Heptagon is a fanfiction by Streampaw, Mistleheart, Willowlight, and Foxpaw. It is about nine young cats who form a group and sneak out at night to seek for excitement. It is the first (chronologically) of the Chronicles of Chaos series

Summary Edit

We travel in shadows. No one sees, no one knows. And it stayed that way (sometimes, I wish it hadn't).

Allegiances Edit


Leader: Rosestar- dark cream-coloured she-cat with pale green eyes

Deputy: Hawkfeather- golden brown tabby tom with white paws

Medicine Cat: Snowspeckle- silvery-white she-cat with grey flecks down her back

Apprentice, Thistlepaw


Dapplefeather-  tortoiseshell and white she-cat with yellow eyes

Pinefeather- fluffy dark red tom

Juniperpool- tuxedo she-cat with one blue eye and one green eye

Apprentice, Mosspaw

Berrystripe- brown mackerel tabby tom with amber eyes

Dawnstreak- ginger-brown she-cat with golden streaks

Apprentice, Goldenpaw

Moosefoot- dark brown and white tom with large paws

Fernspots- fluffy pale grey tom with white spots on chest

Gingertail- white tom with ginger spots and a long ginger tail

Apprentice, Hazelpaw

Branchshade- dark brown, almost black tom with yellow eyes

Suncloud - pale ginger, almost yellow she-cat with amber eyes

Fallenshadows- long-haired dark grey she-cat with an orange dash on chest

Apprentice, Featherpaw

Eaglesong- brown tabby she-cat with cream spots

Dusklight- soft-furred pale brown and white she-cat, crippled from a rockfall

Swallowstorm- dark ginger tom with yellow eyes

Darkstream- dark grey she-cat with white ear-tips

Stonespark- ginger, grey and white tabby she-cat with amber eyes


Thistlepaw- brown and white tom with spiky fur

Mosspaw- sleek white she-cat with soft green eyes

Goldenpaw- golden-brown she-cat with white patches

Featherpaw- soft-furred grey tom with a very fluffy tail


Fawnwhisker- tan she-cat with green eyes. mother of Branchshade's kits- Petalkit (tortoiseshell and white she-cat) and Mintkit (pale grey tom)


Roseflight- White she-cat with pinky-orange splotches and long legs

Scorchwing- dark ginger tom with blue eyes and a white tail-tip


Leader: Duskstar- pale brown and white she-cat with violet eyes

Deputy: Rainwing- speckled grey tom

Medicine cat: Thornfeather- grey-brown tabby tom with spiky-looking fur


Birchclaw- pale brown tabby tom with white ear-tips and tail-tip

Flashheart- scarred white she-cat with ginger splotches

Apprentice, Pebblepaw

Ivystep- wiry dark brown tabby tom with green eyes

Jaywhisper- lithe pale grey and white she-cat with blue eyes

Robinstripe- cinnamon tabby tom

Shadowfern- fluffy dark grey-black she-cat with green eyes

Featherfall- sleek white she-cat with single black stripe down her back


Leader: Foxstar- Russet and white tom with amber eyes

Deputy: Aspenleap- dilute calico she-cat




Prologue Edit

The night is our mask. We stay up until the stars fade; in our world, the sun is a speck. Respect the night. Nighttime keeps our mouths opening and closing, keeps us from snapping at any chance we get. Nighttime keeps us going. Be grateful. We travel in shadows, no more than three at a time; it's our secret. No one else saw, no one else knew. "And it will stay that way," Lilywind says.

There's nine of us and almost too many to mention. Featherfall is elusive. Always alone (she prefers it that way). At day, she is swarmed by others, mostly from her own clan. Bees over a field of flowers. Except the flowers are long since dead and the bees are just as fake as anything else. We don't talk about day, but it's something we all notice.

The three WindClan cats travel together but their faces are anything but friendly. Icejay shifts like ocean water, the calm before the storm, and the lightning that follows. Grasstail is almost nice, but too bitter to be anything else. He stalks behind the other two at meetings, always worried about something but he does it so fiercely he sounds angry. Poppyleaf is a fox and she knows it, never saying anything straight. She's the one who comes up with all the ideas; climb trees to the top, peel the bark off branches. Jump into the river. Crawl through brambles and return without burrs (We fell asleep bleeding that dawn, scarlet).

