiseshell tom with white paws
Stormshine - dark ginger she-cat with one blind eye
Leafcloud - brown-and-ginger tom with a limp paw
Dapplepelt - cream tom with a white underbelly
Redtooth - golden she-cat
Mintflight - smoky tom
Maplewhisker - tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat with heterochromatic blue and amber eyes
Morningwind - pinkish-gray tom with faint white streaks across his pelt
Pebblewing - gray she-cat
Elders: Foxpelt - russet tom
Mallowflower - tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat with hearing loss
Leader: Tansystar - golden tabby she-cat
Deputy: Vixengorse - white tom with red patches
Medicine Cat: Thistleshade - dark gray tom
Warriors: Cinderwhisker - lean pale gray she-cat
Crouchclaw - skinny sandy tom
Cherrystream- bright red she-cat with ginger paws
Patchbush - white tom with black patches
Ivyberry - tortoiseshell she-cat
Sunheart - golden tom
Mossleaf - ginger she-cat
Wolfstorm - gray-and-white tom
Hollypelt - brown-and-black she-cat
Queen: Beechberry - brown tabby tom with green eyes, stays in the nursery to take care of the kits
Waspclaw - gray-and-white she-cat (mother to Haykit and Frostkit)
Sleektail - sleek brown she-cat (mother to Pearkit, Plumkit, Applekit, and Berrykit)
Leader: Wildstar - gray-and-white spiky-furred she-cat
Deputy: Bristlefur - black she-cat
Medicine Cat: Iristhorn - brown and white tabby tom
Warriors: Cinderwhisker - stocky dark brown tom
Crouchclaw - small, pale blue-gray she-cat with a ragged pelt
Cherrystream- ginger tom
Patchbush - black she-cat with brown patches
Ivyberry - golden she-cat
Sunheart - brown tom
Mossleaf - white she-cat
Wolfstorm - tortoiseshell tom
Hollypelt - tiny light brown she-cat with a stub for a tail
Reedwing stood in the clearing, on the moor, waiting. The tall, whippy, grass swept across her flank, reminding her of him. Oh, how she wished her sister was still here, so they could see this sunrise together. The majestic rays of the sun projected its splendor, lighting up the moor, making the clearing a beautiful rainbow. And the fiery ball itself was surrounded by streams of color. What a beautiful sight. Tears silently slipped down the black she-cat's face. Oh Wasppaw, how I wish you could see this . . . Her cheerful sister, taken away by battle was the reason she vowed never to speak to anyone from WindClan again. And yet . . . here she was. Waiting at the border, hoping he would come.
"Reedwing!" A call alerted her. "What are you doing here? The dawn patrol will be here any moment! Get out!" She saw him, a handsome, strong golden tom with the streaks of his stripes dancing across his pelt like the sunrise's streaks. She wished to call back to him, but that would mean revealing her position.
She waved her tail, hoping to catch his attention. "Distract them," she mouthed, and prayed to StarClan he understood. If he didn't, well, there would be other times. Sunheart ran off, yowling something she couldn't hear. Then he came back, leaping down the hill. "What?" he demanded.
Reedwing wanted to leave, to let go of the shame she had carried for the past quarter-moon. What was she to do? Tell him, her mind said. Get it over with. Maybe he'll be sympathetic. "Sunheart . . . I-I don't know how this happened. Please don't get mad. But, I have your kits. I'm expecting, and you're the most likely father. I don't know how!" The golden tom reeled back, his face a mixture of shock and anger.
"Reedwing, you should've told me earlier!" he snarled.
She glared at him. "And what? Reveal it to the five Clans? Destroy our reputations? Don't you think? Telling it at the Gathering would mean exile! If not, we would be hugely dishonored. We would be outcasts in our own Clan. Nobody will trust us. We will be the subject of shame and disrespect, and nobody will care about us. Our leaders will let them attack us. This is too huge to risk.
"But . . ." she stammered. "I, uh, told Froststar."
Sunheart yowled angrily. "See? Sometimes it's best if you don't—freaking—think!" He paced back and forth. "Reedwing, how could you do this? To us? To our Clans? To everyone?"
"She was sympathetic!" she retorted. "Besides, I'm not harming you, it's me that I'm worrying about!"
