The young warrior felt lighter, his nose full of the sweet scent of blooming flowers. His silver-grey pelt almost seemed to glow in the soothing Newleaf sun, and he breathed in the heavy scent of prey with a smile. Unfortunately, this wasn't a hunting patrol. He longed to chase after the rabbits and hares they passed idly by, his ears twitching at every sound of potential prey. It was such a waste of a lovely day, to spend it marking the Sunstones with tangy LightningClan scent. It didn't help that Crowface's pompous attitude was spoiling the atmosphere a bit. He was always the kind of cat to simply smile and nod when a cat he disliked bossed him around. He wasn't one to initiate bickering. Besides, she was patrol leader. He's just have to put up with it. "You and Briarpaw, go that way and mark these stones." Crowface ordered, and Birchspots's ears twitched and he gave an assenting nod. Sure thing, Crowstar... He thought sarcastically, his unspoken retort sending a glint of amusement through his golden eyes. "Come on, Briarpaw." He meowed nicely, flicking his tail to the dark-faced apprentice.
He approached one jutting stone and marked it, feeling his pelt prickle. Though this wasn't supposed to be a battle patrol, they were still reclaiming territory that StoneClan heavily believed was their property. He wanted them to leave as soon as they could so the border could be moved peacefully. But when he glanced around for Crowface, he saw that she was perched upon a rock, her glinting eyes fixed on the horizon.
A feeling of dread washed over him as he became aware of the sound of approaching pawsteps. "Typical LightningClan, hiding from the real warriors." A voice called from among the stones. A StoneClan patrol emerged, and Birchspots cursed under his breath. This wasn't a patrol of fighters. Crowface was their strongest member, and though Birchspots knew how to use his own claws he was rather small and definitely outmuscled by the burly patrol of cats they now faced. And Briarpaw... well, he didn't know much about her fighting skills but he knew she was young, inexperienced... We'll be torn to shreds. He thought, his claws unsheathing nervously. "And here I thought that LightningClan was beginning to grow out of its cowardice." Alderfrost spat, contempt in his gaze. Birchspots felt his pelt burn. That one hit a little too close to home.
"The word you're looking for is stalking, for you are our prey," Crowface sneered. No, don't make them angrier! Birchspots glanced up at her, his whiskers twitching. If he was anything, he was a pacifist. A peacekeeper. He didn't want to fight these cats over a sad collection of rocks. Tension was clear in every muscle in his body, his eyes flicking between the different warriors. "Tsk tsk, the real surprise is you having any thoughts at all, Alderfrost," He heard her purr, and he knew immedietly what was going to come next. There was nothing he could do to avoid to, to quell the angry gazes and soothe the bristling pelts. This was what Tawnybelly had always lived for, the taste of enemy flesh and the sound of screeching cats. He had wanted to turn LightningClan from the most mocked Clan in the valley to one that was feared and admired for their battle prowess and strategy. By the looks of it, Crowface felt the same way. Birchspots tried to steady his racing heart, to no avail.
"Claw their pelts!" The order came, and chaos erupted.
SHE QUIETLY EXPECTED GREAT THINGS TO HAPPEN TO HER, AND NO DOUBT THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS WHY THEY DID.
lthough Briarpaw was, without a shadow of a doubt, an absolute glutton for drama and excitement, she'd never have imagined in a million moons she'd be on the kind of border patrol that involved stealing another Clan's territory. And she was only an apprentice. She felt a little thrill go through her even now, practically bouncing on her toes as they moved toward the Sunstones. She didn't exactly want a fight, but she did enjoy the thrill of potential danger as they crossed the StoneClan scent markers and began to place LightningClan scent over the territory. Plus, Sunstones was a good piece of territory to make a move on - she was looking forward to the coming moons when she'd be free to lounge on one of the sun-soaked boulders and relax for a few minutes, a picture of complete luxury.
Come on, Briarpaw. Though the siamese didn't often take well to orders, she was aware enough that this wasn't any old patrol and any kind of talk-back wouldn't be tolerated right now. Plus, she liked Birchspots well enough; it was Crowface she might've made a face at. The leader of the patrol was quite bossy, and as a fellow bossy she-cat she'd always known they wouldn't get along, but Briarpaw wasn't keen to rub any cat's fur the wrong way today. What she was interested in, was making rude remarks at some StoneClan patrol as they triumphantly left Sunstones to return to camp. The young she-cat was quite convinced this was going to be her reality, until she heard voices coming from StoneClan territory.
Despite the situation, Briarpaw still loved the rush of adrenaline that coursed through her as a StoneClan patrol appeared. They were matched in number, with two warriors, and another she-cat that looked like an apprentice too. Insults began to be exchanged, and Briarpaw listened with morbid fascination, all the while feeling the tension escalate. Any reasonable cat would've felt dread building, but part of the apprentice still seemed to believe this wasn't headed straight for a battle, until Crowface suddenly yowled, Claw their pelts!
With a jolt, the reality of the situation hit Briarpaw, and she had time to exchange a wide-eyed look with Birchspots before the battle erupted before them. Crowface and the StoneClan warrior she'd been insulting threw themselves at each other, and Briarpaw twisted to face the young she-cat on the StoneClan patrol. She'd never seen her before, but that was probably a good thing if she'd be expected to fight her. And she'd never been in a fight before, at least not one that wasn't practice, and it suddenly weighed upon her how little prepared she was to actually be here.
"Sheesh, did you just roll out of the nursery?"
Well. Maybe Briarpaw wasn't so unprepared after all; she could more than deal with a battle of insults, and this wasn't the first time she'd been called small in as many words.
"You're going to have to do better than that," Briarpaw remarked with an eyeroll. "I've dished out more devastating insults when I was barely three moons old."
The gray-and-white she-cat raised her chin, prowling closer and Briarpaw automatically shifted a pawstep back, which earned a snicker from her opponent. "No, I see what it is," she chuckled. "You're afraid to fight. Really fight. Did you really come on a battle patrol without being prepared to fight? LightningClan really was unprepared for this."
"This isn't a battle patrol," Briarpaw retorted, though she felt the back of her neck prickle with irritation. "And I'm not afraid to fight. I think you're afraid to get your glossy little pelt ripped off."
The other she-cat purred. "I'm just going to take that as a compliment."
Briarpaw rolled her eyes so hard she thought she'd be able to see the back of her head. "Oh, please, we both know you're not the prettiest cat between the two of us or even in your little rag-tag patrol." For a moment, she was aware of the battle between Crowface and the StoneClanner, and of Birchspots surely involved in the beginnings of a battle with the other StoneClan warrior. The apprentices might just be the only ones not fighting.
The other apprentice let out a feigned gasp of shock. "Great StarClan... you can really tell this is your first time facing a battle. Do I have to show you how to make the first strike? You unsheathe your claws, and then..."
Briarpaw had had enough. She flattened her ears as her irritation and then anger rolled through her. "I know how to fight, you ugly mop!" she snarled, launching herself on the StoneClan apprentice.