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Shallow


It used to be just the two of us..


Original concept by Ginger, adopted by Rosetail




--Prologue--

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I remember when times were simple.

Everyday started in the warm embrace of Willowheart and a good playfight with Stonekit. Just the sight of his spiky, gray pelt, his sparkling yellow eyes... it just always got me to a better mood. Many times he would invite Mistykit to play with us, but my sister was to busy bombing the medicine cat with questions. Though I can't say that that upset me. I enjoyed spending time with Stonekit, he didn't complain about my company either. Mistykit's absence was just an excuse for us to be alone, and the time we spent just the two of us was the best of my whole kithood. He was my best friend back then, and I was his. He promised, that when he became the leader of SkyClan, I would be his deputy. Of course it was just a silly promise kits make throughout their lives in the nursery, but for me it meant more. I took it as a promise that we would be close for the rest of our lives.

I always imagined our future together. We would have just completed our warrior vigils and would celebrate with a hunt down the river. The hunt wouldn't work out, as we would just sit down to admire the sunrise. We would sit there, under the willow tree, pelt to pelt, watching the sky turn from milky white to pale blue. He would make a comment about the beauty of moment, and how it was no match for mine. I would shyly look down at our reflections and see him lean closer. His spiky pelt would brush against my swirly one as he would whisper to my ear, "Be my mate.".

As the thought was cut off in my head, I heard the words that would change my life,

"... until you have received your warrior name, you will be called Streampaw."

Getting lost in my thoughts again, the information of my mentor disappeared. I touched noses with a tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat that approached me, hoping that this would be the right cat. For my luck, she was. I couldn't afford to embarrass myself in front of Stonekit, soon to be Stonepaw. The she-cat later turned out to be Dapplestream, the skilled fighter with claws as sharp as her tongue. Stonepaw's mentor was Amberbark. The she-cat's brown pelt was warm and dark, and her amber eyes scorched like fire. I didn't like her, despite the amount of things I didn't know about her yet. But her nose touched Stonepaw's way longer than it should have, and it lit a flame of jealousy inside me. Mistypaw became a medicine cat apprentice -not that it surprised me- and was very excited that Blackberry had accepted her to the post of her apprentice.

Of course at this moment I was beaming with pride and excitement. I thought that this was the start of my life together with Stonepaw. I thought it would be just like kithood, but better. But I was wrong.

Apprenticehood would bring along many problems that I never would have seen coming...


--Chapter 1: Friends or Foes?--

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I remember my first day of apprenticehood like it was yesterday. Who doesn't, honestly?


I stood proudly in front of the Clan, feeling determination as all of SkyClan chanted my name. I took a shy glance to my side, expecting to see support in Stonepaw's eyes, but the gray apprentice didn't even look at me. He was too busy watching Amberbark. I assured myself it was just excitement, -no matter how hard it was to believe- and turned to my sister. I felt happy as the support and excitement I much desired was mirrored in her blue eyes. The Clan dispersed back to its daily routines, and our mentors gathered us to a group by the medicine cat's den. Blackberry thought that it would be a good idea for Mistypaw to go see the borders with us, so she and Mistypaw tagged along as we started the tour. Blackberry stopped every once in a while to point out some random plant and go on about how this was the best spot to find it and how it cured this and that.

I didn't care enough to listen to her. Don't get me wrong, the medicine cat is very important and should be treated with respect, but I didn't come here to learn the best places to collect yarrow, I came to learn the borders that I would defend for many moons to come. Amberbark on the other paw, stopped by every single scent mark and gave a lecture about the importance of that spot and the biggest problems there. Despite that I disliked her, I listened closely to her every word. She said something worth listening to, even Mistykit had to pay attention. We had already seen the borders, and now it was time to return to camp. We took the route by the river, as it started from the lake that was in camp. I've heard about the river before, but I never thought it would be this wide, this sparkly, this beautiful.

