Rabbit was the best food. This Shadekit had found out quickly, when Palescreech had begun to wean her, and she was quite willing to lie in wait for the cat who brought one in and then beg for it before the warrior or apprentice could even make it all the way into the camp. Most of the time it worked- she knew it was pity that usually caused the cat to hand over the prey without question, and while it might annoy her- if she could use it to her advantage, might as well.
This morning, she'd had to content herself with a mouse. It wasn't quite the same, but as her mother seemed fond of saying, 'hungry bellies can't be picky!' So she made do, simply doing her best to pretend that what she was eating was rabbit. Surely one of the warriors would bring one in today.
Vibrations through her paws turned her head toward the entrance tunnel. Abandoning the mouse, which was nearly eaten anyway, Shadekit scurried to meet the warriors, her nose already full of the early morning scents of the territory: the scent of grass and gorse coated with frost, the heaviness of snow that melted into water on the pelts of the warriors, mingled with the scents of the cats themselves and prey, fresh caught. And one cat in particular she scampered toward, skidding to a halt as the vibrations turned to the sounds of fur brushing past rock-hard soil. "Nightstep! Hi!" Bloodrose
The tuxedo senior warrior moved with ease, returning from a rather uneventful border patrol. Pausing at LightningClan's entrance, Nightstep watched as the other patrol members passed by, mentally counting each to ensure all had returned safe, as was his duty as patrol head. His tail twitched slowly behind him, sharp yellow eyes narrowing fractionally as he looked back toward the moorlands. The urge to hunt reared its head; the urge to chase down and end something. Breathing shallowly, Nightstep controlled the fire that wanted so badly to burn behind his brilliant gaze, ducking into camp.
He sensed the ripple of alarm passing through the others before he heard anything. The alarm soon ebbed to amusement, and the black and white tom soon deciphered why, when a small voice called his name excitedly. Shadekit's small form skid to a halt near his paws, and the tuxedo tom, adept at manipulating his attitude to accommodate situations, slipped into an easy purr. His long tail wrapped over his kit's shoulder, gently guiding her away from the paws of other warriors. Fondness echoed in his smooth voice as he stooped to press his nose to Shadekit's forehead. "Hello, Shadekit."
Although she couldn't see him, he still glanced down at her with a playfully stern glint in his usually sharp eyes, voice adopting a similar tone. "Tell me, does your mother know you're all the way out here, hm? And what about grandma Firebird? What would she think of you scampering all the way to the Clan entrance?" Ducking low to whisper conspiratorially in her ear, the she-kit's father continued. "You have to be stealthier than that if you want to avoid getting in trouble." Tapping her shoulder with his tail and chuckling at his joke, the tuxedo tom straightened up.
"You should always ask permission before you leave your mother's side, however." He told her more seriously, lowering himself to a comfortable sit. Briefly examining his kit, Nightstep curled his tail around himself before continuing. "Did you need something, Shadekit?" He would never pass up an opportunity to spend time with one of his kits. Nightstep simply wanted to ensure there was no pressing matter at paw, before any more time passed by.
She'd actually managed to catch something! Her! That would take the smug smile off of Harestrike's maw. It was the scrawniest rabbit she'd ever found - but it was something and that made all the difference to Dovecloud. Leaf-bare was not the season to be picky. It was the season to survive.
Secretly, she was certain that she hunted better in the colder moons. It gave her the edge to run faster, be more stealthy. Her pelt blending in with the snow also helped a great deal.
Coming back into camp, fresh-kill in her jaws, she noticed Nightstep and Shadekit together and paused. She had an idea.
"Hey, Nightstep. Hey, Shadekit. How are you both? How's the hunting?"
She was never the best at friendly conversation, she reflected sadly. Mostly all her interactions of late had boiled down to argument after argument with Harestrike.
"I was wondering if Shadekit would like to help me with something. If it's okay with her father, of course." She politely nodded to Nightstep.
The young feline was asleep, curled into the protective warmth that was her mother's belly when a sudden emptiness beside her alerted her to the cold and the she kit's eyes flicked open.Where was Shadekit? where was her sister? The light coloured she cat sniffed the air, body quivering in worry as she searched out her darling sister. She was the oldest of the three kits born to Palescreech and Nightstep last season, she took her responsiablity to protect her siblings very seriously
She need not have worried, however for when she located her adventurous sister the other she-kit had found both their father and aunt Dovecloud, the eldest kit relaxed instantly and while she had a special relationship with her mother Palescreech, she shared a deep love and respect with her father Nightstep as well.
"Daddy" The mininature version of the tom's mate smiled at her father, delighted to see him home and safe. " Come play with me?" she asked, her bright blue eyes begging with her father not to say no.
Because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
Spark-kit found joy in the elder's stories. The adventures made his mind race and his paws tingle, as if he was with Firestar in the battle that stole her daughters life; as if he was there, heart stuttering with fear as flames tore through Lightningclan's camp. His golden gaze glimmered with yearning as the elders relayed their memories, some from more recent conflicts, and others from long, long ago. The kitten's dreams were littered with bravery and honor, and the fact that the camp was still ravaged from the Great Fire didn't phase him. The charred grasses and his thin clanmates are always pictured when he thought of the great Lightningclan. He looked up to his fellow warriors, determined to be one of his clan's greatest assets one day.
The orange and white kit was excited that it was sprinkling snow, pouncing and bouncing around the medicine den like a young rabbit, attacking every snowflake he could melt with his tiny paws. His fur was fluffed up and his tail was stuck straight in the air, excitement pulsing vigorously through his body. Spark-kit was truly well-named.
"Enough fighting!" Spark-kit yowled, squaring up his shoulders and puffing out his chest. "There is no need to sacrifice our clanmates, Hawkstar. It's time we settle this, just you and me!" The ginger and white tom-kit was about to pounce on Stoneclan's invisible leader when he heard his sister Shadekit squeak out his father's name. Spark-kit whipped around and bounded over to his gathering family, and within moments Nightstep was surrounded by all three of his mewing kits. "Dad, will you be Hawkstar? I want to save Mapleheart from Boulderjaw!"
Perhaps he said the deceased she-cat's name a bit too loud, because after glancing around, he saw hurt brimming in the gaze of cats passing by. Guilt sparked in his heart for a moment, before his gaze shot back to his father. Of course, Hawkstar wasn't there when Mapleheart was killed, but that didn't stop Spark-kit from creating a hybrid story all his own.
Oh how Spark-kit yearned to be as big and amazing as his dad one day.