Duties of Medicine Cats
Warriors doesn't belong to me.
Bluepaw snuck up to a squirrel. She was out on an assignment. Somewhere around here hid Wolfheart and watched her. It didn't bother the former leader though. She'd gone through enough assignments and had watched over them by herself, she knew how it went. None the less she was angry when a few bushes rustled and scared the squirrel away just when she was about to jump. Spinning around she cried: "Hey, watch it!"
Spottedpaw and Splashwhisker stared back at her confused. Then Bluepaw remembered it was half-moon and that the two were most likely on their way to Moonpool.
"Sorry", said the she-cat. "But I'm on an assignment and you scared a squirrel, I almost had, away."
"Sorry", repeated Spottedpaw Bluepaw's words and Splashwhisker smirked. The two went on and Bluepaw sighed and ran off. Racing through the territory, she tried to memorize where she would find a good place to hunt. Then she smiled. Of course. The roof of the abounded Twolegnest. During this time of the day, many pigeons would be up there, at least if what she, Dustpaw, Silverpaw and Ravenpaw had spied on the last few days was true. Climbing up a tree, she smiled. An amazing mass of pigeons sat there and enjoyed the sun. Climbing forward she scanned the pigeons, trying to find out which one to attack. Having chosen her target, she tensed and then leaped onto the roof.
The pigeons flew up and quickly Bluepaw landed on one, yanked her claws into it, grabbed another one between her fangs and leaped down from the roofs. The pigeons cried loudly, before they settled down again on the roof, a few even on the ground. While the pigeon between her fangs was dead already, the one under her claws still struggled. Quickly she dropped the dead one and killed the other, then crouched down and stalked up to one of the doves on the ground. The moment the ground was cleared, she'd managed to catch six pigeons, which was a lot, considering she'd already caught a vole and three mice.
Suddenly a few bushes rustled and then a light grey she-cat with white, belly, throat and legs walked up to her.
"Very good Bluepaw", praised Wolfheart her apprentice. Bluepaw smiled at her and she asked: "How did you know about those pigeons?"
"Ravenpaw once spotted them and we watched them for a while. They are here every day."
Wolfheart nodded, then said: "Let's pick up your prey and return to camp, not?" Bluepaw nodded eagerly. She tried to walk, then hissed in pain. "Everything alright?"
"I think I wrenched my claw", answered Bluepaw. Wolfheart looked worried. "It's sure okay", soothed the she-cat. "In one of his stays in the medicine-cats den, Firepaw learned a bit about healing cats while Splashwhisker taught Spottedpaw. I believe he said he learned how to take care of that."
Wolfheart nodded, then she picked up four of the six doves. They walked back to camp, Bluepaw limping form time to time. She knew about the nervous glances she got from her mentor, but ignored it, and the pain, and walked on. After a while they reached the camp and when they had placed the pigeons down, Wolfheart instructed: "Ask Firepaw to help you. I will gather the rest of your fresh-kill."
Bluepaw nodded and limped up to the apprentice den, when she heard the voice of the tom she was looking for from across the clearing. Turning around she saw how Firepaw stepped out of the medicine-cats den, steadying Frostpaw, who had cobwebs wrapped around over her shoulder. Limping up to them, she looked at Frostpaw worriedly and asked: "What happened?"
"Nettlepaw", answered Firepaw with small growl.
"I'm just lucky that Splashwhisker left you in charge of the medicine-cats den", purred Frostpaw. Bluepaw raised an eyebrow at the she-cat and she saw how Firepaw curled his tale uncomfortably. Suddenly he relaxed.
"Thank you for helping her Firepaw", said a young, male voice. Hawkpath walked up to them and Firepaw smiled at him.
"It was no trouble at all. If she has any more problems or the wound gets infected, just come again."
With that he stepped away from Frostpaw, who pouted. Hawkpath led his apprentice away and Firepaw groaned.
"Great StarClan finally", hissed the tom. "She drove me crazy! Constantly trying to brush her fur against mine!" He continued to complain about Frostpaw while he led Bluepaw into the medicine-cats den.
She smirked and finally warned: "Watch out Firepaw, you might turn into Jayfeather when you continue that."
At this his anger dropped and he laughed. Then seriousness came back into his eyes and he asked: "So where are you injured?"
"I wrenched my claw", answered Bluepaw. "It's nothing major."
"Let me still take care of it", argued the tom.
"How come Splashwhisker put you in charge of healing the clan?", asked Bluepaw while the ginger tom searched for the right herbs. She got no answer. He probably didn't hear me. Then he came back, cobwebs and Comfrey Root. "Comfrey Root?", asked Bluepaw.
"Well, do you have a wrenched claw or not? That is some bad kind of one", answered Firepaw. Bluepaw looked down and saw that he was right. Her paw was bleeding. She held still when he carefully cleaned her paw and claw and gave a bit of the chewed Comfrey Root onto it. Then he wrapped everything up with cobwebs.
"You probably should've become medicine cat instead of being leader", joke Bluepaw.