Shadowfern hardly talks but does more than anyone, and the most mysterious cat I've known. Only Featherfall knows why she came and she hasn't told. Yet. Dappleflight and Lilywind, sisters. Both of them are RiverClan, and one of them isn't what they look. Lilywind is both the gentlest and most startling cat I know. Swallowstorm, ripped at every edge. And me, Darkstream, shunned by both my mother and Starclan. To them, I'm just a speck of dirt. A tangle. A mistake. Something to overlook. Isn't it ironic that we like think of each other in the same way, but only one succeeds?

Shadowfern hardly talks but does more than anyone, and the most mysterious cat I've known. Only Featherfall knows why she came and she hasn't told. Yet. Dappleflight and Lilywind, sisters. Both of them are RiverClan, and one of them isn't what they look. Lilywind is both the gentlest and most startling cat I know. Swallowstorm, ripped at every edge. And me, Darkstream, shunned by both my mother and Starclan. To them, I'm just a speck of dirt. A tangle. A mistake. Something to overlook. Isn't it ironic that we like think of each other in the same way, but only one succeeds?

The hollow overlooking the sea became our meeting spot. We slip out as the sun sets, a curious band of newly-made warriors. We never had a name, although Dappleflight suggested it once, always referring to us as "us" or "them" or "the group", or simply not at all. Dappleflight made the group in the first place. "Open to anyone looking for adventure in their life," she had announced to me at the gathering. Except now it was only for the nine of us. We never had an established leader; we met up, we did things, we talked, we left. We have roles; some, not at all. Poppyleaf gives the ideas. Dappleflight sorts out which nights we meet, and which we don't. Shadowfern scouts. We take turns being look out, always ready to scatter in case someone came, but nobody ever came, and nobody has.

Chapter One Edit

Written by Streampaw and edited by Mistleheart

We arrive a few minutes behind everyone else. Featherfall gives me a look, which I ignore by instinct, shuffling into place just in time to hear Poppyleaf announce, “We’re doing something special today.”

“By special, you mean weird.” Icejay snorts, which Poppyleaf decidedly ignores. It’s almost routine; Swallowstorm and I make the trek from Thunderclan, Poppyleaf has an idea, Icejay undermines it, and the rest follows.

“You see those rocks?” She flicks her tail toward a series of ragged ledges situated halfway down a gorge across from us, just outside WindClan territory. They stretch all the way to ThunderClan's forest. “We’re going to jump along them.”

"...okay, she’s crazy.” Lilywind dismisses jokingly with a wave of her paw. The others laugh, or in Shadowfern’s case, look pointedly away.. “But joking aside," the RiverClan she-cat continues, "won’t it be dangerous?”

“Well, there are piles of leaves, and-” Poppyleaf begins, when Featherfall stops her.

“So what if it’s dangerous?” she argues. “Anything could be dangerous. As long as we’re careful enough, nothing bad can come of it. Besides,” she adds, “We came here for adventure. And there won’t be any adventure if all we do is sit here and talk."

Silence falls. Although we have no leader, Featherfall has the most unspoken authority out of all of us. And why wouldn’t she? Even though she isn't the oldest out of all of us, she has a breezy, mature way of speaking, something I wish I had.

“...I think I’ve made my point," Featherfall finishes. "Any questions?”

Grasstail looks as though he wants to say something, but doesn't.

“Good.” This time, it is Dappleflight speaking. “Then we’ll start. Remember, only make the jump if you think you can do it. We don’t want any unnecessary injuries. One at a time, and wait for the cat in front of you. That includes you, Swallowstorm.” She glances toward the ginger tom, who snorts.

“No pushing, and climb back up or jump down if you want to stop. Any way across is fine, but we stop once we reach ThunderClan territory," Dappleflight finishes. “Is that clear?”

Without waiting for an answer, she continues. “Good. Then let’s begin.”

Poppyleaf goes first. She focuses on a ledge just across from where she stands, and jumps, landing safely on the rock before heading to the other. Watching her makes it seem easy.

“You nervous?” Lilywind asks, padding up to me as Featherfall takes her turn, effortlessly springing from rock to rock. I hesitate, before shaking my head.

