"We have to find her!" A golden she-cat was arguing with a creamy brown tom in a large stone hollow, on a cave-bearing ledge on top of a huge pile of fallen stones.
"We can't, Goldenhare. Even ForestClan's finest trackers lost her scent at the Thunderpath. You know as well as I do that the Twoleg stench covers all scents," the brown tom replied, sadness clear in his gaze.
"She was my apprentice, Molestar!" Goldenhare's eyes were locked furiously on Molestar's.
"And she was my kin," he replied calmly. "But instead of arguing over her, we should mourn our loss. Daystream will be remembered as a fine warrior."
"Why do you say she 'was' your kin? She is still alive, I know she is!" Goldenhare slumped to the ground, defeated. Molestar was right. It was pointless to argue over a lost cat. 'It's all my fault... if I hadn't been such as stern and ignorant mentor..." She trailed off and gazed into the distance sorrowfully.
"No. The fault was mine," Molestar corrected her.
"She would have stayed had I told her I was her father."
Sunlight filtered in through the walls of the Twoleg nest. Birds twittered outside, but Day lay limply in her hard Twoleg bed, trapped in a small room by the barking dog outside. The fur on her neck bristled and fear prickled through her pelt as the door to her room opened. Did the dog manage to open the door? She couldn't bear the thought of that lumbering beast. A Twoleg stumbled into the room, packet of bland 'cat' food in hand, kicking the dog out of the way. It filIed up one of the two bowls next to her nest with food, grabbed the other to get her water and lumbered out of the room, slamming the door shut with one paw. had been six moons since she had left ForestClan, six moons since every cat she loved had died. Not that she had had many cats to love. There had only been her mother, Whisperbreeze, and her mentor, Mattedfur. Mattedfur and Whisperbreeze had both died at the paws of BrambleClan cats. After three moons as a rogue near the various Thunderpaths, hunting in various Twoleg gardens, she had been caught by three Twolegs. They had thrown her in a shiny metal cage and taken her to a room so white that her eyes had burned. Cold Twoleg paws and straight, shiny, pointy Twoleg claws sharper than those of a lion had poked and prodded her until her body throbbed and ached all over and she yowled in pain. She was then taken to another room, a light grey room this time, and thrown behind wretched shiny bars again. Two days later the cruel Twolegs and Twoleg kits who owned her now had taken her out of the cage. She was then taken inside a real monster. As they had sped through the countryside and back towards the forest, for a minute she had thought they were going to release her. But then the monster veered off onto another Thunderpath to their huge, vulgar nest. She had been there ever since with that wretched, dumb dog and the ignorant Twolegs. A rapping at the window in the room snapped her back into the present. A young, fire-coloured tom was sitting on the windowsill. She hissed and spat at him and curled back up in the cold nest she was sitting in.
She was awoken by the sound of something metal rattling. She tried to keep her eyes shut but curiousity somehow managed to force them open. The tom was back at the window, but this time he was undoing the catch! He pushed the window open and she padded forward to it. She scrunched her haunches up, ready to leap. Suddenly the Twoleg burst into the room with the bowl filled with water. It yowled angrily and started towards her. Fear rushing through her like fire, Day leapt onto the window and pulled her self up. The tom beckoned to her with his tail and the two cats jumped out of the window. They raced across the garden and into the surrounding pine forest just as the Twoleg flung open the front door.
"Thanks," Day mewed breathlessly.
"It's my pleasure," the tom replied casually. Wasn't he even ruffled by the experience? "I'm Tiger."
"Daystr-Day. Just Day."
The tom dipped his head respectfully. "Nice to meet you, Day. I can smell ForestClan scent on you. I met one of their warriors when I was a kit."
"Who?" she asked.
"Can't recall his name," Tiger replied. "He said that he had made a terrible mistake and was leaving the Clans. He had chosen the wrong cats to affiliate with, apparently. He mentioned a Clan- BrambleClan. And his kits- Daykit and Cloudkit, I believe."
Daykit? Daykit! Day realised that the warrior Tiger had met long ago was her father.
