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Rainypaw's World

Author: Brighty
Rating: Moderate
Status: Complete
Series: None
Preceding: None
Succeeding: Rainysong's Choice


Rainypaw's World

Summary

This story centers around a young she-cat named Rainypaw, and her struggle to survive in a world where there is nobody you can trust.

Main Charaters

Rainypaw-fluffy gray she-cat with blue eyes

Snowpaw- white she-cat with green eyes; Rainypaw's sister

Turtlefang- brown and white tom with brown eyes. Rainypaw's mentor

Reason for Writing

It's dedicared to one of my friends, who isn't currently a member of this wiki

Author

Bluestar&Brightheart

Original Ideas to

Erin Hunter


Chapter 1 ~Shock and Trouble~

Applepaw was coughing. I lifted my head out of my nest, blinking the sleep out of my eyes. The den was quiet, except for Applepaw. Her eyes were glazed with
fever. She's been sick for days, but she won't admit it. I leaned over to her nest and whispered to her. "Go see Dawngaze. You are very sick!" Applepaw shook
her head. "No way Rainypaw! I don't need herbs. I just swallowed a snowflake. Besides, Dawngaze and Cherrypaw need to save the herbs for the really sick cats. What if Dawngaze or Dreamstar caught greencough? The catmint needs to be saved for them." I rolled my eyes. "Applepaw, go to Dawngaze now, or I will tell the clan that you like Owlpaw! You have greencough, and it needs to be treated now!" Applepaw sighed. "I can't get around you, can I Rainypaw? Fine, I'll go see the medicine cat." She stood up and walked out of the den, trying not to tread on Snowpaw's tail and Owlpaw's leg. Snowpaw grunted, but didn't wake up. Applepaw trudged out into the snow, and up the hill to the medicine den. Cherrypaw came outside and brought her in. I fell back asleep, knowing Applepaw would be okay.

I padded into the clearing to begin my training for the day. I looked around for Turtlefang, my mentor. He promised Snowpaw and myself that we would start advanced battle training today. I was convinced Turtlefang had joined the cats with greencough, until I saw his dark brown eyes pierce through the snowy air. He seemed slightly annoyed, as the wind messed up his brown and white pelt. “Lets head to the training hollow! There won’t be any prey out in this weather!” We nodded and trudged out of camp. All I could see of Snowpaw was her dark green eyes. She was lucky. Her long fur would protect her from the snow. My short fur was ruffled, and I could feel every icy breeze. By the time we reached the hollow, I was shivering. Why did leaf-bare in MountainClan have to
be so awful? MeadowClan was lucky. They got sunny skies all four seasons. At
least the hollow kept the wind out. There was a small layer of snow to cover the
bottom, but it was a small price to pay. Turtlefang turned to us. “I am going to
show you a move that could save your life in battle. You know how feisty
SwiftClan cats are. They will kill you with one quick bite if they have to. To avoid
this attack, we have to be faster and lighter. The only problem is, MountainClan
cats are thick and heavy by nature. We always land heavily, which gives us a
huge disadvantage in battle.” Snowpaw nodded. “So do we block our neck with
our paws? Or do we jump in the air and kick them? Or do we-“ Snowpaw broke

off when she saw Turtlefang’s face. “Sorry” she murmured. Her tail drooped.
Turtlefang started again. “To stop them from attacking this way, we have to
confuse them. By weaving around them and diving under them, we can avoid
their deathblows. However, it is always best to do one move, but look like you
are doing another. That way they are prepared for the wrong attack. Try that on
me Rainypaw.” I carefully sized up Turtlefang. He was 3 times my size. I dived
under him, and back flipped onto his head. He let out a yowl and threw me off,
but I was ready for his counter-attack. I slid under his legs and batted my paws
against his underbelly. Turtlefang rolled over and pinned me down. “Always
expect the unexpected.” He hissed through his teeth. “Then you should be
expecting this!” I cried and threw him off. He flew through the air and landed next
to Snowpaw. “That was good for the first time.” He turned to the startled white
she-cat. “Now you go Snowpaw.” Snowpaw nervously charged at Turtlefang. He
avoided her easily, but Snowpaw kept running, and rammed herself into the wall.
Turtlefang rushed to her. “We have to get her to Dawngaze.” I looked down at
Snowpaw. Her eyes were shut, but her face was bleeding through a huge cut.
She must have caught it on a rock. I picked her up, and we ran to camp.
Dawngaze hissed when we tried to go into her den. “Cherrypaw and I are the
only cats allowed in here now.” Turtlefang looked bewildered. “Is the greencough
that bad?” Dawngaze rolled her green eyes. “No you mousebrain! Dreamstar
and I condemned them to die!”