“It’s not that far from the bottom. Besides, it’s not like any of us are forced into this anyway.” I shrug.

“Good for you," she says, moving along in the line. “I am, though, but only a little bit.” And with that, she jumps onto the place Poppyleaf previously was. “Good luck!” She calls after me.

I pay attention as Grasstail leaps onto a lower ledge. His usual nervous demeanour is replaced with a look of concentration, and I realize that WindClan cats probably don't have to deal anything like this. Then Icejay goes, scowling as he lands messily onto the first ledge, barely making the jump.

“Darkstream, it’s your turn.” Dappleflight nudges me. I look over my shoulder. Only Swallowstorm is behind me, and he is looking pointedly away. “Unless you want me to go first.”

“If you want,” I say.

She leaves without replying. Like the others, she starts in the same place, before selecting the lower of the next two ledges. I watch, mesmerised, as she bounds seemingly effortlessly along the gorge, overtaking one after the other. How could she do it so easily?

“Hey, if you’re going to go, quit ogling Dappleflight and get on the rocks,” Swallowstorm grumbles from behind me.

“Oh- right- yeah.” I say quickly, remembering. “Sorry.”

“Don’t,” I think I heard him say quietly, before I jump. And suddenly there's wind rushing through my fur and empty air under my paws before they hit rock, hard, adrenaline still coursing through my veins.

The next ledge is slightly harder; there's ivy growing next to it which either helps you, or doesn't. There was a Windclan warrior, once, who died when he was strangled by it. I try not to keep that in mind.

"I'm at the end!" Poppyleaf shouts from far, far ahead. "It's actually pretty short-" And then there's a crash and a crack, then silence. I brace myself for a sickening thump, but it never comes.

Several minutes pass and neither of us move. The thought of loose stones tumbling down from above our heads, sending us spiralling downward until we broke our necks is enough to keep all of us still.

"She's alive!" Featherfall announces finally, and I let out a sigh of relief. Any deaths would bring questions we could never answer. Now to make sure we could all live till daytime.

Chapter Two Edit

Written by Mistleheart and edited by Streampaw

“So how’s the prey been running?”

I step into the shade of a palm tree and glare at Darkstream, who had spoken. “We’re in the same Clan. Why don’t you ask Rosestar how the prey’s been running?” 

Another night, I think. Another adventure. 

“Why don’t I?” Darkstream muses. She rambles on, but I am lost in my own thoughts.

Hawkfeather. An image of the ThunderClan deputy flashes in my eyes. My father, and the reason I’m here. Hawkfeather wants me to be deputy; and it seems to be the only reason he even cares. To him, I’m not Swallowstorm. I’m the next deputy. I hate his goading and support, but it’s the only way he talks to me, and that’s all I expect. Darkstream acts excited, but I just stand. I didn’t come to jump along rocks, I think.

“Darkstream and Swallowstorm!” a she-cat calls from the island. Dappleflight, her tortoiseshell tail lashing. “You’re in time for Poppyleaf’s idea.” 

I leap onto the island. “Poppyleaf’s ideas are mouse-brained,” I grumble. 

Poppyleaf’s eyes round in indignation, but she doesn’t reply. “We haven’t climbed trees before,” she announces. “And that’s we’re doing tonight. You see the forest there?” She flicks her tail toward the mainland. “The trees are – ”

Darkstream jumps in with a frown. “We ThunderClan warriors climb trees every day.” 

I nod. I can’t see the risk in climbing trees; it’s as simple as catching a mouse. Hawkfeather taught me the moment I was strong enough to claw my way up one. 

“You haven’t ever climbed trees as tall as these.” Poppyleaf’s eyes shine with enthusiasm. “The oaks reaches through the clouds! The sycamores too.”

I roll my eyes. No oak or sycamore can reach through the clouds.

Darkstream is shaking her head too. “Impossible.” 

“Come on, it’ll be exciting!” Featherfall encourages, leaping to her paws. “The trees must be really tall if Poppyleaf says they reach through the clouds. What are we waiting for?” And with that, she dashes off. 

Dappleflight nods. “It’ll be an adventure,” she mews as she follows the ShadowClan she-cat.

I sigh. “Poppyleaf must have bees in her brain,” I mutter. “Unlike some of us.”


