A/N: This is a challenge for CreamClan, a new forum I joined. You should join ;D it's really fun and we don't have very many members yet, but it should! And this oneshot has characters from The Lost Clan, but you don't have to read that to completely understand it.
Disclaimer: Not only do I not own Warriors, but Littleflower gave me the idea for this challenge and I ran off with it. The only thing I own here is the story, because while thanks to Littleflower my writer's block was cleared(for now, anyway), I wrote this by myself.
Rushpaw curled up in a nest and shut his eyes. Beside him, he could hear Icepaw and Lionpaw chattering about a fight.
He sighed. So much was going through his mind. Flamepaw had been attacked by a badger. So what? It's a pity the badger didn't maul him, Rushpaw thought. He can't even stay loyal to his little medicine cat friend anymore, let alone his Clanmate. I risked my life to come after him and he just scoffed at me.
It was all he could do not to hiss in annoyance. And now his 'Clanmate' had gotten himself hurt again- no doubt showing off. Rushpaw grinned despite himself. Flamepaw had somehow got off Spottedpaw's right paw; he was sure in the way Spottedpaw had been found that Flamepaw cared nothing about her.
Rushpaw snorted. So what if Flamepaw didn't like her? It was better that way. Now he could be loyal completely to RiverClan and not some stupid she-cat... He drifted off to sleep still wondering about iit.
"Well, hello... Rushpaw... Nice of you to drop in."
Rushpaw looked up, startled. Nothing in front of him. He returned to staring at the slimy mud at his paws.
"Didn't your mentor ever teach you to look behind you?" the same voice scoffed. Rushpaw tensed and whipped around.
"Who are you?" he hissed, unsheathing his claws. "Show yourself!"
"I'd rather you looked for me first," drawled the voice.
"I'm not going anywhere," retorted Rushpaw.
"You're all the same," the voice huffed irritably. "Never listen. Arrogant. Show offs. Maybe if you weren't, some deaths might not have happened..."
Rushpaw's body relaxed, though his claws stayed out. "Do you mean.. Silverdust?"
"Shut up Rushpaw, you're not the only cat who's lost what he wanted!"
"I was just asking," Rushpaw muttered, nonetheless feeling quite embarrassed, "sorry about that. What do you mean then?"
"I'll tell you when I want to," snarled the cat, and Rushpaw resisted the urge to gi find him and give him a few slaps with his claws unsheathed to think about. Maybe playing dumb would help.
So instead he flinched. "I didn't mean to offend- sorry-"
"Save me the apologies. I've seen you in the real world. You're smart. Sharp-tongued, sarcastic, rude- why can't you do that here?"
"Because," meowed Rushpaw furiously, feeling a wave of resentment at the fact he was powerless to defend because he couldn't see who was talking to him, "because- I don't have the advantage of surprise attack. I can't see you.."
"'Because I don't have the advantage of surprise attack.' You can't be bothered to look, though can you?"
"'I can't see you.' Great point. Use your ears, can't you?"
"I didn't ask you to come!" Rushpaw snapped. I wanted to sleep!"
"Oh, okay. Thought I might ask you to do something for me... But if you'd rather sleep that's fine, I can always find some other cat.."
"Do what?" Rushpaw asked, reluctantly letting his curiosity get the better of him.
"I thought you wanted to sleep?"
"You're wasting my time," retorted the cat. Rushpaw stared through the darkness, desperate to see the cat, but it was a useless attempt; the cat had hidden himself too well.
"What do you want?" Rushpaw demanded.
"Maybe, depends what it is.."
"You don't like Flamepaw, do you?"
Rushpaw jumped. "Well- he's my Clanmate-"
"I didn't ask if he was your Clanmate or not," the cat meowed. "All I said was do you like him?"
Rushpaw stared, mouth agape. "Well, no, I don't," he meowed.
"Do you like having to share dens with him, hunt with and for him, fight with and for him?"
"Look, I might not like him but he's my Clanmate!" Rushpaw burst out. "So what do you want me to do- kill him or something?" I don't like him, but I'd be a coward if I killed him for that reason. And I'm not...