The golden tabby grew more and more infuriated. "Fine! Care about yourself, just like you did all those moons, when you suggested we run away! Live our own lives! Do just that! But if you kill yourself out there, just know that I warned you, and now I won't give a damn about you! Think about that, you—"
Reedwing had enough. How dare he accuse him of being selfish! That foxheart . . . Without thinking, she threw herself on top of him. "You foxheart!" she shrieked, slicing at every part she could reach. "I risked my honor for this! I risked everything I had, put it on the line just for you! Think about it: I suggested we run away so we could be free of this! I wanted the best for us, and you say I'm selfish? That I didn't give a damn about us?" She grappled with him, struggled to reach for his neck. "Well, maybe you forgot that you killed Wasppaw!" Finally the black queen struck through the tom's chest. The feel of blood satisfied her but made her thirst for more of this darkhearted tom. She nipped at his throat. "Now you'll feel my revenge!"
Sunheart tried to reply but his chest was spouting blood, and it became impossible for him to talk. He gasped and shook and fell to ground, crying. Soon he was still, very still. Maybe too still, but still enough for Reedwing. She used to give that damn about Sunheart and their relationship, but now? Too little, too late, Sunheart.
"You can do it!" whispered Mackerelpaw, Laurelfoot's apprentice. Beside the silver-and-black tom was the medicine cat herself, trying to help deliver Reedwing's kits. Every part of the black she-cat ached; she wished Sunheart was here now. No! Don't think of him! He betrayed you! He killed Wasppaw! Still she couldn't help yearning for the golden WindClan tom. Mackerelpaw leaned in closer. "Think of your kits! Don't leave them alone!"
All Reedwing could do was yowl in response. Another spasm shook her, and it was so painful. The brown she-cat's strong voice penetrated through the haze of pain: "Here's your first kit!" A small bundle was placed beside the queen, a dark ginger she-kit. She had just enough time to purr before another wave sent her shrieking. "Here's the second one!" whispered Mackerelpaw. Reedwing felt as though the tall tom was her own son; she felt as though she should protect him after his mother, Nightfur, died. This time, a ginger tom was placed. This cycle repeated until she found five kits mewing for milk.
"One, two, three, four, five. One two three four five. Five StarClan-fricking kits!" meowed the medicine cat apprentice in awe. "Congrats, Reedwing! Who's the father?"
Reedwing hadn't thought about who she wanted as the "father." "Uh, um, Jayclaw!" She spent a lot of time with him; it only made sense. Both Mackerelpaw and Laurelfoot beamed. Mackerelpaw raced outside screaming, "Jayclaw! You're a father now!"
Jayclaw poked his head inside, a bit confused. "What?"
"Can we have a private moment?" asked Reedwing. She needed to tell Jayclaw the problem. Both Mackerelpaw and Laurelfoot nodded and exited, while leaving behind a bewildered Jayclaw. "Okay . . . so these kits aren't actually yours."
"I noticed that, genius."
"Isn't that the WindClan tom that was found dead at the River/Wind border?"
"Yeah . . ." Reedwing felt guilty about killing tom. He was actually nice, but things just weren't meant to work out for them. "Can you pretend that these kits are yours? Froststar knows, but I don't want anyone thinking I'm a traitor just because I made a simple mistake. Pretty please? This means so much to me."
Jayclaw backed away. "I don't know, Reedwing. This is also a big commitment. When they see this, the Clan's gonna assume we're mates. And that's a commitment I'm not exactly ready to make."
"Then I'll raise them alone." Reedwing knew this would be Jayclaw's weak spot. He'd always argued that both she-cat and tom were needed to make a family work.
"Oh, fine. But when, and yes, when, not if, the secret is revealed, I won't stand up for you. This is your mistake, and your mistake alone."
Reedwing tried not to bowl him down. "Okay." When the truth comes out? Mister, I can hold a secret longer than you possibly could. I already feel guilty enough! The truth will never come out. I will guarantee that. Just you see, Jayclaw. Just you see.
Jayclaw sighed. "Now that that's done, whaddya wanna name them? I mean, they can't be Nameless, No name, Void, Nothingness, and Zilch." He pointed to the silver tabby she-kit, the youngest of the group. "This reminds me of the stream that cuts through the territory. Let's name her Streamkit."
Reedwing nodded. "This ginger tom can be Flamekit. And that dark ginger she-kit is Cedarkit."
Soon her five kits were all there: Streamkit, the silver tabby she-kit. Flamekit, the ginger tom. Cedarkit, the dark ginger she-kit. Darkkit, the black tom. And Sunnykit, the golden tom. Five illegitimate kits. Five half-Clan kits. But they were her five kits, and they were five precious kits.