“It’s true!” Lilywind gasps, awed.

I’m annoyed because climbing oaks as tall as these would result in injury or death. More, Poppyleaf had been right – or close enough.

“No tree can reach through the clouds,” I snarl.

“Lighten up, Swallowstorm,” Icejay grumbles. He rears and and plants his forepaws on the side of an oak to stare up the trunk.

I sniff. Says the one who’s grumbles every time he speaks.

“If you’ll stop bickering,” Dappleflight calls from where she stands, “here’s the plan.”

I prick my ears, but I don’t turn to face her.

“You’ll be climbing in pairs,” the RiverClan she-cat says. “Featherfall will climb alone. Grasstail, you’re with me. Poppyleaf, you’re partners with Lilywind. Icejay and Darkstream.” Her narrowed eyes scorch my pelt. “And Swallowstorm, you’re with Shadowfern.”

I glance at the ShadowClan she-cat. She didn’t speak.

“Why does Featherfall get to climb alone?” I demand.

No one replies, but Featherfall looks smug and Shadowfern’s face crumples. I steel myself against a flood of guilt.

“She asked for it,” Dappleflight says sharply.

I snort, turn, and leap onto a branch of an oak. “See?” I flick my tail. “Simple.”

Icejay springs onto a branch of another tree. “It’s easy,” he calls down to Darkstream, who paces in the clearing. “Come on.”

“Of course.” She twitched her tail-tip in annoyance. “I know how to climb.” And she jumps up beside Icejay and passes him.

Icejay scowls.

I concentrate on a branch slightly above my head and leap onto it, then the next. I glance down at Shadowfern. Anxiety glints in her eyes.

“It’s not too hard,” I reassure her.

Shadowfern crouches and leaps onto a branch on our oak. She lurches forward, but rights herself and waves her tail to me. I sigh in relief and continue up the tree.

Poppyleaf springs confidently from branch to branch. Lilywind is more cautious and doubtful, examing each bough before leaping onto one.

Darkstream is ahead of Icejay. I launch myself upwards as she’s about to pass me. I miss the branch I was preparing to land on and crash onto a small branch, face first. The branch is too high. And it’s cracking beneath my paws.

Terrified, I rocket up. I find a stronger branch and huddle there, my heart pounding, and glance down.

The clearing is a speck below me, and Shadowfern is catching up.

“I’m fine,” I say simply. I push myself to my paws and go on.

“Help!” yelps a tom from an oak tree to my right. Grasstail is clinging to a small bough by his fore paws, thrashing around and yelping in terror. His partner, Dappleflight, stands above him, helpless. “Stop thrashing!” she snaps. “The branch is cracking.”

Grasstail whimpers, but doesn’t move. “How do I get down?”

Dappleflight clenches her teeth, and then glances at Darkstream and then me, as if expecting me to answer.

I narrow my eyes, trying not to think about the worst that could happen. The branch Grasstail clings to will snap any moment. There is a smaller branch below him, but it won’t hold his weight for long.

“Grasstail, there’s a branch a tail-length below you,” I call out.

Grasstail squeaks in horror. “Do you want me to let go?” It’s as if he’s never heard such a thing. Which he probably hasn’t. I sigh.

“Yes, let go,” I order. “But you’ll have to jump down quickly. The branch below you is too light for you.”

“No, no.” Grasstail shakes his head. “I’m not a ThunderClan warrior! I’m not a squirrel, leaping around trees as if it’s the easiest thing in the world.”

I hiss in disapproval, but I had wasted one critical monent. The branch breaks with a sickening crack, and Grasstail tumbles down. He crashes against the lower branch, which breaks as well, and then plummets toward his partner, Dappleflight.

With a yelp, Dappleflight leaped aside. Grasstail hurtled past her, but she leaned down, caught his tail in her teeth, and pulled him onto her branch.

I exhale, relieved.

“I think it’s time we go down,” Darkstream calls anxiously.

“You can,” Dappleflight snorts. “We’ve only just come. I’d like to climb higher.” And with that, she gracefully leaps to a branch on the other side of her tree.

I continue climbing as well, until I realize the tree is swaying. I’m perching precariously on a tiny branch, and the wind threatens to push me off. “We’ve climbed too high!” I yelp.

