Crowfeather yawned and stretched. The sun was just peeking over the moor and Crowfeather had border patrol. Usually, a WindClan patrol would be two to five cats, but today, Onestar strangly requested that only he went.
Today, he was patrolling the border the linked up with ThunderClan, which was the stream. Without looking back, Crowfeather raced out of camp and nearly flew off a hill. Suddenly, across the stream, a small, lean light brown shape was bounding toward the tom followed by a gray tabby.
As soon as the two cats were close, Crowfeather recognized both cats. Leafpool, (His former mate) and Jayfeather (his son).
"Leafpool." Crowfeather gave a tiny nod.
"Crowfeather," Leafpool nodded but then mewed, "Crowfeather...I...I..."
Leafpool seemed to be looking at Jayfeather.
"Crowfeather, I want Leafpool to go to WindClan."Jayfeather looked square in the eye at Crowfeather.
"Why would you want to do that, Leafpool?" Crowfeather snorted in disbelief,
"I still love you Crowfeather."
Instead of staring at her paws, she stared at Crowfeather with hopeful and pleading eyes. Crowfeather just stifled and lowered his voice to a whisper until only Leafpool could hear.
"Of course you still love me. We had kits together, and now one of them is one of the best fighters in ThunderClan, and one is even the medicine cat." Crowfeather nodded to Jayfeather.
Crowfeather returened his voice to a normal loudness and kept mewing. "Leafpool, I still love you more than any cat I have ever met, even more than Feathertail."
Jayfeather winced, Jayfeather had heard about how Crowfeather loved Fearthertail so much and actully named himself after the beautiful silvery tabby. Jayfeathers's thoughts swam like Feathertail's home in RiverClan....Crowleaf? or Crowpool...?
No, Jayfeather thought surley,Crowfeather wouldn't like thoses names for himself....
"And I won't let your kits and Clan be left struggling. How would Squirreflight feel, losing her sister? And Firestar and Sandstorm losing their kit?"
Leafpool's tail tip twitched thoughtfully at the muscular toms words. "I can't...I just can't be without you."
Leafpool's voice has only a soft whisper.
"And you won't." Crowfeather's eyes were full of awkward yet defiant love.
"Huh?" Leafpool and Jayfeather quoted at the same time.
"I decided last night that I'm joining Thunderclan," Crowfeather explained, "I already talked to Onestar. He's not to happy 'bout it, but he trusts Firestar with me."
Crowfeather sighed and then continuted, "Ashfoot is my mother, so she's not happy at all. She is actully quite depressed, but she respects Thunderclan and above all, she respects my choice."
Crowfeather walked between Jayfeather and Leafpool toward the tunnle that lead into ThunderClan camp. Leafpool and Jayfeather's pelts pressing reassuringly and welcoming against his fur.
Crowfeather's mind swirled with all the scents and sounds of the friendly ThunderClan cats. Crowfeather glanced around and then heard two delighted yet suprised mews come from in front of him.
Crowfeather whipped his head around to quick, all he saw was a dark ginger and dark brown splotches of blurry fur. Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw!
Crowfeather's eyes flashed with pain as remembered the journey to Sundrown place with Squirrelflight, Brambleclaw, Stormfur, Feathertail, Tawnypelt, and himself.
"Weclome to our camp, Crowfeather." Brambleclaw greeted him warmly yet cautiously.
Squirrelflight looked pleased her friend was here, yet she look suprised to be welcomed by him as well as Leafpool and Jayfeather.
Now, a new deep meow came into earshot.
"What is Crowfeather doing here?" It was Firestar.
Jayfeather spoke before Crowfeather or Leafpool could open their mouthes, "He wishes to join Thunderclan."
"Is this true?" Firestar turned to Crowfeather,
"Yes. It is." Crowfeather's Windclan stench was very lightly laced with Fear,
What could he be afraid of? Jayfeather though. Although he couldnt see it, Most of the warriors were glaring at the Windclan tom. Crowfeather's tried his best to focus on only Firestar.
"Would you like a new name to come with your clan change?"
Crowfeather spat, "How dare you! Do you want to remember Feathertail? Or do you hate her?!"
Now a two deep growls came from behind Bumblestripe and Toadstep, and Graystripe and Stormfur came into veiw. Oh no! Jayfeather thought as Graystripe came to his daughter's defence, Stormfur by his side, also defending his sister.
Jayfeather knew Graystripe had unsheathed claws, because Jayfeather could hear his claws scraping the hard dirt ground. Graystripe crept up to Crowfeather and hissed in his ear,
"Don't." And Graystripe crept away.