Firepaw playfully smacked her across the ear and meowed angrily: "I'm one of the few cats in this StarClan forbidden Clan who knows how to treat at least a few injuries. Honestly, I saw that Spottedpaw and Splashwhisker were nearly out on cobwebs and asked Applepelt if he could get a few warriors or apprentices to gather it and he asked 'What for?' And it wasn't even a joke!" He breathed heavily now. "It's a wonder this clan survived so long!"
Bluepaw looked around, then asked: "It's still impressive. Barely a warrior knows as much as you. Why?"
Firepaw smiled and answered: "Spottedleaf, Yellowfang, Cinderpelt, Leafpool, Echosong. I know a bit from all of them. Not to mention a few more things I just recently got to know from Splashwhisker." Bluepaw nodded in understanding. Her former apprentice had had close bonds with all four of the former medicine cats. Suddenly a cry echoed over the clearing and Firepaw exclaimed: "StarClan what now! I start to understand why Yellowfang became how she was!" He stormed out of the den, then glanced over his shoulder and hissed: "Don't you dare to put any weight on your paw during the rest of the day!"
Bluepaw was stunned shortly, then just had to laugh. She really had seen Yellowfang in his place now. Then she followed the red tom out onto the clearing, to gasp in shock. Bonetail, a dark-grey she-cat with blue eyes and a white tail, dragged the limp body of Brighteye. A white she-cat with light-yellow eyes, into the camp.
"Bonetail what happened", asked Nightstar from the Highledge.
"We ran into a ShadowClan patrol. One of their apprentices crossed the border and we chased him back. The moment he was over the border we stopped, but then he, Spottedflame and Silverstrike attacked us. We managed to beat him, but halfway back Brighteye collapsed", gasped Bonetail out. Bluestar watched how Firepaw squeezed through the warriors and sniffed at Brighteye.
"Get her to the healer's den", instructed the ginger tom.
A few warriors stared, then Bonetail asked: "Why should I do what you say."
"Because first", hissed Firepaw impatiently. "Spottedpaw and Splashwhisker are gone, second, I was appointed to succeed them until they are back and third: If she doesn't get medical attention soon, she'll die! Now just carry her to the den!"
The last sentence was hissed at every warrior. Firepaw spun around and stalked back to the medicine-cats den. Bluepaw saw how stunned many cats were about the fact that the normally calm apprentice had hissed at the warrior. Finally Reedheart and Mountainfang picked Brighteye up while Boulderpelt, a light-grey she-cat and Bonetail's sister, helped Bonetail into the medicine cats den.
Firepaw carefully pressed cobwebs on Brighteye's wounds. They got soaked with blood extremely quickly and he had a hard time not to panic. Often had he to watch how fellow clan mates died, however this time, he was the only one who could prevent this from happening. Finally he realised that all the cobwebs were almost already used. He called for Bonetail, who glared at him, but complied when he asked her to continue with trying to stop the blood. Rushing out of the den, he raised up to Nightstar. The leader looked at him and asked: "How is Brighteye?"
"Bad", answered Firepaw, coldly ignoring the shocked gasps. "I barely have cobwebs left and she won't stop bleeding. Please, send out a patrol. A big one!"
Without waiting for an answer, he spun around and raced back into the den, to growl. Bonetail just lay there, gazing at the other she-cat with pity.
"Bonetail what with StarClan?", exclaimed Firepaw and rushed to Brighteye's side, picking up Cobwebs and pressing it on the worst wounds.
"I give up", whispered the she-cat. "She won't survive."
"Don't say that", argued Firepaw back, his whole heart lay in his words.
Bonetail looked up and asked: "Why shouldn't I?"
"Brighteye is your friend, do you really want to lose her? You just can't give up. Right now you have to be strong for both of you."
The she-cat looked at him, then smiled and whispered: "I'd like some sleep…can I?" Firepaw nodded and used his tail to shove a few poppy-seed to Bonetail. The she-cat licked them up, then curled into a ball and soon she was asleep. Firepaw brought his attention back to Brighteye and sighed in relief. Most of her wounds had stopped bleeding.
Turning away he gathered every herb he knew could help and chewed and spit and scratched until his jaws were sore, his tongue numb and his paws tired. He almost fell over after he covered the last of Brighteye's wounds with Goldenrod. When he was done, he sighed, but forced himself to stay awake and turned to Bonetail. He carefully cleaned the sleeping she-cat's fur and spit a bit of horsetail on the wound. They weren't infected yet, but a few of them seemed to truly pulse under his tongue. He remembered how Yellowfang had told him, while she'd treated a wound on his flank, that this was a sign that they could get infected.
After a while, he was finally done and tiredly collapsed into the moss near the entrance to the den. There he could wake up easily when someone entered and exited the den. He was almost asleep, when a sweet and familiar scent reached him. He purred when Sandpaw licked his forehead.
"Hey", whispered the she-cat.
"Hey", murmured Firepaw tiredly.
"Long day?", asked Sandpaw while she settled down next to him.
