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The Spark

Author: Shadewing
Status: Under Construction
Preceding: None
Spellcheckers: None
Scarlet is just an ordinary kittypet. There is nothing special in her life. But then, the sudden appearance of another cat will change Scarlet's life forever..
Spark













PrologueEdit

The moon shone in the starry sky, casting its bright light. Up a on a hill, staring at it, sat a large jet black tom with white ears. His yellow eyes were clouded in deep thought. Suddenly, a voice interrupted his thinking. "You wanted to see me, Jaystar?"

The tom turned around. Behind him was a light brown mottled she-cat, the moonlight bouncing off her glossy fur.

"Greetings Dapplefur," he mewed quietly as she sat down next to him.

"What is it about? Is something wrong? Has StarClan spoken to you, Jaystar?"

Jaystar shook his head.

"Well, then what is it? I'm not sitting here until sunrise!"

Jaystar swallowed.

"Well," he began, "I was out patrolling the border near twolegplace, and I happened across a kittypet."

Dapplefur's eyes widened. She glared at him.

"You should know better than to associate with a kittypet, Jaystar," she hissed.

"I didn't say I spoke to it. Anyways, I saw it...catch a chipmunk."

"Off our territory?" Dapplefur demanded.

"No, no, in its twolegs yard."

"You mean you called me here this late to tell me about a kittypet?! Why in the name of Silverpelt would you do something so mouse-brained?!"

Jaystar sighed.

"Well, its just, she's...my kin," he whispered.

Dapplefur gasped, her eyes softened.

"You mean from Redstripe's litter last leafbare?" Her tone was quiet and gentle.

Jaystar nodded.

"Which one? Could you tell?"

"Icekit," he said softly.

Dapplefur gasped again.

"She definitely has warrior skills, Dapplefur. She caught that chipmunk in about a heartbeat."

Dapplefur paused.

"So you...want her in the Clan?"

"We need warriors, Dapplefur. NightClan is getting stronger, they're getting more warriors from somewhere, but I can't figure out how."

Dapplefur thought hard.

"Send out Tigerwind, the new warrior, he'll keep an eye on the kittypet. Do you know her name?"

Jaystar shook his head.

"First, he'll watch her, then, he'll try to talk to her. That sounds right."

Dapplefur nodded.

"Well, I'd best get back to my den, Heatherwhisker will have me up at sunrise with those stiff joints of his."

And, turning, she left.

Jaystar gazed up at the moon, which still shone brightly.

"Redstripe. I hope you can see your daughter now. Guide her pawsteps carefully, please," he whispered before following.

Spark: 1Edit

The sun was rising. It shone through the window and onto the soft, downy rug Scarlet was sleeping on, warming her black and white fur. Her green eyes snapped open.

Is it really sunrise already? She thought as she yawned.

Suddenly, the soft tinkle of cat food hitting the bowl stopped her halfway through washing. Scarlet got up and padded into the kitchen. Next to her food and water bowls stood a young girl, softly calling her name. Scarlet purred and rushed to her, rubbing on her legs, before settling down to eat.

The cat food crunched in her mouth. She thought of the juicy chipmunk she had caught yesterday, purring at the memory.

When Scarlet finished eating, she padded through her cat door and out onto the deck. The sun-warmed wood felt good beneath her paws as she headed for the stairs.

Out in the yard, Scarlet sniffed the air, checking for prey scent.

Mouse! And it was close by. Scarlet followed the scent until it led her into the woods.

The trees blocked the sun out, and only a few patches of light had made it in, but the cool air felt good to Scarlet as she continued to follow the mouse.

Suddenly, she heard tiny paws scraping the ground nearby.

Scarlet crouched, listening hard. Suddenly, she spotted a tuft of silver hair sticking up over a leaf.