Shadowfern, who stands a fox-length below, backs down.

Helpful, I think.

The tree shudders as I swarm down it. I glance at the clearing and it’s as small as a beetle. My stomach flips over.

I nearly fall, many times, but I make it down.

Grasstail has trouble coming down, but he does eventually, with Dappleflight’s help. I’m surprised that Poppyleaf and Icejay can climb trees so well. The moorland isn’t exactly a forest scene.

Featherfall isn’t doing so well either. She chose to climb herself, but I guess that didn’t go well.

She clings to the trunk, and there’s no way down except for scooting around the tree or backing straight down the trunk.

“Well, she did ask for it,” I grumble, but I’m worried. To my annoyance.

Darkstream yowls up to her. “You have to wriggle down. Slowly. Take your time.”

Featherfall clenches her teeth. I know she’d never admit she’s scared, but I can tell. Slowly, she backs down the tree. One paw step at a time.

Finally, she pushes off the tree, and crashes messily on the ground. Dappleflight runs to her aid, but she picks herself up with a scowl.

So I made it through another night alive. Congratulations.

“I think we should be heading home,” Lilywind says. “Look, the sky is lighting up.”

Dappleflight nods for once. “Alright.” She gives each of us a glare. “If you’re asked about where you’ve been, never reveal yourself,” she warns, just like she does every night. “Say you woke up early and went for a walk, or the Dirtplace.”

I sigh. “We know.”

“I’m reminding you,” Dappleflight replies sharply, and dismisses us with a flick of the tail.

Darkstream and I race towards ThunderClan territory, me without a brief goodbye to the others. The sun is rising, and I know we have to hurry.

Within minutes, our camp is ahead. Darkstream puts on a burst of speed, and I follow her, not wanting to be caught. Rosestar is not to be messed with. We push into the clearing, trying hard to be casual.

Rosestar is there, with Hawkfeather. Both cats turn to stare sharply at me, curious and suspicious.

“We went for – ” Darkstream begins hurriedly.

“- a walk,” I finish. I can’t trust Darkstream to not say something strange, like to visit a fox den with mice inside.

Rosestar narrows her eyes, but she nods finally and turns to pad away. Hawkfeather, my father, glares at me and goes after her. I catch Darkstream’s gaze. We are both relieved, but I won’t show it.

Another night is over.

Chapter Three Edit

Written by Foxpaw and edited by Mistleheart

"Okay guys, teams!" I yowl, summoning the attention of my friends. 

We're playing Capture the Flag, not a game we play too often, but definitely one of our favorites. Swallowstorm and Darkstream pair up, joined by Icejay and Lilywind soon after. Poppyleaf, Dappleflight, and Grasstail form their own team. I pad over to join the latter before I turn and glance at my quiet friend, sitting in the shadows of the tree. "Want to join us, Shadowfern?" I call softly.

A few seconds pass and I wonder if she wants to sit out, but Shadowfern creeps quietly next to me. I give her an encouraging smile. After deciding our team names, my team is called Team Nature since our names are all part of nature, and Swallowstorm's team is named Team Red, since in their opinion, red is the victorious color. We'll see about that.

I  turn and check the aster at the far end of the copse, lying safely in a twig square, yet exposed. A protective feeling overcomes me and I don't feel ashamed for it, even though it is "just a flower". I turn back and see every cat's eyes on me, expecting me to take control as always. "On your marks...get set....BEGIN!" I bellow. 

Instantly, Poppyleaf goes ripping over the invisible boundary like a mad bull or something and Swallowstorm is instantly on her tail as she swerves right and left to reach the Team Red's daffodil. I suck in my breath, impressed at the ginger she-cat's bravery. I would stand there, watching the fate of my teammate if it had not been for Icejay, sprinting across the tussocks, making a beeline for the aster. I start chasing him, but Grasstail intercepts him, causing the white tom to dash the other way. "I got him, Featherfall!" he yells over his shoulder but I have no time before Lilywind pummels straight into me. I hiss and tap her tail. "You're out."

