Back to Life

Battle with BloodClan Pt 1

BEFORE YOU CLICK AWAY!

This is a real chapter. The Alligances are only in the beginning and so you can check if you want to know who is who.

Warriors doesn't belong to me.

R&R please.

ThunderClan

Leader:

Nightstar – small black tom with green eyes and a torn ear

Deputy:

Rivertail – slender light-grey tom with dark grey paws and blue eyes

Healer:

Splashwhisker – thick-furred, dark grey tom with orange eyes – Mentor of Spottedpaw

Warriors:

Reedheart – red-black spotted tom with green eyes – Mentor of Sandpaw

Leopardclaw – dark and light-brown spotted she-cat with yellow eyes – Mentor of Greypaw

Spiritheart – black tom with one white spot on the shoulder – Mentor of Hollypaw

Iceclaw – small black tom with ice-blue eyes and one white paw

Mountainfang – long furred spotted tom with dark-green eyes and huge fangs

Lynxfur – dark-yellow and brown spotted she-cat with only half of her tail – Mentor of Whitepaw

Tearfur – washy light-grey she-cat with dark-blue eyes

Eagleflight – brown tabby tom with white ears and fur around the nose – Mentor of Ravenpaw

Snowfall – white tom with dark blue, almost black eyes – Mentor of Leafpaw

Sapphirefur – dark-grey she-cat with icy-blue eyes – Mentor of Firepaw

Dawnfire – dark-grey tom with orange eyes – Mentor of Songpaw

Weaselflight – white tom with brown stripes – Mentor of Dustpaw

Hawkpath – white tom with greyish-silver stripes and blue eyes

Hopewing – golden she-cat with icy-blue eyes – Mentor of Silverpaw

Wolfheart – light grey she-cat with white, belly, throat and leg – Mentor of Bluepaw

Fangtail – brown tom with long fangs, scarred tail and green eyes

Applepelt – reddish-brown tom with green eyes

Lionclaw – golden she-cat with yellow eyes – Mentor of Cloudpaw

Rockheart – dark grey she-cat with dark-blue eyes

Raincloud – white she-cat with grey spots

Darkpetal – black she-cat with yellowish-green eyes – Mentor of Stripepaw

Songheart - ginger she-cat with blue eyes and an injured paw

Nettlebite – silver-white tabby tom with blue eyes

Frostfur – white she-cat with blue eyes

Hailshard – grey tabby tom with white fur around his muzzle

Apprentices

Spottedpaw – tortoiseshell and white she-cat with a dappled coat, small white paws, chest and muzzle

Firepaw – ginger tom with green eyes

Greypaw – long furred grey tom wit darker stripe over his back and yellow eyes

Ravenpaw – black tom with white spot on his chest and tail, amber eyes

Sandpaw – small pale ginger she-cat with green eyes

Dustpaw – dark-brown tabby-tom with amber eyes

Bluepaw – blue-grey she cat with silver fur around her nose and icy-blue eyes

Silverpaw - pale silver-grey tabby she-cat with a finely shaped head and bright blue eyes

Whitepaw - thick-furred, broad-shouldered, long-bodied, white tom with yellow eyes

Hollypaw – black she-cat with green eyes

Leafpaw – tortoiseshell she-cat

Stripepaw – grey and tortoiseshell tabby tom

Cloudpaw – grey spotted tom with orange eyes

Queens

Mudheart – dark-brown she-cat with light-brown ears (no kits)

Fierceclaw – tortoiseshell spotted she-cat (mother of Leafkit, Stripekit and Cloudkit, mate of Dawnfire)

Morningcloud – golden she-cat with pale-blue eyes (mother of Petalkit, Rosekit and Lilykit, mate of Reedheart)

Kits

Petalkit – golden she-cat with pale-blue eyes

Rosekit – black, red and golden spotted she-cat

Lilykit – red-golden tabby she-cat

Elders

Greeneye – oldest tom in ThunderClan, light-brown tabby-tom with green eyes

Kestrelstrike – dark-golden she-cat with scars over her flank

Scarpath – dark-grey tom with white stripe over his shoulder

Bonetail – dark-grey she-cat with blue eyes and white tail

Boulderpelt – light-grey she-cat

Brighteye – white she-cat with light-yellow eyes

RiverClan

Leader

Silverstarsilver she-cat with blue eyes

Deputy

Nightfurblack she-cat with golden eyes

Healer

Glintstreamsilver and dark-grey spotted she-cat, Mentor of Skypaw (white she-cat)