Scarlet began to slowly creep forward, careful not to let her paws make a sound. When she got close enough, she crouched again, and pounced. She swiftly flung the mouse up, caught it in midair, and slammed it back onto the ground, killing it. Purring triumphantly, she was about to settle down and eat it, when a voice interrupted her.

"Wow, kittypet, you are a good hunter!"

Scarlet turned around. Pushing through the trees was a large tom. He had bright ginger fur with black stripes, and powerful muscles rippled in his legs. Scarlet crouched down, her fur rising.

"Who are you?" Her voice came out in a hiss.

The tom stopped, his amber eyes widening. Then he relaxed.

"My name is Tigerwind, and I am a warrior of AshClan," he stated.

"A..warrior? And what's AshClan?" Scarlet felt her fur relax as she stood up to her full height.

"AshClan is one of the four groups of cats outside of twolegplace. I'm a warrior of AshClan. The warriors job is to protect the Clan and make sure they are all fed," Tigerwind explained. "We're also supposed to keep kittypets out of our territory, but I was sent to watch you. I don't think Jaystar wanted me to talk to you yet, but what he doesn't know won't hurt him."

Scarlet's head was swimming with questions as she stared at the tom.

"Why were you sent to watch me?"

"Oh yeah, I forgot to explain that. You see, yesterday at sunhigh-," he started.

"Sunhigh?"

"You know, when the sun is highest in the sky?"

"Oh, well, my owners call it noon," Scarlet mewed.

"Really? Weird. Anyway, yesterday at sunhigh, Jaystar was patrolling near twolegplace when he saw you catch that chipmunk. He thought you might have warrior skills, so he wants me to keep an eye on you," he finished.

"He saw me?"

Tigerwind nodded.

"So, why does Jaystar want you to keep an eye on me?"

"I think he wants you to eventually join the Clan, because we need more warriors," Tigerwind mewed.

"Join...the Clan?"

He nodded again, still gazing at her.

"Well, I'd better go and give my report to Jaystar, he'll be waiting," Tigerwind said as he turned to go. "Bye, kittypet."

"Scarlet," she corrected.

"Bye, Scarlet. I'll come back tomorrow and explain more about Clan life," he promised before turning and padding away.

Scarlet watched him go. She looked up at the sun, which was still fighting to shine through the trees.

What was that all about? I guess I'll see him tomorrow. She thought before turning and heading back inside.

Spark: 2Edit

Scarlet had not expected Tigerwind to return. But, he was as good as his word, and now she lay next to him in the dimly lit forest once more, listening closely as he taught her about Clan ways.

"We always go to Gatherings at the full moon, to meet with the other Clans," he was explaining. Scarlet simply nodded, keen to hear more.

"And all the medicine cats travel at the half moon to go to the Starpool, where they all talk with member of StarClan in secret."

"Tell me more about being a warrior, Tigerwind," Scarlet mewed.

"Alright. Well, first, once a kit reaches six moons, he'll become an apprentice to one of the other warriors. I was apprenticed to Falconsong when I was an apprentice. For the next several moons, the warrior will teach the apprentice how to hunt, fight, and all about the warrior code. Once the apprentice has shown themself worthy, either in a battle or after they have an assessment of their skills, the leader will give them their warrior name and rights," Tigerwind explained. "Say, do you want to learn how to fight? I was going to teach you to hunt, but you can already do that," he gestured to the scattered feathers beside him, which had once been a bird Scarlet had caught for him.

Scarlet thought.

"We won't...hurt eachother, right?"

"No, no, of course not! We'll keep our claws sheathed. Maybe, if I can teach you enough, you won't have to be an apprentice for very long," he purred, getting to his paws.

Scarlet nodded and the two faced eachother, both crouched low.

"Attack me," Tigerwind instructed, his eyes hard as stone.

Scarlet studied him closely. She pounced, hitting him square in the chest. The two rolled on the ground before Scarlet came out on top. He struggled beneath her, then shoved her off. Scarlet flew through the air, landing hard. She had just gotten to her feet when she spotted Tigerwind charging again. Scarlet ducked beneath him, then leapt onto him once more, pinning him to the ground. He purred beneath her.

