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They're Not Gone


Essay
This page contains a fan fiction written by Bramblefire3118.
This page contains the opinions of the original author(s), and is not patrolled for factual accuracy.
Remember that this story is non-canon. It may contain false characters, plots, or locations.
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This is a short story for The Soaring Wren Series. It contains spoilers for Book 2, Wren's Song, and Book 3, Wren's Wing. If you want to read the series from the beginning, read Wren's Flight.

Adder had always believed that his two littermates were still alive - even when they had gone for moons. After an argument, he flees to find them. But when Adder finds his brother, he's in no way that Adder expected. Should he keep his new life - or go with him, when his brother knows the fate of his sister?

This is going to be told in Adder's point of view. (Well, I did say his name three times in the blurb, didn't I?)


They're Not Gone

I knew they were still there,

But they never believed my words,

I went against their will,

And left to forge my own.

I wish they believed me,

I proved them wrong one day.

But never then did I know that

That decision changed what I knew.

~_~*~_~

Adder skulked at the edge of the clearing, his eyes scanning the scene on front of him. He was hiding behind that prickly bush, its sharp leaves poking in his fur.

He saw a silver tabby tom round a corner, a plump mouse in his jaws. Adder's father, Rock, mumbled something through the mouse that Adder didn't catch. The other cat in the clearing, a dark brown tabby she-cat, sighed.

Rock dropped the mouse at the cat's paws. "Are you ever going to get over it?" he whispered under his breath.

Adder was furious. Since the fire six moons ago, his mother, Bramble, had kept on getting depressed every so often. It was bugging Adder a lot - it seemed to him that she had given up on the hope of finding his littermates alive.

He didn't remember his sister - Wren - at all. When he was a young kit, Bramble and Rock had to flee from some wild cats, and had accidentally forgotten about her in the process.

"She was a dark brown tabby, like me," Bramble had sniffed, when he had asked what Wren had looked like. "But she had blue eyes, like your father."

But Adder did remember the day his brother had disappeared. A fire had raged through the forest, and Rock and Adder had gone ahead safely. But when Bramble had come across safely, his brother, Dew, was barred by a wall of flame. Bramble had begged him to go, and he had obeyed.

Adder had never seen him again.

Poking his head out from the bush, he mewed: "Is Bramble depressed again?"

There was no verbal reply from Adder's parents. Finally, Rock nodded, and Bramble looked down at her paws, not willing to do anything.

I've had enough of this, Adder thought suddenly. I don't want to live with them anymore.

Why don't you go find Dew and Wren? another voice in his head asked.

Maybe I will, was the reply.

In his rage, Adder started yowling: "I'm sick of it! Will you ever stop, Bramble? Most cats would be over a loss by now. But it's been moons now. Why aren't you over it?"

Adder could tell that his parents were shocked at his words. Their two gazes were pinpointed at him; Rock's mouth was hanging open.

"I'm going to find Dew and Wren," he continued, without bothering to care about what his parents thought about it. You two could've searched for them. But you haven't!"

Adder was almost at the breaking point now. Almost yowling now, he ignored their vacant stares once again. "I want to find them. I know they're still alive. I know they are."

There was no reply from Bramble or Rock, and Adder didn't want one. He quietened down his voice, and made it cold. 'You can't stop me. I'm leaving."

Bramble winced as he said the word leaving, but Adder - in the state he was in - didn't care. Without waiting for a reply, he said "Goodbye,"; turned his back on his parents for the last time, and ran.

~_~*~_~

Adder knew where he was going to go. Fleeing away, away from his parents at long last, he knew he had the freedom to finally look for his littermates.

Bramble's voice, from many moons ago, echoed in his ears: "We accidentally abandoned her by the willows."

Adder knew what direction the willows were. After the fire, from where he had sat with his parents, he could see the willows - their leaves blossoming far away.

Dew went that way when he fled after the fire, Adder thought. Maybe he and Wren are over there, somewhere...

Taking the thought of his littermates away from his mind, he focused his thoughts of getting to the willows.

Find the willows, he thought to himself, trodding over birch and oak roots as he sprinted past, their pale and dark trunks passing by in a blur. Wren, Dew, Rock, and Bramble entered his thoughts once again, and Adder let them stay there this time.

Now it's my turn, he added to his thought.

More trees went past him. Adder swore his paws were starting to ache from moving so far in such a short time. But despite the pain, he continued on, urged on by his thoughts.

Run to the willows. To the willows. I need to find them.

Adder knew - somehow - that Wren and Dew were alive. And he wasn't going to let that slip easily. He had to find them - even how impossible it may seem.

But how would Adder know when he reached the willows? As if his mind knew what he was thinking, another one of Bramble's words to him had come up in his head: "Willows have narrow, drooping branches."

