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Shaded Waters

by Rosetail of CYS


PrologueEdit

The stars of Silverpelt glittered peacefully high above, shimmering onto the late leaf-bare's snow. The soft rustle of four tall oaks was soothing, and there wasn't a cat to be seen anywhere in the hollow. Suddenly a pitch black she-cat dashed down the hill, moving swiftly and stealthily like a shadow. Her dark blue eyes lit up with excitement, affection, and a little bit of guilt as a dark grey tom stepped out of his hiding place behind one of the trees. "You came!" The she-cat ran the last few steps to touch noses with the tom.

"Of course I did." The gray tom replied with a purr before digging his nose into the she-cat's fur. "I wouldn't miss it for the world."

"You seemed so concerned the last time we met. I really thought you'd stay in camp..." There was a small pause, only purring could be heard. "Catch me if you can!" The black she-cat chirped like a kit before dashing off. The cats chased one another among the four oaks, starlight illuminating their kit-like race. After wasting enough time running around, the she-cat pounced on the gray tom, pinning him down.

"You do know the Clans are going to kill us if they find out about us?" The tom inquired, though the serious nature of the question didn't take away the happy shine of his blue eyes.

"If they find out about us." The she-cat took a step back to let the gray tom to his feet. "I'm deputy, shouldn't be that hard to keep a few patrols away from here." She leapt on top of a giant rock in the middle of the hollow.

"That's why I'm so worried." The tom climbed to sit alongside the she-cat. "I'm afraid they're going to take away your position as deputy for this."

"Oh, stop being so compassionate!" The she-cat teased, jokingly nudging the tom with her paw.


Chapter 1Edit

I sat by the fresh-kill pile, licking my wounds clean and watching Rainwillow dash about, treating cats. We had just returned from a battle with ThunderClan. The mouse-brains even got hold of the Sunning Rocks again! Who am I, you ask? I'm Vixenstep from RiverClan. I've been a warrior for a few moons now, and everything seems good. I made a glance at Mistclaw as he limped towards the medicine cat's den with Rainwillow. I heard a quiet chirp, and turning towards it I saw Mistclaw's sister, Ripplewish. She made meaningful glances between me and Mistclaw. I rolled my green eyes. Ripplewish was nice, she's been best friend since we were little kits, but she's really crazy about bringing cats together. And it's just my luck she has decided to find me a mate. "Come on, you know I can't stand him!" I reasoned. Mistclaw was my friend back when we were kits, but halfway through apprenticehood he changed, and he's become really distant lately.

"There's never too many options!" Ripplewish mewed brightly. She always wonders why I don't have a mate. I don't want one; I don't need one. I'm a strong, independent she-cat, and I don't need anyone else to save my tail. Sure there's the lovey-dovey side of mates, but that's not really my thing, and kits... not really interested. I mean, sure, kits are sweet, but would I sacrifice seven moons stuffed in the nursery for it? Yeah right. "Anyway, how'd the fight go?" Ripplewish inquired.

I sighed in defeat. "We lost... But that doesn't mean ThunderClan's any better than us!" I'm not going to try to deny it, I am a competitive soul. Challenge me into anything, and StarClan help you. With the corner of my eye, I caught the two new apprentices, Juniperpaw and Spiderpaw, dash towards us with a mouse. Spiderpaw set the mouse in the fresh-kill pile, beaming with pride. "Did you have a good time?" I asked the apprentices. Ripplewish had granted them permission to go hunt all on their lonesome, and I think I know why...

"Yes!" Juniperpaw was nearly bouncing up and down from excitement, deep blue eyes shining. "Spiderpaw caught a mouse! He's so much better at hunting already..!"

Ripplewish smiled. "See, I told you you'd have fun. Isn't it nice to spend time together?" The young apprentices nodded. Here we go again... "I sense the start of something a lot more than firendship." Ripplewish informed, still smiling.

The apprentices exchanged a baffled glance before dashing into separate directions. "Eeeeew!" Was what I heard from both. I couldn't help but to laugh. As long as it wasn't towards me, Ripplewish's pairings were actually quite amusing to watch.

The tabby she-cat snorted before proceeding to lick her paw casually, pretending not to care of her failure. "They'll warm up to the idea eventually."

"I'm sure..." I let my gaze wonder around aimlessly before hearing my name being called from the medicine cat's den. I headed towards Rainwillow's den, ducking past the olive sedge that grew near it. "You called?"