"Wow, you're really good!"

Scarlet let him up, also purring. Then she faced him again.

"This time, you attack me," she mewed playfully.

Tigerwind nodded and pounced almost instantly. He flew through the air, hitting her foreleg. Scarlet felt herself being dragged as he slid across the ground. He was about to jump onto her when she placed her hind paws beneath him and launched him into the air. Tigerwind flew through the air, landing on his back several tail-lengths away. Scarlet raced toward him and almost reached him when he got up and hit her away. She skidded across the ground and came to a stop next to a tree. Tigerwind leapt onto her and pinned her down. Scarlet struggled but he held her down.

"Alright, alright, you win, now let me up!"

Tigerwind stepped off her as she got to her feet, shaking dirt from her fur.

"Great fight, Scarlet! I can't wait to tell Jaystar," he meowed as he stood next to her, gazing into her eyes.

Scarlet simply nodded, tired from their fight.

"Tigerwind, does he really want me in the Clan?" she asked.

"Well, I think he does. He'll probably wait a few more days before he actually decides, but I hope he'll let you in. I really like you, Scarlet, you're better than most kittypets. Most just sit and sun themselves all day and stuff themselves with kittypet slop," he told her.

"Really?"

He nodded. Scarlet gazed at the sun, which had begun to set.

"Do you have to go soon?"

"Yeah, but first why don't I tell you about StarClan?" he mewed, flopping down on his back. Scarlet did the same, and the two gazed up at the trees while Tigerwind talked.

"StarClan are the spirits of the dead cats. They live in this sunny meadow with all the prey in the world. At least, that's what Larkfoot told me."

"Larkfoot?"

"One of the elders. Elders are the retired warriors who spend the rest of their days relaxing in their den and telling kits a bunch of stories. Apprentices often care for the elders as punishment. Anyways, StarClan cats often walk in the dreams of the medicine cats and leaders. They send warnings and prophecies and all this other stuff. It's kind of complicated, medicine cats know more than I do. Well, I'd better go, Scarlet, see you tomorrow," he mewed, getting to his feet and shaking out his fur.

"Bye Tigerwind," she called as he padded off into the shadows.

Scarlet gazed up at the sky. The stars were beginning to come out. She felt a strange and hot feeling rising in her pelt at the thought of Tigerwind.

"Stop," she told her self firmly. "He's a Clan cat, you can't go and fall in love with him. No, he probably has someone he already loves..."

And that thought only made her feel worse.

Spark: 3Edit

One moon later...

Icewing found Tigerwind at his usual spot, but he wasn't alone. Alongside him was another cat, a sandy colored tom.

"Hello, Scarlet! Jaystar wants us to escort you back to the camp with him. He's accepted you into the Clan," Tigerwind mewed brightly as he padded up to her.

Shock pulsed through Scarlet.

"Al-already?" she said weakly, her legs beginning to shake. The other tom stepped forward.

"Yes, Jaystar feels you're ready to join us now. My name is Runningflight. It's nice to meet you, Scarlet," he said in a low, deep voice.

Scarlet dipped her head towards him, then turned back to Tigerwind. She felt the same hot feeling rise in her fur again, and she shook her head, agitated.

"Are you sure, Tigerwind?" she asked quietly.

"Of course! You're a great hunter and fighter! All you need to know is the warrior code, and that's easy! Ok, maybe it's not easy, I had a bit of a hard time following it, but you'll learn it soon enough. Come on, let's go!"

And the two set off. Scarlet hesitated before pelting after them. Once she had caught up, she turned to Tigerwind.

"What does the...er...Clan think of me?"

"Oh, that. Some are happy, after all NightClan's attacks, but some aren't happy Scarlet. But we'll deal with them, don't worry," he promised, speeding up. Scarlet quickly did the same. She didn't want to lose the two.