Adder felt himself cheer up after that. Easier to search for my littermates - I'm pretty sure my parents think they're both dead.

In front of Adder, the landscape was changing. Adder gasped. There were less birch and oak trees now, and more of...

Willows! Adder thought joyfully.

Leaves were covering most of the willow trees that Adder saw. Occasionally, he would see a few golden leaves, sometimes a few gaps where leaves had fallen. A leaf-fall breeze ruffled past Adder, and it made him shiver.

The miserable grip of leaf-fall, he thought skeptically. Adder had never liked leaf-fall - and leaf-bare wasn't much better either.

All of a sudden, Adder stopped. He slid on the leaves, making him nearly lose his balance. Skittering, to regain it, he stood up, and tasted the air.

There was a strong smell nearby - reasonably fresh, Adder presumed. He padded closer, and sniffed again.

He flinched. He recognized one of the scents.

Dew!

~_~*~_~

Sitting in his new nest that night, Adderhelp thinking of the day's events. He could see his day flask by in his mind:

"That's a good catch," Bramble muttered, as he had come into their camp with a huge rabbit. "That will feed us all."

Rock purred. "Yes."

Adder puffed up his chest in pride. That was the biggest bit of prey he had ever caught...

The rabbit had been polished off quickly after Adder had caught it. Then the scene changed, to what had happened at sunhigh...

In his rage, Adder started yowling: "I'm sick of it! Will you ever stop, Bramble? Most cats would be over a loss by now. But it's been moons now. Why aren't you over it?"

Adder could tell that his parents were shocked at his words. Their two gazes were pinpointed at him; Rock's mouth was hanging open.

"I'm going to find Dew and Wren," he continued, without bothering to care about what his parents thought about it. You two could've searched for them. But you haven't!"

Adder was almost at the breaking point now. Almost yowling now, he ignored their vacant stares once again. "I want to find them. I know they're still alive. I know they are."

There was no reply from Bramble or Rock, and Adder didn't want one. He quietened down his voice, and made it cold. 'You can't stop me. I'm leaving."

Bramble winced as he said the word leaving, but Adder - in the state he was in - didn't care. Without waiting for a reply, he said "Goodbye,"; turned his back on his parents for the last time, and ran.

He was still furious with them. That had seperated him from his parents - how long, Adder didn't know. Then the scene changed once again:

All of a sudden, Adder stopped. He slid on the leaves, making him nearly lose his balance. Skittering, to regain it, he stood up, and tasted the air.

There was a strong smell nearby - reasonably fresh, Adder presumed. He padded closer, and sniffed again.

He flinched. He recognized one of the scents.

It was Dew's!

The visions faded, and Adder looked around the makeshift area. Finally, he closed his eyes, and gave way to sleep.

~_~*~_~

Adder stretched, his back arching in a rare patch of warm leaf-fall sun. He gazed at the place where he had scented Dew once again.

He padded over, his footsteps faltering as he reached the invisible line. He could still scent Dew - although not as much as the previous morning.

Suddenly, he stiffened as he tasted the air. There were cats approaching.

A wiry white she-cat was leading the group of cats as they approached the line. Behind her were a dark silver tom with lighter stripes, a dark brown tom, and two black cats - one a she-cat with blue eyes, and a smaller tom which looked younger than Adder.

The white she-cat met his eyes. "You'd better not wander on our territory," she hissed, her green eyes blazing. "You will be clawed if you do."

She dousn't sond very nice, Adder thought.

Meanwhile, the black tom had started to bounce around his like-pelted friend. "Is that a rogue?" he mewed excitedly. "Can I attack him?"

"No," interrupted the white she-cat, who had turned at the tom's words. "He hasn't gone onto our territory."

"However, you are right, Lightningpaw," added the black she-cat. "That is a rogue."

Lightningpaw? What sort of a name is that? Adder thought. But before he could get a better look at the group, they moved away again.

I wonder if Dew lives there? I must go into their territory to have a look - even if it is against that white she-cat's rules.

Waiting for a few more moments in silence, he took a deep breath, and stepped across the border.

~_~*~_~

Adder returned to just outside the border at sunhigh. He hadn't had any luck so far. He'd found the biggest willow in the group's territory, and stayed around there for a while.

He heard some cat's voices, from the other side of the bush from where he was sitting:

"He's gone out of the territory," a cat sighed. "I suppose we can't catch him now."

"Does Soaringstar know?" a second cat fretted.

"Of course, Bluemist," the first cat purred. "We want to do the best for our kits, don't we?"

"You're expecting kits?" another cat asked, while a few mews of congratulations went towards Bluemist.

