As if I’d let you die!
Rainpaw’s eyes opened and grew wide as he realised who it was, and then he gasped. Something was happening to him, something that would only happen once. More blood seemed to leak out of his wounds, though instead of being red it was purple almost.
Then, just as Rainpaw felt like he was going to die, he felt fine. And there, right in front of him, stood an exact copy of himself, smiling widely. Well, it wasn’t an exact copy. Where Rainpaw had white, this cat had grey, and where Rainpaw had grey, this cat had white. The cat’s eyes were also a dark blue, and he still had a star-shaped scar, though it was glowing yellow. This cat was also very ghostly looking, just like the StarClan cats were. Right then he knew just who he was looking at.
The demon within him.
“W-what did you do?” asked Rainpaw, his eyes wide. The cat in front of him grinned widely, as if to be happy to answer that question.
“Saving you, mouse-brain,” the demon replied. “What do you think I was doing?”
“I thought you hated me!” Rainpaw reminded him, standing to his paws. “I thought you hated it when I gained control!”
“I do hate you,” the demon said simply. “But if you die, as do I, and I really don’t want to die right when your life is getting interesting. I mean, if you died, I wouldn’t be able to see how far I can evolve within you.” Rainpaw’s eyes widened. He must have been dreaming — he must have! This was just too weird. . .
“E-evolve?” asked Rainpaw, his voice showing his shock. The demon nodded, a sick grin on his face.
“Ever since you used me for the first time, I have been changing,” the demon replied. “First I was just a disease type thing, but then I grew into my own personality. When you started the special training with your second mentor, I couldn’t help but take that to my advantage. Remember when you felt different? When the urge to kill wasn’t as demanding? Well that’s because it isn’t you anymore, it’s me. You’re just watching, without any control whatsoever. I just never showed this to your mentor, mostly ‘cause I hate him.” Rainpaw was still shocked, his body was shaking now.
“W-what?” he asked disbelieving every word. “That’s impossible! At this rate you’ll gain your own body and slaughter the whole forest!” The demon shook his head and frowned then.
“Unfortunately, no, that won’t happen,” the demon replied, disappointed. “Remember, Rainpaw, that I am nothing but bottled up memories from your past. I know everything you’ve been through, everything that happened before you came to the Clans. I am the reason you do not think of your past life so many times.” Rainpaw shook his head.
“That can’t be true!” Rainpaw protested. “It can’t be!”
“Ah, but it is,” the demon said with a smile on his face. “I’m the reason you are happy with your mate, and happy with your new life. I am the reason you have so much strength, for a kit your size. I am the reason you made it through the blizzard, the gathering, the rogues, and every other life threatening situation you’ve been in. Without me, you would have ended up as your murderer, becoming suicide out of your own guilt. You’ve wanted to die too much, and now that I have grown, we will soon have to come to an agreement.”
“What?” asked Rainpaw, with a shocked look upon his face.
“Soon, I shall be your strength and soul,” the demon said dramatically. Suddenly Sharpfang lunged forward, attacking the demon. Unfortunately, his mentor only went through the demon.
“Yeah, sorry about that,” said the demon, though he didn’t really mean it. “You can’t hurt me unless you hurt your apprentice, and that’s impossible. Besides, I think I’ve done enough damage here. See ya, suckers!” The demon then looked to Rainpaw.
“Oh, and by the way, this may hurt a little,” the demon warned before running toward him and then disappearing.
Rainpaw then screamed, mostly in surprise. Not only did his wounds hurt twice as much, his head ached and his scar burned like it did when he’d gotten it. He suppressed the urge to scream again. The world around him got darker and darker before going completely dark, and that was when he heard the demon voice again.
As Rainpaw’s eyes flickered open, he wasn’t where he thought he would be. The darkness never faded, but he could see Cheetahfur standing in front of him, and she did not look happy. Her eyes were narrowed and her claws were unsheathed. And even though Rainpaw knew she wouldn’t kill him, he felt the sudden urge to plea for help. He didn’t, but the urge was still there.
“Rainpaw,” growled Cheetahfur. “What on earth did you think you were doing? You promised me that you wouldn’t give up! You promised me you would think of what Thunderstar and the others gave up for you to have this life! You promised me you would think of me, and what I’ve had to go through to keep you alive!”
“I-I thought I’ve already done what you and the others asked,” Rainpaw replied, his head low. “I also thought that it was just my time. . .”