Chapter 2 ~Losing More Than Hope~

Turtlefang’s eyes were wide. “You can’t do that! It’s against the warrior code!”
Dawngaze narrowed her eyes. “Oh the precious warrior code! No cat cares
about it anymore.” I couldn’t believe this. “What about Snowpaw? She’ll die if she
isn’t treated!” Dawngaze let out a cruel snort. “Let her die.” She called as she
went back into the den. Cherrypaw poked her head out, her eyes wide with
confusion and terror. Clearly she had no clue what had happened to her mentor.
Turtlefang licked the blood out of Snowpaw’s wound. “We need marigold. It won’t
grow in this weather.” I realized he was right. “I could sneak some out. It’s the
only way.” “No” whispered Turtlefang. “I’m not risking your life. I’ll take the
marigold, and I’ll try to get some catmint for Applepaw, Shadowheart,
Stormwhisker, and Duskpool.” I nodded. “I should probably try to find them.”
Turtlefang flicked his tail, and I fled out of camp. I headed to the pine forest; it
would be the best place to hide, since it was sheltered from the snow. It was
sunset before I found them. They were all huddled together. Applepaw was
shivering to death, and the rest were no better. Duskpool looked up when I
approached. “Do you have catmint? Will Dawngaze and Dreamstar let us back
into MountainClan?” I let out a startled gasp. “You were exiled???” I cried out,
startled. “Shadowheart nodded. “We were all being treated this morning, but at
sunhigh, she decided that we should die because we were weak.” I couldn’t believe this. What had happened to Dawngaze and Dreamstar? Stormwhisker
interrupted my thoughts. “Do you have catmint? We need it.” I shook my
head. “Turtlefang said he would try to sneak some out, along with marigold for
Snowpaw.” Duskpool was startled. “What happened to your sister? Is she
okay?” “I don’t know. She accidently rammed herself into the wall of the training
hollow.” I replied. “Nightflower would be so proud.” Stormwhisker muttered
sarcastically. Stormwhisker’s mate, Shadowheart shoved him. “Don’t be so rude!
Nightflower and Whitetalon were lucky that both their kits survived! Ryefur is
dead, and I don’t know if my second litter will make it!” Shadowheart let out a
strong bout of coughing. We need to get all of them catmint. They’ll die in this
weather! Luckily I could see Turtlefang’s pelt against the snow. He was coming! I
ran to him. His eyes were wide. He carried a bundle of catmint in his
mouth. “How did you get it? And is Snowpaw okay?” “Cherrypaw smuggled it to
me.” He mumbled around the catmint. “We have to get this to them now. I can
hear Applepaw coughing from here. We raced over, and I quickly gave everyone
a liberal amount of catmint. The only problem was, Applepaw wasn’t getting
better. In fact, she was getting worse. “Is she allergic to the catmint?” Duskpool
asked. I remembered that Duskpool had been born rouge, and she knew some
strange words. Still, Applepaw has had catmint before, and she was fine. What in
the name of StarClan happened? Suddenly behind me I heard a yowl. “What are
you doing to those cats?!” I turned around, expecting to see Dawngaze, or
Dreamstar behind me, but luckily, the cat was unrecognizable. “Who… Who are
you?” I stammered. The she-cat growled. “You don’t need to know that. Just get
your sick cats away from here!” Turtlefang narrowed his eyes. “Why should we?
This is our territory and we can do what we like!” Suddenly Duskpool let out a
gasp. “Mother? Is that you?”

The she-cat looked startled. “Dusk? I thought I would never see you again!”
Duskpool purred. “Everyone, this is my mother, Debbie.” I let out a sigh of pure
relief. This cat wouldn’t hurt us. “Sorry to bother you.” Debbie murmured. “I just
didn’t know what you were doing to my daughter. I’m sorry.” With that, she raced
off into the forest. “She’s really sweet, once you know her.” mewed Duskpool.
Shadowheart rolled her mossy green eyes.” And hedgehogs will fly. Whatever
she does, I want her away from us.” Applepaw broke into a bought of awful
coughing. “Can’t…can’t Brea…the. Can’t see my-my own paws.” I broke off
another amount of catmint and shoved it into Applepaw’s mouth. She just kept
coughing. “Something’s really wrong with her!” I cried out. “She’s my best friend!
She can’t die!” my voice rose to a panic. Turtlefang tried to relax me, but I was
bursting. “She can’t die.” I whimpered. “She can’t”. As if to answer my swollen
prayers, Applepaw stopped breathing and crumpled into the ground. Dead.

Chapter 3 ~Changing The Rules~

“NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!” My wail could probably have been heard all the way in
LakeClan. They probably heard me in MeadowClan too. “Applepaw! NO NO!
Wake up! Wake up!” I shook her countless times, but she was dead. “Duskpool
had tears running down her face. “She was a warrior worthy of StarClan. I know
she is dead now, and I cannot give the proper words, but she has proved herself
all her life, and did not deserve to die so harshly. I say these words before
StarClan, so that they may approve my thoughts. Applepaw will join you with the
warrior name of Appleheart.” I looked at Duskpool’s face and spotted the grief
she felt. Of course, Applepaw, I mean Appleheart was her kit. I sighed. The day
just got worse. Turtlefang pressed up against my pelt. I felt the warmth drain
out of me, as he whispered into my ear something into my ear. “Snowpaw is
expecting kits.”

My heart almost stopped. He has to be kidding. Snowpaw is an apprentice! She
can’t have kits! I opened and closed my mouth 3 times. Finally I managed to
stumble out two words. “That’s impossible.” Turtlefang shook his head. “I didn’t
believe it either, but Cherrypaw examined her, and found out this when she
examined Snowpaw’s head. I don’t know what to say.” I sighed. “Can this day
get any worse?” To answer my question, Stormwhisker collapsed into the snow.
Shadowheart let out a wail. “Save him! I love him very much!” I shoved more
catmint to him. He coughed, and spat it out. I kept putting more in. “Come on
Stormwhisker!” I yowled. Finally the catmint sank in. He fell asleep. Duskpool put
her paw on me. “Take my daughter back to MountainClan and bury her there. I
want her to rest with her clanmates.” I nodded. “We’ll come to you with more
catmint later. If you get worse, send Duskpool, she’s the strongest.”
Shadowheart nodded, and moved to the side to protect Stormwhisker, who was
starting to snore. I took Appleheart’s body and carried it through the snow to
camp. I buried her beside Ryefur. Please be safe. You are my truest friend. With
that, I padded back to camp. Dreamstar sat on top of Leader’s Rock. She saw
my pelt and narrowed her eyes. “Let every cat old enough to chase a mouse,
gather beneath to hear my words!” She bellowed. I glanced at Turtlefang. She
can’t know about this already. I padded into the clearing and through myself into
the thick of every cat. Dreamstar sat next to Dawngaze, a smirk on both their
faces. “I Dreamstar have come to tell you about an important innovation to
MountainClan! You already know that I have exiled the cats with sickness, and it
is time for more cats to join them. I huddled next Owlpaw, the first cat I saw. He
looked at me strangely, but didn’t say anything. Dreamstar flicked her tail and a
group of cats moved to the ledge by her den. I jolted when I realized that the cats
were Skyflower and her kits, and the elders. No! Dreamstar can’t exile them!
Dreamstar laughed. “As queens, kits and elders have no contribution to
MountainClan, I exile them. If they are found anywhere on our territory, they will
be killed!” She turned to a shivering Skyflower. “You may return once your bratty little kits are old enough to be apprentices. Grapetail, Grayfur, You will never return!” She cackled then turned back to the rest of the clan. “Oh, from now on, all silly StarClan ceremonies, and omens will be taken over by my deputy,
Thunderstrike. I will attend gatherings, but only because I love you so much.”
She hissed. “Now disperse!” She yelled. I bolted into the apprentices den.
Snowpaw lay on her side, while Cherrypaw licked up old herbs in her head. “Will
she live?’ I ask pitifully. Cherrypaw nodded. “Her training must be light from now
on. With kits too…” Cherrypaw trailed off. If Dreamstar finds out, she’ll exile
Snowpaw! I can’t let that happen. Feeling a tiny drift of humor, I leaned down
and whispered to Snowpaw, “Who’s the lucky tom?”