"You're keeping up well. You're quite a strong cat, and not just on kittypet standards," came Runningflight's voice from beside her. Scarlet simply nodded.

Several minutes later, Tigerwind stopped outside a large, thorny barrier.

"Alright, we're here," he said quietly, nudging Scarlet.

Scarlet hesitated, then pushed through the barrier entrance. Her eyes widened.

Inside was a huge camp. Cats were everywhere. Some were laying on rocks, sunning themselves, others were talking in low voices, and she heard tiny kits squealing from inside a den built of rock and branches.

"That's the nursery," Tigerwind mewed from behind. "And the warriors den," he gestured to a large thorny bush. "And theres the apprentices den, and the medicine cats area, and there's Jaystar's den next to Skyrock."

Scarlet gazed up at the Skyrock, before realizing all the cats were staring at her, some wary, others welcoming.

Suddenly, a large black tom with white ears leaped onto Skyrock.

"Welcome, Scarlet! It's good to finally meet-" he started before a sneer cut him off.

"Wait a minute, Jaystar. You can't honestly think that this kittypet will every be a loyal warrior!"

Scarlet looked around, searching for the source of the sneer. Her eyes found a huge dark gray tabby tom with a black-tipped tail.

"Stormfang," Tigerwind murmured.

Stormfang stepped forward, towering over Scarlet.

"Well, kittypet, what have you got to say for yourself?"

Scarlet hesitated, then launched herself into him, knocking him backward. She rolled him onto his back, pinning him down. The two rolled around on the ground, kicking and snapping at eachother.

Suddenly, strong jaws fastened around her neck fur, pulling her back. She heard Jaystar yowling from the Skyrock.

"Enough! Thank you, Tawnyleaf and Birchpelt. Now, this kittypet, although she was not apprenticed, has received proper training from Tigerwind. She will now be given her warrior name. Scarlet, please come up here."

Scarlet shook out her fur before leaping up onto Skyrock and swiftly climbing up next to Jaystar.

"Scarlet, do you promise to uphold the warrior code?"

"I do!"

"And do you promise to protect your new Clanmates from harm?"

"I do!"

"Then by the powers of StarClan, I now give you your warrior name. Scarlet, from this moment on, you will be known as Icewing!"

Icewing? Oh well, it's better than my old name. She thought as she leaped down.

Several cats cheered, but most remained silent, some muttering to each other under their breath.

"We now welcome Icewing as a full warrior of our Clan! Serve your Clan well, Icewing," Jaystar called before leaping off of Skyrock and into the leaders den. Tigerwind appeared beside Icewing, purring.

"Wow, Icewing! Nice name. I told you wouldn't need to be an apprentice," he mewed joyfully. "Come on, I'll show you the camp, do you want to go hunting?"

"Sure!" Icewing said, following him as he set off around the camp. But suddenly, two cats, one Stormfang, stepped in front of her.

"Well kittypet, Tigerwind might trust you, but I don't, and none of the others ever will," he whispered quietly.

"Your fighting was plain luck. Stormfang's the best fighter in the Clan," the other, a silver tom with darker flecks, sneered.

Icewing simply stared up at them, determined not to let it get to her.

Stormfang nodded and the two walked off.

"What was that about, Icewing?" Tigerwind's mew sounded in Icewing's ear. She turned back toward him.

"Oh, nothing, Stormfang was offering his welcome," Icewing told him.

"Well, if it wasn't important, let's get going, I want to show you everything," he said, padding away.

Icewing nodded, then followed.

I am not a kittypet anymore. I am a Clan cat! She thought.

Spark: 4Edit

"First, the elders den," Tigerwind mewed, stopping in front of a fallen tree. Icewing listened. Cats voices could be heard inside.

"Should we go in?" she asked.

"Sure, if you want." He flicked his tail towards the entrance, a hole in the side. Icewing nodded and climbed through.