A shriek of dismay sounded and I see Poppyleaf being led into the "prison area". Our best player.... I start forming a plan in my head when a gray figure bumps into me. "Shadowfern!" I exclaim. She hisses and waves frantically at a perfectly clear path to the daffodil. No one is guarding it in the carnage of trapping players. I grin and together we slink down the field. Close....closer.... Poppyleaf spots us arriving and her eyes widen with dismay when we stroll past the prisoner. Shadowfern glances back at me and heads on towards the daffodil, wordless. I turn the other way and make a running leap for Poppyleaf who is hissing and spitting all over the grass. "Thought you'd leave me here on my own, friend!" she hisses with contempt as I lead her back, ignoring her fury that would ebb away as she went back into gameplayer mode.

As we reach our side of the gamefield, I swerve around to eye Shadowfern, and I see her head snap up, daffodil in her jaws. I let out a sigh of relief, my blood roaring for her to make the finish, wailing to be there by her side as she crossed boundaries. But I can't move. Cats are dodging, intercepting, chasing around me all of a sudden and it hits me - Team Red is on our side! None of them are close to Shadowfern. Lilywind, now out of prison, tackles me, and as my head hits the ground, I see the blink of yellow eyes - although Lilywind's are green. I shove her off and tag her again - but she isn't there. I turn and see Dappleflight leading her way. I stifle a laugh of amusement before I spot a glare again. I blink confused, not stopping Swallowstorm as he swerves past me. Poppyleaf shoots me an annoyed glance before zipping away to catch him. I sigh, It's just your mouse-dunged eyes, now get back to the game before more of your teammates notice your absence. I begin batting, tagging, leading players to the prison area, and no one can save them. What a flaw. Darkstream whines and hisses as I tag her. To think this is Icejay's team. 

Speak of the devil, the white tom comes racing through the battlefield, droopy flower in jaw and our jaws drop as he makes the finish...just as Poppyleaf pummels him from the side. The tom yelps and hops back up. Team Red groans its loss, but Team Nature can't cheer quite yet. Because we noticed that Icejay was already across the boundary. He knew it too.

Icejay spits. "You can't tag me! I'm out of your territory!" He swerves to his wide-eyed teammates. "Right?"

Poppyleaf beat us all for the prize of the answer. "You can't carry a broken flower! If anyone's the cheater, it's you!"

"You broke it when you mashed me to the ground which you shouldn't have done anyway!"

"I saw it," Poppyleaf snarled. "It was ALREADY BROKEN!" 

Icejay snarls, claws unsheathing. "Well you want it that way? Then have it!" He shreds the aster to bits, and Poppyleaf gapes in shock.

"A loser's game," she smirks, blinking smugly.

Icejay roars but as I heave a sigh, about to call of the fight when my gaze averts and I could've sworn I saw eyes behind the bushes. Yellow eyes. The sun catches their muzzles and I shut my eyes as they begin to scorch. I open my eyes as the pain ebbs away - but the sunlight is gone. And so are they. I gasp in fear, excitement, terror...what was all of that? Why...why do I feel as if there are cats here, watching us? I come to as many shrieks of dismay occur at the same time.

There, standing in our flower square, is Darkstream, daffodil in her jaws. The most superior move... Icejay snarls. "I probably had the aster first!" Shadowfern stares back, unflinching.

Slowly, the Team Red stalks toward Shadowfern, and I know what they're thinking. This cunningness she holds ulterior is what assisted her in the murder of her sister. A part of me says it couldn't be true, a part of me wanted to defend her. But it made sense in a way, didn't it?

Poppyleaf yowled, "Call it off, Team Nature wins!" But I see the glimmer in her eyes too, the suspicion that would have boiled over had Shadowfern's move not been to her benefit. I take a step forward, focusing on clearing my thoughts when my pelt shivers, and I stop cold. The eyes are there now. A fox-length in front of me. Yellow...Red....Green...and now Blue. A blink. I tried so hard to hold it back, see more of them. But my eyes betrayed me. They are gone.

My hackles rise and I suck in a deep breath, whirl over to my friends, closing in on Shadowfern. Even Team Nature has turned on her, save Poppyleaf who is jumping around, trying to get everyone's attention to no avail. I shove past the ginger she-cat and push forth through the crowd. "Everybody, we need to get out of here. Now." 

Everyone blinks, and Grasstail is the first to speak. "Are you...mad?"

