Firestar purred while he walked through StarClan's forest. Sandstorm, his mate, next to him. It had been many seasons since the two of them, Greystripe, Dustpelt and Ravenflight had joined their ancestors. He felt a growl coming up his throat when he remembered the reasons for their deaths. Tigerstar. All five warriors had fallen under the dark tabby-toms claws. In the last battle against the Dark forest, the battle the clans had won.
"What's wrong Firestar?" The former leader snapped out of his memories and answered: "I thought about the fight." Sandstorm's glowing eyes dulled a bit and she whispered: "It hurt to leave Squirrelflight and Leafpool behind."
The fiery-ginger tom nodded and licked over her ears. Sandstorm had held on the longest and the kits of their oldest littler had been with her when she died. Sandstorm had had two more litters with him before the fight. Only one moon before the fight their youngest kits had become apprentices. Firestar hid a sigh when images of his kits flashed through his mind. The kits from Sandstorm's first litter: Squirrelflight, a dark ginger she-cat with brilliant green eyes, one white paw and a squirrel-like bushy tail and Leafpool, a light brown tabby she-cat with amber eyes, white chest and white paws. The pale-ginger she-cat's second litter: Robintail, a ginger she-cat with white paws and tail-tip, Sunclaw, a small sand-coloured tom and two torn ears and Snownight, a white she-cat with blue eyes. Her latest litter had been: Strawberrylight, a she-cat which looked exactly like her father, Honeycloud, a yellow she-cat with yellow eyes, in honour to her former apprentice Honeyfern, Flamescar, a dark-ginger tom with amber-eyes and a scar over his back and Russettail, a pale-ginger she-cat with dark-ginger spots in her fur.
"I'm truthfully the most sorry for Squirrelflight at the moment", meant Sandstar, causing her mate to jerk out of his memories once again. Firestar just nodded. Bramblestar had gotten older over the past few seasons, like every other cat. He had been a good leader for ThunderClan and Firestar new Lionblaze would be as great as a leader as his former apprentice. The tabby tom was in his last life and ill with green-cough. The chances for his survival were bad. Firestar had been chosen to introduce him to StarClan if Squirrelflight wouldn't die before her mate.
"I really don't want to take him with me", sighed the tom. Bramblestar would be the third cat he introduced to their ancestors Clan. The first was Sandstorm and the second Hollyleaf. His granddaughter had died soon after the fight against Tigerstar and his warriors. She had saved Russettail, he apprentice to that time, from falling down the cliff into ThunderClan camp. Unfortunately she fell by herself.
"How do you think will Squirrelflight react when Bramblestar dies?"
Firestar looked into Sandstorm's eyes and answered: "Though to the fact that she's expecting his kits I truly hope she won't kill herself."
"Even Squirrelflight wouldn't do that Firestar", argued Sandstorm.
"Do you know our daughter so bad?"
Sandstorm sighed deeply and pushed her nose into the fur of his neck. They both knew their oldest daughter very good. Squirrelflight was confident enough to jump down into the camp to die. But she would never leave kits alone so the chances that she'll kill herself to be with Bramblestar were small. The pair went on and walked towards the moon-pool. Shortly before they reached it a golden she-cat jumped towards them.
"Goldenflower", greeted Firestar and dipped his head.
Goldenflower and Sandstorm did the same and the queen stated: "It's time. Bramblestar is losing his last life."
Firstar gulped, but nodded and followed the golden she-cat. At Moon-Pool a few more cats awaited them. A sleek, muscular, pale grey tom with darker flecks and dark blue eyes, a dark grey she-cat with a broad, flattened face, sharp, yellow teeth, bright orange eyes and a thick tail and a blue-grey she-cat with thick, long fur, a broad face, silver hair tinged around her muzzle and tail and piercing icy-blue eyes.
"Ashfur, Yellowfang, Bluestar", greeted the red tom. The others greeted back. They all had special connections to Bramblestar.
Firestar had been his mentor and leader before him, Bluestar had been leader before him and supported Bramblestar for the great journey that brought the clans to the lake. Yellowfang and Firestar had returned into the fire where the fire-coloured tom had saved Bramblestar. The old grey she-cat had died from the smoke the day after. And Ashfur had been his friend and rival. The toms had had their problems with each other; though every crime Ashfur had done was because of love. Both toms had fought for Squirrelflight and she had chosen Tigerstars son. But Ashfur had been long forgiven and he understood, if Squirrelflight loved Bramblestar more than him, then he should be happy for her to have someone.