“It wasn’t your time, Rainpaw,” Cheetahfur hissed. “You have much more in store for you! The prophecy cat has been found, and considering you are part of that cat’s life, you must not die! You’ve found a mate, friends, and a home but those things are never permanent!”
“And what’s that supposed to mean?” asked Rainpaw, standing up tall and narrowing his eyes. “Besides, even if I didn’t give up, how would that have helped me live?” Cheetahfur sighed, calming herself down a bit.
“If you hadn’t have given up, the demon within you would’ve given you the strength to live,” Cheetahfur explained, worry in her eyes. “And though he is a killer, he is the only reason you are living today.” Rainpaw yowled in fury at this.
“He’s my enemy!” Rainpaw hissed, his ears pinned to his head. “I shouldn’t rely on him that much!”
“You’re not,” Cheetahfur argued. “If you give your body a command, such as ‘stay alive’, you shall do so with the demon’s power. It’s just a fact of life, Rainpaw. Even if it did leave, it would be fatal to you because of the memories it would take with it. Think about it, the only reason you are living right now is because of your dark past, and if that is taken away from you, StarClan’s power couldn’t help you and you would die. Just accept what is, and then maybe act like a normal person — well, cat — in the process.” Rainpaw sighed and shook his head.
“But with the demon inside of me, how exactly am I supposed to be normal?” Rainpaw asked. Cheetahfur narrowed her eyes again before the world around him changed.
He was now in the snow, but it wasn’t cold. In front of him wasn’t Cheetahfur anymore, it was Robinpaw. She was smiling at him, and even though she was ghostly looking, she still looked beautiful. Cheetahfur then appeared beside Robinpaw.
“You had her while you had that thing inside of you,” Cheetahfur pointed out. “Having a crush is something normal, isn’t it? And now she’s your mate. There is nothing abnormal about that.”
The surroundings changed again after that. Now Rainpaw was looking at Duskkit, Nightkit, and Snowkit, all of them beside Reedfeather, Mosskit, and Foxkit. Cheetahfur was then beside that family.
“You helped name three kits while you had the demon within you,” Cheetahfur reminded him. “Being able to do this is normal, even if it took a miracle to save them.” Rainpaw’s head lowered, realizing she was right.
The nursery changed then, fading and then sharpening into a forest. In front of him was Cloudpaw, Shadowpaw, Flamepelt, Amberstorm, Thunderpaw, and a few others who were all smiling at him. Cheetahfur then appeared beside them.
“You made wonderful friends while the demon was inside you,” Cheetahfur pointed out again. “That is very normal—even for a Twoleg.” Rainpaw sighed, hoping that he wouldn’t be proven wrong again.
Unfortunately, that was a no. The world around him changed once again into a clearing in the forest, where Thorntail and Sharpfang stood. Cheetahfur appeared beside them like the other three times.
“You have gained the respect of two mentors while that thing was within you, both of them getting your trust as well,” Cheetahfur said. “Being able to get a motherly-like mentor and a strong, caring, fatherly-like second mentor isn’t exactly normal, but it is at least something that has nothing to do with the demon.”
Then the scenery changed, this time too quickly for Rainpaw to tell Cheetahfur to stop. He was now in ThunderClan camp with everyone doing their normal duties. It was so peaceful, and when Cheetahfur appeared in the centre, Rainpaw’s head lowered.
“You have lived within the Clans without killing anyone, even with that murderer within you,” Cheetahfur growled, a bit of anger building up in her eyes. “You have been able to live a normal life, even with the abnormal things going on within you. And yet, through all that, you don’t think you can continue?” Rainpaw lowered his head again, his eyes showing defeat.
“I-I don’t know,” Rainpaw replied honestly. “I may be able to lead a normal life, but I just don’t think that will last much longer. . .” Cheetahfur sighed, calming herself down again.
“Rainpaw, no matter what you do, your life is not going to be all that normal,” Cheetahfur replied. “However, no one’s life is going to be for much longer, not with the danger that’s about to come.” Rainpaw narrowed his eyes in conclusion then.
“What do you mean, ‘danger’?” asked Rainpaw. Cheetahfur just shook her head before fading away, and then after a few seconds, the world around him began fading as well. This time, however, he flickered his eyes open, instead of just being moved elsewhere.
As Rainpaw had expected, he woke up in the medicine den with Robinpaw next to him. He smiled as he sat up, waking her as well. Robinpaw then sat up, her eyes wide with worry. Rainpaw, however, just continued smiling.
“A-are you okay?” asked Robinpaw quickly. Rainpaw just shrugged, frowning a bit as he realised that his wounds hurt a lot.