Warriors

Flameheart – orange she-cat with white paws

Copperpelt – dark ginger she-cat

Apprentices

Skypaw – white she-cat, Medicine Cat apprentice

Duskpaw – small black tom with ice-blue eyes and a white paw (Scourge)

WindClan

Leader

Crowstar – black tom with yellow eyes

Deputy

Brackenheart – white-ginger tabby-tom

Healer

Hazeclaw – grey-brown tom with amber eyes, Mentor of Sunnydawn

Warriors

Ebonyfur – black-furred she-cat with blue eyes, Mentor of Mousepaw

Streakpelt – dark-grey and black tabby tom, Mentor of Runningpaw

Twigfur - golden-brown tabby tom with white belly-fur

Beesting - silver-grey she-cat with dark stripes and piercing dark-amber eyes

Thorncloud - white and brown tabby she-cat with yellow eyes

Beetlestep –broad-shouldered black tom – Mentor of Mosspaw

Apprentices

Sunnydawn – golden she-cat with yellow eyes

Runningpaw – dark-grey tom with green eyes

Mousepaw – pale-dark-grey she-cat with yellow eyes

Lilypaw – small white she-cat with yellow eyes

Mosspaw – black-brown-grey spotted tom

Queens

Birdwing – small cream-coloured she-cat with a brown ear

Kits

Palekit – small cream-coloured she-cat

Elders

Roundbelly – old tom with long and glossy fur

ShadowClan

Leader

Ivystar – silver tabby she-cat

Deputy

Foxclaw – ginger tom with orange eyes

Healer

Rootwhisker – old white and brown tabby-tom with pale yellow eyes and many scars – Mentor of Roseflight

Warriors

Spottedflame – dark ginger and tortoiseshell spotted tom – Mentor of Thistelpaw

Largefoot – brown tom with large dark-brown paws

Nightspirit – beautiful small black she-cat– Mentor of Clawpaw

Sunstrike – bright golden tom– Mentor of Brokenpaw

Moonlight – silverish-white tom

Silverstrike – Silver she-cat with green eyes

Echoclaw – black tom with green eyes – Mentor of Darkpaw

Speltleaf – light-ginger tabby she-cat – Mentor of Tigerpaw

Sandwing – yellow tom with white belly

Fawnheart – white and reddish spotted tom– Mentor of Hawkpaw

Mistyfire – light-grey tom with amber eyes

Honeypetal – golden and light-brown tabby she-cat

Hawserwing – white she-cat with blue eyes

Pumaheart – long-furred black she-cat with amber eyes

Featherclaw– pale-ginger tabby-tom

Windheart – light-grey she-cat

Seafur – dark-grey tabby she-cat

Stormtail – black tabby tom

Apprentices

Roseflight– tortoiseshell spotted she-cat

Tigerpaw - broad shouldered, dark brown tabby tom with unusually long front claws and amber eyes

Hawkpaw - dark brown tabby tom with a white underbelly and icy-blue eyes

Brokenpaw - dark brown tabby tom with bright amber eyes

Thistelpaw - grey tom with a white face, white shoulders and amber eyes

Darkpaw - grey tabby tom with black stripes and yellow eyes

Clawpaw - heavily-built brown tom

Queens

Cloudsea – white she-cat with grey paws (mother of Lilykit and Petalkit)

Kits

Lilykit – white-grey tabby she-cat

Petalkit – white-grey spotted she-cat

Elders

Mouseheart – small grey-brown tom

Flameclaw – ginger tom with scarred face

Streamfur – light-grey tabby she-cat

"We're under attack!"

Firepaw jerked up from his sleep immediately. Around him the other apprentices shot up as well. "What-", began Leafpaw. Half a moon had passed since the last gathering and Leafpaw, Cloudpaw and Stripepaw had finally become apprentices. The young she-cat was cut off by a loud battle-cry.

"That's Rivertail's!", exclaimed Ravenpaw and the next second the black tom was out of the den.

