DON'T LOOK SO SURPRISED.
I warned you about this.
Just kidding. You can be mad at me. ;_;
Chapter one of Motorcity/Warriors.
Grassheart was purring happily. But Waterscar could tell it was forced out. The she-cat had taken on the four kits that Softpelt left behind. She had now seven young lives to care for and love. It was dawn, the sky frosted with pink as the moon lost the showdown to the sun.
The brambles rustled and Shinestar slid in the end. The leader nodded to Waterscar, and then focused his attention on Grassheart. “How are the kits?”
“They’re fine.” The golden furred queen licked a small grey kitten lovingly. “They’re all strong.”
“I’m so sorry you must go through this.” Shinestar pitied the over-whelmed queen. His eyes turned to stone as he rested his gaze on one of Softpelt’s kits, a large chestnut colored tabby. “But I know you will be a wonderful mother.”
Grassheart didn’t reply. Her nose detected the scent of Softpelt, the walls and the moss, the floor and the leaves, they still carried the scent of the young mother. Which didn’t comfort Grassheart, only pained her. Softpelt was outside, in the camp, curled up as if she was sleeping. Of course, the warriors had arranged her like that. The Clan was keeping vigil, quietly paying their last visit. “You will always be remembered among this Clan once you have gone.” Shinestar promised. He wrapped his tail around his paws. “The Clan is grateful for you.”
Grassheart felt the prick of annoyance. “No need. I’m not the first queen to care for seven kits at once.” She smirked. “I don’t think I need to be addressed among the Clan as a hero.” Deciding to ignore her, Shinestar turned to face Waterscar. The intensity in his eyes almost scared the tom.
“Being a close friend of Softpelt…” The leader paused, allowing himself to blink sorrowfully at speaking Softpelt’s name.
“Do you know who the father was?”
Waterscar shifted his paws. The father? “I-I don’t know.” He replied honestly. Shinestar sank into the ground, tucking his paws under his thick fur. “I was hoping it had been you.” He murmured.
Grassheart’s jaw hung down in sadness. “These kits will never know their mother or their father? Oh, the poor dears.” She gazed at her adopted children with worried eyes.
“True…” Standing a little straighter, Waterscar shuddered at his own, crazy idea. “I-I could be a father to them.” His pelt burned as Shinestar whipped his head to meet the warrior.
“You?” Grassheart’s voice brimmed with disbelief.
“Yes, me. I could be their father. It’ll only be until they become apprentices, then their mentors will take over that duty.” He explained. “I don’t want them to think their father was too ashamed to admit who he was.” Grassheart bared her teeth.
“You don’t mean to tell them you’re their REAL father, do you? You do understand that even if you take of this role, they’ll still know there’s a cat in this Clan, hiding away the fact he’s their kin.”
“He isn’t hiding.”
The growl startled all three felines. Pushing into the nursery was the white and grey furred Birdfeather. His eyes held a defensive glare.
“He’s out there, in this camp, in this Clan. And he’s not going to abandon his children.” Shinestar rose to his feet. “Yes, of course Birdfeather, but with the simple fact that we have no idea who he is, I-”
“What does it matter?” Birdfeather spat. “If he wishes to remind unknown, then let him!” His hackles were quivering with anger. Waterscar couldn’t help but notice his medicine cat was staring directly at him.
Grassheart widened her eyes. She almost stood up, but the kits feeing from her belly held her down. “But these kits. They deserve to know. Nothing hurts more than never knowing the whereabouts of your parent.” Her gaze softened. “You would know that.”
Birdfeather lashed his tail to silencing any farther protests. “They will know where he is. He’s among this Clan.” He replied coldly.
“They’ll know that. Just not who he is."
“Let all cats old enough to catch their own pretty join here beneath the Highledge for a clan meeting!”
Shinestar yowled. Inkfang and Soddenfur emerged from the Warriors Den, shaking scraps of moss from their pelt. Bluepaw, along with Birdpaw and Mothflutter staggered into the camp, carrying freshkill. Oakstripe rolled awake lazily from his nap. Most of the other cats were already in the clearing. Once each cat at settled down to listen to their leader, the golden furred cat began.