They padded along the MoonClan border at dusk, the sun beginning to splashing the sky with the colours of fire. Pushing through a thicket just out of Clan territory, they came to an old fox den beneath two boulders that seemed to have crashed into each other, stopping each other from falling. There was a third boulder that sat in front of them, making the perfect place for climbing. The MoonClan stream ran nearby, but of course, it wasn't MoonClan's yet. They caught prey and ate by the stream, staring into ForestClan territory as they chewed silently. For the first time, Day felt a little homesick as she realised how close she was to her Clan, her denmates, her nest. But she couldn't go back. There was no one there for her. She felt a pang of sadness as she and Tiger gathered moss for her nest. Tiger showed her his secret medicine supply. There were poppy seeds, cobwebs, yarrow and tansy, as well as many strange plants with pungent scents she didn't recognise. Tiger showed her what each one of them was for. Suprisingly, there was no catmint. Silverpelt was shining above when Tiger told her it was time that he went back to his barn behind the MoonClan moor. "I will be back at sunhigh," he promised her. "I will bring my friend Dotty to meet you." Day wondered who this Dotty was. They mewed their goodbyes. As Day watched the flame-coloured tom disappear into the hills, she slowly drifted off to sleep.
Tiger let out a mrrow of laughter as Day splashed him. The two were drinking from the MoonClan stream, but Tiger had made things a bit more fun. Dotty was sick, so Tiger alone had come, leaving Dotty in the hands of the Twolegs that owned the barn. Tiger called them Nofurs; Day had heard that Twolegs had other names when she was learning the dangers of them as a kit. Her mother had told her that no matter what the other cats called them, they meant danger and when she heard they were in the area she would have to run. Day knew that some Twolegs were nice, and the ones that owned Tiger and Dotty's barn sounded decent.They hunted together and shared some prey back at the boulders. "I have to go," mewed Tiger reluctantly. "But I will be back tonight. The old cats around here have been saying that something special will happen." Day mewed goodbye again and Tiger left with a swish of his tail.
Later that night, Day felt a paw prod her awake. "Day, look! It's starting!" Day opened her eyes to see Tiger bending over her. The moonlight dulled his fire-coloured fur, spreading silver shine over his pelt. The sky was brighter than usual. "This is what the old cats were talking about!" Day looked up to Silverpelt, but her vision was fuzzy. As her vision cleared as she gradually woke up, she realised that the warriors of StarClan were falling! She opened her mouth in amazement. "But- how can dead cats come alive?!!"
Tiger twitched his whiskers in amusement. "Dead cats? Up there?" Day glared at him. "Oh, right. You're a Clan cat. You believe in ScarClam or whatever it is." Day felt like clawing the ignorant tom's fur out. How could he blatantly insult StarClan?
"It's StarClan," she mewed through gritted teeth.
She expected Tiger to act amused, but his eyes when soft with apology. "I'm sorry, Day. I didn't mean to upset you." He looked up at the sky and then back to her again.
"This is a rare sight. You may not see it again in your lifetime. Let's stop insulting each other and watch."
A cold wind began to blow and Day moved in closer to Tiger's warm, long-furred coat. She wished for a moment that she had long fur like that. But then again, prey would hear a long-furred cat's belly fur brushing the ground as they stalked it. Long fur would ruin all hunting. Day and Tiger watched the falling warriors for what seemed like moons. Tiger eventually curled into a ball and went to sleep, but Day just gazed transfixed and amazed and the flashes of light painting the raven black night sky. Gradually, she began to feel sleepy and could no longer keep her eyes open. She settled down close to Tiger and let sleep consume her.
"Tiger! Wake up, mouse-brain!"
Tiger growled and lashed out at the paw that had rolled him over and out of sleep. He opened his eyes to see Dotty standing over him. The black and white she-cat looked cross.
"Come on! I promised Sandy I'd be there to see her kits at sunhigh!"
Tiger heaved himself to his paws and followed Dotty outside. The night was not quite over- the top of the moor was bordered with pink light. The sun had not risen yet.
"Dotty! Why did you wake me up now?" he asked sleepily.
"Because if you want to eat before we go, you had to." Dotty was heading up the moor.
"Come on, Tiger. You know just how far we have to go up into the hills to get food. As far as Lifestream. That's ages away. To hunt on Clan territory could mean death for us. You know how tough those wild cats are."