Firepaw rushed after his friend immediately, to gasp in shock. An incredible number off cats battled in the camp. But the opponents didn't belong to any of the other clans. A shudder ran down Firepaw's spine, when he spotted them. With fangs and claws decorated collars on some cats necks. "Blood Clan", whispered Whitepaw in shock. They shouldn't know for certain but somehow they still knew.

This was an attack of the future, and rebuilt, version of BloodClan.

Firepaw gulped, then Nightstar suddenly rushed up to them and gasped: "Firepaw gather Sandpaw, Bluepaw and Ravenpaw and meet Rivertail by the dirt place, he has yur orders. Whitepaw, you and Dustpaw get the three newest apprentices to the elders den, then join the fight. You w- GAH!" A rogue had leaped onto the black tom's back and the two, hissing and spitting, started to roll over the clearing. Firepaw rushed off immediately. He'd gathered the requested apprentices in no time at all. The four of them rushed up to the dirt-place, not before fighting off at least one cat each.

Upon arriving, they found Rivertail. He had a nasty gash on his flank, but stood strong and immediately started giving orders.

"Those rogues are overpowering us. We need the other clans. Only half of these enemies are here yet. Firepaw you get RiverClan, Bluepaw you WindClan. ShadowClan will take the longest to convince, that's why Sandpaw and Ravenpaw will get them, you are the fastest runners."

Immediately he stepped away from the secret path that led out of camp and, without hesitation the four ran off. They'd all faced BloodClan before, one way or the other. Outside they split up. Firepaw and Bluepaw ran off in WindClan's direction, while Sandpaw and Ravenpaw rushed to get ShadowClan.

"Why do we suddenly happen to face so much of the past", wondered Bluepaw while they ran.

Firepaw shrugged, his thoughts elsewhere. Even if he did manage to convince Silverstar to help, would Scourge join up with his old clan, or stay loyal to RiverClan. The ginger tom shuddered at the thought of having to battle Scourge again. A strangled gasp escaped him when he remembered how he'd watched how Scourge took all of Tigerstar's lives at once. How Bone had killed Whitestorm, leaving Firestar to grieve over his first deputy. How Scourge had almost killed Onestar and Cloudtail. All the death…all the blood, the uselessness of those battles. A shudder shook him again and he glanced at Bluepaw.

The bluish-grey she-cat hadn't noticed. Her eyes were focused straight ahead, her expression grim. Firepaw took a deep breath and forced his worries away. Focus returned to him and with a burst of strength he overtook his former mentor. He had to travel farer than her after all.

"I'll see you back in camp", called Bluepaw, not in the slightest bit thrown off. Firepaw twitched his tail and put another burst of speed into his run. He had to reach RiverClan first, then he could worry about Scourge. In one smooth leap he crossed the stream and then the border between the territories. He didn't falter in his steps when the wooded area and ground turned to an even plain. He just raced on, mindful to stay no more than three tail-lengths away from the lake. From the corner of his eye, once he'd started rounding the lake, he saw Bluepaw disappearing in the other direction, heading directly for WindClan's camp.

Oh StarClan please! Let me be fast enough!, prayed Firepaw silently.

The silence of the night was almost deafening while the cries and hisses of battle echoed around Firepaw's head. He should be there, in that battle, and help in the fighting. Of course Firepaw knew how important the assistance of the other clans was, but it still wasn't easy. The ginger tom almost stumbled over his paws when the dry plain gave away to the swampy ground of RiverClan's territory. Firepaw ground his teeth together and skidded across the ground, before he was stable on his paws again and rushed off once more.

He thanked StarClan that RiverClan's camp was still where it used to be, just like the other camps.

Closer and closer he got to the triangle of land between two streams and anxiety hit him. What would RiverClan do to him if he didn't get to explain? Firepaw shook his head wildly. Now was not the time to ponder about this. He raced on and narrowed his eyes. The stepping stones to camp were still far away and the water not to deep. Making a decision he shuddered at, Firepaw blindly shot forward and leaped into the stream.

It felt horrible, but would be faster than trying to reach the stones. The icy water cleared his mind and, his swimming-knowledge kicking in like second instincts, he started to plunge through the water as fast as he could. It seemed to take ages, but it was only a few heartbeats before he shot of the water. Without even bothering to shake the water from his fur he raced on and cried: "Help!"

