"Darkness, I don't think this is a good idea..." Flowerfire followed cautiously behind her mate, sniffing for any signs of anyone that might be following them. Her eyes darted to and fro, jumping at every movement that crossed her line of vision.
"Don't worry, Flowerfire." Darkness' deep, almost purring voice put scared she-cat at ease a little, but not quite.
"But you know I'm not supposed to be here!" her voice was a frantic whisper, yet it was still loud enough to scare off all the surrounding prey. "I'm supposed to be back in camp, sleeping! If anyone catches us, I'll be exiled for sure!" She shook her head, thinking about what she had done. After all, she had already been caught two times with Darkness. The clan leader had warned her that if she was caught a third time, she would be sent away. Flowerfire was breathing heavily, and suddenly the world started spinning. Really fast.
"I feel a bit... woozy..." Sweat started pouring down her face, her steps getting wobbly as she continued forward. Suddenly, Flowerfire's chest lunged forward in an unnatural way, and she collapsed to the ground, still panting heavily.
"Flowerfire! Are you ok?!" Darkness stopped mid-step and ran back to the fallen queen. "Oh... it's nothing. I'll be fine in a moment." Flowerfire sighed and laid limp on the ground, looking at her belly with an adoring glance. "Heh. My clanmates all think I'm just getting fat. They have no idea I'm pregnant." An exhausted smile crept onto Flowerfire's face, and before long they were both laughing- her shrill, high-pitched voice blending in with his deep, booming one. Their laughter filled the forest, making the eerie full moon seem not so scary anymore.
"Ah, so what is it you wanted me to see, again?" Flowerfire asked, getting up with a great heave of her paws. Darkness chuckled a little at her effort to get up, and walked closer to her to help her up. "Geez, you really are getting fat!" He teased, a smile and a wink on his face. "Hey!" Flowerfire lunged at him, her big belly lulling underneath her. She landed harmlessly, just in front of him. "Bet you can't catch me!" Darkness laughed, running away and picking up pace, heading further into the forest. Flowerfire laughed too and chased after him, not quite catching up, but not quite falling behind, either. She knew that he was slowing his pace on purpose, so she could keep up. Yet somehow, it seemed OK.
Darkness finally stopped in a little clearing, looking back with at Flowerfire with a playful glint in his eye. "Ok, now... close your eyes" He walked a little closer to Flowerfire to close the rest of the distance between them. "Haha.... fine, fine." On command, she closed her eyes and let Darkness lead her to whatever he wanted her to see. "Ok.... open!" Flowerfire's eyes opened slowly, and she looked around, stunned into a small silence. Around her lay a small, shielded clearing with soft moss covering the ground. To her right was a small cave with a stream trickling down the side of the rock, filling a small pool and then emptying through a hole in the side. The water caught the moon just so that it glinted off and made the water look like it was sparkling.
"So what do you think?" Darkness grinned, following Flowerfire's gaze around the clearing. "It's simply... amazing..." Flowerfire was at loss for words."Did you make this yourself?" She was still looking around; just gazing at the magnificence. Her question was answered with a nod. "Yes, but the cave and the water were already here. All I did was lay the moss down and enclose it. I... I was thinking we could raise our kits here." Flowerfire took her wandering gaze off the sight and ran back to her mate. "Great Starclan, it's wonderful, Darkness! Yes!" She purred, nuzzling his soft, scarred face.
"I love you, Flowerfire."
"I love you, too"
It's just all to good to be true.
Too good to be true, indeed.
"Flowerfire! Get away from that loner!" A male's voice sounded from behind the enclosed space, and then it was quickly followed by the owner of the sound, crashing through and leaping the wall of brambles. It was a sleek tom with fur as white as snow, covered with black spots. "Savesoul!" Flowerfire gasped, her pupils narrowing and her breath racing as more cats followed him, including the leader himself. Their unsheathed claws ripped up the soft moss, revealing hard, dry ground. "What are you doing here?! You said you'd never see this cat again!" She could tell by the fierceness in his voice that he was deeply hurt. He had told Flowerfire that he loved her, but she had turned him down, saying that she loved another. Yet somehow, there was a spark in his eye that made it seem like he still did.