Inside, it was cool and damp, the bottom of the tree covered with moss and downy feathers. Laying on the moss were two cats. One was a bright ginger tom, the other a sand colored she-cat. When Icewing entered, they looked up.

"Are you the kittypet everyone has been talking about?" the she-cat asked quietly, her voice rasping gently as she sat up.

Icewing nodded. Suddenly, Tigerwind appeared behind her.

"Hello, Maplefrost, Flametail. This is Icewing," he mewed, pushing two mice to the cats.

"Thank you, Tigerwind," the tom, Flametail, rasped before tearing into the mouse. "If you ever want to hear a story, Icewing, you're always welcome to come and see me," he purred, turning towards Icewing.

She nodded, too nervous to speak.

"Come on, Icewing, let's get going," Tigerwind said, climbing out.

Icewing dipped her head once more to the two elders before following. She padded behind Tigerwind as he crossed the camp, heading towards the medicine cats den. When they reached it, Tigerwind stopped.

"Dapplefur? May we come in?" he mewed softly through the willow curtain.

"What is it, Tigerwind? Alright then, come on!" a she-cat meowed grouchily.

Tigerwind nodded, and pushed through the willow, Icewing followed right behind him, gazing around the den. It was quite large, and smelled of flowers and moss. On one side, leaves and berries of all kinds had been pushed through cracks in the rock wall. She heard splashing, and looked toward the back. A tiny stream ran through the back of the den, and continued on outside the camp. In a corner, sorting through some of the leaves, sat a light brown mottled she-cat with yellow eyes. They narrowed when they found Icewing.

"Well, is this the kittypet?" the cat demanded. "Speak up!" she said sharply when Icewing remained silent.

Icewing swallowed.

"Y-yes," she stammered.

"What is your name?"

"Icewing."

"What? You weren't apprenticed? But you haven't been properly trained!" the cat burst out. Tigerwind stepped forward.

"Actually, I trained her myself, Dapplefur," he mewed quietly.

"Really? I see. Well, I'm very busy, so move along!" she snarled impatiently before getting back to her herbs.

Tigerwind nodded and left. Icewing dipped her head, then followed. She found Tigerwind beside a large pile of fresh-kill.

"Come on, Icewing, come get something to eat! You haven't tried vole yet, it's the best!" he called.

Icewing quickly padded over, and gazed at all the prey. Finally, she picked out a plump vole, and settled down next to Tigerwind to eat it.

"Go on!" he mewed encouragingly as he tore into a thrush.

Icewing bit into the vole. Instantly, flavors of the forest washed over her tongue. She eagerly took another bite.

"Good, huh?" Tigerwind asked.

Icewing nodded.

"Come on, let's go into the forest," he said, getting to his paws.

Icewing also got up, and they were about to leave when suddenly, two cats burst through the barrier, panting as they rushed past.

"NightClan are invading!" one, a pure white she-cat, yowled.

Jaystar suddenly appeared, racing over to the two cats.

"Where are they?" he demanded.

"Coming across the border! We spotted them from the Great Maple!" a dark tabby tom mewed.

Jaystar turned to the warriors, who had come out into the clearing.

"I want a patrol to come with me, and another to stay here!" he called.

Instantly, cats raced to his side, while the rest hung back.

"Let's stay here, it's your first battle, they normally don't come to camp much," Tigerwind mewed.

"Trying to defend the kittypet?" hissed a voice in Icewing's ear. She turned around.

Stormfang stood over them, the same mottled cat, who was called Longwhisker, at his side.

"You two will guard the area around the barrier, while the rest of us guard the camp. Jaystar's patrol has left," he told them before walking off.

Tigerwind hissed in his direction before starting through the barrier.

Icewing hesitated, then followed.

Well, here's my first battle, she thought.

Spark: 5 Edit

Icewing took up her postion next to the barrier, crouching low. Nearby, Longwhisker did the same thing, his neck fur bristling. Looking over at her, his eyes glowed maliciously.