He shot into camp and slithered to a stop.

Immediately cats appeared from everywhere, many hissing when they realised he wasn't a member of their clan. He caught a flash of ice-blue and glanced to the left. Scourge crouched there, watching him with interest. Firepaw tore his attention away from the other and scanned the cats for Silverstar. Finally he found her. She towered on a moss-covered rock, flanked by Nightfur, her deputy, and an orange she-cat with white paws. He staggered forward, the water in his fur dragging him down.

"Please", panted the ginger tom. "Help."

He was too worked up to get out much more and while Silverstar tilted her head, he tried to somehow order his thoughts. "Help?", asked the leader finally.

"Group of rogues is attacking camp…too many…about same number as the clans together…please help us", managed Firepaw to pant out. He shuddered terribly, feeling cold and soaked to the bone while anxiety sent tons of adrenalin through his blood. He saw how Silverstar's eyes widened, then she turned to her deputy and hissed something to her. Nightfur nodded and leaped away. Silverstar raised her head now and called: "You heard him. ThunderClan requests our help and we will. Give. It!" She glared at a few of her cats and called: "Go, I want every warrior on his way to ThunderClan camp now!"

Immediately Most of the cats rushed off while Silverstar stalked up to Firepaw, who was still trying to calm down. He looked up into her blue eyes and her gaze softened. "Duskpaw I want you to stay with him the whole way back." With that the silver she-cat disappeared followed by the last warriors.

"Ironic that I'm supposed to keep you safe, wouldn't you agree?"

Firepaw's heart skipped a beat when he heard the familiar cold voice.

Sandpaw panted for air while she and Ravenpaw raced through ShadowClan's dark territory. "We're lucky when we're allowed to explain what's happening", hissed Ravenpaw. His yellow eyes darted round nervously, searching for any sign of an attack. Now normally Sandpaw would have teased him about his nervousness, but she wasn't much better.

How with StarClan did BloodClan manage to not only recover, but find the clans!? It made no sense and she was frightened to no end. Their last battle against them had cost them many loyal cats, Whitepaw being among them. She wouldn't have been able to handle the loss of her former mentor hadn't it been for Firestar, Greystripe, Dustpelt and Ravenpaw. Bluestar's death had still rested heavily on their shoulders when BloodClan had appeared in the picture.

Suddenly an owl hooted.

Sandpaw jerked into the air, along with Ravenpaw, but while the black tom managed to land on his paws and continue running, she stumbled and staggered a few steps before she caught up again.

"You okay?", panted the black tom. Sandpaw could only nod.

She didn't want to admit that the owl had scared the living daylights out of her.

Suddenly she scented it. A fresh ShadowClan trail and it led into the direction they were running. "We're almost there", breathed the pale-ginger she-cat. Her relief mixed with her panic over what could happen once they burst into ShadowClan camp. "Stop! Who's there?" Sandpaw gasped and staggered to a stop. Ravenpaw collided with her and both skidded over the ground and into a big cat. Immediately the two struggled up and Sandpaw backed off. In front of them towered a bright golden tom, his eyes narrowed suspiciously. He sniffed, then bared his fangs. "What do you two want? ThunderClan not good enough for you anymore?"

Now Sandpaw recognized him. His name was Sunstrike and as far as the she-cat knew he was one of ShadowClan's senior warriors. "Please", wheezed Ravenpaw. Yet while his voice was soft, his stand was strong. The only cat that really still scared the living daylights out of him was Tigerstar. "We need…to talk to…Ivystar…it's important…"

Sunstrike regarded them suspiciously, but then apparently came to the conclusion that two apprentices couldn't harm them anyhow, so he gave a nod and turned around. "Follow me", suddenly his head jerked back to them, his dark-grey eyes blazing dangerously, "But if I find your paws or noses somewhere they shouldn't be…" He trailed off, but the warning would've sent a less experienced cat running for the hills.

Sandpaw only gave a firm nod in answer, Ravenpaw doing the same. Right now she gave a damn about what she could give away by not acting her bodily age. This was not only about ThunderClan but the other clans. If ThunderClan was lost, the other three clans would follow suit. Sunstrike led them through a thorn-tunnel, then called: "Ivystar! You have visitors!"