That night, Crowfeather was strangely invited to sleep in the Warriors den. Crowfeather guessed they just wanted to change his sent as quick as possible.
Crowfeather just shrugged to himself. I'm ThunderClan. I'm suppose to smell like them!
Crowfeather let himself forgot about the issues and starred at the moon through a small crack between a couple loose brambles. Tomorrow night would be the Gathering. Crowfeather knew he was going. It needed to be announced he had joined ThunderClan.
And RiverClan and ShadowClan will be jelous I didn't join their clan. Crowfeather felt happy with Leafpool. He didn't want to leave now.
Crowfeather tried to strech only to be inturrupted by an annoyed hiss from Bumblestripe. "Stop kicking my nest!"
"Sorry." Crowfeather whispered unhappily, He missed ouside in Windclan camp. Staring stright up at the stars soothed him.
But Leafpool isn't in WindClan. Crowfeather thought.
Crowfeather decided to curl up. After a while, sleep slowly but deeply took him over.
The next morning, Crowfeather's sleep was disturbed by some-cat steppign on his tail.
"Hey!" Crowfeather growled tirdly,
"Sorry!" Crowfeather's eyes snapped open to see Sandstorm paused in front of him,
"Oh, Firestar wants you to go to the gathering tonight." Sandstorm mewed as she padded out of the den.
Of course. Crowfeather nodded slightly to the she-cat.
Now, Crowfeather had slept until nearly sinhigh.
In WindClan camp, it would be sunny on the moor before anywhere else around the lake, so WindClan cats were always up when the sun was.
But in Thunderclan, it was hard to tell when to get up, because the warriros den was relativity dark, and there were many tree covering the hollow.
"All cats old enough to catch there own prey gather here benath High-ledge for a clan meeting!" Firestar called.
Cats flooded around the cliff. Crowfeather was not usually last to appear when he was in WindClan, but he was embarassed to appear too quickly, as it would raise overly curious questions that Crowfeather didn't want.
Finally, Crowfeather padded out of the den and took his place in the near the back of the crowd just as Firestar began speaking.
"Cats of ThunderClan," Firestar began, looking like such a tough, noble leader,
"I hope everycat has noticed our newst warrior Crowfeather." Firestar nodded toward the gray-black tom,
Anycat who hasn't noticed me must be mouse-brained! Crowfeather flicked his tail to the group of ThunderClan cats,
"Crowfeather, Step forward." Firestar said, but when Crowfeather hesitated, another voice seemed to echo off the leaders meow,
Crowfeather...Step forward... The strange voice echoed,
Feathertail...? Crowfeather's heart swelled with love and sadness for the fallen warrior.
No. I love Leafpool. Only Leafpool. Crowfeather shook his head to clear up his emotions.
But Crowfeather knew Feathertail still loved him, and that she would continue to guide him along his new path.
"Crowfeather, you haven given up your own Clan to be with your loved one," Firestar meowed, and then flicked his flame colored tail tip toward Leafpool,
"And as Leafpool's father, I can see she loves you too, so I have no choice then to accept you into ThunderClan."
"Every cat has a choice..." Crowfeather caught Berrynose mumbling under his breath, but only to be hushed by his former mentor and the deputy.
"Hush Berrynose. It's not your daughter who loves a..." Crowfeather pricked his ears as Brambleclaw thought for the right clan name,
ThunderClan, Crowfeather confirmed in his thoughts.
Crowfeather had been thinking about WindClan ever since Firestar ended the ceremony by welcoming him officially in as a senior warrior.
The sun has set into a beautiful red orange that was barley visible through the thick, leafy and green trees, although the air still warmed his fur.
Crowfeather easily fell asleep in his grassy patch he had been laying in, and he started to dream.
He dreamed he was back in WindClan, watching the sun set in his former Clan's terriotry in ThunderClan's camp.
In his dream, he was sitting on the huge hill that had a clear veiw of of the sun, although he tried his best not to stare at the huge, larger than life ball of burning yellow and orange flame.
Next, a white and black tom with orange eyes crept up behind him.
Crowfeather spun around at the detection of the new smell.
"Tallstar!" Crowfeather's blue eyes grew wide.
"Welcome, ThunderClan cat." Tallstar didn't seem to take notice in the very faint WindClan sent, it was like he didn't remember him.
"Tallstar...It's me, Crowfeather."
"I know who you are."
Suddenly Tallstar leaned close and Crowfeather realized that in his dream it had become .
Tallstar's breath smelled of the old forest- mixed sents of all four unique territories.
"Bitter, Breeze, Wet, and Warm must join together to find the true place of heart." Tallstar leaned away, beginning to fade.