Tiger sighed and nodded, before following his friend up the slope. Dotty mentioning wild cats made him think of Day. It had been a moon since they had last spoken to each other, that night where they watched the falling stars. He had been too busy helping Dotty recover from her greencough. With leaf-bare fast approachinng, he didn't want her catching it again. It was lucky he had asked Day which herb could cure Dotty's greencough. She had described catmint and Tiger had instantly recognised the mouthwatering herb.
Tiger and Dotty trekked on through the moor. Finally the ground dipped in front of them and gave way to a large hollow that was lit by the rising sun. Inside was a grove of trees surrounding a pool that joined a stream that flowed down the hills to their left. Moss grew at the foot of the trees and an enormous oak tree spread its branches over the edges of the bowl. It was beautiful. The was a slope full of lush grass leading down, but otherwise the bowl was stone. The grass beyond the bowl was dotted with wildflowers and stretched beyond the new horizon they faced. Prey scuttled and scrambled everywhere. The bowl and its surrounds were green and the water from the stream was sweet no matter what the season. This was what the two cats liked to call Lifestream. They skidded down the slope and drank from the sweet, fresh waters of the stream. The stream's water tasted like the night stars, pure and beautiful. They caught a fat rabbit each and ate silently.
When they reached the lake territories the sun was well risen. It would be sunhigh soon. As they passed Day's hideout on their way to the Horseplace, Tiger eagerly peeked into the den to see if she was there. But there was no sign of the ginger she-cat. They padded on along the ForestClan border. Tiger gazed up at the moor, and caught a glimpse of a ginger pelt. He stopped and stared harder, just as Day came darting down the hill. She stopped several fox lengths away where the sun hit her ginger coat, turning it to flame. She bounded away towards her hideout, completely overlooking the astonished Tiger and Dotty.
"Who's that?" asked Dotty. "I've never seen her before."
"That's Day, the she-cat I told you about."
"She's a rogue... I thought she was with ForestClan?"
"Wait... she was never a rogue..."
"She is now. I can smell BoneClan on her."
Tiger felt sad and disappointed. So this is where the ginger she-cat had been heading off to.
"She's a rogue, then, but the most beautiful rouge I've ever met."
It was at that moment that Tiger knew he had fallen in love with Day.
"Greetings, Bone." Day dipped her head to the cream-coloured tom. She was in a large cave in the rocky peaks behind the hills of MoonClan. Thick forest surrounded her, and in front of her lay a huge tower of stone. And on top of it lay the tom.
"Ah, Day. I see you have returned from your den. You are ready to be a loyal member of BoneClan, yes?"
Day nodded her head reluctantly.
"Good. Because if you didn't, well..." The tom unsheathed a claw and picked up one of the many pieces of prey lying around his Highrock. He ripped his claw through it, slicing it in two. "We don't want to talk about that, do we, Day?"
Day shuddered and shook her head. This was a cat who was prepared to kill cats mercilessly if they got in his way.
"There are no loners around here. Do you know why, Day?"
Day had a feeling that this was a question she wasn't supposed to answer.
"Because BoneClan rules outside the Clan territories. And soon, we will rule within them."
"But I know two-" She wished she hadn't said that.
"What was that? You know two loners?" Bone's amber eyes gleamed with malice. "Tell me, what are their names?"
I can't tell him about Dotty and Tiger! But then again, she couldn't risk her own life for someone she hardly knew. What are you saying?! A voice inside her yowled. Tiger is the best friend you've ever had! Day agreed with the voice inside her for once. She knew what to do. Bone couldn't read minds. But he sure was arrogant.
"They didn't tell me their names. I bet they were too scared of a handsome, powerful tom like you," she mewed confidently. She would just have to flatter Bone to beat him. "But we'll make them pay, right?"
Bone's ears pricked with curiousity. He beckoned to a brown tabby tom and a black she-cat.
"I like this one. Talon, Ember, find her the most comfortable moss for a nest you can find."
The two cats nodded and left, scrambling down the fallen boulders leading up to the cave on the rock face.