"Think you can defend the barrier? A moon of training doesn't help much in battle," he sneered.

Icewing forced down a reply and turned away, listening hard. Off in the distance, yowls of cats could be heard. The battle had begun.

"Why don't you just go back to your twoleg? You don't have to defend anything there, except maybe your precious fence," Longwhisker's voice drifted into her ear once more. She ignored him.

A fierce caterwaul split the air. A rustling could be heard in the trees. They were coming!

Icewing stiffened, ready to attack.

"What's the matter? Scared?" Longwhisker snarled.

Icewing had had enough.

Turning to face the tom, she put her face up to his until their noses nearly touched. Anger blazed in her pelt.

"Shut up! Just shut up! Concentrate on the battle. You needn't worry about NightClan, because I'll shred you way before they get here!" she said furiously. Longwhisker took a step back. Icewing crept closer, ready to say something else, when suddenly a enormous body knocked her away. A NightClan warrior had come!

Leaping to her paws, Icewing faced the warrior, a large white tom. His piercing eyes narrowed menacingly as they circled. Gathering all what Tigerwind had taught her in her head, Icewing crouched and pounced. She flew into his chest, knocking him backwards. They landed in the dirt, sending a cloud of it everywhere. Icewing blinked as it flew into her eyes, obscuring her vision. The white warrior was getting back up, and he was coming straight at her.

Icewing quickly jumped aside as he charged forward. The warrior skidded to a halt and turned around, growling. Icewing, however, was already leaping at him, and this time, she pinned him to the ground. The tom yowled out as she raked his sides with her claws. He kicked hard into her belly, but she held on. Finally, she gave him one last scratch before jumping off and racing away, kicking up more dirt in the process. Silence behind her told her he hadn't followed. Icewing stopped and gazed around, surveying the battle, which had moved into the forest and away from camp. Stormfang faced off against a dark ginger tom, while Tawnyleaf batted away a silver she-cat. A sand colored tom had pinned Birchpelt down, but he sent it flying off with his hind legs. Another warrior, a dark tortoiseshell, was racing away from Longwhisker, blood staining its pelt. Tigerwind was nowhere to be seen.

Runningflight appeared beside her, his sides heaving as he took down a dark brown tabby. Icewing spotted a jet black she-cat racing at him, though, ready to knock him off. Stepping forward, Icewing met the she-cat right before she hit Runningflight, and the two rolled in the dirt, snapping and clawing at eachother. Icewing felt pain rip in her belly as the warrior's claws found it. Trying to ignore the pain, she lashed out with her hind paw and hit the she-cat square in the face. But that didn't stop her. Getting up, the she-cat pinned her down, her paw on Icewing's throat.

Horror crept up Icewing's spine as she gasped for air. The warrior pressed harder, her eyes gleaming. Icewing could feel darkness creeping up behind her eyes, threatening to swallow her up as her throat closed....

The she-cat's weight vanished, and Icewing felt the sun pierce her eyes as her throat opened again. Breathing heavily, she struggled to her paws to find Runningflight giving the warrior a sharp nip on the shoulder. The she-cat yelped and then took off into the trees.

"You alright there, Icewing?" Runningflight asked, padding over.

Icewing nodded, too exhausted to speak.

"You fought very well. I can see why Jaystar wanted you," he said softly, touching his nose to her head.

"Has it ended?" Icewing asked.

"Yes. Jaystar will probably send out extra patrols tonight just to make sure, though. Come on, let's get back to camp."

Icewing leaned on him as they started off toward the entrance. But before they got there, Stormfang appeared, his eyes glowing with malice.

"Was the battle too much for you, kittypet?" he sneered.

Icewing ignored him. She'd had enough. Leaving Runningflight, she stormed away. She didn't stop until she had reached the warriors' den. Collapsing in her nest, she buried her head in her paws, ignoring the stabbing pains from her cuts.