There was a pause; Rushpaw's heart raced and he stiffened, wondering if he had provoked an attack on himself.
"I saw you," hissed the voice at last.
"Saw me what?"
"When he stayed asleep while the Clan left," hissed the cat. "His Clan left; his sister left, and they didn't go track him down. But you did."
"Yeah? So what?" Rushpaw snapped.
"So what," hissed the voice coolly. "So what. So when has he risked his life for you? Tell me, when?"
This wasn't quite the counter question Rushpaw had expected. He hated Flamepaw, and was shocked at how much he wanted to say that Flamepaw had saved his life at least once- but no matter how much he racked his brain, no memory sparked, because no matter what he wanted to say to the creepy cat with him, there was a solid barrier to it: Flamepaw never had.
"He never did," Rushpaw muttered.
"Precisely," hissed the cat. "Now, was there ever a time he left the scene of a battle, ever a time when he left you and your Clanmates to fight alone? Think, Rushpaw... Think carefully..."
Rushpaw frowned into the darkness and shut his eyes. And then a memory sparked. It was our asssessment, and we were attacked by rogues...
"Yes," he said slowly. "He was the reason ... The reason Silverdust died."
"Yes, that's right!" The voice cut him off sharply. "Don't you want to make him pay for it?"
"Well, it might have been a mistake- Silverdust and I were almost warriors and he was practically a half-grown kit!"
"Half-grown kit!" scoffed the cat. Rushpaw shifted his paws uncomfortably.
"Tell me the truth, now. All of it." The rough meow cut through his mind. "I don't care what you say if you're lying. Now then..., are you going to open up a little more, or do I have to make you?"
"Well, all right," Rushpaw mewed. Resentment washed over him again at being at this cat's advantage.
"Forget that he was your Clanmate; all in all, what do you think about him?"
Rushpaw closed his eyes. "Okay." Forget it. He's just some cat I know.
Well, let's start. He's an arrogant furball. Never listens, never cares about others' feelings. And a show-off, I mean look what he did to himself so he could show everyone he survived a badger attack. Flamepaw's the biggest coward I ever saw. He's the reason Silverdust is dead. If he hadn't fled, she might still be alive by now.
"Done yet?" hissed the voice.
Rushpaw nodded. "Yeah..." A fresh wave of anger passed over him. It was all Flamepaw's fault, all of it, that Silverdust had died.
"He's an arrogant, cowardly show-off- that's all he is."
"Yes," the tomcat hissed, "Well, what are you going to do about it?"
"Nothing," said Rushpaw simply, not because he didn't want to but because there was no point in this scuffle that had happened moons ago- and because half of him still wanted to tease Flamepaw as they always had, to have him as his Clanmate, one he knew...
"You don't want revenge?"
The question was so sudden that Rushpaw made a sudden clawing motion through the mud.
"Why- do you want me to do something to him?" Rushpaw was shocked.
"You're a loyal cat, Rushpaw." Something brushed his shoulder and he hissed softly, mostly annoyed rather than angry.
"Shut it, you're just trying to make me do something I don't want to," Rushpaw snarled.
"Don't you see what I mean?"
"Nope..." He sighed. Why was he being bugged by this cat when he had no wish to have revenge on Flamepaw? "Look..." He glanced pleadingly around. "If Silverp- dust wanted this revenge to happen, wouldn't she have told me?"
"StarClan isn't always specific about what they want."
He opened his mouth to retort but he was cut off by the tom as he added, "You don't have to kill Flamepaw."
Rushpaw couldn't stop a sneer from spreading across his face. "What do you expect me to do then- beat him up?"
"No. I want you to get him exiled from RiverClan."
Rushpaw jumped as the cat stepped out from his hiding place, which happened to be in the bush right next to him.
"Okay." Rushpaw swallowed. This wasn't going to be easy.