Adder didn't look in their direction. It was obvious to him that Dewfrost wasn't with that group, by their scent. His ear twitched silently, but there was no more sound.

A rustling told Adder that they had moved away. Making sure no cat was in sight, he started to mutter under his breath:

"Okay, first hunt, then find Dew and Wren, then find Bramble and Rock again..."

His voice faltered. He couldn't bear to think about the family that he had lost. Not now.

There was silence again, and Adder enjoyed the peace. The breeze ruffled past him, and for the first time in a long time, Adder was content - despite all the worries that he had right now in his life.

"Adder? Come out, I know you're there."

Adder jumped. There was a cat nearby. But how did that cat know his name?

He paused, before turning around, and stepping out of the bush's shadow.

A large, dark gray tom was standing there, his muscles rippling beneath his thick-furred pelt. His yellow eyes were alight with happiness.

Adder couldn't believe it. It was impossible. His mouth dropped open.

"Dew?"

~_~*~_~

There was silence for a moment, as the two brother's eyes met. Adder was perfectly happy to keep hit - but his brother obviously thought the opposite.

He backed away, nearly starting, then Adder saw him tense, his lips bared in a snarl as he mewed: "Dewfrost." After he had spoken, Dew stopped his aggressive manner, and had straightened up again before Adder could reply.

"What?" Adder huffed in his confusion. "Er... okay..."

He's joined that group of cats, hasn't he? Adder thought, their weird names sliding along his tongue. Dewfrost. What sort of my name has my brother got now?

"What's up with your name?" Adder added, trying to smile.

To his shock, Dew - Dewfrost - had seemed unimpressed by his words. "I like my name," he spat back. "It's part of where I belong."

"What? Belong where?" Adder stuttered. He didn't get what he was talking about, but he could guess where he went.

Adder saw Dewfrost's mouth twitch, but no sound came out. Finally, he spoke, in a quiet mew that was unlike him: "WillowClan."

"What's WillowClan?" Adder asked. Does he mean that group of cats?

Adder saw his brother sigh in exasperation - he'd obviously irritated him in some way. After a while, his brother spoke again: "It's a group - a group of cats. We protect each other."

I obviously guessed right then, Adder thought. He nodded, and touched one of his paws lightly against the ground. "And why did you join?" he purred softly.

There was silence. Dewfrost hadn't replied quick enough. But a vision was overtaking Adder, and it wasn't his own.

He was standing in the midst of a group of cats - a pale ginger tom, a white she-cat with slightly darker paws and ears, a dark brown tabby. Two younger cats were there. One was the bigger black tom with silver flecks, who looked older than the smaller dark brown tabby she-cat.

The cats were all looking in a direction. His head turned. There was a shape in the distance.

"Something's in the distance," the dark brown she-cat breathed.

"What?" mewed the black tom loudly: he was the only cat there who hadn't spotted it. "There's some -" The cat quietened down: he too had spotted the dark shape that was expanding. All five cats crouched down - the white cat at the head.

They watched the shape get closer, and after many moments, the cat was there. It had dark gray fur, that was rumpled up and bristled in fright, and his yellow eyes were round.

"What are you doing on WillowClan territory?" the white she-cat meowed.

The dark gray cat - not muck bigger than the brown she-cat - flattened his ears in worry. But his yellow gaze was locked on the brown she-cat, despite all the worry he must have been feeling...

The vision ceased. Adder felt himself return to the present day. With a jolt, he realized who the dark gray cat was.

"I... I found someone," Dewfrost was mewing quietly, so that only Adder could hear. "Someone who I know, but yet she doesn't know me. She is shattered, and I am the missing link, the last cat that can remember... her." He whispered the last word.

In that incident, he knew what that was. It was Dewfrost, after the fire, when he found WillowClan. And the dark brown tabby she-cat...

He knew who she was now. He had been right. Bramble and Rock had been wrong.

"You mean... Wren?" he stammered, still in disbelief, but sure that he was right. "Wren's still... alive? I knew it!"

~_~*~_~

There was a brief silence after Adder's words again, as he and Dewfrost's gazes locked together. Then Dewfrost spoke, so quietly this time so that only Adder could hear:

"She's Wrenfeather," he mewed slowly, sadness evident in his tone. "And don't bother asking her about Bramble and Rock. She doesn't remember them."

Their gazes locked again. Adder felt guilty now, that he had left his parents. He nodded slowly, letting Dewfrost's words sink in. "I was right to leave Bramble and Rock," he mewed quietly.

To Adder's dislike, Dewfrost overheard. "Wh-why did you leave them?" he stammered.

