Larkpaw, we gotta go now," Brightpool whispered as she woke up the young apprentice. She had chosen the early dawn hours to venture out with the loner-born she-cat of LightingClan. Her goal was to take her to visit with her older brother who hopefully was waiting for them outside one of the tunnels in the territory. Once she noticed that Larkpaw was starting to move, Brightpool left the apprentice den to find them something to eat.
Nosing around the fresh-kill pile, Brightpool paused when Sunnyheart headed toward her. Stepping away from the pile, Brightpool tried to smooth down her pelt. Clearly nervous that they were going to get in trouble, Brightpool waited for Sunnyheart to leave his catch on the pile before she took a small mouse for her and Larkpaw to share.
Heading back to wait for the young apprentice, Brightpool let her thoughts shift to think about Shadow. Would he show up? It wasn't all that risky for him but then again she didn't know what Firestar had told him. For all, she knew Shadow could have been threatened. Trying not to dwell on the negative, she flicked her tail and waited.
She hadn't expected to be woken so early today, but perked up immediately when she realized it was Brightpool come to fetch her. She rolled out of her nest immediately, rubbing up against Brightpool's side and purring softly in greeting. She adored Brightpool, and if she wanted to take her out hunting or walking or anything, that was always a good day. It made her happy.
She pranced along in the older she-cat's wake, looking around at how different it was when everyone was mostly still sleeping. She didn't make Brightpool wait on her this time, following along with her and happy to be out with her again. It did confuse her a little that she seemed so nervous. What was going on? The mouse she wanted to share was quickly finished off, the bones buried dutifully before she went to catch up with her favorite cat. After her brother, of course. Shadow was her world. But she wasn't allowed to see him anymore, not if she wanted to stay in the clan.
That dampened her spirit some, but she remained alert, perky eared and wide eyed. Brightpool would never lead her astray or put her in danger.
The trek out to their meeting place was lively with Larkpaw at her side. Smiling to the young she-cat, Brightpool let her happiness show in her eyes but she also kept looking forward, but as they got closer to the tunnel she slowed down.
Tilting her head to Larkpaw she nudged the she-cat to signal her to stop. "It's a secret who we are meeting but we are going to see Shadow, your brother," She told her with a pleasant smile. "It has to be secret and you can't tell Firestar and we have to be careful, but I want you to still see each other when you can," She added before picking up the pace and again walking toward the tunnels.
Once they arrived, she plopped down near the tunnel and flicked her tail for Larkpaw to do the same. "Hopefully he will be here soon,"
Larkpaw's eyes popped open in her head at the mention of her brother's name. She squealed and pranced around Brightpool, too excite to contain herself. To anyone else, it would look like a kit happy to be out with its mother. "I won't tell." She told the other she-cat then started hopping around Brightpool again. "Going to see Shadow, going to see Shadow..." She chanted it softly, but was clearly happy as a clam.
Once they reached the place they were to meet him she plopped down as soon as Brightpool did, little body vibrating with barely contained joy.
He'd come early, not certain if she'd keep her promise or not. He'd stayed hidden, waited and watched and hoped she did. He wanted to trust her so badly, for some reason trusting her was almost as important as seeing his sister again. So he waited.
He heard them before he saw them, and his heart pounded as his sister came around the corner and into side with Brightpool. For a moment he didn't recognize her. She was so fluffy and energetic, not at all like the meek kit he'd lost in the last leafbare. So being in a clan was agreeing with her.
He leapt down when the two she-cats sat, unable to contain himself. "Lark?"
She squealed when he called her name and he couldn't contain the loud rumbling purr that erupted from him at the same time. The two siblings circled each other and headbutted, Larkpaw scooting until she had her head under her brother's chin.
"My Lark.." He choked on the emotion welling up inside of him, gaze finally landing on Brightpool. "You kept your promise. Thank you."
A small smiled appeared on Brightpool's face when Larkpaw began to chant about her brother. There was a flicker of uneasiness but she shooed it away as fast as it arrived. There wasn't a reason for anyone to be following her or Larkpaw. They weren't hurting anyone or breaking any part of the Code. In fact she saw it as doing a service. Allowing a pair of siblings to see each other.
It didn't take long for Shadow to appear which prompted Brightpool's smile to grow as Larkpaw went to her brother's side. Watching the siblings reconnect was worth the risk. Sitting there on her own she vowed to allow them to see each other as often as possible. She almost wanted to add she'd always be there with them but stopped herself. Larkpaw would be a warrior soon and wouldn't need her anymore. Perhaps Larkpaw would want Brightpool to go with her, there was something about Shadow that kept Brightpool returning to him.
As the siblings rejoiced, Brightpool heard a thank you and it pulled her attention.
"I do my best to keep all my promises," She told him with a dip of her head. "Family is very important," She added as her tail neatly tucked over her paws.
Lark was vibrating in her joy, wriggling and purring and just generally happy to be seeing her brother again. "Are you getting enough to eat? Prey has been scarce here since the fire and its hard for us to find enough, but you don't have a clan to fall back on so I'm worried you aren't eating enough and-" A tail was stuffed in her mouth to stop her rambling.
"I'm fine Lark. Unlike you, I can go beyond LightningClan's borders to hunt. And I have a friend that leaves me fish from time to time. So I'm not starving." He was a little thin, however. She couldn't but help but note that. Being a loner was a hard thing, and she wished he'd just join the clan and be with her again. But Shadow didn't like the clans, he didn't want to follow the rules, and he didn't like Firestar.
"Family is very important." She repeated from her place with her head tucked under her brother's. "Then why can't Shadow stay with me?"
-- The black and white tom went stiff at his sister's innocent question, his purr stuttering out for a moment before he purposefully kicked it back on to try and soothe his steadily growing sibling. "I'm not made for the Clan, Lark. I'd fight too much with the other cats, and I don't believe in their Code. I'm too violent to get on, you know that."