Again, Flowerfire could not summon the words to explain why she had done the things she had done. In her eyes, she had done nothing wrong. But who was she to speak- right and wrong are defined by the leaders, not the cats. Flowerfire started to back away from the snarling tom, tears gathering in her eyes. "I-I..." She stammered, still backing away, planning to run away, but the group of toms had trapped both her and Darkness against the cave. She pressed her back all the way to the cool stone, wincing a little as the cool water dampened her pelt. There was no way out now. Flowerfire looked to Darkness to see what his reaction had been, but to her surprise, he was calm and cool.
"There's no use in hiding it now." He began, looking Savesoul right in the eye. "I forced Flowerfire to come out here and bear my kits. She had no choice in the matter because i threatened to kill her and her family." Darkness shook his head. "She was only protecting the ones she loved." His gazed now darted back and forth between the cats. His answer only seemed to anger them more. "You deserve to die!" "Kill him!" "Let us at em'!" Anonymous shouts from the crowd sounded out, all directed to their leader. Savesoul padded to the leader and spoke softly. "This is why Flowerfire didn't want to be my mate! She was only protecting us. Kill him!"
"No.... NO!" Flowerfire jumped in front of Darkness, shielding him from the tom's evil glares. "I love him. He is not evil! He is lying!" She hissed at the toms, unsheathing her claws. "Shh, shh... he can't hurt you anymore Flowerfire, there's no need for this." Savesoul walked up to her and rubbed his tail along her back. "Great Starclan! Don't you dare touch me!" She hissed, lashing out with an outstretched paw to Savesoul. He easily dodged it, laughing a little. Darkness snarled and twisted his head around so he could sink his teeth into the tender flesh of Savesoul's tale. The tome gave a little yelp, and ordered some over the other cats to pull him away. And as soon as he got the signal from the leader, he shouted at the other cats "Round them up and take them back to camp! And please, be as rough as you want with the tom." Savesoul then grabbed Flowerfire by the scruff and dragged her back to camp, also.
Darkness, why did you do this? Was it so I could remain in the clans?
A single tear dripped from Flowerfire's eye, slipping down her cheek, and falling to the ground. It sparkled for a moment, reminding her of the little glittering stream that ran down the cave so perfectly... but now it was all gone, destroyed by this stupid cat. "Come on now, you don't expect me to carry you all the way to camp, now do you?" Flowerfire was snapped out of her trance by the annoying voice of Savesoul. The large tom was still dragging her by the scruff, which had now started to bleed because he was biting down as if he were about to kill prey. "I feel like prey..." Flowerfire muttered to herself, too low for Savesoul to make out the words. "Humm? What's that you say? Too bad, get up, and start walking to the camp." He ordered her, letting go of her scruff. But Flowerfire refused to move. She stared off into the forest, looking up at the moon with a blank stare. "I said GET. UP." He commanded again, lightly scratching her back with his front paw. Yet still Flowerfire did not move. No, she would not yield to this stupid tom. Not a single cell in her body would listen to the command of this cat, not even if he had all the power of Starclan with him.
"Ugh. You there!" He signaled to one of the other toms. "Carry her to camp. She is... tired from running from that tom all night." The tom mindlessly slung Flowerfire over his back, arriving in the camp a short time later and lightly setting her on the ground."You're safe now, Flowerfire" was all he said to her before running back to Savesoul for further orders. She could hear the conversation from across the clearing.
"I saw we kill him now! And make him suffer." Savesoul looked murderously at the other tom, who was laying on the ground like he didn't have a care in the world. That's my Darkness... always fearless. Flowerfire thought, a little smile on her face. The smile quickly vanished as she heard her leader's words. "No, we can't kill him here! That would leave blood on our paws. Let's take him to the gathering, and I will consult the leaders on what we should do." The Clan leader had spoken, and all the warriors listened. "We leave now."
