Warriors doesn't belong to me.
"Alright, here", whispered Splashwhisker.
Firepaw blinked at the healer thankfully. The whole group of them, as well as Splashwhisker, Reedheart and Sapphirefur, sat behind the apprentice den. The sun was setting. Splashwhisker and Spottedpaw placed big packs of travelling hers down.
"In the bigger one are those you have to eat now", instructed the healer. "In the other are some for during your travel. I guess you take turns in carrying it." Firepaw nodded and then the ten of them ate the herbs. Spottedpaw picked the smaller pack up and Firepaw looked around once more, then nodded and pressed himself against Sapphirefur for a goodbye. She answered with licking his head.
"Good luck, you all", stated the warrior.
The ten of them nodded and Firepaw led them to the small track out the camp Bramblestar and a few others had used during the badger attack. Swiftly he climbed up there and waited for his companions. Once they'd all reached the top, Hollypaw suggested: "Let's go over the trees. No one can follow us easily in that way."
Everyone nodded in agreement and swiftly the cats climbed up some trees. Then they set off towards the Moonpool. They'd decided to go this way, since they didn't want to spend more time than necessary in WindClan territory. It would take them a little longer, but was much safer. However, it wasn't even Moon high when the ten of them reached the end of their territory.
"So, don't forget", whispered Bluepaw. "Fast and silent. We don't want to be caught on WindClan territory."
Firepaw nodded and heard agreeing murmurs from most of the others. He was about to leap down, when Dustpaw hissed: "Wait!" Everyone froze and Firepaw clung his claws into the branch to not fall.
"Dustpaw what with StarClan?", hissed Silverpaw, who hung on her branch and struggled to get up again.
"There", whispered the tabby. Firepaw followed his gaze and hissed frustrated. Two warriors and two small WindClan apprentices ran over the open space.
"That must be their first night out as apprentices", guessed Whitepaw.
Firepaw nodded and Spottedpaw muttered through her herbs: "No offense Whitepaw, but perhaps you should hide in the shadows."
Whitepaw looked at her, then nodded. "I guess you're right", stated the white tom. "My pelt is too easy to spot in the moonlight." He crawled backwards on the branch he was on and crouched down when he reached the trunk. Firepaw gazed back onto WindClan territory. Now that the cats were closer, he saw them better. It were two black furred warriors and two grey furred apprentices.
"At least they don't stand out too much in the night", muttered Sandpaw and glanced at her pale-ginger coat. Firepaw placed his tail on her shoulder for comfort. It was true. After Whitepaw he and Sandpaw would stand out the most, followed by Spottedpaw. Ravenpaw and Hollypaw could easily hide in the night because of their black coats and Bluepaw, Greypaw and Silverpaw because of their grey fur. Dustpaw had no problem either as long as he wasn't directly in the moonlight. Firepaw snapped out of his thoughts when he heard a hiss from Hollypaw. He looked at her and gazed back to the WindClan cats. They were now dangerously close to the border. Suddenly the warriors stopped and one explained, just loud enough for the ThunderClan apprentices to hear.
"Look out, here between those bushes it's easy to cross the border per mistake."
"As if ThunderClan could do something against us", scoffed and apprentice. Firepaw swallowed a growl. Of course they could.
"Don't say that", scolded the second warrior, who had a female voice. "At the moment we live in peace with ThunderClan and both, Nightstar and Crowstar, work hard to keep it that way."
"Why so?", asked the apprentice who'd insulted ThunderClan before.
The warriors hesitated, then admitted: "At the moment ThunderClan easily outnumbers us. If Nightstar would send all his warriors and apprentices to fight, we would lose."
At this Firepaw felt a pang of pity. They had lived in piece with WindClan because of Firepaw's friendship with Tallstar and Onestar. He glanced around and saw that the others felt the same. Though now in ThunderClan again, they still felt a connection to the other clans. StarClan, after all, had no borders. "That's terrible. If Nightstar ever finds out, he could demand who knows what from WindClan", whispered Silverpaw.
Everyone nodded in agreement and then Greypaw silently stated: "He doesn't have to find out." And though Firepaw cringed at the thought of lying to his leader, who was also his father, he muttered an agreement. The others all nodded, thought they all were as torn as Firepaw was.
Suddenly one of the apprentices dashed forward and into the bushes. Again it was the tom who'd insulted them.
"What now?", asked Silverpaw.
"Three of us stop him", hissed Firepaw and got to his paws. "When they ask, we are out on night-hunting because Nightstar wants to see how good we do it. Whitepaw, Dustpaw, you come with me."
Firepaw had chosen those two after fast thinking. The three of them were the biggest, only Greypaw could compete with him and Dustpaw, so they surely would be able to scare the apprentice off. Firepaw leaped down to the ground and the three hid around a small clearing where the WindClan apprentice surely would come out. They didn't have to wait long. He jumped out and grinned.
Firepaw growled and twitched his tail.
Unison the three toms leaped out of their hiding places and Whitepaw pinned the apprentice down. He yelped in surprise and then Dustpaw hissed at him to be silent because he would scare away their prey. The young tom surely hadn't been apprentice for more than a moon and he fearfully looked up at the three bigger toms, his green eyes wide. Then the bushes rustled and the two warriors and the other apprentice came out.
Now Firepaw saw them clearly.
