Chapter 35

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"Willowleaf, please tell me what you mean!" Skypaw begged. She had to know!

She's had enough of all the riddles that are the prophecies that shape the Clans. She's had enough of all the secrets and hard to figure out words, she's had enough of being clueless for so long. If what contains in these prophecies is important, you'd think they would be straight forward!

"Skypaw," Willowleaf's voice finally came from the herb storage rock. "Go to sleep."

"Willowleaf," Skypaw retorted. "No. I'm not tired, and all of my scratches have healed. Why can't I at least go walk around camp? I need to talk to my littermates!"

"I told you, you have a concussion," Willowleaf's tone was flat. "You have to wait until it's healed. It's a very dangerous thing to have, you fell from a tree and landed on the gr-"

"I need to talk to my littermates!" Skypaw repeated. "Can't I at least go get my own fresh kill?"

"Skypaw," The ThunderClan medicine cat sighed. "I know you're going to leave camp."

"What?" Skypaw's voice was bewildered. Her? Leaving camp? She wasn't that disobedient!

"You want to go meet Hawkspirit." Willowleaf replied as if it was obvious.

"Willowleaf!" Skypaw rolled her eyes. "How many times do I have to say I won't go see him? I never did, only when he's in our territory and I did my place as a warrior would have done. Hazelflower, Petalheart, and Flarecloud were watching me! Not to mention Gather-"

"Go to sleep." Willowleaf's meow was defeated.

Sighing loudly, Skypaw rested her head on her paws. Willowleaf's rules were pointless, her head didn't even hurt! She just doesn't trust her, and Skypaw's heart ached with the fact that she had betrayed her friend's trust without even doing the action to do so.

~*~

"Willowleaf!" Skypaw shot up as her sleep was disrupted when a yowl burst through the clearing. She was surprised that she had managed to fall asleep so quickly being in the medicine den, and peaking out of the split rock, she saw it was moonrise.

Willowleaf was on her paws within seconds, grabbing two pre-made bundles of herbs. Skypaw was instantly alert, looking at the tortoiseshell she-cat expectantly. "What are those? Who are they for?"

Just then, the pain filled yowl of a familiar cat echoed throughout the clearing. Skypaw immediately heard dens rustle and whispers between cats as she realized what was happening.

"Featherfur," Willowleaf's voice was muffled as she made her way to the entrance of her den. "Her kits are coming. I knew they would be any day, so I made these before I went to sleep."

Skypaw was on her paws within moments, quickly being hissed at. "Skypaw, lay back down!" 

Before Willowleaf could go on about how Skypaw had a concussion yet again, a striped head peaked into the den. His fur was panicked and his eyes were filled with fear. "Willowleaf, Featherfur's-"

"I know," Willowleaf meowed. Bumblefoot moved out of the way as Willowleaf ducked out of the den, following the striped warrior and ordering him to wait outside.

Skypaw wanted to go sleep off the wait until the little bundles of fur were born, but a familiar black pelt bolted into the den, her hazel eyes filled with excitement. "Featherfur's-"

"Kits are coming!" The two she-cats said in unison.

"How are you holding up?" Hazelflower asked, sitting down next to her apprentice's nest.

"It's so boring!" Skypaw complained. "She won't even let me stand up! I have two moons until my warrior ceremony, I got to get out of camp and trai-" Skypaw was cut off by a comforting reply.

"It's all going to work out, Skypaw." Hazelflower meowed softly. "You're a fantastic hunter, most apprentices wouldn't have even dared to go climb the Sky Oak, let alone hunt a bird from it."

"I didn't realize it was the Sky Oak," Skypaw admitted. "I just wanted to hunt. I don't know what I'll do if Rainpaw and Shadepaw are made warriors and I'm not, I'll be the only apprentice."

Hazelflower nodded in understanding. "Very rarely does a ThunderClan apprentice not pass, Skypaw. We're too smart for failing." Her mentor's eyes glistened with amusement, and Skypaw let out a purr.

~*~

The two she-cats had joked around for what seemed like eternity, talking about Clan issues and joking around. Sharing secrets and laughs, Skypaw had even learned that Hazelflower had a soft spot for Firesoul. Skypaw was genuinely surprised, for Hazelflower did a wonderful job of hiding her secrets.

Cats had commented to both of them before on how they acted as if they were littermates, how close the mentor and apprentice were as friends. Skypaw didn't mind, she had seemed to develop friendships with cats she had never expected. Between Appleleaf and Willowleaf, including Hazelflower and Featherfur, she wasn't as lonely as she had thought after all.

Skypaw tried to ignore the growls and screeches of Featherfur as she bore her first litter of kits to Bumblefoot, but it was almost impossible to do so. Between the silver warrior, the splintering cracks of twigs as she snapped them with her jaws and Bumblefoot's paws pounding around camp as he paced back and forth, Skypaw wished she didn't have ears.

"What do you think she'll name them?" Hazelflower asked.

"Well, I for one would name the she-cats Hazelkit and Skykit," Skypaw purred. Hazelflower nodded agreement.

"If there's a tom, maybe Firekit?" She questioned, her eyes glimmering as she spoke about the cat she had grown to adore. "Speaking of which," She added. "Who have you got the butterflies for?"

Skypaw's mind seemed to zoom to ShadowClan, but she shook her head to clear it. She was probably just thinking about how Ratscar most likely would never have a mate!

Thinking long and hard, she found it was impossible to like any ThunderClan cat. There were a few young warriors, such as Berrypelt or Mousetail, but Skypaw could never even imagine herself talking to Berrypelt. She wouldn't dare go after Mousetail, knowing how he links to Sunstar and the murder of Moonfur.

There were no tom apprentices, so Skypaw was kind of left in the dark. She figured one of her pretty littermates would snatch the toms before she got a chance to even get to know them anyways, so she shrugged off Hazelflower's question.

"Come on, there has to be some cat, Skypaw," Hazelflower encouraged.

As much as Skypaw wanted to deny it, she couldn't ignore the way her heart throbbed as her mind drifted back over the ShadowClan border for the second time within a few moments.

Warning: A tiny time fast forward will occur next chapter. Nothing major, but just a heads up. I want to speed things along to the next Gathering.

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