Chapter 38

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Skypaw sat alone on the cool grass of the Gathering island. Her paws tingled with excitement, she couldn't wait to be with Hawkspirit. Even if it was just to talk about the prophecy, something she had grown to despise.

Wind howled as it rustled the leaves of the trees. The clouds covered the moon, leaving Skypaw having trouble seeing in front of her own paws in the darkness as her eyes adjusted to the lack of light.

She sighed. Stale scents of all four Clans drifted in her mouth as she tried to smell the ShadowClan medicine cat. Much to her relief, his strong scent was quickly detected as he ducked out of some vines.

"Hawkspirit!" Skypaw was instantly on her paws, purring loudly.

"Skypaw!" His meow was muffled as purrs erupted from his throat as he bolted over.

"It feels like such a long time ago," Skypaw replied. Touching noses with the ShadowClan medicine cat.

"What does?"

"The Gathering," she explained. "It's not fair, we never see each other enough."

"You don't have to remind me," Hawkspirit groaned. He sat down, wrapping his tail neatly over his paws. Skypaw copied his movements.

Skypaw just stared at him expectantly, only being returned a gaze of confusion. "Weren't we going to talk about the prophecy?"

"Oh, yes," Hawkspirit quickly meowed. "About those amber eyes. I'm so confused, certainly it couldn't be a Star-" Skypaw cut him off quickly.

"I know who they belong to. They're no StarClan cat, completely the opposite, to be exact."

"Who?" Hawkspirit tilted his head to the side in curiosity.

"Darkface," She replied. "He's a Dark Forest warrior. I met him once, and I saw his eyes, too. He's Willowleaf's littermate, and apparently he was sentenced to the Place of No Stars for killing their mother."

The ShadowClan medicine cat's eyes lit up in horror. "Killing his own mother? And I've been seeing him following me even though he's dead?"

"Yes," Skypaw sighed. Why couldn't she live the life as a normal ThunderClan apprentice? No ties to certain medicine cats, no prophecies haunting her, no Dark Forest cats stalking her, no backstories of Clanmates that should remain buried in memories. No evil leaders, and no murderers looming threateningly over her with power she would never claim?

"Dear StarClan," Hawkspirit stared at her, completely caught off guard by the sudden burst of information. "What does he want from us?"

"I could ask him the same question," Skypaw meowed flatly. "He says he likes touring the Clans."

"He needs to stay in that forest, he's too evil to be running around here spooking cats!" Hawkspirit spat.

"Tell me about it," Skypaw meowed agreement. "I feel the worst about Willowleaf. She just wants him gone, out of her memory and he keeps showing up."

"StarClan selects their strongest warriors to face the toughest battles. Believe it or not, most of the toughest fought wars aren't won with claws." Hawkspirit was staring into her eyes, his gaze pleading.

Skypaw didn't understand. Was he implying this about her and the prophecy? Why was he looking at her, his eyes begging for her to understand? Just in case, she quickly gave him a nod of certainty, showing that she believed him.

And that wasn't a lie.

~*~

"Bet you can't catch me!" Skypaw squealed. Leaves rustled as she rushed up the leader's tree, Hawkspirit at her tail.

"Think again, mousebrain!" Hawkspirit playfully swatted at her tail, purrs escaping his throat.

"Ahhh!" Skypaw meowed, acting scared.

"Ha-ha," Hawkspirit's eyes gleamed with happiness and humor as he sat on the branch that was usually Splashstar's, Skypaw joining him. Opening up her mouth to taste the air, she caught the RiverClan leader's scent, stale but still strong.

"I wonder what it's like to be a leader," Skypaw wondered out loud. Hawkspirit's head tilted in thought.

"You would get to speak at Gatherings for starters," He replied. "You would order cats around and make Clan announcements. Preform ceremonies, direct battles."

"You would have also lived the life as a deputy," Skypaw added.

"Our deputy is Moondust," Hawkspirit meowed. "She sure likes to boss everyone's tails around. Not to sound rude, but I hope she steps down or dies before she becomes leader." He stared at his paws.

"ThunderClan's deputy is Russetsky," She compared. "She's loyal, nice, and a wonderful cat in general."

"Isn't she your mother?" The ShadowClan medicine cat queried.

"Yes," Skypaw replied. "But that doesn't make me feel any different about her, though."

Hawkspirit was silent before he spoke again. "Is it weird?"

"What?" Skypaw looked at him, searching his eyes for any kind of judgement at the unusual question.

However, there was none. Just pure curiosity.

"To be..." He trailed off, seeming to rethink his thoughts before he continued. "Half-Clan."

"No," Skypaw replied, an edge on her tone. "I don't even think of myself that way. I know I'm the grandkit of Dapplestar, but I'm also the grandkit of Stormpelt. Russetsky is ThunderClan, her heritage doesn't change that. She was raised in our ways, so she's ThunderClan." Confidence echoed throughout the clearing as she delivered her little speech.

"I never said she wasn't," His voice was barely a whisper as he meowed, "You're too good of a cat for anyone to judge you of who your parents are. The tom that will claim you as his mate is the luckiest in all of StarClan."

Skypaw didn't reply, acting as if she hadn't heard him.

But, she had. His words echoed throughout her ears as her heart warmed and skipped a beat.

UGHHH Late update, I'm sorry!

One of my close friends that I talked about a few chapters ago died this afternoon. Thank you for all of you who prayed for him, I appreciated it. However, this is God's plan, and whatever happens was meant to be.

(I saw some of you shipping Skyhawk, or SkyXHawk. I loveeeeee ship names and things like that, I love reading your comments!)

Vote and comment? :D Double updates tomorrow for my lack of them today.

Also, I'm sorry, but I love Hawkspirit's quote:

"StarClan selects their strongest warriors to face the toughest battles. Believe it or not, most of the toughest fought wars aren't won with claws."

-Hawkspirit

(Sorry, bad written chapter. I have a headache and this is all fuzzy when I revise it. Hopefully I left some good notes in it, though. :> )

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