Chapter 4 ~Wake Up Little One~

I breathed in Snowpaw’s scent. Her cut was healing, but she would not wake up.
It was sheer hope that kept me going for her. Suddenly I heard a huge gasp and
whipped my head around. Snowpaw was staring wildly at me. “Where am I?”
She shivered. I padded over to her. “Snowpaw, relax. You don’t want to stress
yourself. You are safe.” When she relaxed, I told her what had happened since
she was knocked out. I omitted the part about her being pregnant. No need to
scare her just yet. Finally I turned to her. Her normally happy-go-lucky green
eyes were filled with pain and sorrow. She licked my ear. “One more question.
Why did you say not to stress myself out? Is something wrong? Does it relate
the pain in my belly?” I winced. Why did she have to ask about that now? I held
my breath and kept my gaze down. “You’re expecting kits.” Snowpaw wouldn’t
have looked more bamboozled if I had grown wings and flew to the moon.
She just stared in utter shock. “I’m having kits.” She muttered. What will I tell
Thunderstrike?” My gasped. “He’s the father?!?!?!” Snowpaw nodded. “I feel
so mousebrained right now.” She hung her head. “What do I do now?” I licked
her cut. “Don’t worry. I’ll tell him.” Snowpaw smiled. “Thank you Rainypaw.” She
closed her eyes and fell asleep. StarClan protect her.

I lurked around the clearing, trying not to attract too much attention. Dreamstar
stayed in her den and had warriors drag fresh-kill to her. Finally Thunderstrike
sat for a small break. I padded over to him. “Thunderstrike.” He looked up in
surprise. Apprentices didn’t usually talk to the clan deputy. “What do you need
Rainypaw? Is Turtlefang sick?” I shook my head. “It’s about my sister Snowpaw.”
Thunderstrike tensed. Snowpaw was right. Finally he swallowed. “What about
her?” He asked, trying not to strain his voice. I looked around and leaned into his
ear. “She’s expecting your kits.” The ginger tom widened his amber eyes. “No.”
He muttered hoarsely. “She can’t. Why now? Dreamstar will exile her if she finds
out!” He broke down and started crying. “Why Rainypaw? Why?” I leaned down
and licked his head. “I don’t know. But I do know that Snowpaw would want you
to stay strong for her.” He nodded, and stifled his moans. “There is one thing I

want t know, though.” I inquired. Thunderstrike looked up. “What is it?” He
wondered, clearly confused. “How is she expecting your kits? She’s an
apprentice! She’s not supposed to have kits until she’s a warrior! How in the
name of StarClan did this happen?” Thunderstrike looked offended. I wondered if
I had gone too far. He dropped his gaze and looked at the ground. “ I fell in love
with her. Just a moon ago. When she was made my apprentice after
Shadowheart returned to the nursery. I didn’t know what I was doing. She was
just so likeable. I couldn’t help myself. I wanted her with all my heart. She did
too. I guess we went too far. Now I’m paying the price for my actions.” He hung
his head. I’d never seen him so weak and defeated. “Please don’t tell anyone
Rainypaw.” I nodded and licked his shredded ear. It cost him a lot of pain to tell
me this. I would never tell any cat ever about this. Leaving him to lie down, I
walked to the Training Hollow. It was quiet. Perfect I thought. I thought of
Snowpaw. Maybe she was awake again. Wake up little one. You are safe. I
slowly succumbed to sleep. I was so tired, that I didn’t even notice the warm pelt
pressed against mine.

I awoke at sunhigh. The training hollow was warm. Sunshine was peeking out
from behind the clouds. I got up and shook my fur. I turned around, and with a
shock, I saw Turtlefang, still asleep. What was he doing here? He can’t be here!
I swallowed nervously, but before I could say anything, he jerked up his head.
“What? Where am I?” He looked at me. “Rainypaw? Why are you in the warriors
den?” I shoved him. “We’re in the training hollow.” He looked around. “Oh.” He
replied. “I am extremely confused. Why are you here?” I sighed. “I came to get
some peace and quiet. Why are you here?” Turtlefang looked away. “Same as
you I guess.” He made a small noise. I sound of longing. What’s he hiding? His
face didn’t give anything away. Clearly, he was going to be difficult.