Growls erupted here and there, but they soon were drowned out by confused meows when the cats spotted Sandpaw and Ravenpaw. Ivystar appeared from a shadowed corner and regarded the two ThunderClan apprentices with a distrusting glance.

"I'm listening", stated the silver tabby.

Sandpaw took a deep breath, then said clearly, though there was a quiver of worry in her voice. "We're here…to request your help." "Our help?", asked Ivystar. From the corner of her eyes she saw Brokenpaw and Darkpaw scoff while Tigerpaw snarled noiseless. Ravenpaw, over Sandpaw's back, glared right back at his former mentor, though subtly enough so no one else would realise it. Sandpaw nodded and burst out: "Rogues are attacking our camp. They are so many and not all of them were there when we left. Together…together they maybe match the number of cats in all four clans. Rivertail sent two other apprentices to ask for RiverClan's and WindClan's help already. Please…help us. If ThunderClan falls…the other clans might follow soon. Those rogues didn't look like they know about mercy or honour."

Sandpaw knew very well that she was begging in the end, but couldn't care less. Ivystar watched her carefully, looking deep into her eyes and Sandpaw knew, she knew, Ivystar searched for any sign of a lie. Apparently she found nothing to argue back, since she gave a firm nod and called: "Foxclaw get the warriors ready to leave now! Moonlight gather up the apprentices that are old enough for this fight." Her deputy and a silverish-white tom nodded and she turned back to Sandpaw and Ravenpaw. "You two. Return to your camp. We will help."

Sandpaw exhaled in relief and Ravenpaw next to he did the same, before both nodded, spun around, and ran off again.

Bluepaw watched how Firepaw started to round the lake while she darted over the plain that made up most of WindClan's territory.

Terror still raged within her. The first time BloodClan had harmed the Clans, her paws had been bound by StarClan's rules. Now she had the chance to help, but the thought of having a repeat of one of the most terrible battles in the history of clans unsettled her greatly.

Bluepaw just rounded the stone ThunderClan used as a land-mark, when she toppled over another apprentice. The two cried out and rolled through the grass. Confused Bluepaw sat up, to have a voice gasp her name. She spun around, to find herself face to face with a broad-shouldered black warrior and a black-brown-grey spotted apprentice.

"Beetlestep! Mosspaw!", gasped Bluepaw. "Please! I need to talk to Crowstar! It's important!"

Mentor and apprentice stared at her, before Beetlestep nodded and said: "Alright. Follow us!" The two ran off and Bluepaw rushed after them.

She pushed her muscles to her limits to keep up with the WindClan cats. For a second she almost overtook the two. Despite looking confused at first, their expressions became grim when they saw that happening, and sped up as well. Although the run was short, it seemed like an eternity to Bluepaw. Her muscles shrieked in protest to the strain she put them through, but she shoved it aside. ThunderClan was more important. The warrior and two apprentices skidded the last meters into WindClan camp and, while Bluepaw tried to catch her breath, Beetlestep rushed to get Crowstar.

Not a heartbeat after the tom had disappeared, he returned with Crowstar and Beesting, further strengthening Bluepaw's believe that those two were mates. She shook the thought off when Crowstar looked at her expectantly. "ThunderClan needs help", began the bluish-grey she-cat and then started to rush out what WindClan needed to know. Crowstar's eyes were wide in shock after Bluepaw was done, then he raised his head and let out a battle-cry.

Tired cats appeared out of their dens, blinking confused, but paid attention immediately, once they saw Beesting and Beetlestep look down at Bluepaw in shock.

"WindClan!", called Crowstar, getting the attention. "Bluepaw came to us tonight with terrible news. A group of rogues, big enough to match the number of cats in all four clans, is attacking ThunderClan. RiverClan and ShadowClan are requested to help as well." Bluepaw looked up, to find most looking shocked, while others, especially those who'd managed to build friendships with ThunderClan cats, looked furious and ready to battle. "We will help. Now move!"

In unison the cats sprung forward, Crowstar taking the lead.

Bluepaw rushed after them as fast as she could, once again pushing herself past her actual limits. She would have hell to pay for this once the battle was over, but she wasn't about to regret it. During the whole run, she managed to keep her speed akin to Lilypaw.