Ember and Talon soon returned with fresh moss. Bone dismissed the two cats. "You may sleep in my den," he mewed. Again, another order. Did this cat never tire of giving orders?! Day nodded. Then she thought of a plan to warn Tiger and Dotty.
"But before I sleep, may I hunt first? I might even catch those traitorous loners."
Bone nodded. "Of course. Oh, and by the way, I've decided to rename you Burn. 'Day' is too nice to be a rogue name. We have to scare the loners and each other in this Clan."
Day's pelt longed to prickle with anger. But she had to warn Tiger. She dipped her head to Bone before bounding out the cave entrance. She half scrambled, half fell down the fallen rocks and then ran out across the hills.
She searched until dusk, hoping to see a barn, whatever the shape. As long as it was Tiger's barn. She was just to give up when she saw a building over the next ridge. New strength forced her forward. She surged over the ridgeand burst into the barn, scaring some chickens as she tore through the haybales. "Tiger!" she yowled. A flame-coloured bundle arose from the center of the room. He hissed and flattened his ears. "Get out, rogue!" Then a look of understanding came over him. "Oh. It's just you, Day. You can come out, Dotty."
A black and white she-cat crept out from behind a haybale. Dotty?
"Hello, Dotty," she mewed."At last, we meet."
Dotty twitched her whiskers in amusement. "So you're the cat this mouse-brain here wants to be his mate." She flicked her tail towards Tiger.
Day was shocked. Tiger was... in love with her?
She shook her head. "It doesn't matter now. You both have to get out of here! Bone's coming to kill you both."
"But he doesn't know where we are!" Tiger looked surprised.
"He will soon enough. Patrols will be out here tomorrow, knowing Bone."
"Knowing Bone?" Dotty hissed in anger.
"Yes," Day mewed guiltily.
Dotty nodded, as if in triumph. Then Day realised. Dotty was in love with Tiger, and she was jealous of her!
"It doesn't matter, Dotty," Tiger mewed softly. "Day has warned us. We can leave during the night and live at Lifestream."
"But what about Sandy? She has her kits!"
"You can still see her, just not as often."
"She's my sister, Tiger!"
"I know. But she has Butterfly, Cloud and Rose to look after."
"I still want to be there for her!"
"You will be."
Dotty nodded reluctantly, defeated. "I suppose so."
Day looked to the sky outside. It was almost nightfall. "I have to go," she mewed. Tiger came to the entrance to the barn to say goodbye. "Meet me at nightfall tomorrow, at my old hideout," she whispered in his ear as padded away into the darkening hills.
Tiger did not rest well that night. He had dreams of claws and yowls of fighting cats. Day's words, though only part of them, added to the clamour, instead of making peace as he had hoped. Meet me... at my old hideout... An image flashed in his mind. Day, covered in blood, her beautiful green eyes gazing sightlessly at the sky...
"No!" Tiger yowled, and snapped awake. His fur stood on end for several moments, before he realised that he was in the barn.
Dotty lifted her head sleepily. "What is it, Tiger?"
"Nothing. Just a bad dream." He felt relieved that Dotty was there.
"You need to sleep," she purred. "We're leaving for Lifestream soon."
Tiger glanced out the barn's small window, to see darkness. It must have only been night time for a while. They had meant to leave later tonight and head for Lifestream as he had promised her earlier.
"Dotty... I'm sorry. About Day, about all of this mess."
"I know, Tiger." Even in the dark barn Tiger could see her amber eyes were dull with sympathy, and something else Tiger couldn't quite pick out.
"Sleep now," Dotty purred.
Tiger curled into a ball. As he was drifting off to sleep, he was sure he heard a voice mew, "Sleep now, Tiger, my sweet kit. I will watch over you always."
Tiger and Dotty reached Lifestream at dawn. They had been travelling for what seemed like moons. Tiger collapsed on the sweet, green grass. He heard Dotty slump to the ground a few mouse-lengths away, and felt her whiskers tickle his nose. He managed to heave himself to his paws and drank from the stream. He caught two mice and brought one back for Dotty.
"Dotty, do you want a mou-" he broke off when he saw she was asleep, her black and white pelt ruffling under a slight breeze.
He buried her mouse where she could find it, then settled down next to her. Sleep came in the form of waves, drawing him into its dark depths.
