Chapter 5

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            Flamekit sat in the nursery, bored as ever. Currently, she was occupied by tossing a mossball at the wall of the nursery, watching as it bounced back. With a swipe of her paw, it would hit the wall again and land between her paws.
            It was less than a moon before she was an apprentice, but lately she’d been so bored, wishing she could just become an apprentice now. Why did she have to wait until she was six moons? Couldn’t Suntail just lie and say she was a bit older?
            For the past moon, she’d sometimes hang out with Mothpaw, though Mothpaw seemed too busy with her new friend, Rosepaw. Flamekit didn’t want to be jealous, but the two were becoming good friends.
            Rosepaw and her brother, Bramblepaw, had just been recently made warriors though, leaving Mothpaw to continue her medicine cat training.
            Plus, the little adventure they’d gone on had nearly given Flamekit a heart attack, and she hadn’t fetched any more herbs with Mothpaw since despite her multiple invitations.
            RiverClan was more boring than ever as green-leaf settled in. Suntail urged her to go on walks and find some excitement, exclaiming how beautiful the day was and how they could practice catching fish again.
            Flamekit didn’t want to be disappointed with her empty paws though, so she’d often turn her mother’s requests away and sit by the entrance of the nursery, wishing she could be the apprentices that she saw returning with loads of fish and other pray.
            Flamekit tensed as she felt a tail wrap around her. She turned, noticing Suntail standing over her and grinning.
            “Bored, huh?” Suntail asked.
            “As always,” Flamekit sighed, tossing her mossball again.
            “It’ll be less than a moon, and then you’ll be training,” Suntail purred.
            “But I want to train now!” Flamekit whined, pouting.
            “The RiverClan law is that it must be six moons before a kit trains, and those laws were made for a reason, Flamekit. Your body is still growing, and we wouldn’t want you training when you could be in a dangerous state. Maybe Brownpelt isn’t busy.”
            “He’s always busy,” Flamekit responded.
            “I’ve talked to him, convinced him to spend some more time with his family now and then. In fact,” she said, looking out the den, “I can see him by the fresh kill pile. Let’s go.”
            Flamekit followed her mother out into the camp, watching Brownpelt’s face lift up into a smile as they sat down beside him.
            “Good morning, Suntail. Good morning, Flamekit,” he purred.
            “Lovely day,” Suntail confirmed.
            “You’re lucky that you’ll begin training when prey is so plentiful,” Brownpelt explained to Flamekit. “I bet you’ll come home with a fish your first day.”
            Flamekit grinned, though she knew Brownpelt was only trying to flatter her.
            “I’m not an apprentice for several sunrises,” Flamekit argued.
            “They’ll go by quickly,” Suntail assured her, though Flamekit knew she was wrong.
            “I remember when I was an apprentice and I caught my first fish, I was overjoyed,” Brownpelt began. “I can remember the slimy thing between my paws, wriggling, trying to get itself free…”
            Flamekit zoned out at this point as Brownpelt continued marveling about his first catch. Flamekit knew it was meant to capture her attention, but she highly doubted she’d be able to catch prey anytime soon.
            “Oh, Goldstar and I would often train together!” Suntail exclaimed, reminiscing on her experience with her sister. “We’d train and practice fighting moves when we’d return home from camp. It was all good fun.”
            “I remember that!” Brownpelt exclaimed. “Once you hit me in the ear by accident while you two were playing.”
            “I apologized, and that’s how I learned your name,” Suntail purred. She sighed, watching as Goldstar led a patrol into camp.
            “But that was before she was assigned deputy. I was proud of her, of course. But she’s leader now, and she just doesn’t have as much time for me anymore.”
            “She’s got the entire clan to run,” Brownpelt pointed out.
            As the two spoke, Flamekit narrowed her eyes, recognizing frustration in Goldstar’s face once again. Brownpelt must’ve recognized it too because he got up and greeted her.
            “Goldstar, are you all right?” he asked.
            “Fine,” Goldstar replied. “Get Mothpaw and tell her to look at Daisyflower’s paw. It’s got some cuts.”