Adder suppressed a sigh. "Bramble had been very upset since you got lost in the fire," he explained. "About you and Wren - Wrenfeather." Adder still hadn't gotten used to the names that Dewfrost's group - WillowClan - had. He paused for a short while, then continued:

"She had been very depressed - doing nothing. And a couple of days ago, she got upset again, and I was sick of it. I said I was leaving, and I left." Adder took a deep breath to control his silent anger. "I was sick of it," he repeated. "But now, I need you. I'll come with you, live with you - I need you, and I want to see Wrenfeather - I have not laid my eyes on her for almost twelve moons."

Oh, dear. Adder only then realized the truth of what he had just said.

"Are you sure?" Dewfrost mewed, his yellow eyes brightening in delight.

Adder paused. Was he sure that he would go with Dewfrost?

Well, I don't have Bramble and Rock now. This the only bit of family I have left.

"I'm sure," Adder breathed, yet sounding confident. "Let's go now."

"Now," Dewfrost echoed, as Adder stepped over the border, for what possibly could be the last time.

He and Dewfrost wandered away. As they got away from the border, Adder whispered: "Tell me more about Wrenfeather."

"Okay," Dewfrost whispered. "Here is the story..."

~_~*~_~

After what seemed like an absolute age, as the sunset made dappled shadows touch the ground, Dewfrost led Adder through yet another gap through the willows. His brother had told him that it wasn't much further to go, but Adder was almost ready to give up.

"Here's the camp," Dewfrost whispered, as he moved away.

It was a sight: Adder had to admit it. At one end of the camp - surrounded by a mixture of prickly gorse and looming willow trees - a rock stood, with bramble tendrils growing around it. Around the camp, dens were scattered - some bigger than others.

"Flee!"

A voice sounded from the other side of the camp. The same white she-cat from this morning was stalking towards Dewfrost irritably. "Why is there another rogue in the camp?"

Dewfrost's yellow eyes were round, as he told her: "He asked to join the Clan."

"It's not my problem," the white she-cat sniffed. "It's up to Soaringstar to decide. He's on a solo hunt," she added, when Dewfrost opened his mouth, probably going to ask where Soaringstar was.

There was a pause as the white she-cat stalked away.

"That's Lilyleaf," Dewfrost whispered, as some of the WillowClan warriors started to shout insults at him. "She's the Clan deputy."

Just as Dewfrost finished speaking, a group of four cats stormed into the camp. One was cream-furred, another ginger, a third black. The fourth was a dark brown tabby.

Adder heard Dewfrost's breath getting caught in his throat. "He's my brother," the dark gray cat mewed, his voice quavering. "Don't harm him."

It was obvious to Adder that Dewfrost was talking about him. But the dark brown tabby she-cat that had just entered the camp still seemed unimpressed. She started stalking towards them, in a rage.

"What are you doing her?' she snarled, as she got close.

"I want to join the Clan," Adder replied calmly, as the she-cat started backing away.

"Someone's short of sleep," Dewfrost muttered under his breath.

Adder shrugged off Dewfrost's comment. His thoughts slipped back to his vision.

He knew who that dark brown tabby she-cat was.

It was Wrenfeather.

~_~*~_~

It was night - a freezing cold, leaf-fall night. The dark brown tabby tom's thoughts drifted back to why he was here. He was longing to sleep, but he couldn't.

"I, Soaringstar, leader of WillowClan, ask my warrior ancestors to look down on this cat. He has asked to become a warrior of WillowClan, and I commend him to you as a warrior in his turn. Adder, do you promise to uphold the warrior code, and to defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?"

Adder's heart had pumped wildly. He was nervous, yet excited. He was about to become a warrior of WillowClan!

Remembering Dewfrost's words from earlier, he said, "I do."

"Then by the powers of StarClan," Soaringstar meowed, "I give you your warrior name. Adder, from this moment you will be known as Addertalon."

And now what Addertalon had to do was to keep vigil for the whole night, reflecting on how to be a warrior.

But other things were on his mind. Two days ago, he had lived with Bramble and Rock. And now...

... he was a WillowClan warrior.

Smiling, Addertalon thought: I know my family is all still alive. Maybe one day, we will be united as we all should be...

... as family once more.


The End.


Author's Note

Okay, I'm done. :) Yay Addertalon!!!

I hope you enjoyed it! <3333

Other scenes in this are portrayed in The Soaring Wren Series in different places. The first scene was originally written in Bramble's POV, and the incident of Wrenfeather snarling at Adder has been seen (or heard) in three different POV's: Wrenfeather, Soaringstar (he comes in after the end of the scene), and Rosefall (the cream-furred cat that was mentioned).

Tell me who the cat was in the prologue of Wren's Wing. >:)

Until next time,

--Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure 05:36, October 24, 2014 (UTC)

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