Before I can answer, Dappleflight intercepts. "Not now, Featherfall," her tailtip twitches irritably, as if I was the antagonist in this whole confrontation. "we need to find out who made it first."

I explode. "I saw her! I saw Shadowfern make it to the end, long before Icejay was even near the aster." I actually didn't know if Icejay was close to our flower, just that Shadowfern was there, mid-game, while Icejay was at the end. Making assumptions. When will this end. Even the white tom stares at me in understanding, his cold blue eyes widened, like I'm their leader, like I'm somehow always accurate, like I have it all in my brain. If it means they don't question me, especially in situations like these when we need to leave, then I suppose that is good.

"Let's go," I turn away; it was unbearable to watch their trusting faces any longer. But as I turn, I see Shadowfern's warm eyes, filled with concern before they steel a second later.

"But we were going acorn picking, remember?" Lilywind pipes in.

"Yeah!" Swallowstorm snaps, his eyes narrowing. "We came here to have fun, didn't we?"

"No, that's- I - I..." I struggle for words as the trusting faces turn confused and suspicious. So I come up with the best lie that even I would believe had it not been me. "I saw fox-dung. Fresh."

Their spines stiffen. "Where?" Darkstream demands.

"Everywhere, around!" I snap. "Let's go! Before they find us and attack!"

"Actually, I'm in the mood to fight a fox or two," Poppyleaf jumps from paw to paw and Icejay hesitates, then nods in agreement, claws unsheathing.

My face twists in outrage at their utter stupidity. Someone could get killed! I knew what it was like to see a known clanmate get killed by an animal. I strived to never relive that feeling. But Shadowfern beats me to it. "Featherfall is right. Foxes can do a lot more damage than you believe." 

Everyone turns to her, shock written on their faces.

"At least one of us is wise," I mutter. "Now move! We'll scout the area tomorrow." Or never. I hope.

As I take the rear, leaving Swallowstorm in the lead, I have to listen to all the mutters and complaints. I sighed, knowing they'd get past it tomorrow. As I turn back, I see what I wish I'd never seen. A fifth eye color, amber. I hold my gaze, stopping my pawsteps. They loom out, proving to be cats and I hold my breath. "Featherfall, what's keeping you?!" Grasstail demands, and I blink, startled. Gone.

I relearn breathing and turn back. "Nothing, really! Just worried about those rat-brained foxes," I hurry up to indulge in conversation with the brown tom, hoping my worries would be at bay. But even a mild, serious, deep, or any conversation could take back today.

The beginning of everything.

Chapter Four Edit

Written by Streampaw and edited by Foxpaw

We arrive, punctual as ever, and under Featherfall's strict watch I lead the way into the currently empty clearing. We're earliest, as always; even though Dappleflight's technically leader, Featherfall insists on being first even when we've had a long day of patrols and hunting. Besides, who am I to question the most popular she-cat of the four clans?

Yeah, who are you anyway? A traitor that crawled out of the dump she was supposed to die in? Because that's about right. The voice, ever cynical, whispers in my ear. I push it to the back of my mind and bury it underneath all my other thoughts, because good cats don't indulge in self-pity. Hypocrite.

"Shut up." I tell myself, although it doesn't feel like me speaking, more like some sort of entity hovering in my mind. Featherfall gives me a strange look, which I ignore, the shame of being noticed crawling through my fur. She's your clanmate, and just about the only person who's nice to you. You're overreacting, I say in my head as Dappleflight emerges from the bushes, Lilywind following behind her.

"....Passcode?" Featherfall asks out of the blue, winking at me. I blink. I didn't remember there being a passcode, but then, there had been almost a whole half-moon between this meeting and the last. What was she trying to do? Of course, she could be joking, but everyone knew Featherfall didn't joke.

"There isn't one." Lilywind rolls her eyes, although she's clearly as confused as I am. "And in case you want me to get us caught, let us in." She sticks her cream tail outside of our shield of undergrowth threateningly, bright against the night sky. Although I know we won't get caught and there's no way she means it (or does she?), I freeze instinctively as I hear more scuffling and disgruntled voices coming from afar.