That evening, he met Day at her old hideout. He had told Dotty he was going to stay the night. When they were tired of watching the stars, Day and Tiger built a nest and curled up in the dark depths together.
"You do know that I love you, right?" asked Tiger.
"I know. Me too."
Those were the words that he had been waiting to hear for moons.
"Are you okay there? Is your nest comfy enough?"
Day nodded. She was expecting kits soon, and Bone was making sure that she was settled. He thought the kits were his. Day had played this cleverly, but she knew deep in her heart that the kits were Tiger's. She was sad that the kits would grow up in BoneClan, but she had made plans to take the strongest away from the Clan. She had confided in her friend Cuts, who was helping with the birth, to get Bone out of the nursery and then hide the kit in a large crevice behind a rock on the nursery cave roof, just past the camp entrance asd the nursery cave jutted out from the camp barrier. Then, at night, Cuts would sneak out, pretending to get herbs for Day, then give the kit to Tiger and Dotty to raise. She and Cuts hoped it would work. Cuts had been a mother to three kits but Bone had killed them as they weren't growing fast enough. BoneClan was a cruel world for kits, and Day knew it.
"Everything's in place," Cuts mewed when Bone left the den. "Now all we can do is wait."
And so, they did wait. They waited for three days. On the third night, Day couldn't stop thinking about the birth. She was excited, but also afraid. What kind of pain would she feel? What would the kits look like? Sighing, she settled down into her soft, comfy nest and pushed the thoughts out of her head.
I have to be calm, she thought. When I'm kitting, I have to be brave. For Cuts... and for Tiger.
She awoke later that night, too excited to get back to sleep again. She looked up at the night sky. Suddenly, a streak of light shot across the sky. She made a silent prayer.
"Oh StarClan, please make them as beautiful as that shooting star, both inside and out," she whispered. "No matter what they go through, give my kits guidance. Give them strength. Give them love."
As if on cue, pain shot through her belly.
I'm giving birth. My kits are going to be born. She thought of Tiger, far away in the hills. When she thought of him, the pain seemed to disappear.
She didn't cry out in pain, but called Cuts in to see her as calmly as she could. And that night, she had two she-kits and a tom.
"What will their names be?" Cuts asked curiously.
"The tom is Eagle," Day mewed, licking the forehead of the tom, a dark flame-coloured ginger. The kit did not squirm, and it saddened her that her first born kit would be too weak to leave BoneClan. "Because one day, like an Eagle, I want him to be intelligent and agile. Like his namesake, I want him to be free." She picked up Eagle and brought him closer to her belly. He kneaded her stomach, and began to suckle. "He'll be strong one day. After all, he looks like his father."
"I'm sure he and Tiger will meet one day," Cuts reassured her.
"Yes..." Day mewed, stroking the head of her golden she-kit. "The she-kit will be known as Sun," she mewed. "She's just as beautiful, and she'll bring life and happiness to whoever she meets." The she-kit suckled weakly, and Day washed her fur. The rays of the moonlight struck Sun's fur, dulling it. "In the sunlight, her coat will be magnificent, and her personality will shine in happy times."
She turned to look at the last kit, a flame-coloured she-cat. The kit raised its head as if to look up at her, then slowly opened its eyes, blinking in the moonlight. They were a beautiful, deep emerald green.
Thank you, StarClan, Day thought, sending a silent thank you to her warrior ancestors. She's the one who'll escape.
"Your name is Blaze," she mewed softly to her kit. "You are the strongest of the litter. Like a falling star, you will blaze through the night sky, and embrace the night breezes that are as beautiful as you. You will always be my kit. Even if I never meet you again, I'll always be there for you. Your father will take good care of you. You will be a fine cat. Be strong for me and your littermates, because we couldn't be.Be strong for me, Blaze."
She handed Blaze to Cuts. "It's time."
She padded outside the den for a minute to silently watch her daughter being carried away into the forest lit with dawn light.
Be strong, Blaze.
Milleh's note: DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG IT'S BEEN SINCE I WROTE THIS? A WHOLE YEAR!!!! I'M GOING TO FINISH IT NOW! :D
Lol, did you notice the Rogue's Legacy reference in there?