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By Fallenpaw...

This is my first one-shot!

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I watched the Gathering cats leave the camp as I breathed in the cool green-leaf air. Stars shone high above me, and the moon lit the camp up in brilliant silver light. A soft breeze swept through the camp, and cats that were staying behind bid farewell to the travelers. Fireflies flew around the camp, and as always, amazed me with the odd yellow light that flashed from them.

I shook out my long, thick black pelt. Knots of fear and anxiousness were tied in my chest, and my heart was beating as fast as our WindClan ancestors ran. I raised my white marked head, and stared at the sky. A fresh wave of grief washed over me as I though of my dead mother, who died soon after my kitting. "Are you up there, watching over me, Cloudwish?" I whispered, feeling hollow and lonely. Slowly, my vivid imagination created wild fantasies of my mother being alive, my father with a good heart, and my sister loyal to the Clan.

"Are you ready yet, Icepaw?" A voice meowed, slightly agitated, behind me. I whirled around to face the cat. A silvery-blue pelted cat stood in front of me. The tom's voice softened, and with a tilt of his head, he meowed. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine... just... I'll be fine, Moonflash."

Moonflash nodded, and was prepared to speak again, until a brown-coated cat approached.

"Aspenpaw, it's good to see you." I purred.

Aspenpaw dipped her head toward me, and then, slightly shyly, toward Moonflash. I began to ponder whether Aspenpaw had feelings for her mentor. "Let's review," I meowed at last.

Aspenpaw nodded in agreement, and Moonflash sat down. "We don't have all night," Moonflash growled.

I glanced nervously at the young warrior, then began to go over the plan. "Moonflash, you'll pretend you have a bellyache, so you won't have much of a..." I ransacked my brain for a good, non-insulting word.

"Purpose?" Aspenpaw meowed cheerily.

"No! Shut up, will you?" I snapped. Finally, I was able to continue. "Anyways," I growled, with a slight glance at Aspenpaw, "Fault." Yeah, that's the word. "Aspenpaw, you will go to the gathering with me, and you'll speak whoever is guarding the Ancient Oak. You'll say that someone at the SageClan camp is very ill, and then say you need to speak with Sunlark immediately. I'll sneak around on to the Ancient Oak while the guard is occupied- oh, and try to make sure the guard leads you to Sunlark- and get to the other side of the island. I'll handle the rest."

Aspenpaw nodded. Moonflash looked like he knew what to do.

"Alright then, let's get the plan into motion." I meowed, newfound confidence flowed through my voice.

Me and Aspenpaw snuck around the secret exit, which was a thick patch of ferns. It was always in shadows, due to the thick oak tree branches that stretched into the sky above it. We cut through the ferns swiftly, and dashed into the woods.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we reached the gathering island. We crouched in a bush beneath some shadowy trees, and watched. "Good," I meowed with relief, " A DogClan cat isn't guarding." I easily recognized the burly she-cat. She was Brightfox, a cat from NightClan.

"Ready?" Aspenpaw meowed, her voice filled with excitement.

"Yeah," I replied. Then, I added, "Don't sound so excited. You need to act worried for Moonflash. Brightfox isn't a idiot."

Aspenpaw nodded, then ducked out from under the bush and toward the log.

My thoughts seemed to have wandered as I watched Aspenpaw. I snuck a risky glance at the sky. Thin, whispy clouds mindlessly floated through the sky. They were fast, too, like claws scoring across a flank. "StarClan... I know we're doing is wrong... please, please forgive me..." It was hopeless. They wouldn't forgive, no matter how, or how much, I pleaded. I saw across the bridge, a very odd sight... there was a firefly. I lone, single firefly. The fireflies in this forest usually flew about in small swarms, like clouds. It hovered in the same spot, never moving an inch, it's wings beat over and over and over again.

Brightfox was looking at my friend suspiciously, but after minutes of convincing, led Aspenpaw away from the Ancient Oak and toward the gathering area. I gave a sigh of relief.

I crossed the bridge, slightly hesitant. What if they don't understand why I'm doing this? What if they exile me? What if, even worse... I shook myself out. Calm down! I thought. Slowly, I forced myself to go on, pawstep after pawstep.

I began to go toward the right, but the firefly zipped in front, in a protesting, 'no, don't do this!' sort of way. It caught my attention, and when my gaze moved after it, the firefly started, slowly, flying toward the left side of the island.

I swear by StarClan, some kind of natural instinct zapped me. I followed the firefly, and it flew a bit faster, until I was running after it.

We reached the area near the gathering. The tall, towering oak trees seemed to fly into the sky. My gaze darted around the clearing. Cats of all the Clans crowded the area, and finally, after searching the treetops, I spotted my target.

The firefly flew away.

I climbed up the tree, slowly, and stealthily, until I was right behind the cat I needed. I swallowed back fear, and leaped into this nightmare. I lived through this moment so many times... in sleep... in imagination... in everything I do, everything I see. The time is now. I have to take the leap.

I hauled myself onto the branch, and cats began to gasp from below. The black cat I was behind didn't seem to notice. Until it was too late. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. My claws ripped through the black cat's neck, his Clan Leader, Rainstar, leaped onto the branch to try to save him... but it was too late. "Leopardclaw! No!" Rainstar yowled, rage filled her voice. Leopardclaw lurched forward, headfirst, smashing into the ground below. Leopardclaw hit the ground with a horrible crack. It made me feel sick.

I raced off the tree, and to my horror, I could hear the pawsteps cats chasing me. Even worse, however... I could scent the cats that were like family... I reached the camp. Moonflash ran toward me, with pride-filled eyes. He noticed the chasing cats. He whispered to me, quietly, "You did the right thing. He would have killed everyone..."

I when gestured toward the secret exit. "Let's go. We can escape now. Let the cool down. We'll return at sun-high, in two days." I nod, and hastily ran off with him.

We reached a cliff, a treeless cliff, a cliff that was bathed with moonlight. Moonflash lowered his head, and met my gaze.

"Why did you do this?" I meowed. "Why did you help me? You knew the risks.

Moonflash leaned into me, and I breathed in his warm scent. "Because I love you, Icepaw. I love you and I always will."

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