"No!" Flowerfire shouted out, trying to follow the mass of cats to the gathering. She was almost out of the camp when a sudden wave of intense pain hit her square in the stomach. "Oh, Starclan, not now..." Flowerfire collapsed to the ground again, panting and grinding her teeth. "Somebody help me!" She shouted, pain blackening her vision. Through the waves, Flowerfire thought she could feel someone gently moving her to a soft nest, and giving her a stick to bite on. There were just two more flashes of pain, and then it was all over. Flowerfire then passed out, dreaming of Darkness.
Flowerfire woke up the next morning, comforatable in her new nest. Sleepily, she looked around the den, wondering where she was. Smiling happily, she thought for one moment, she thought she was in the cave that Darkness had fixed up for her and her kits. She looked around for the kits, wondering why they weren't at her belly. Her stomach as considerably smaller now, so she knew the waves of pain last night was her having the kits. Flowerfire got up and took one step out of the nursery. Then it all flooded back to her, all her memories of last night that she wanted to block out with all her mind. She started to head over to the medicine cat's den, so she could learn what happened to her mate. The medicine cat was the only cat she could still trust around here- everyone else just seemed like a minion.
"You're up early" Flowerfire stopped mid-step, turning to face Savesoul. They were both the only cats in the deserted clearing, standing a fox-length away from each other. "I'm going to go see the medicine cat." She answered, glaring at him. More then anything, she wanted to pounce on him, tear his flesh away, and make him die very, very slowly. His only response to her glare was a smug smile. "Very well, then." he chuckled and walked back to the Warrior's Den, pausing as she, too made her way to the other side of the clearing, but in the opposite direction- to the Medicine Cat's den.
"Frostwhisper?" Flowerfire walked into the den, looking around for the medicine cat. It seemed he rose early, too, for he was sorting herbs in the back. "Where are my kits?" she asked, wanting to hear the news of her first litter before she learned the fate of Darkness. "What are you talking about? You gave birth to them just fine, they were two healthy kits, a tom and a she-cat. I put them at your tummy so you could name then when you woke up." Flowerfire gasped at his response, racing back to the den. But it was empty, just as she had left it. The medicine cat came in after her, taking a quick look around, and then running to the leader's den. Flowerfire looked to the ground, for the world seemed too horrible to even look at. She could hear Savesoul walk up behind her, but he did not speak. "And what of Darkness?" She asked him what had happened to her mate.
"Don't worry Flowerfire, neither he, nor his kits can ever hurt you again." He smiled again, padding off back to the Warrior's Den. All Flowerfire thought she could do was look at the ground in sorrow. It was if the killing of her mate and kits had killed part of her, too. And it very well might have. If you're ripped from something you're bound to, wouldn't it make sense for part of you to stay, while the other half went?
Meanwhile, the Medicine Cat had run to the leader's den, and told the leader of the lost kits. The leader, while he did order Darkness to be killed, was still worried for the kits. He ordered a clan meeting and arranged patrols to look for the lost kits. Wisely, Savesoul was not included. However, Flowerfire was not included either, but she went anyways. There wasn't anyone that could stop her. Her patrol started from the Nursery. They scented Flowerfire pretty well, but it took them a while to notice the scents of the two kits. There was a fourth, unknown scent in the den, but no one payed much attention to that. One scent of the kit seemed to vanish as soon as it got out of the nursery, suggesting that it was picked up by a cat. The second seemed to be dragged on the ground. They followed the scent of the second one, racing into the forest at top speed. They took many twists and turns, even out of the territory and into rogue lands. But then they were there, in a small clearing. Broken and bloodied- bodies stiff and cold.
Flowerfire turned her head up to the sky and let out a long wail of despair. Just something -anything!- to make her stop feeling the pain. But there was nothing to comfort her, nothing at all. Tears streamed down her face as she raced to the cave where Darkness and Flowerfire had shared just a few moments of happiness. Then there lay his body, in the same condition- heart not beating, no breath, nothing. Flowerfire buried her nose into his bloodied fur, trying to pick us the last fragmented scents of him through the blood. But Starclan could not even spare her that. Flowerfire walked back to the camp in sorrow, dragging her paws with each step.
This is all Savesoul's fault. Flowerfire curled up in the nursery, still crying, and somehow falling asleep again just as the sun was rising.