My heart skipped as I padded beneath a willow that grew just at the edge of the river. Its long branches arched above the current, casting shadows that crossed my stripes. I knew that this was the place I dreamed of, this would be the place I would hopefully someday end up with Stonepaw. This would the place that I would visit frequently, this would be the place I would come to clear my mind. I took a shy glance at Stonepaw, and was satisfied as I found him gazing at the river, not at Amberbark, but I couldn't help to compare myself to her. I felt like I wasn't graceful enough, that my blue eyes didn't shine as brightly, that my silver tabby pelt wasn't as glossy. Would Stonepaw be shallow enough to care about these things? I didn't know, but the possibility that he did struck fear in to my heart.

Time passed, and we arrived safely to camp. Our mentors excused us for the rest of the day, giving us time to get to know our new denmates. I picked a small vole from the fresh-kill pile, building up courage to ask to share it with Stonepaw under the shade of an excuse, but when I turned back to say the words, he wasn't there anymore. Instead I found him chatting with two toms. They looked similar enough to be brothers, so that was the assumption I made. The other one was light brown and his eyes were blue, while who I assumed to be his brother was darker and tabby, his appearance completed with similar eyes, but these ones dark green. The three toms seemed to get along well. I was too shy to join them, so instead I ate with Mistypaw in the medicine cat's den. I thought there'd be more apprentices than the two toms, and assumed that the rest were still out hunting or on a patrol.

"Don't you want to go meet the other apprentices?" I asked my sister, as I came to realize that she hadn't made a single glance at the apprentices' den.

"I enjoy the solitude of an empty medicine cat's den. I was also planning on spending the rest of the day learning about herbs. Besides, I'll have plenty of time to get to know them; everyone's bound to end up in the medicine cat's den eventually."

I shrugged my shoulders and resumed eating. Mistypaw had always enjoyed her time alone, but I assumed she'd take at least a little interest towards meeting the other apprentices.

By the time the sun set behind the gorge, casting ginger light upon the camp, all of the apprentices were in camp. I stepped in to the apprentices' den, taking shy glances around. Three she-cats were sharing tongues in the far corner, and Stonepaw was chatting with the toms in another. I came upon a choice; should I be friends with the she-cats or the toms? Of course I was too shy to join the toms, so I approached the three she-cats. One of them was sand colored and tabby, and her dark green eyes were piercing as she lifted her gaze at me. The second was brown from pelt and eyes, and her fur was wavy. While the last she-cat was a redish ginger, set with green eyes and a single white paw.

"So you're the new apprentice?" The sandy she-cat was the first to acknowledge my existence.

"I'm Streampaw." I said shyly.

"I'm Sandpaw. And this is Russetpaw and Hazelpaw." Sandpaw's voice was relatively friendly, but I could see her green eyes judge my every movement. "So were done here? Good." She turned away, the rest of the she-cats following her example. Feeling shut out, I proceeded to find a free nest. There was one free next to Stonepaw, would I dare to take it? Of course I would, I could always take it under the shadow of an excuse. I curled up in to a silver tabby furball, and watched the she-cats talk about something. I couldn't be certain, but I was almost sure they were talking about me. I sighed heavily, wondering if we'd ever get along.

"Don't let Sandpaw's gang get you down." A she-cat's voice carried out to my ear. I looked to my side to see a blue-silver she-cat with an occasional white fleck. "She's a pain in the tail, but you'll get used to it. Just because she's Goldenstar's daughter doesn't make her any better than anyone else!" The she-cat rolled her eyes. "I'm Icewing by the way. You're one of Willowheart's kits, right?"

I nodded my head. "The name's Streampaw."

"You better get some sleep, Streampaw. Dapplestream always wakes up at the crack of dawn, and she expects you to do so too." Icewing got up and padded towards the exit. "Good night, and good luck." she added half way out the den.

I closed my eyes, reliving the day once more, making notices, sinking in to my thoughts. My heart skipped as Stonepaw's pelt brushed in to mine. Taking that nest was a good decision. I took a deep breath, and let the soft moss lul me to sleep.


--Chapter 2: Of Mice and Medicine--

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Coming soon...

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