I sighed. “We better get out of here. Dreamstar will notice if we’re out of camp. She wants tabs kept on every cat in the clan.” Turtlefang nodded. “I talked to Snowpaw. She’s going to help us. When Cherrypaw smuggles he catmint to us, she’ll take it to them. Don’t want it to seem suspicious that one cat is taking it.” He mewed. It did make sense. “So Cherrypaw will take the catmint to her tomorrow. She’s instructed us to stay out of Dreamstar’s way.” He continued. I nodded. “Alright then. I’ll go find Snowpaw, and then we’ll go find the sick cats.” I darted back into the snow. Luckily the flakes had stopped falling as thickly, so it was easier to see. I slipped into camp next to Snowpaw. She held the bundle in her mouth. I flicked my tail. We had to get out of camp before Dreamstar noticed what we were doing. We hurried around a group of warriors, when suddenly I heard Dreamstar yelling. “Stop those apprentices!” She yelled with all her might. I grabbed the bundle and ran, Snowpaw on my tail. For some reason, Dreamstar did not purse us. I turned around. We had reached to hidden copse where Duskpool, Shadowheart, and Stormwhisker were. Snowpaw let out a long breath. “I think she’s gone. Maybe she wasn’t even talking about us. Owlpaw and Eaglepaw were over with her. Maybe she was yelling at them. I laughed. “Do you really think she would be yelling at her own sons? We were carrying a bundle of herbs. We were running. She knew something was up. She’ll kill us if she finds out.” Snowpaw winced. I realized I had probably scared her a bit. “Sorry Snowpaw, but it’s true.” She nodded. “Come on then.” We stuck our heads into the copse. “Hello?” I called. A kit stuck its head out. I leaped in shock, until I recognized Mistkit’s gray tabby fur. I exhaled quickly. “Mistkit! You gave me a fright. Where are Skyflower and the others?” Mistkit perked up. “Right inside!” She squeaked. I nodded. “Can we come in? We have catmint!” Mistkit drooped. Skyflower says no cats are allowed inside except us.” I sighed. “Can you tell your mother that Rainypaw and Snowpaw are here with catmint?” Mistkit nodded and dived back into the hole. A second later, her sister Featherkit came up. “Come on in! Duskpool says you are good cats!” I winked at Snowpaw and we carefully padded into the hole. Duskpool, Shadowheart and Stormwhisker sat huddled in the middle. Skyflower was trying to keep Featherkit, Mistkit and Ravenkit settled down. I dropped the catmint on the ground. “Here you go.” I mewed quietly. Duskpool got up and brought the catmint to Shadowheart and Stormwhisker, who were clearly much weaker. I assumed that each strained breath they took would be their last. I pressed into Snowpaw’s fur. Oh StarClan. Don’t let them die.

Chapter 5 ~Broken Twigs and Healed Hearts~

For the 3rd time since Snowpaw and I had taken the catmint to the copse, the sun refused to show. Dark gray clouds covered the sky once again. I wondered if it was an omen from StarClan. I wouldn’t be surprised. Thunderstrike and Dreamstar ignored us as we walked to the training hollow. I thought we had gotten away scot-free, when Dreamstar yelled. “Where are you two going?” I winced. We were so close. I turned around and bowed to the stocky gray she-cat. “Yes Dreamstar?” She looked at me, trying to find something wrong. “Why are you not helping the clan? I don’t hunt for myself, you stupid cat!” Snowpaw burst into tears. Quickly I piped up, “Turtlefang is taking us hunting. He’s already waiting for us.” Dreamstar looked at us suspiciously. “Thunderstrike!” she called. “Tail them. I want to make sure that they follow all my rules!” She laughed and stalked to the tiny fresh-kill pile. “Pitiful.” She muttered and grabbed a juicy squirrel. I turned to Snowpaw. “Come on.” She got us carefully. Thunderstrike followed us with a sigh. Clearly he didn’t want to come. By the way Snowpaw avoided his eyes, she didn’t want him there either. I lead everyone to Maple Grove. Turtlefang sat waiting. “There you are! Why is Thunderstrike with you?” Quickly I explained to Turtlefang. He shook his head. “Dreamstar is crazier than ever. I nodded. He turned to Thunderstrike. “I was thinking of having them split up. How about you take Snowpaw, and I’ll take Rainypaw.” Snowpaw, Thunderstrike and I simultaneously winced. That would not work out. Turtlefang sighed. “Okay then. Rainypaw can hunt with Thunderstrike. I’ll take Snowpaw. Snowpaw sighed in relief. I padded over to Thunderstrike. He looked relieved to be hunting with me instead of my sister. Turtlefang mewed, “We’ll head towards the old thunderpath. You go to the abandoned twoleg nest.” Thunderstrike nodded and flicked is tail. I followed him into the woods. Thunderstrike seemed extremely distracted. He completely missed a shrew that was limping. If I had missed that, I would never have heard the end of it. He missed a second easy catch about 5 minuets later. I sighed. “Thunderstrike, you are clearly not up to hunting today. What’s eating you?” He sighed. “It’s about Snowpaw. I want to heal her. Heal her heart, and be a father to the kits, but I can’t! It hurts me to look at her, it hurts to think about her, it hurts to say her name, or hear her voice!” He crumpled to the ground. “I just don’t know what went wrong. She can’t stand me now. I was so mousebrained. I was a mousebrained fool.” I sighed. “Thunderstrike, if you want to be a father to those kits, that be a father to those kits! It was your choice, and a poor one, but now you have to own up. You have to stay strong! Snowpaw wants you to love the kits! You have to be who you are Thunderstrike. She still loves you. It just pains her, because she thinks you don’t love her anymore!” Thunderstrike started at me ludicrously. “She thinks that? I do love her, but… I thought that she didn’t love me anymore!” He slumped. “I thought she hated me.” I shook my head. “You have got to be kidding me. Toms can be so dense sometimes.” He sighed. “Well then Rainypaw. We need to catch some prey. I laughed. “Way ahead of you.” I pulled up 2 mice and a small thrush. “I think this should do.” He nodded and I carried the prey back. Turtlefang and Snowpaw pushed out of the bracken a few moments later. Snowpaw was holding a huge blackbird, Turtlefang with a squirrel. “I think we brought back a good haul. Lets take this back to camp.” As we padded to camp, I held back. Thunderstrike and Snowpaw were talking in hushed whispers. They looked happier than I had ever seen them and their tales were entwined. I smiled. That’s better.