Crowfeather was about to call back, but his eyes had already fearfully snapped open.
It was time to start heading to the Gathering.
Crowfeather silently ran with ThunderClan with Leafpool at his side.
Firestar had randomly just decided to go through ShadowClan and RiverClan terriory when Crowfeather knew they always headed through WindClan's lake border.
They value me, Crowfeather thought, They don't want me to get homesick and go home.
Crowfeather began to feel used.
But with Leafpool's presents he knew it didn't matter.
Nothing seemed to matter once he was with his brown tabby mate.
Shortly after crossing the border into ShadowClan's terriotry, the path changed to toward the lake.
The ThunderClan cats ran until a very sharp and overcoming smell of ShadowClan came into Crowfeather's nose.
"There are ShadowClan cats here..." Crowfeather whispered to Leafpool, whose fur was pressed against his.
"We know," Leafpool raised her muzzle to give a large sniff of air, "They are going to escort us to the border."
Firestar padded up to the former medicine cat and former WindClan warrior.
"Crowfeather, follow me."
"Why..?" Crowfeather bliked in confusuion,
"Blackstar, Littlecloud, and Tawnypelt wish to speak with you."
At the sound of his jorney friends name made him hesitate. He didn't want a big emotion fuss over how his life had been and how Tawnypelt's had.
"Ok, ok." Crowfeather grummbled, and unwillingly left Leafpool's side to follow the flame colored leader.
"Greetings, Crowfeather," Blackstar meowed in his deep meow, hiding the hostilities ShadowClan mostly provided.
"Er, Blackstar?" Firestar awkwardly cut in.
"What?" Blackstar whipped his head and snapped.
"Please, make it quick, RiverClan and WindClan are already at the gathering." Firestar flicked his tail toward the island across the lake.
Dark, small shapes were already visible through the dark night and thick trees.
"Fine. But he has it comming." Blackstar thrust his muzzle at Crowfeather until he was forced to back away.
Littlecloud and Tawnypelt just stared blankly between Blackstar and the new ThunderClan warrior.
"Fine. Lets go."
Next thing Crowfeather knew, he was surrounded by ShadowClan as well as WindClan.
Struggling, he made his way back to Leafpool, was was talking between Ratfur and Dawnpelt.
"Hi Leafpool," Crowfeather meowed and the two Clans set off toward the island in peace.
"Prey is well and we have had no problems with wild animals," Onestar fineshed his news shortly after the other three Clans.
He's lying, Crowfeather thought, narrowing his eyes.
"Hey Crowfeather!" Crowfeather turned to spot Ratscar, a warrior of ShadowClan waving his tail toward the gray-black tom.
"What?" Crowfeather snapped lowly, hiding his body in the shadows,
"Where are all your WindClan buddies--?" Ratscar insulted. "Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot the kittypet food smell in ThunderClan attracted cats in other clans."
Two of Ratscar's friends snickered in agreement to deep put-down.
"Oh when I get my paws on you..." Crowfeather hissed violently, flatted his ears, and lunged at Ratscar, claws streched out until they hurt.
Crowfeather slashed, bit, scratched, scraped, and dug his claws in Ratscar's belly until all he could see in his vision was blood.
"Crowfeather! Stop!" A beautiful, distant voice called.
"Fine!" Crowfeather huffed lowly so only he could hear himself.
And Feathertail too. He added in his thoughs and leaped backwards from the injured and limp Ratscar.
Knowing he was going to get in trouble anyway, he padded out of the sheltered, now quiet bush thicket and into the calm, chatting four clans in the large clearing.
The first thing that happened, was cats began getting quiet.
Then they started at his pure bloodied body, and then they started the yowling.
His mind was so dull with angery, all he could hear the mummbles and ocasional clear lines like,
"You mousebrain what were you thinking?" Berrynose.
"You'll pay for this injured warrior!" Blackstar
"I'm glad he's not in our Clan! Too vicious!" And that was the last line he heard, not bad of an insult considering it was some harmless RiverClan cat.
And then-- Crowfeather tried to escape his mind of his Leafpool's horrified and hurt stare, followed by angery hisses from Spiderleg and Berrynose.
Arrogant mouse brains... Crowfeather thought angerily as he felt the leader he had followed and his current leader's eyes fell on his gray-black spiked fur.
Although, another stare he certainly hadn't thought of thinking to stare, but expected, made Crowfeather turn his hard blue eyes to glare back at the cat...
Not to mention--
The she-cat he had never loved, and the young tom he could never begin to love.
His other family.
And they were glad he was gone.