Bluestar looked at Firestar and said: "Now."
Firestar nodded and stepped into the pool. He shivered when the coldness of the water took over his whole body. Everything became black and silent, then there was a flash of pain and Firestar found himself in the middle of ThunderClans camp.
Cats ran into the medicine-cats den, though Jayfeather ushered everyone out, except for Lionblaze, Dovewing, Squirrelflight and her kits. Eaglestripe, a tom who resembled Bramblestar in everything except for his eyes and Dawnheart, a ginger she-cat with darker stripes were Squirrelflights and Bramblestar's first own kits. Firestar padded into the medicine-cats den, past Berrynose who sat guard in front of his old mentor's resting-place. When he padded into the den, his heart ached by the duty he had to fulfil. The moment he stood behind the group in the den, Jayfeather raised his hand and focused his blind eyes on him.
"Is it time?", mouthed the grey-furred healer.
Firestar nodded and walked up to his former apprentice and deputy. Raspy breaths came from the dark tabby-tom. His amber eyes were misty, but were lovingly focused on his mate.
"Please", begged Squirrelflight silently. "Please Bramblestar, you can't leave me."
Before the tom answered nudged Firestar him gently and stepped next to his daughter. Swiftly the leaders eyes focused on him, then went back to his mate and he rasped: "I can't. My time here…is over."
His eyes closed and Firestar placed his nose on Bramblestar's fore-head. Squirrelflight put her paws on his shoulders and shook her mate strongly. Slowly his eyes opened once more, to focus on his old mentor. "Fi-Firestar", rasped the dark-brown tom out. "I'm ready…" With that his eyes closed once more. Firestar dug his fangs into Bramblestar's throat and pulled the tabby's soul out of his body. Slowly the eyes of the new StarClan warrior opened and Firestar stated: "It's an honour to finally have you with us Bramblestar."
The other leader didn't answer, but sadly glanced behind him were Squirrelflight pushed her nose into the fur of his dead body.
"I don't want to leave her", whispered the tom.
Firestar purred sadly and stated: "A part of you will always be with her, be it in your kits, or her heart. Follow me."
He turned around and walked off. Bramblestar followed slowly, when Jayfeather suddenly came up behind them. "I wish you two good luck", whispered the healer. He turned to his dead leader and answered: "I know the clan will be safe in my brother's paws, don't worry too much." Bramblestar stared at the medicine-cat wide-eyed until Firestar stated: "May StarClan light your path Jayfeather. Yours and ThunderClans." The healer nodded, bowed his head in respect and retreated into his den. "How…" Firestar held a laugh and answered: "Have you forgotten his powers?" Bramblestar shook his head and followed the red tom when he led him out onto the clearing.
Everywhere cats glanced around sadly and Firstar swallowed a sigh. It wasn't fair for ThunderClan to lose another leader so soon. Bramblestar would've been able to hold on for a few more seasons. Firestar led his former apprentice to the High-Ledge and there he sat down.
"What happens now?"
"We'll wait until they've seen you off in honour." Bramblestar looked at him confused and Firestar explained: "We'll wait here until they bury your body, then we'll move on."
The leaders eyes widened and he whispered: "But…I don't want to see them in so much pain, especially now that I can't help them."
Licking the toms shoulder Firestar answered: "It isn't easy, but has to be done. During the fight against the Dark-Forest every cat that died was introduced into StarClan immediately, but we all were sent back when the fight ended, so we could watch them grieving over us. It isn't easy, but has to be done. Only after this you are ready to receive StarClans knowledge." Bramblestar nodded, then he winced. Firestar followed his gaze and saw the reason. The leaders body was carried onto the star-lit clearing and he stepped back a bit.
"Lionblaze has to announce a new deputy", explained Firestar. The next moment the golden furred tom slowly climbed up to them. "When you are truly happy with his choice", went Firestar on. "Then tell me. StarClan will give a sign that he made the right choice."
"Like the strong glowing star when I made Lionblaze my deputy?"
Firestar nodded. All of StarClan had agreed to the choice the tabby-tom had made. Then Lionblaze called: "Let all those cats old enough to catch their own prey join here beneath the High-ledge for a clan-meeting." The few cats that had been in their dens came out and everyone turned to their new leader. Lionblaze gazed over his warriors, then announced: "I say these words before the body of Bramblestar and StarClan, that he and the spirits of our warrior ancestors may hear and approve of my choice. The new deputy of ThunderClan will be Dovewing!"