Chapter 6 ~Three New Lives~

I sat by the medicine den, waiting for the last of the catmint. Duskpool and Shadowheart were cured, and Stormwhisker was strong enough to travel. This was the final rip to the copse. After all, Dreamstar said that when the cats with greencough got better, they could come home. I grabbed the leaf wrap and darted out of camp. After delivering the catmint and saying hello to Featherkit, Mistkit and Ravenkit, I padded into a small clearing, where Snowpaw was lying. She drank the fresh dewdrops form the plants. She seemed so happy and relaxed. I lay down next to her. “So, I see you and Thunderstrike have settled things.” She laughed. “I don’t know what you’re talking about Rainypaw.” I nosed her growing belly. “I think there’s at least 3.” She nodded. “I can feel them squirming inside me.” She laughed again. “That tickles!” Suddenly her belly let out a large spasm. “Ow! Rainypaw, what’s happening?” My heart skipped a
beat. The kits are coming now. What do I do? “Stay right there!” I mewed.
“I’m going to get Cherrypaw and Thunderstrike!” With that, I turned tail to camp.
Cherrypaw was talking quietly to Turtlefang and Thunderstrike. Just the cats I
need. Quickly I ran over. Turtlefang saw the panic in my blue eyes, the second I
approached. “Cherrypaw! Thunderstrike! The kits are coming now!” Cherrypaw
did a double take. “No way.” She muttered. “Let me grab the herbs and I’ll be on
my way.” I nodded and turned to Thunderstrike and Turtlefang. “She’s in the
small clearing. Where the catkin’s grow.” They nodded and left camp faster than
I could blink. Cherrypaw bolted out of the den. “I was almost caught by
Dawngaze. Come on. Lets go.” I nodded and led the way. When we got there,
Snowpaw was yowling in pain. Cherrypaw opened the leaf wrap and started
giving Snowpaw the herbs inside. I looked away. I just couldn’t look. It just
caused too much pain. Finally I forced myself to peek. Thunderstrike had bit open the sack and a tiny kit slid out. I grabbed the kit and started licking its fur
the wrong way. It gave me an excuse not to look. I could feel the kit’s pitiful
breathing and I licked harder. Come on! You can do it! I felt as though I was
speaking for my own sake, as well as the kit’s sake. It gasped and started
gulping air. I stopped and looked at Snowpaw. She wailed in agony
Thunderstrike looked worried. “Why is it taking so long?” “Because this kit is a
big one. She’ll be fine.” Cherrypaw mewed patiently. She reached forward sand
nipped the sack. Another kit came out. Cherrypaw passed it to Thunderstrike.
“Lick!” She yelled, before averting her attention back to Snowpaw. I
subconsciously started licking the kit again. It was so tiny. Luckily the morning
sun was helping dry up its pelt. Finally Snowpaw’s breathing relaxed. The last kit
had come out. Cherrypaw began licking it. I put the small kit at Snowpaw’s belly,
along with the big kit. Cherrypaw placed the third to drink some milk. As they
suckled, Snowpaw murmured quietly. She must be thinking of names. At
sunhigh, she looked up. “I thought of some names. Would you like to hear
them?” We nodded. She pointed her tail at the big ginger kit. He looked like a
copy of Thunderstrike. “I thought this one could be Lightningkit.” Thunderstrike
nodded. She pointed her tail over a gray tabby with black stripes. She looked
hauntingly like Dreamstar. I shuddered. Snowpaw rested her tail on the small
she-cat. “This one could be Cinderkit.” Thunderstrike purred. “After my mother.”
Snowpaw nodded and put her tail on the smallest kit. “And this one could be-“
She broke off, to see me staring at the kit. “What is it Rainypaw?’ I didn’t reply.
The kit looked just like me. From the bluish gray pelt, to the pricked ears, this kit
was a tiny copy of me. Finally I spoke one word. “Wonderkit.” Snowpaw looked
at the kit, and got the same vibe I did. “I was going to say Rainkit, but I like the
name you chose. She looks just like you.” I nodded. “Welcome 3 new lives to
MountainClan.” Little did I know, my words would come back to haunt me.