She knew Firepaw and Greypaw had befriended the young she-cat, so she wasn't bothered with running close to her. The young white she-cat's yellow eyes were narrowed and focused straight ahead. That would be her first battle, realised Bluepaw then and sorrow hit her. If BloodClan was like it used to be, it could also be her last. No matter if the clans win or lose tonight, thought the bluish-grey apprentice sorrowfully. There will be great losses.

The next second she heard the cries from her clan-mates and immediately her mind cleared. Her claws came out and fresh energy rushed through her. The barriers around the camp were broken and partially none-existent anymore, so Bluepaw was the first not to bother with using the tunnel. She simply rushed into camp and came out next to the nursery.

What she saw there looked horrific.

She saw a lot of moveless bodies on the ground, though most of them didn't seem to be from her clan-mates. ThunderClan had retreated to the cliffs and dens, so they couldn't be jumped onto from behind. Suddenly a cry echoed through the air. Bluepaw's head shot to the left and her heart skipped a beat.

Whitepaw, battered and bleeding, stood over Hollypaw's limp form protectively, facing a tom two times his size. Without thought Bluepaw lunged forward and dug her fangs and claws into the tom's hind-leg. He yowled and staggered back, almost trampling on the she-cat, but she hung on and saw Whitepaw leaping forward now.

The cries of battle sounded louder now and she glanced up.

WindClan had interfered. Suddenly the tom gave another shriek and managed to shake Bluepaw off. Then he spun around and ran. Bluepaw tried to run to her former nephew and his sister, when another rogue hit her flank. With a startled cry she dug her claws into her attacker and the two tumbled over the ground. Bluestar lost all sense of time.

Fight.

Back off.

Attack.

Dodge.

Retreat.

Catch breath.

Fight.

Attack.

Swipe.

Trick.

Hide.

Defend.

Dodge.

Attack.

One opponent blurred into he next while the battle and the night continued. Once again Bluepaw retreated from the fight and gasped for breath. Spottedpaw limped up to her. Scratches lithered her forma and she had a nasty bite on her right forepaw, but she bravely pressed cobwebs against Bluepaw's shoulder. The bluish-grey she-cat had long since given up counting her injuries and she just accepted the help.

Suddenly a new yowl rang through the air and both apprentices looked up, to sigh in relief. Sandpaw and Ravenpaw burst through the torn barrier, followed by ShadowClan. Another clan had arrived.

The second the new arrivals leaped into the battle, the most injured clan-cats backed out of it to be able to catch their breath.

Sandpaw gasped hard while she and Ravenpaw raced back to ThunderClan camp alongside the ShadowClan cats.

More than once Tigerpaw or any of the other Dark-Forest Cats made snide remarks about their stamina or other things, but the she-cat pushed them away. Now was not the time to focus on this. She just prayed Bluepaw and Firepaw had been as successful as them. Although she doubted Bluepaw had had any problems convincing WindClan for help.

Cries and yowls started to reach her ears and immediately her mind cleared. Her claws came out and fresh energy rushed through her. The barriers around the camp were broken and partially none-existent anymore, so Sandpaw and Ravenpaw simply rushed through them, not bothering to even try to reach the tunnel. The destruction and amount of blood they saw was terrible, but Sandpaw forced herself to move and leaped into the battle.

She didn't know who she battled when, or with who by her side. It all turned into a rush of claws, fangs and blood. Suddenly it happened.

A she-cat pinned her. Blood drooled out of the rogue's mouth and she hissed dangerously, her amber eyes burning hatefully. Sandpaw struggled under her, desperate to get away. She didn't want to die yet, not yet. The she-cat gave a cruel laugh and placed a paw on Sandpaw's throat, slowly pressing down.

The pale-ginger she-cat chocked on her breath and struggled more. This monster of a she-cat tried to suffocate her. The lack of oxygen in her brain cause Sandpaw to feel drowsy while he lungs burned, screaming for air. Black spots started to dance in her vision and her trashing grew weaker. Again the she-cat laughed evilly, then she suddenly cried out and was gone.

Sandpaw gulped in the air gratefully and leaped up. She staggered a bit, feeling dizzy, before she saw something that made her heart leap. A dark ginger she-cat was battling the she-cat, which finally gave a cry and ran off. Sandpaw sniffed and grinned. RiverClan had arrived. The other clans-cats had realised that too, apparently, since everyone resumed battling with new strength.