Why did I ever choose to come here? I don't belong, and they know it. I should leave tomorrow, she thought, feeling sorrow well up inside. A dark shadow appeared, looming over her. Tigerwind.

"Icewing? Are you alright?" he asked, his eyes wide with concern.

Before Icewing could reply, everything went black.

Spark: 6 Edit

Icewing winced as Dapplefur roughly pressed cobwebs onto her side. This was more painful than the actual battle!

"I knew that Jaystar shouldn't have let you in! Look at you! You're a complete mess!" the medicine cat mewed crossly, spreading some smashed herbs on the wound now. The cuts stung but soon were soothed as the poultice soaked in.

"Of course, he didn't want to hear my opinion," Dapplefur muttered, crushing up some leaves for Tawnyleaf, who lay on the ground, her eyes closed.

"It wasn't Jaystar's fault," Icewing protested. "I chose to come." She got to her feet.

Dapplefur faced her, her eyes glittering with anger, inches from her own.

"You don't even understand, kittypet. You weren't even there when he consulted me. So if I were you, I'd keep you mouth shut!" she snarled. Icewing stiffened but held her ground.

"If Jaystar shouldn't have let me in, then tell me why I managed to get out of that battle alive."

Dapplefur, however, had turned away and begun to treat Tawnyleaf. Furious, Icewing spun around and stormed from the medicine cats' clearing. Before she could reach the barrier, however, Tigerwind appeared.

"You're better now! Want to come hunting?" he mewed cheerfully.

Icewing reluctantly followed him out of camp. Tigerwind was nice, but...he was kind of annoying. Whenever he spotted her, he immediately tried to get her alone, always inviting her to go hunting or on patrol. Icewing had the feeling he was trying to tell her something. The odd feelings inside her for him still lingered, but she felt them slowly fading...

Shaking her head, Icewing pushed throughts away. The forest was alive with all kinds of sounds, birds, the wind, the stream. The cool air soothed Icewing's anger, and she felt more refreshed than ever. Energy pulsed in her legs as they headed for the stream. In front of her, Tigerwind stopped, sniffing the air. He grimaced slightly.

"The NightClan stench is still in the air," he growled.

Icewing came up beside him.

"Do they attack often?" she asked.

"They didn't before. Now, they keep on taking territory and stealing prey. And they're getting warriors, more than ever, with unusual scents. Not the scents of Clans or Twolegplace, but like crowfood." Icewing thought she saw him shudder a bit. All of her ill thoughts of him vanished. Tigerwind was obviously afraid.

"We can defeat them," she mewed softly, pressing against him.

He was silent, gazing far away into the dying sunlight. Finally, he spoke.

"I heard what Dapplefur said. I'm sorry about it."

"Why? It's not your fault. Why does she hate me so much anyway?" Icewing wondered. Dapplefur had definitely marked her as an enemy ever since they had met.

"She doesn't...hate you. I don't think she really likes you a lot, but I can see why. Dapplefur's had a rough life."

"What happened to her?"

"All I know is that she used to be a warrior, but then her mate from MistClan was killed, so she left, expecting a kit too. But later on she came back, without any kits, and became our medicine cat. She claimed it had died, but not all of the warriors believed her. Some thought it was in MistClan, others suspected one of the queens had it, and Dapplefur had snuck it in."

"How old were you?"

"A kit."

"So, this kit was your age then?"

Tigerwind shrugged and turned away.

"I'm going hunting. You don't have to come if you don't want to."

"No, I'm coming, hold on!" she mewed, starting off. But, for a minute, she stopped, looking up at the sky.

Who is Dapplefur's mysterious kit, and what is its name? And where is it now?

It looked like there was more to this Clan than she had imagined.

"You coming, Icewing?" Tigerwind interrupted her thoughts.

Icewing shook her head and sprang forward.

"I'm coming!" she yowled, following him into the forest.

To be continued....

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