"But." The tomcat raised his voice slightly, and Rushpaw glanced at him in time to see him staring furiously at his paws, "I want you to make sure his soft little friend Spottedpaw doesn't like him as much as she used to." The tom's mouth twisted into a smirk. "Because he broke her heart."
Rushpaw shrugged. "Yes.. Well how am I going to do that?"
"Frame him, if you want, kill some cat she likes that Flamepaw doesn't- it will be easy to say that he did it, because they know he doesn't like them."
"What?" Rushpaw took a step backward. "No." His mew trembled as he spoke. "No. I can't kill someone to get him exiled- Silverdust w-wouldn't want me to do this."
"Have you seen her?"
"No!" he spat. "But I knew her! She wouldn't want me to kill someone to exile a cat-"
"-who basically killed her by fleeing when she needed him."
Anger flashed through him. "And killing an innocent cat is just as bad! I said no."
"Fine. Just thought you'd like an idea," meowed the tom. "What other ideas do you have?"
There was a pause. Rushpaw waited nervously. Why couldn't he get out of this stinking forest- why did he have to sit chatting about how to get Flamepaw exiled?
"I know what you're going to say when I suggest this," the tomcat meowed. "But you'll save her a lot of pain she'd have to suffer otherwise."
"GREAT STARCLAN JUST TELL ME!" Rushpaw exploded.
"Fro- no what? you want me to kill her?"
"Do you think she'll be happier as a warrior who has problems that will prevent her from doing what she wants to?Her blind eye and deaf ear?"
"No. But it's none of my business," Rushpaw answered.
"You'd be rewarded." The tomcat stepped closer. "Will you do it?"
"It would save her suffering. Like not being able to see or hear her enemies on one side in battle. And it would get rid of Flamepaw."
Rushpaw closed his eyes, then opened them and stared hard at the tomcat. "You promise?" he demanded.
The tomcat stared at him hard, as though thinking. His smirk widened. "By that do you mean that it will save her from suffering and getting rid of Flamepaw?"
"Yes," Rushpaw meowed forcefully.
"Well, then, yes," the tomcat replied coolly. "It will get him kicked out if you do it properly- you have to wipe out any proof that you were the one."
"Okay then," Rushpaw mewed.
The tom took another step toward him. "Now you must promise me something."
The temperature seemed to drop. Rushpaw felt as though his paws were frozen to the ground.
"Yes?" he whispered.
"I want you to promise that you won't tell anyone about me. That you will confide in me all your plans and you won't let drop that it was you. Make it convincing," the tomcat hissed.
Rushpaw sighed. So many secrets. No wonder the Clans lived in chaos most of the time. Secrets. Lies. Promises. He felt dizzy and turned away before retching repeatedly onto the small stretch of grass in front of him.
"Do you make that promise?"
Rushpaw swallowed. His mouth felt unusually dry. He turned back to face the tomcat, who hadn't moved in the few moments he'd retched.
"I will help you. If you want. I can help you make it convincing when the time comes," the tom hissed. "DO you accept my offer?"
Rushpaw stared back into the shadowy face. His mouth was becoming increasingly dry now. He wanted to run but couldn't- and then what the cat meant hit him. This cat, whoever he was, was offering to help him with Frostpaw an Flamepaw. To frame his Clanmate- but he mustn't think of that right now, and if he was honest with himself, he really wanted Flamepaw exiled. And he could only reply with one answer, couldn't he?
"I- I.." He trailed off. "I accept your offer."
A/N: Done! I have to say, it feels kind of weird from Rushpaw's POV- I've only written one chapter with his POV in it- but not bad. And I actually considered putting it in as a filler for the Lost Clan but then I remembered the FluffyClan challenge and I was like, 'Oh, that sounds perfect!' So yeah, I'm actually pretty proud of this one xD
Well, there's one challenge done and gone for FluffyClan! I think I'll only have one more to go after this, and it'll be sad considering I wrote a lot faster when I have something in mind. So, finally, only one more question to be asked.
Did I pass?
Review or on top of being exiled Flamepaw will turn into an evil cat just like Raggedtail xD