A part of the New Beginnings series
ThunderClan's story of what happened after The Last Hope ended. Could any cat really move on?
I watched as Graystripe and Dustpelt took the dead to be buried. The pain in losing so many cats was taking it's toll. Sandstorm was hunced up at the warriors den, next to Squirrelflight and Leafpool. They were silently licking their mother. Cinderheart and Lionblaze were lying by the nursery. Cinderheart had her face pressed into the ground. She's greiving. Everyone is. Will it ever be the same? Bumblestripe pressed up next to me. "Don't worry Dovewing." I licked his cheek. "I hope so." I paced into the medicine cat den. Jayfeather was fixing up Birchfall's wounds. My father turned to me. As he did, I saw a huge red weal on his back. I winced. Birchfall looked at it. "Oh don't worry, you should have seen Mousewhisker, he's way wor- sorry Dovewing. It's just ointment." I nodded and waited for Jayfeather to fix my cheek. Briarlight pulled herself up to me. "I'll fix that, don't worry." I cast out my senses as Briarlight fixed up my cheek. In RiverClan, Mothwing was helping out Mistystar, while Mosspelt was scolding a kit. In WindClan, I could hear Onestar and Crowfeather argueing. She reluctently turned to ShadowClan. Littlecloud and Tawnypelt were helping the others, while Tigerheart was talking with Applefur. I lisented closer. "Kits" The word echoed. Kits. Applefur was having Tigerheart's kits. I shook my head. That part of my life was over. Briarlight prodded me. "It's all better Dovewing." I left the medicine cat den. It's over. I have Bumblestripe. 'He has Applefur.' One thought kept running through my mind though. How could he love her?
How does it feel to watch others die? Some of them defending you. It's not right. Why. Why. Why. Why Firestar? Why Hollyleaf? Why Ferncloud? Why Mousefur? Why. I shook my head. I have to live now. I turned to Squirrelflight. She instructed Berrynose, Spiderleg, Hazeltail and Icecloud to go hunting. Huh? Then I remembered that she's the new deputy. I'm so used to Brambleclaw doing that, it feels wrong. I see him now as he and Jayfeather leave for the Moonpool. Of course. He's going to need 9 lives. Dovewing padded up to me. "Will it ever be the same?" she whispered. "I don't know." I replyed. "But it seems as though we have to live with it anyway." She nodded. A glimmer of fear came to her eyes. "Will the remaining Dark Forest cats kill you since you fought for the clans?" I smiled. "That's one thing I won't have to worry about. I can't be afraid of falling asleep." Dovewing nodded. "I just wish this wasn't so painful." I stared at her. "What do you mean?" Dovewing hung her head. "Applefur... and Tigerheart." I started at her. "You have Bumblestripe. He has Applefur. Both of you are happy." Dovewing looked at me. Her eyes were filled with pain. I can't blame her. She loved him for a long time. But my sister deserves better than mangy old Tigerheart. I licked her cheek. "It's better this way." She turned away. "I'm going to sleep." "You do that." I said. I watched her pad away. StarClan please. Heal her soul for me.
I pressed onwards, despite my hunger. This should not have happend. We lost so many cats today. The most painful cat to lose was Hollyleaf. I already lost her once. It's more painful knowing she is really gone. Brambleclaw forges ahead. He wants to reach to Moonpool before Moon-high. I can tell that he is tired, but he is to proud to admit it. I hope he won't do anything foolish. I sighed as we reached the hills. "Brambleclaw! We need to stop here!" He turned to me. "Very well Jayfeather." He doesn't carry the coldness I expected in his voice. When he first found out I wasn't his son, he hated me. I think though, tonight, he has changed his mind. He sits next to me. "Want me to catch you something?" I turned to him. "No, I can make it. I'm not that old!" He laughes. "Very well Jayfeather." We watch as the moon rises, or at least Brambleclaw does. I stood up and turned to him. "Let's go" He got up, and we trecked on to the Moonpool.
"Lie down and lap up some water." I mewed. Brambleclaw obeyed, and soon his ceromony was starting. Please StarClan. Let it work this time.
I approched the shimmering pool of water. It misted around myself. I lay down and drank some of the water. Instantly I felt sleepy. I closed my eyes and waited.
I opened my eyes. I was at Fourtrees, back in the old forest! Hundreds of cats sat around me. A single voice came to me. "Welcome Brambleclaw. Are you ready to recieve your 9 lives?" The voice sounded of every cat I had ever known, yet it was one clear voice. I nodded. "I'm ready." Just as I said it, a ginger she-cat walked up to me. It was my mother, Goldenflower! She smiled at me. "With this life I give you love. Use it to care for every clanmate, as if they were your kits." A bolt of pain shot through me. She stepped away, and was replaced by a wiry brown she-cat, who scampered over as light as a kit. I let out a cry of delight. "Mousefur!" The she-cat was young and full, not the elder he had seen, brutally murdered by a Dark Forest cat. She nodded at me. "With this life I give you stubbernous. Use it to last through the longest leaf-bare, and the hardest battles." A bolt of pain shot through me. Mousefur stepped back, and was replaced by Firestar. My heart gave a leap of joy. The Thunderclan leader was safe in Starclan. He stepped up to me. "Brambleclaw, my apprentice, my warrior, my deputy. I new you would make a great leader one day. With this life I give you courage, use it to defend your clan in the most agonizing challenges." Another bolt of pain hit me. I let out a groan. This was hurting! I waited, and a silver she-cat walked up to me. At first I didn't recognize her, until I saw the shimmer in her pelt. It was Feathertail! She leaned forward and smiled.