The small apprentice Whitepaw had pinned down was a dark-grey tom with green eyes, the other apprentice was also dark-grey, though still a lighter colour and had yellow eyes, which were wide at the sight before her. The two warriors were small, even for WindClan cats. Whitepaw almost reached their size. The she-cat was a pure black cat with blue eyes while her companion was a, like Firepaw now realised, dark-grey and black tabby tome with green eyes.
The tabby narrowed his eyes and hissed: "What have you heard?" At this the three toms were taken aback. He was more worried about the question if they'd heard about their weakness in numbers than this apprentice.
Deciding to not mention his knowledge, Firepaw growled: "Your apprentice stomping around like a badger is what we heard. He scared the mouse away I stalked."
Catching up Whitepaw growled: "And the Squirrel I almost had."
Dustpaw added: "And what the hell is a WindClan apprentice even doing on our territory?"
The WindClan cats looked nervous now, then the tabby explained: "Please apologize for Runningpaw. He and Mousepaw are out I the night for the very first time. We didn't expect to meet ThunderClan cats."
Firepaw acted like he was still angry about those cats, however sighed: "I guess you can let go of him Whitepaw." Whitepaw flashed him an amused gaze and acted like he thought about it, then jumped off of the apprentice and growled: "If I come back to camp without any prey, I'll tell Nightstar about you."
With that he disappeared in the bushes. The WindClan cats looked nervous now and Firepaw explained: "Sorry about him. We are out here so we can show how well we can hunt at night. Whitepaw is having a harder time than Dustpaw or me because of his fur." The cats nodded and Firepaw gazed at Runningpaw, who still hadn't moved.
"Don't you have a mentor to return to?", asked Dustpaw, the arrogance Firepaw knew from his first apprenticeship clearly in his voice. At this the smaller tom struggled away from them and back to his clan-mates.
"Thank you for letting him go", said the she-cat. "And…will you tell Nightstar?"
"Ebonyfur", hissed the tabby.
"What is it Streakpelt? You know why I asked that!", hissed the she-cat back.
Firepaw allowed a confused loo to drop over his features and called: "I really have no clue what that is all about…but no, I won't tell father. It's night and he's younger than me."
"Father?", exclaimed the warriors together.
"Yeah", answered Firepaw with a shrug. "It's not that special. I don't get any better treatment than others, neither do my brothers."
With that he stood up and fake-yawned.
"You leave now and we act like that never happened, deal?", asked Dustpaw, who stood near a tree. The two warriors nodded and immediately ushered their apprentices back to their territory. The moment they were gone, Firepaw and Dustpaw immediately climbed up the trees again and joined their clan-mates. Whitepaw was already there.
"You didn't have to show off by mentioning you are Nightstar's son", stated Hollypaw.
"Yes he had", argued Spottedpaw softly. "Because it gave them quite a scare that they chased away a mouse the son of ThunderClan's leader was hunting."
Everyone nodded and then they waited for a while, then Bluepaw whispered: "I guess we can move on now." In one mighty leap, the ten leaped down from the trees and raced on. It was just a short way through WindClans territory, but they wanted to leave it as fast as possible. They ran quickly and soon they had left the WindClan territory. Changing direction, they now ran along the border through the trees, though a few tail-lengths away, and towards the horse place.
The sun started to rise when they got close to it.
"Where do we rest?", asked Ravenpaw in their run.
Firepaw shrugged and then Hollypaw offered: "How about the barn Daisy lived in?"
"No", said Firepaw, Bluepaw, Whitepaw and Ravenpaw together.
"Sorry", stated Ravenpaw. "But at the moment I'm going nowhere near twolegs."
"Then let's look for some good places between trees and under bushes", offered Sandpaw. To this offer, everyone agreed and they slowed down. They were pretty close to the Twolegplace now, and also the Thunderpath. Then Whitepaw stated: "I don't know about you, but I'd rather cross the Thunderpath before we rest."
"Me too", said Spottedpaw, Silverpaw had taken over carrying the herbs. Firepaw and Bluepaw looked at each other. Like always the two of them shared leading their group. Bluepaw looked uncertain, but muttered: "I would rather know we have this behind us too."
"Then we go", agreed Firepaw loudly. Groans from Hollypaw, Greypaw and Sandpaw reached him and he chuckled before he leaped forward and ran once more. The sun had almost completely risen when the ten of them reached the Thunderpath.
"Always two or three at once?", asked Silverpaw. Firepaw nodded and Bluepaw, Spottedpaw and Whitepaw padded forward. They crouched down in front of the Thunderpath when a monster rushed by, then ran. Greypaw, Silverpaw and Dustpaw had an easy time to follow and Ravenpaw and Hollypaw didn't have to wait either. However Firepaw and Sandpaw had to wait for quite some time because a whole group of monsters came along the Thunderpath. All were loaded with things the cats had seen Twolegs using in the lake.
"I hope ShadowClan and RiverClan won't attack for more territory because of those Twolegs", muttered Sandpaw to Firepaw. The ginger tom nodded, then hissed: "GO!"
The two ran and swiftly crossed the Thunderpath. They continued their travel for a while, thought they walked this time and didn't run, but soon found a group of trees with moss around the roots. "Better than nothing", stated Dustpaw and Firepaw lay down in the moss. Sandpaw curled up with him and soon the ginger tom was in a deep sleep.