            Suntail, hearing this, pricked her ears.
            “Cuts?” she asked.
            “Fox trespassed on our territory,” Goldstar exclaimed. “That’s the second one this moon. I don’t know what they’re doing here. They don’t often stray on RiverClan territory too often.”
            “Well, at least you’ve sorted it out. Maybe they’ll go away,” Suntail offered.
            “Sure, we can drive them off, but foxes can easily kill us,” Goldstar replied, refusing to make eye contact with Suntail. She then padded off towards her den, leaving Flamekit to wonder if there was something else going on.
            “I’ll help Snowheart,” Brownpelt told Suntail, leading Snowheart towards the medicine cat den.
            Flamekit offered wondered why her father tried to be such an amazing warrior. Goldstar had already assigned a deputy, and unless the deputy somehow died off, Flamekit didn’t think Goldstar would assign him. In fact, she often watched her walk past him most of the time, not even paying attention to him.
            “Flamekit!” called Mothpaw.
            Flamekit looked up, watching her tortoiseshell friend pad towards her excitedly.
            “I thought Snowheart had some cuts on her paw,” Flamekit said.
            “She does, but Mountaineye’s got it taken care of. What do you say we share a mouse and chat?” she asked.
            Flamekit looked at her mother, and Suntail grinned. “I’ll be in the nursery,” she told Flamekit, wandering off.
            Flamekit sat down beside Mothpaw as Mothpaw grabbed a small fish from the fresh-kill pile.
            Flamekit bit into the fish, savoring it’s tasty flavor.
            “We haven’t talked in awhile,” Mothpaw admitted.
            “No, we haven’t,” Flamekit agreed.
            “I mean, I’ve asked you to come and grab supplies with me, but you always say you’re busy. And when I talk to Suntail, she says you’re bored out of your mind. Is something wrong?” Mothpaw asked.
            “No,” Flamekit lied, taking another bite of fish.
            “Come on,” Mothpaw urged. “Is it because of that first time?”
            Flamekit swallowed and nodded slowly.
            “You’re scared?” Mothpaw asked.
            Flamekit moved her paws around nervously. “It’s not that, really. You’re forgetting I went into the woods at night when I was only a few moons old.”
            “Well, if you’re not scared, then why won’t you come?”
            “It’s…well…It’s because of Rosepettle,” she blurted out.
            “What? Do you not like her?” Mothpaw asked.
            “No, I do,” Flamekit explained. “It’s stupid, really. Just forget I said it.”
            “No, now you have to tell me,” Mothpaw replied.
            “I was…I was jealous you were hanging out with her a lot,” Flamekit mewed quietly.
            “Oh, that? Why are you jealous? We’re still good friend aren’t we? Can’t I have more than one friend?” Mothpaw asked.
            “Yes, it’s just…you’re an apprentice, so was she. I’m not even an apprentice yet,” Flamekit whined.
            “You will be soon. Don’t worry. Rosepettle is busy with her warrior duties now. I won’t be a full medicine cat apprentice for a little while longer. You’re still my good friend, Flamekit. Now, do you want to come with me to get cobwebs?”
            “I thought you said Mountaineye had it under control,” Flamekit spoke.
            “He does. We’re out though and he asked me to get more,” Mothpaw explained. “Come on! It’ll be fun! There’s no jumping fences this time, I promise.”
            Flamekit glanced around nervously, but she knew she could trust Mothpaw. Mothpaw was her friend, and she was right. If Flamekit kept avoiding Mothpaw, she’d just lose her friendship.
            “Made up your decision?” Mothpaw asked.
            “Is Rosepettle coming?” Flamekit wondered. She knew it was rude to ask, but she wanted to know if it’d just be her and Mothpaw this time.
            “Nope. Just you and me,” Mothpaw assured her.
            “Then, I’m all for it!” Flamekit exclaimed.
            “Yay!” Mothpaw cheered.
            After getting her mother’s permission, both Flamekit and Mothpaw padded into the woods, chatting and laughing the entire way.

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