"Mhhmmm", murmured Firepaw. He was still on the border to sleep. Then he blinked a few times and murmured: "I almost drew…my claws over Bonetail's ears once…not to mention what Frostpaw started."
"Let's just say, she can't seem to see that I love you", murmured Firepaw and wrapped his tail around Sandpaw's while he licked her cheek.
"Oh that she-cat", hissed Sandpaw. Firepaw silenced her with a tired glare. Not just for her not to wake the injured cats, but also because his patience reached its end. Any loud noise angered him at the moment. Sandpaw blinked at him, then pressed herself closer to him and together they fell asleep.
Firepaw blinked when morning light hit him, causing him to wake up. Groggily he stood up and looked around. Bonetail was still sleeping, but Brighteye was awake and glanced around confused. "Brighteye", whispered Firepaw happily.
She looked at him and asked: "W-What happened? How did I get here?"
"You collapsed after a fight against ShadowClan", answered Firepaw softly. "I took care of your and Bonetail's wounds. You gave everyone quite a scare here." Both chuckled, then he said: "I'll tell the clan you are awake."
"Am I going to be alright again?", asked Brighteye nervously.
Firepaw hesitated, then admitted: "I don't know, but Spottedpaw and Splashwhisker should be back soon and they can tell you that better than me." Brighteye nodded and then Firepaw slid out onto the clearing. Every cat who was awake looked at him and he tiredly announced: "Brighteye is awake. If she is out of danger, I can't tell." Still, the clan cheered at his words and Greypaw and Ravenpaw stormed up to him and licked his forehead.
"We're proud of you brother", praised Ravenpaw.
Firepaw smiled at them, then asked: "Could you…uh, step side? I haven't had the time to eat anything yesterday. I'm starving."
"Here", cut a voice in before he managed to move. Nightstar dropped a Rabbit in front of him. "You had a long day", continued to black tom, loud enough for the near warriors to hear. "You're free of your apprentice duties and training for today Firepaw. Of course, if you want to hunt, then you can, but take a rest." He heard agreeing murmurs, but a few cats hissed that Nightstar just allowed that because he was the young tom's father. "What was that?", asked Nightstar angrily.
The hissing cats fell silent and then Sandpaw hissed from the den: "What the…Bonetail stop!"
Everyone spun around and saw Bonetail, dragging herself out of the medicine cats den. She looked up tiredly and stated: "I agree with Nightstar. Firepaw did things now other non-medicine cat apprentice would've managed. I know he was half way to collapsing the moment I fell asleep, and he hadn't even started patching Brighteye up when this happened, not to mention he hadn't any time to take care of me. And now…" She trailed off. The cobwebs on her body told more than words. Everyone was silent, then a loud grumble echoed through the camp and Firepaw blushed and looked down.
"S-Sorry", muttered the apprentice. At this the older warriors, Greypaw and Ravenpaw laughed. Picking up his rabbit, he glanced at his father thankfully and then led Bonetail back into Splashwhisker's den. In there he placed the rabbit in front of Bonetail and Brighteye and asked Sandpaw: "Can you get something for me?"
The she-cat nodded and licked his forehead. While Bonetail and Brighteye ate, he checked their wounds, cleaned then and renewed the herbs and cobwebs. Then Sandpaw came back, two fat mice in her jaws.
"Here, sorry I can't stay but Reedheart is taking me out hunting."
"No problem", answered Firepaw while he settled down to eat his prey. When he was done with his mouse, he heard greeting meows and sighed in relief. Splashwhisker and Spottedpaw were back. The two walked in and froze at the sight they got.
"Great StarClan what happened."
"ShadowClan is what happened", growled Bonetail. "They brought Brighteye to the corner of death."
"Without Firepaw I probably wouldn't be here anymore", agreed Brighteye weakly. Firepaw tried to say something, but a yawn caught him off.
"StarClan Firepaw what happened to you?", exclaimed Spottedpaw. Just now he realised how he had to look like. The juices of the herbs had made his fur sticky and ragged, dust had covered it.
"I'm fine", argued the ginger tom. "Just…tired. It was a long night."
"Well, go to sleep", offered Splashwhisker, glancing at him.
Tonight the ten planned to leave to meet Dawn. Firepaw nodded and walked out of the den, padding over the clearing without looking up. He expected to run into someone, but they all moved out of his way, probably worried about his health after what he had to do. Of course, one tom didn't move out of the way. He ran into the other and immediately scented who it was.
Nettlepaw, groaned the apprentice mentally. Looking up he muttered an apology and tried to walk past the other, who blocked his way. "Nettlepaw please", begged Firepaw. "I'm tired."
"Well, bad for you", answered Nettlepaw. Firepaw growled slightly, then a female voice called: "Nettlepaw leave him alone." No, thought Firepaw. I rather handle Nettlepaw than her. But too late. Frostpaw was by his side and gently nudged him around her brother, who stared dumbfounded. Firepaw ran off, the moment he was past Nettlepaw and dashed into the apprentice den.
There he collapsed in his nest and almost immediately fell asleep.