"I want you to look after Mistclaw while I'm gone." Rainwillow, always so kind hearted, had agreed to complete WindClan's medicine cat apprentice's training after his mentor's unexpected death. Before I could protest, she cut me off with cold hard arguments. "You were the cat least injured in the battle, the apprentices have their duties and their mentors are busy too, the warriors not injured in the battle are either busy patrolling or finding the few amounts of prey we have during leaf-bare, you've helped out in the medicine cat's den before, and you two have known each other since kithood." Without waiting for an answer, the medicine cat left the den. I sighed. There was no arguing with Rainwillow. Too bad this resulted to me being stuck with Mistclaw. This is going to be a long day...


Chapter 2Edit

I sat there, Mistclaw's gray pelt rested on a nest of feathers. I hear his shoulder got jacked up, so he'll be stuck in camp for at least half a moon. There was one thing that still bothered me. "Why me?" Mistclaw lifted his head from his paws at my question. "Rainwillow's out there, sitting around doing nothing. She doesn't have an apprentice, she wasn't at the battle, you're her brother! Why'd Rainwillow pick me to babysit you?"

"I asked her too." Mistclaw stated so calmly it made me mad -but I didn't show it. I'm not giving him the satisfaction. There might even not be a reason to why I hate Mistclaw, we simply just don't get along with each other, but that's just how life works sometimes. "You're just such great company." The sweet tone of his voice almost made me sick. I know he's using it just to annoy me, but that didn't make it any less frustrating. "Be a sweetheart and fetch me a pike, would you?" I was going to protest, but he made a comment about how Rainwillow might get upset and tell someone to leave me out of the gathering. And no way would I stay in camp because of Mistclaw!

I put up an annoyed smile before turning tail, which he replied to with a content smirk. Hey look; I just remembered why I hate him! He just loves to tick me off. It's so frustrating! I stepped out of the den and headed for the fresh-kill pile. Ripplewish's silver pelt hopped towards me. "How are things going there?.." she inquired teasingly. I can catch no break... None at all... "There's a fine line between love and hate~!"

"Can you do me a favor and come down there with me?" I asked the blue-eyed she-cat. "He's making me want to pull my fur out, and I'd rather have at least some left by the end of the day." On second thought, maybe inviting Ripplewish wasn't the best idea... Especially since she's so fond of me and Mistclaw as a couple. Thoughts of very awkward moments flashed through my head.

"I'm really sorry, I can't. I'm going hunting with Mudhawk." She threw a glance at the brown tom who was currently chatting with Dovestar.

"Mudhawk?" I echoed, frowning. "Come on, you know he's trouble..." I'd rather not go into detail about our deputy, but there's one thing worth noting about Mudhawk; I've never seen him be the mate of one she-cat for over two moons. I'm utterly confused as to how anyone still thinks he's trustworthy.

"I can change him!" Ripplewish stubbornly assured. 'Well, don't come crying to me when he leaves you!' is what I would've said to any other cat, but Ripplewish's my friend. She tolerates my nasty side, but I know her limits. The spotted deputy called for Ripplewish, heading for the camp's exit. "I gotta to go. Good luck!" She called over her shoulder with a smile, dashing to catch up with the tom. Real problems would follow this... I crouched down to pick a pike from the fresh-kill pile, snowflakes starting to fall on my scarlet pelt. The sun would set in soon, but there was still a while I'd have to spend with Mistclaw. Sighing, I re-entered the medicine cat's den.

"Thanks." Mistclaw meowed, as I dropped the pike coldly in front of his dark gray paws. "Some extra feathers wouldn't hurt either..." Muttering to myself, I went to the corner of the medicine cat's den where Rainwillow kept extra moss and other things that could be used as bedding. I returned to him, and began tucking feathers into his nest with my white paws. "Could you also go tell Dovestar that I accept her request?" Of course, when I asked what request, he didn't tell me. A while went by running errands for Mistclaw, most of it pointless anyway. "Alright you can go now." he finally said, the sky starting to turn dark already. I immediately turned my back on him, heading to hear who Dovestar was going to take to the gathering. "Just one more thing." I was one step away from the exit as he said that.

I was done putting up with him. "What?".

"You're pretty when you're angry." I know he said that just to annoy me, but I still twitched my white-tipped tail the rest of the way with frustration.

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