“Softpelt is dead, we all know.” He stated. “She will be remembered for her courage and good judgement.” He didn’t go father, because he had already blessed and thanked her when the elders had carried her out of camp. He let the Clan murmur among themselves for a couple heartbeats, before continuing. “Grassheart is caring for her kits. Four lovely kits. The father wishes to remind unknown.” The Clan’s reaction was very quiet. They whispered low to the cat standing next to them.
“Is he from another Clan?”
“Why, is he ashamed to admit his kit brought the death of his mate?"
Shinestar waited for the murmurs to go down because he heaved in a breath of air.
“The only good thing that comes out of this is we will have seven young cats this summer. Seven new warriors. Hah! What an announcement I’ll have to tell the other Clans at the gathering! Seven new warriors!” The Clan cheered, chins up high, some standing on their hind legs.
Shinestar dipped his head. “Thank you. Now go on with the duties you have.” He leaped down the rock and met with his deputy, Boneface. They began sorting out patrols as Clan broke up, muttering between themselves.
Birdfeather was hanging outside his den, restless. The herbs had been collected and sorted, and no cats needed treatment. He couldn’t go out on a patrol, as that wasn’t his job.
Deciding to go see the new kits, the medicine cat apprentice trotted over to the nursery. Shoving away the brackens, his heart lurched when the scent of Softpelt was still lingering. Grassheart looked troubled. Her eyes were round and swollen, her entire body was tense. Being a new mother was stressful. Birdfeather gazed at the kits; he knew which one’s were Softpelt’s, and which ones were Grassheart’s.
“Your kits are so strong and beautiful.” Birdfeather nuzzled his sister on the shoulder.
“But Softpelt’s are…so…” Birdfeather couldn’t finish. Their features were so soft, as any kit, but their faces already shaped likewise too their mother.
“Th-they are perfect.” He stammered at last.
Grassheart nodded in agreement. “Yes.” She yawned. “W-what do you need?”
Just then, Waterscar pushed into the den, halting behind Birdfeather.
“Greetings Waterscar.” Birdfeather dipped his head to the Step Father of the motherless kits. Waterscar had in fact taken the role of a sole parent, and Birdfeather wasn’t sure what to think about that. He supposed it was okay, just as long the kits knew he wasn’t their actual kin. Waterscar dipped his head. “I came to see the kits to be sure they are okay.” He nestled himself among the moss and sticks, hissing as the tough bedding poked his side.
Birdfeather sniffed each of Softpelt’s kits, his nose tickling from their soft kitten fur.
He couldn’t hold his tongue; “Can I name one?” He blurted out. The air seemed to thicken as he waited for a reply. Medicine cats never named kits. They weren’t even allowed to have any.
But Grassheart just shrugged, and Waterscar nodded. “Go ahead. They’ll need names if they want to become warriors."
Birdfeather purred his thanks and breathed the scent of a tabby kit, his stripes a light grey against his darker fur. “Lightingkit.” He said at last. Grassheart nodded slowly. “Yes…I like that.” She lowered her eyes to her own kits. “I’ve named mine already. Neptunekit, Howlkit and Silentkit.” She announced, blinking proudly. “They are good names, yes?” She asked, her tail twitching in pride. Birdfeather nodded, though his approving gesture was hurried and uninterested.
“Yes, they are.” He murmured. But his sister didn’t seem to notice his absent minded words. Waterscar moved carefully as he crawled over to Birdfeather.
“You can name the other three.” He whispered in the medicine cat apprentice’s ear. Birdfeather was surprised.
“Don’t you want to name any?” He whispered back, checking to make sure the dark golden furred queen wasn’t listening. “I’m sure.” Waterscar assured. “You’ve as much right to name them as I do.” He flicked the tip of his tail and turned away, heading out of the den.
Birdfeather spun around to the two remaining kits. After a moment of deciding, choosing the names carefully, Birdfeather finally found two names he enjoyed the sound of. “Bittenkit and Fishkit.” He declared. “These will be the names of these two kits,--and.” He noticed the last reminding kit. The large, chestnut furred one. “And-and Muttkit.” He sputtered.
“Lightingkit, Bittenkit, Fishkit…and Muttkit.”
These kits were beautiful. What kind of father would shun them like this? Birdfeather shook his head in disbelief.
Greif suddenly overwhelmed his heart, and without another word he left.