Chapter 7 ~A New Darkness~

I left Snowpaw and her kits in the care of Cherrypaw. She would be moved to the
copse when she was stronger. As I arrived with Thunderstrike and Turtlefang,
the clearing was silent. Dreamstar jumped down and purred. “Well, well, well.
What are you doing?” Her voice was too sugary. It made me sick. When nobody
replied, she looked at us sternly. “Tell me! You know where they are! Tell me!”
This was too much for me, but it overflowed on Thunderstrike. “NEVER!” He
screeched, and jumped onto Dreamstar. They hissed and scratched and bit
but no cat gave up. I winced and stuffed my face into Turtlefang’s long pelt. In
a tiny whisper, I murmured to Turtlefang, “Protect me.” He pulled me in to his
pelt. “Always.” He murmured. I felt as though I could stay there forever. Safe, warm, and curled up. But Dreamstar’s final screech brought me back. “I will get
you all for this!” She screeched. With that, she fell to the ground. Thunderstrike
stood over her body. He wasn’t proud. His whole posture said one thing. What
have I done? Finally, my mother stepped out of the crowd. “Thunderstrike.
You know lead us. I do not know what corrupted Dreamstar, but I hope it does
not happen again.” He nodded. “Thank you Nightflower. I am not proud to have
killed Dreamstar, but she was changing the warrior code twisting everything.”
He shut his amber eyes. “It is time again to learn from my mistakes.” Every cat
looked confused, but I turned to Turtlefang. He knew what Thunderstrike had
meant. I did too. Suddenly a sharp voice came from the crowd. It was Whitetalon.
“Stop! That was not Dreamstar!” I gasped. Whitetalon nodded. “Look at this cat’s
eyes. They are gray. Dreamstar had blue eyes. You have killed an imposter.”
Thunderstrike looked like he had been struck by lightning. “But… but… Where is
the real Dreamstar?” I looked at Turtlefang. He leaned in. “What just happened?”
I bit my lip. “Oh Turtlefang. How I wish I knew.” I stuck my head into the copse. It was the day after Snowpaw’s kitting, and I
had to deliver the news. I padded in to see that every cat had his or her head
down. Quickly I dipped my own, while I hissed to Duskpool. “What happened?”
“Stormwhisker is dead. So are Grayfur and Grapetail.” Anguish flooded
through me, wrenching my bones and curving my flesh. They couldn’t. I
remembered the wise words Grayfur had said, the stories Grapetail had told me.
I remembered all the silly things Stormwhisker had said. I watched his healthy
gray pelt, evaporated, become dust. Oh StarClan, why are you so cruel? I shut my eyes and fell to the ground. StarClan end me. Don’t hurt anyone
other than me.
Of course, nothing came. Shadowheart was licking my pelt. “Why?” I murmured.
Shadowheart stopped licking and blinked her pale gold eyes. “StarClan has
their reasons. I just wish I knew them.” I nodded. I was so drowsy. Apparently
every cat had returned except for the two of us. We padded out of the copse. I
noticed that Shadowheart was leading me away from camp. We were heading
somewhere as a ‘surprise.’ Finally we stopped at the base of the mountain. I
looked at Shadowheart. “Why in the name of StarClan are we here?” A small
grin escaped her. “You’ll see.” She walked behind me. “Stay there!” she yelled.
With one glance behind me, I saw the slick silver claw. The last thing I could
remember was Shadowheart’s cruel laugh. When I blinked open my eyes, I sat in a small glade. The reeds seemed to have
a music-like quality. I looked around. I had never been here before. It seemed so
peaceful. Behind me the grass rustled. I whipped around to see a tawny shape
slip through. I smiled. “Appleheart!” Then it dawned on me. I’m dead.
Shadowheart murdered me. Appleheart is here to take me to
StarClan.
My oldest friend purred and rubbed against me. “Its good to see you
Rainypaw. I didn't’ think you would visit.” I stared at the full moon. “Where are
we?” I asked. She smiled. “The glade of peace. This is where the living and
StarClan spirits meet. Its also where dead cats join StarClan or The Dark
Forest.” What? “What’s The Dark Forest?” Appleheart bit her lip. “Its also called
The Place of No Stars. Evil cats go there when they die.” I nodded. “So
Appleheart. Where do I go?” She was confused. “Rainypaw, what do you mean? You’re alive.” The words fazed me back, as I awoke on the base of the
mountain, my bones aching. I looked down, and my gaze turned hazy again. I
was lying in a pool of my own blood. I shivered. Quickly I stood up. I felt all shaky
as I walked back to camp. When I arrived, every cat looked worried. Thunderstrike should be back by now. Where is he? My thoughts flooded
back to the day Snowpaw kitted, the day we discovered about the imposter
Dreamstar. That was the day Cherrypaw set out to receive her full medicine cat
name, for Dawngaze had mysteriously disappeared. She was now Cherrylegs.
Still, she and Thunderstrike should have returned by now. What’s keeping
them?
I decided I would go hunting to clear my head. I padded towards Maple
Grove. Maybe I could catch a glimpse of Cherrylegs and Thunderstrike returning.
The full moon was rising once more. I sat watching it. Out of nowhere, Turtlefang
came and sat down next to me. I purred and leaned into him. He was purring too.
He whispered to me. “Will you stay with me?” He asked, quietly. “Always.” I
murmured. “Always.” He settled down beside me. I curled up next to him. I
matched my breathing to his. We were one. The happiness that had hid from me
for so long peeked out. It had rushed to a full flood. This is peace. Thank you. Suddenly, a small noise caught my attention. Turtlefang must have heard it too,
because he jumped up with a start. It was Cherrylegs. She was running to camp
like her life depended on it. Thunderstrike was nowhere in sight. I looked at
Turtlefang. We knew what had happened. Without saying another word, we
raced back to camp.