Firestar looked to Bramblestar, who smiled and nodded. Firestar smiled as well. Yes, this had been a good choice. Though Dovewing was also one of the three, she was a good warrior and loyal ThunderClan cat. Firestar sent a sign to the other StarClan cats and the next moment a few stars shone brighter. Dovewing slowly stood up and then she called: "ThunderClan, Lionblaze, I'm truly honoured by this and I promise to give my very best and that I won't disappoint you."
"Dovewing! Dovewing!", cheered the clan and Ivypool touched her sisters nose with hers. Sunclaw followed soon after. The young warrior had been her first apprentice. Firestar licked once more over the younger toms shoulder when Lionblaze jumped down and padded up to his leaders body. There he lay down and pushed his muzzle into Bramblestar's fur. More and more cats joined them and the tom next to Firestar winced and asked: "Why are there so many voices in my head?"
"What you are hearing are your warrior's wishes for you. Everything they say to your body, every pray they make, every time they lick your fur. Enjoy it, it will be the only time you feel it that way, it's something special." Firestar smiled when Bramblestar nodded. The tom lay down on the high-ledge and closed his eyes. A purr rose up in his throat. Firestar smiled, then a shade of grey caught his attention.
Jayfeather beckoned him to come closer. The former leader jumped up and walked slowly to the healer. "What is it Jayfeather."
"Firestar I…" He was interrupted when Molefoot walked by and laughed: "Hey Jayfeather, talking to your shadow again or what?"
The healer growled, but didn't argue back. He just waited until Molefoot was out of earshot and hissed: "That mouse brain!"
Firestar twitched his whiskers in amusement, then Jayfeather became serious again and said: "Firestar I'm worried."
Immediately the red tom was concentrated on Jayfeathers words. "Why?"
"I…I can't say it exactly, it's more a feeling and I don't think it has anything to do with the clan…more with…StarClan."
Firestars fur stood on end at this words and he gulped. Then he meowed: "Thank you Jayfeather, I'll give your message to the others." The healer nodded and walked up to his brother. Looking after him Firestars thoughts turned into a hurricane. When Jayfeather has a feeling like that, he was mostly right. With a deep sigh the leader tried to relax and his fur lay flat again. Deep in his thoughts he padded back to Bramblestar, who looked from the sunrise towards him. Firestar offered a small smile and leaped onto the High-ledge.
"What's wrong?" Firestar wanted to curse loudly, but it was natural that Bramblestar caught up.
"Jayfeather has a strange feeling and is worried for StarClan."
Bramblestar narrowed his eyes in thought and he meant: "Then there has to be something wrong. Jayfeather usually isn't wrong about such things."
Firestar nodded, then he saw something. "We can go."
Firestar gestured to the clearing where the elders, Cloudtail, Brightheart, Thornclaw and Brackenfur, got ready to burry Bramblestar's body. "Alright", called the tabby tom. "Let's go." Firestar smiled and touched Bramblestar's forehead with his nose. Immediately everything became black and cold, then warmth came back and Firestar found himself at StarClans moon-pool again, Bramblestar with him. The tom's eyes widened and Firestar explained: "Yellowfang and Cinderpelt will introduce you into our clan's rules. It's the job of the healers you knew." Bramblestar nodded and Firestar left.
He ran on and casted his senses forward to find Sandstorm. She was at the 'border' between WindClan and ThunderClan, together with Greystripe and Silverstream. He ran faster and soon he reached them. Greystripe grinned when he saw his friend and asked: "And, did everything go well?"
Firestar nodded, then he meant: "Well, at least in the part of getting Bramblestar." Immediately three pairs of worried eyes focused on him and he went on: "Jayfeather warned me he had a bad feeling and that he was worried about StarClan. He…"
Firestar didn't end the sentence. He suddenly felt dizzy.
"Firestar?", called Sandstorm worriedly.
What's just…wrong? Wondered the tom. He felt tired and his eyelids started to drop. That had never happened before. Blurry he saw how Greystripe collapsed onto his stomach while Silverstream called him worriedly. Next to him Sandstorm collapsed as well. The red tom's breath stopped in his throat when he fell down as well. The last thing he saw was Sandstorms pale ginger fur.
So, how do you like it? It's my first english Warrior Cats fic.
Warriors doesn't belong to me but to Erin Hunter.
Please read and review.