Despite the urgency and terror of the situation, Sandpaw felt somehow relieved. The clans could and would still fight together if necessary. Soon she returned into the battle too and continued fighting alongside Dustpaw. They fought for a while, until Sandpaw finally realised it. She and Dustpaw had just sent another tom running, when she gasped: "Where is Firepaw?!"

Dustpaw froze wide-eyed and turned to survey the battling cats. There were many ginger flashes, but none of them Firepaw's ginger. "StarClan where is he?", breathed Bluepaw. She crouched nearby, shuddering from the blood loss she suffered, but her eyes swept over the battling cats again. Sandpaw felt how her mouth went dry.

What had happened to her mate?

Firepaw gave a cry when he was flung into the lake. Spluttering he came back up, to have someone land on his back, pushing him back underwater. Trashing blindly, Firepaw tried to shake whoever tried to make him drown off. Finally the weight disappeared and immediately the ginger tom came up again, to growl.

Scourge, or rather Duskpaw, crouched in front of him in the shallow water, his lips drawn back in a snarl. Then the small black tom rocketed forward. Firepaw leaped to the side to dodge and quickly scurried back onto dry land, where he dodged another attack from his old enemy. Duskpaw snarled loudly and leaped onto his back. Immediately Firepaw rolled onto his back, flattening the smaller tom underneath him.

The second Duskpaw let go, he jerked up and spun to face him. Duskpaw leaped up as well and lashed out at him. Again Firepaw dodged. He didn't want to fight Duskpaw, but the other was obviously blinded by his wish for revenge.

"Fight me you coward", spat the RiverClan apprentice.

Firepaw shook his head and answered calmly: "I will not. You are not my enemy right now."

"Oh aren't I? You will pay!"

Again the other leaped forward and again Firepaw dodged him. "So this is what this attack is about?", asked the ginger tom. "Revenge?"

"You killed me! I will just return the favour!"

Firepaw narrowed his eyes and asked: "You do remember that you took one of my lives before I took yours, correct?"

Duskpaw snarled again and hissed: "Only a coward like you would cheat death. My cats! Archer, Shard, Glass, Bone, they died honourably, but you all killed them!"

That was when Firepaw saw and heard it. The pain that flashed through Duskpaw's eyes at Bone's name, the sorrow in his voice. "Bone meant a lot to you?", asked the ginger tom back.

Scourge gave a yowl of rage and cried: "He was my second in command! The only one who respected and trusted me without a doubt! The one who always had my back and your cats killed him!"

"You mean just like he killed my deputy? My friend?", shot Firepaw back, his eyes watering when Whitestorm's death replayed itself in his head.

Duskpaw froze for a second, then his gaze hardened and he spat: "Liar!"

"Am I now", roared Firepaw back. "Am I? Your deputy killed mine, my apprentice killed yours. You killed Bramblestar's father, you almost killed my nephew and took one of my lives and you still think I had no reason to take your life, to end your reign of terror?!" Firepaw glowered at the smaller tom hatefully. "Facing BloodClan was one of the most terrible things the clans ever had to go through! Not the most terrible, but certainly one of them! We lost so much!" Tears streamed down his face now. "Call me weak for still grieving over the cats we lost. Call me weak for crying for something that happened so long ago. But do never! Believe! You! Are! The! Only! One! Who! Lost! Cats! You! Cared! About!"

With each step Firepaw had gotten closer to Duskpaw and now they were almost nose to now. "Call me weak for pitying you that you lost the right path and caused so much pain because of the pain two toms put you through."

Duskpaw's blue eyes widened and glazed a little. Firepaw knew, he knew, the black tom remembered his being attacked by Tigerpaw.

"Yes", sighed Firepaw and turned to look over the lake. Duskpaw looked back at him. "I know what happened to you, what Tigerstar and Thistleclaw put you through…but I also know another thing." He locked his green eyes with Duskpaw's ice-blue ones. "I know that Bluestar, who saved your life back when Tigerstar attacked you, is now risking her life in the battle that rages right now. In the battle you caused to happen, because those cats are most certainly BloodClan cats."

Firepaw rose to his full height, his hackles rising while he fixed his blazing green eyes on Duskpaw.

"Now I ask you Scourge…on whose side are you?"

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