Chapter 8 ~The Final Goodbye~

As we arrived, Cherrylegs sat in the center of camp. Whitetalon, our new
deputy, came into the clearing. “What is the matter Cherrylegs? And where is
Thunderstrike?” Cherrylegs looked at her paws. “He’s dead.” Shocked gasps floated around. Snowpaw’s green eyes were full to the brim with tears. She
buried her head in her fur. Cinderkit and Lightningkit mewed pitifully. They knew
something bad had just happened. Wonderkit buried herself in her mother’s fur
and licked her tears. For the first time, Featherkit, Mistkit and Ravenkit were
silent. I hung my head. Not today. Whitetalon sighed. “What happened?”
Cherrylegs lifted her head and began to speak. “We were coming back from
The Starry Hollow. He just received his 9 lives. We were crossing back through
a small stretch of MeadowClan territory. They attacked us. Thunderstar was
dead in seconds. They mauled his body to the bone. I just managed to escape.”
Snowpaw was wailing now. I bit my lip. StarClan, may Thunderstrike rest
in peace
. Whitetalon sighed. “I suppose I am the new leader. We will visit
The Starr Hollow tomorrow. There is a gathering tonight.” How could I forget?
Whitetalon cleared his throat and announced, “I shall take Turtlefang, Duskpool,
Rosewhisker, Jadegaze, Cloudheart, Rainypaw and Owlpaw. The rest of you
stay behind and guard camp. We nodded. I thought everything was set until
Eaglepaw called out, “Who will be the new deputy?” Whitetalon let out a tiny hiss.
“I say these words before StarClan so they may heat and approve my choice.
He new deputy of MountainClan will be Nightflower.” I started cheering for my
mother. Most cats started grumbling. I even heard Owlpaw mutter that he only
chose her as deputy because they were mates. It took all my willpower to not kill
him on the spot. Owlpaw is such and idiot! What did Appleheart ever see
in him?
I followed my father to the Truce Field. MeadowClan and
LakeClan sat waiting. Whitetalon narrowed his eyes at the MeadowClan cats. As
we stepped into the field, hushed whispers began passing through. They’re
probably wondering where Thunderstrike and Dreamstar are.
Whitetalon jumped onto the SkyRock with Fogstar of LakeClan and Rosestar of
MeadowClan. Greenstar and SwiftClan were absent. Fogstar decided that we
shouldn’t wait for them. “Let everyone gather here, for the gathering has begun!”
Whitetalon stepped up first. “I Whitetalon am the new leader of MountainClan.
Dreamstar turned rouge, and changed the warrior code. Thunderstrike was
meant to be leader next, but he was attacked after receiving his 9 lives.” He
turned to Rosestar. “He was murdered by a patrol of your cats. What do you
have to say about this?” Rosestar flashed her green eyes. “I was going to
mention this later, but since you brought it up, I may as well say it. A group of
MeadowClan cats have turned rouge, and have started attacking innocent cats. “
She stepped back. “We have nothing more to say.” Whitetalon grunted. “It is also
my duty to report the sad deaths of Stormwhisker, Grayfur, Grapetail, and
Applepaw, who received the dying warrior ceremony. She went to StarClan as
Appleheart. The new deputy of MountainClan is Nightflower. We have nothing more to say, except, that our medicine cat Dawngaze has mysteriously
disappeared. Cherrylegs has taken her place, but we still wish to know what
happened to her.” Whitetalon stepped back. Fogstar had nothing unusual to
report, other than Grassheart had retired. We went to disperse the gathering,
when out of nowhere, a group of cats leaped to attack. “It’s the rouge
MeadowClan cats!” Screeched Rosestar. “And SwiftClan is with them!” I shook
my head. Rosestar had to be wrong. I was sure, until Greenstar leaped into
battle with a patrol of cats. I hissed and sunk my teeth into a huge black tom.
Using a move Turtlefang taught me, I moved around so I was light on my feet.
Then I leaped, and somersaulted onto his belly, and shredded him. He yowled
and bolted. Suddenly I was back to back with Turtlefang. “Nice moves!” He
yelled as he scampered after a tawny she-cat. Shadowheart literally melted out
of the gloom. I hissed. She looked frightened. “Rainypaw, Its me!” Her blue eyes
were wide with fear. Blue eyes. I flashed back to the day I was almost killed.
The day I was trapped on the mountain. Shadowheart’s eyes were pale gold
that day. But she has blue eyes!
Of course. The Shadowheart I met that day
was a fraud! Just like Dreamstar. I leaped into battle again. We had to win. I
heard a screech, and I saw Whitetalon ripping out Greenstar’s throat. My father
turned to the crowd of cats. “Leave us! This battle was never meant to be had!
Return to your own clans!” Grumbling cats left Truce Field. As we walked back to
camp, I noticed Turtlefang was limping, but I didn't pay attention. I was more
worried about Jadegaze. Both of her ears were shredded and she had a huge
gape in her side. I walked to the front of the group with my father. I mewed a
small greeting. He sighed in relief when he saw me. “Rainypaw, I need you to go
to camp ahead of everyone else. Alert the clan of the attack, but don’t give to
many details.” I nodded. Diving through Maple Grove, and round the Dark Cliffs. I
got into camp. Quickly I relayed what had happened. Nightflower was shocked.
“Is anyone hurt?” she mewed. “Only Jadegaze is hut real bad, Turtlefang was
limping, but that’s about it. Most of the blood belonged to the others.” I replied.
Nightflower heaved a sigh of relief. At that moment, Whitetalon and the others
sprung into camp. He herded Turtlefang and Jadegaze into the medicine den. An
extremely shocked Cherrylegs took them inside. Whitetalon gave everyone a
detailed description of the gathering. He talked about the rouge MeadowClan
cats that ambushed Thunderstrike. He mentioned a brief account of the attack.
By the end, everyone was nervous. SwiftClan bordered us. True, they would
have to climb up the cliffs to reach our territory, but if they had turned rouge, than
we had to be all the more cautious. Nightflower looked over at Cloudheart, one of
the non-wounded cats. “Can you and Eaglepaw take a quick patrol by the large
Cliffside? It’s the only for SwiftClan to reach us, unless they trespass on MeadowClan territory.” She nodded and beckoned to Eaglepaw with her tail.
They padded out of camp. I was about to go back to the apprentice den. I
needed some sleep. Just as I reached the entrance, I heard Turtlefang’s painful
scream. Without thinking, my paws shuffled and I fell backwards. Jumping up
again, I managed to get into the medicine cat den. Turtlefang lay down on his
side, heaving and groaning in pain. I could see a huge slit in his stomach, and it
was bleeding for all everything was worth. He’s dying. That thought made me
feel weak. Most cats thought they could understand the grief I had. Turtlefang
had been a great mentor, and that made sense, but my pain was more than that.
I finally realized the things I had been hiding for so long. I’m in love with
Turtlefang. But now, it can never be
. I lay down beside the cat that had
given me so much. I leaned on his neck, feeling his pulse. I heard a small voice
inside him, trying to be heard. “Stay… with… me…” He croaked. I rose up and
whispered one word into his ear. “Always.”