"What's this, a stick covered in fireflies?" I recognise Swallowstorm's grumbling from the jumble of noise as more pawsteps come closer. Lilywind yelps as a large ginger paw bats her tail away and she stumbles face-first into a bush with a loud "hey!"

"Calm down." Darkstream approached the entrance, coming to a stop as she saw Dappleflight. "What's happening?"

"Someone made up a password." Lilywind complains, picking leaves out of her pelt. She's annoyed, I notice, but there's something reluctant about how she's acting, almost as though she's forcing herself to act like how she does around us and not the soft-hearted, ever-kind she-cat that everyone else knows. I frown. She shouldn't be this easy to read. The Lilywind I knew kept her emotions guarded under layers of mild grouchiness and careful concern.

"Hey, it was a joke." Featherfall shrugs and steps to the side to let the newcomers through. "What's up with you? You're never this grumpy."

Out of the corner of my eye I see Lilywind stiffen, but only for a split second. When she spoke, instead of sounding hurt, she just sounded resigned. "Nothing." She said. "What's up with you? You never joke."

"Don't make assumptions. They're dangerous." The white she-cat replies, stalking over to join me underneath a tree. Lilywind is silent. Dappleflight gives her sister another look, before sticking her head out of the clearing to see if any of the Windclan warriors were arriving. Lilywind snarls under her breath, stalks across to the other side of the clearing and sits down with her tail curled around her paws, staring defiantly ahead. Something's definitely up, I thought, trying not to make eye contact in case I was glared at. Something to do with... Dappleflight? Or maybe it's something to do with Riverclan...

"So, what are we doing today?" Darkstream says in an attempt to break the silence, interrupting my thoughts. I shrug.

"Who knows. Maybe Poppyleaf'll have something. She always does." Lilywind says, her voice back to normal now. I knew I should be worried whether the three Windclan cats had been caught, but on the inside I was happy to realise that the others did care about everyone else, no matter how much they pretended they didn't. Although no one else thought so, I knew that the group wouldn't be the same if even one other person was missing.

No one else spoke. We stayed silent, not daring to speak until Poppyleaf stumbled in, panting too hard to talk. Instead she gestured frantically behind her and ran to the back of the clearing. A few moments later, Grasstail and Icejay followed, both breathing heavily.

"I don't see why you had to run." The latter muttered, joining the circle that we had coincidentally made.

"I don't see why you didn't." the brown tom retaliated, but he stayed standing next to his clanmate.

"What happened?" Featherfall asked. All three of them spoke at once.

"We were-"

"So there was this-"

"I mean-"

The she-cat sighed and waved her tail for silence. "Icejay, you first."

He nodded. "We were-"

"-ambushed." Poppyleaf put in suddenly, with a glare at Icejay, who rolled his eyes. "Oh, come on! Why else would we have heard rustling behind us? Not to mention Grasstail feeling someone brush past him?"

"The rustling was me trying to catch up with the two of you, because you ran out of camp without telling me! And you were the one who brushed past him because you panicked and ran ahead when you heard me!" The white tom said hotly. Grasstail said nothing, his eyes fixed on somewhere past the bushes. He seemed bored, but I knew he'd been frightened and was thinking it through, trying to reassure himself that Icejay was right and it was really just their imagination.

"Okay fine but what about-"

"Will you two be quiet?" Dappleflight interrupted. "You might get us caught now if you hadn't earlier. From what I've heard it was just the three of you being unorganised and jumping to conclusions as usual, so please drop it, because we need to get on with what we should be doing before daybreak."

Both of them shut their mouths. Poppyleaf shoots daggers at her clanmate before turning round to face Dappleflight, with a look of indignation while the Riverclan she-cat says something about exploring. She notices me staring and rolls her eyes. I prepare to duck my head when she mouths, He's so annoying sometimes, waving her tail at Icejay. I laugh. Dappletail glares at me, but she doesn't stop talking. It's nice how we all became friends, or almost friends, which is ironic because all this started because we were bored. Well, more than bored. We all had something in common, in a sense. We felt constricted. Frustrated. Scared, more often than not. Like a reflection in a puddle, life was distorted when we moved too fast, and only ever blue when we couldn't see. At least, that's what I thought.

At this point, I'm too lost in my own thoughts to completely understand anything Dappleflight's saying.