Chapter 9~ Cherish The Rewards~

Cherrylegs awoke me in the morning. Sat up and shook out my fur. Suddenly
with a jolt, I realized that Turtlefang wasn’t there. My heart broke in two and
became a river of pain and sadness. He must have died while I slept. I’ll
never see him again
. My blue eyes were over-flowing with tears. “Where
was he buried?” I croaked. Cherrypaw looked at me with astonishment. “He’s
alive Rainypaw. I sent him out to get some-“ I didn't hear another word as I
raced out of the den. Turtlefang sat by the fresh-kill pie. I leaped with joy, and
my heart fluttered. I ran over to him, brushing my pelt against his. He purred. “I’ll
never leave.” I murmured to him. He licked my pelt. “I’ll always wait.” He purred.
I wished I could stay there forever, when I felt a small shove. Snowpaw was
looking at me with both happiness, and sorrow. I broke off from Turtlefang, burning with shame. I saw Eaglepaw staring at me from the camp entrance. He seemed hurt. I bit my lip. How could I have forgotten? Eaglepaw was in love with me. He had been for a long time. I just never really picked up on it. It stung me too. I looked at my sister. She seemed to understand my sudden silence. When she spoke, there was no trace of it. “Whitestar is back. It’s time for our warrior ceremony.” I nodded. Turtlefang returned to a small shrew. I saw my father jump onto Leader’s Rock and make the announcement. I barely heard. I was too busy thinking about Eaglepaw’s crestfallen face. I wasn’t paying attention when Snowpaw was made Snowfeather, or when my ceremony was conducted. I finally jerked awake when I heard Whitestar say, “Rainypaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and defend your clan, even at the cost of your life?” I swallowed. “I do.” Whitestar nodded. “Than from this moment on you will be known as Rainysong. StarClan honors your intelligence and loyalty, and we welcome you as a full warrior of MountainClan!” My head spun. “Rainysong! Snowfeather! Rainysong! Snowfeather!” The voices came form all around, but the strongest cheer came from Turtlefang. cheer came from Turtlefang. My heart melted inside. We could be
together. Still, it hurt to think that Eaglepaw would be jealous. Why is
everything so complicated?
As the clan dispersed, Nightflower stopped me.
“Here, have something to eat. You have to keep your vigil tonight. You have to
do it alone because of your sister’s…” She trailed off. “Condition.” Clearly my
mother did not approve of Snowfeather having kits. She padded away, muttering
something about, ‘waiting to be a warrior before,” and “she was so foolish”. I
nabbed a squirrel and quickly ate it. It was scrawny, but leaf-bare was close to its
end. Soon plump squirrels would be everywhere. I closed my eyes and lay down. Cherish what you have. One day, it might be gone. The words floated in
my head all day. It was most annoying during my vigil. It would not leave my
head. At least my fur is thicker now. The wind isn’t as cold as it used to
be.
I kept my silence till dawn, when I could hear the kits crying. I watched
Whitestar come out of his den and whisper urgently to Nightflower. I bit my lip,
trying not to burst with words. After a long night, I hardly believed I could go
another second without talking to some cat. Luckily at that moment, Turtlefang
came out of the Warriors den. “Your vigil is over Rainysong. Come into the
warriors den with me.” Gratefully I followed him inside. He pointed with his tail to
a small nest that was half concealed. “That’s your nest. When the old tree fell,
we made it a part of the den.” Nodding I padded over tails and paws to the nest.
There were 3 inside the log, now that I looked. I sat in the empty one that
Turtlefang had showed me. After a few seconds her curled beside me. “The one
next to you is mine.” He mewed happily. “Snowfeather’s is on my other side.” I
started purring and curled up to him. He entwined his tail with mine. It doesn’t
matter that Eaglepaw liked me. This is how it was all meant to be.
Turtlefang and I. Always and forever.
I was so happy, that I didn't even
notice the snowstorm starting outside.

Chapter 10 ~Nothing Ever Leaves~

The first clue was the snowflakes on my pelt. The second was Turtlefang’s nose
starting to quiver. The third was Nightflower coming in and yowling that there
was a snowstorm outside. What made me believe her was opening my eyes and
seeing the snow. Of course. Just when New-leaf is right around the
corner, MountainClan get a full head of snow
. With a sigh I got up, and
shook the snow of my pelt. Outside, cats were running around with brambles and moss, trying to fix the elder’s den, and the nursery. A cold wind bustled my pelt.
It was blowing hard. It was even thicker than the day that Snowfeather rammed
into the wall. In fact, it had never gotten this cold. Turtlefang’s yellow eyes were
wide with terror. “How could it have snowed this much, in so little time?” He
mewed. My throat couldn’t make any noise through the wind. If it did, I couldn’t
have heard it. Nightflower bolted to us. “Rainysong, we need to check the cliffs.
There’s an odd scent.” I nodded. My mother turned to Turtlefang. “Take
Rosewhisker and Duskpool, and check the forest.” He flicked his tail and ran off
into the storm. I followed Nightflower out of camp, past the grove, and finally, the
edge of the cliffs. “Lets split up.” She called. I pressed myself to the ground, and
started sniffing. It’s a good thing I’m a tracker. I thought. Too bad my
eyes stick out
. Suddenly, I crashed into a solid object. That had fur. I looked
up, and a piercing gaze scanned me. The violent green eyes seemed to follow
me. All of a sudden, the storm stopped. A cat pushed her way out of the gloom.
Dawngaze. I hissed. “You traitor! You abandoned us!” She laughed. “Oh no
Rainysong. I never abandoned you.” My heart almost stopped. “How do you
know-“ She cut me off with a fierce growl. “Who do you think made it all happen?
Who killed Dreamstar and brought in an imposter? I did. Who ambushed
Thunderstar so your father could lead? I did. Who brought the battle on so you
could be a warrior? I did.” She laughed. “And your mate, Turtlefang. Who told
him that you liked Eaglepaw. I did. Who brought him to you, so he could be with
you? I did. Who made him compete with everything to get you? I did.” I started to
choke up. “No! I fell for him of my own accord, and he the same! You had
nothing to do with it!” Dawngaze shook her head. “No Rainysong. Who stopped
Thunderstrike from telling his leader that an apprentice was expecting kits? I did.
Who kept the kits and mother alive? I did. Who always helped? I did. I was cast
out from the day I made a mistake. Nightflower was a good cat, but not good
enough. She believed everything too much. She made herself your mother a little
too well.” She flicked her tail, and the storm started again. She ran towards the
cliffs where Nightflower stood and unsheathed a claw. I yowled a warning, nut it
was too late. Dawngaze’s claw struck her neck. Nightflower wriggled in pain. I
could here one last thing before she died. “I’m sorry Rainysong.” With that she
crumpled and turned cold. My grief was suddenly replaced by sheer rage. I
whipped around at the cream she-cat. “You murdered my mother!” Dawngaze
laughed. “It’s my job to weaken you. I’m the one who ordered that imposter of
Shadowheart to kill you. You were starting to know too much.” It was
unbelievable how calm she was. I spat at her. “You killed my mother!” I yowled.
“Now I will kill you!” Dawngaze’s smile stopped me from biting out her throat,
right then and there. “No Rainysong. I am your mother.”

The End Continued in Rainysong's Choice

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