“I’ve been better,” Rainpaw replied. “But aside from that I’m just happy to finally be awake.” Robinpaw smiled after that and licked his cheek.
“Good,” she replied. “I was worried there for a moment.” Rainpaw smiled before he heard movement in the den entrance. Frostpaw and Snowdrift then walked through, both of them looking quite relieved that he was awake.
“Are you feeling okay?” asked Frostpaw, his blue eyes looking curiously to Rainpaw.
“I feel brilliant,” Rainpaw replied, smiling wider. “You did wonderful.” Frostpaw smiled happily, pride filling his eyes as he held his head up high. Snowdrift laughed a bit before looking to Rainpaw.
“I’ll go tell the rest of the Clan,” Snowdrift told them. “Don’t forget to check him over, Frostpaw!” Snowdrift called over his shoulder before leaving. Rainpaw smiled before looking to Robinpaw.
“So have you told the Clan about what happened?” Rainpaw asked, his smile disappearing. Robinpaw sighed, but then nodded.
“Yeah, I did,” she answered. “They were all shocked about what happened, though Sharpfang seemed very, very angry with you.”
“I don’t see why,” Rainpaw muttered aloud. “Not only did I save your lives, I’ve weakened the rogues by splitting them up. Why can’t he accept that I’m a real Warrior?” Robinpaw shrugged.
“I don’t know,” she replied. “I mean, when he attacked that cat two nights ago he seemed like he was protecting you. Sharpfang was really worried when you passed out as well.” Rainpaw shrugged.
“Well, at least I know Sharpfang doesn’t hate me,” said Rainpaw, looking on the bright side of things. “He just wants to make sure I’m strong enough to become a Warrior, I guess.” Robinpaw seemed to brighten up then, her eyes showing a lot of excitement.
“Speaking of becoming a Warrior,” said Robinpaw happily. “I’m going to become one today!” Rainpaw shared her excitement then.
“Really?” he asked. “That’s great!”
“Yeah, it is,” said Robinpaw proudly. “It was supposed to be yesterday, but since you were still asleep I refused. Shadowpaw refused as well, and so Ravenstar agreed to wait until you woke.” Rainpaw sighed.
“You shouldn’t have waited for me, you know,” he teased. “I’m not that important. . .” Robinpaw shook her head, determination in her eyes.
“To me, you are,” Robinpaw insisted. “And since we’ve basically declared each other mates, we should both see each other’s Warrior ceremony. Besides, no one would have been in a very good mood with you still sleeping in here.” Rainpaw rolled his eyes, but still didn’t argue.
“So, are you hungry?” asked Robinpaw. “The fresh-kill pile is so full with new-leaf here!” Rainpaw laughed a bit before standing up slowly and nodding.
“Yeah, I’m starving,” Rainpaw replied. “Though by the time I get through the large crowd that’s probably going to be surrounding this place, it’ll be nightfall.” Robinpaw rolled her eyes before helping him out.
When Rainpaw got out of the medicine den he felt at ease. After being asleep for two days, his mind had grown tired of the darkness. With the sun high and warm in the sky, however, he could just feel the sun on his fur.
“It’s wonderful, isn’t it?” asked Robinpaw, also looking as if she enjoyed the sunlight. Rainpaw then noticed Ravenstar upon the Highrock, his dark fur shining in the sunlight.
“Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey, gather beneath the Highrock for a Clan meeting!” Ravenstar called, his voice booming throughout the Clan’s camp. The cats then gathered as Robinpaw helped Rainpaw over to the Highrock. Then, she left him with a smile before joining with Shadowpaw to await their Warrior ceremony.
“Shadowpaw, Robinpaw,” Ravenstar called, a smile on his face. “Please step forward.” Robinpaw and Shadowpaw both took three steps forward, separating themselves from the crowd. Ravenstar then looked over to Grassfur and Snowclaw, who both had proud looks on their faces.
“Snowclaw, mentor of Shadowpaw, and Grassfur, mentor of Robinpaw, do you think that they have proven themselves worthy of becoming a Warrior from their actions two nights ago?” Snowclaw and Grassfur nodded. Ravenstar then turned to Robinpaw and Shadowpaw.
“I, Ravenstar, leader of ThunderClan, call upon my Warrior ancestors to look down upon these two apprentices. They both have trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend them to you as Warriors in their turn.” The Clan cheered a bit before Ravenstar quieted them.
“Robinpaw, Shadowpaw,” said Ravenstar then, continuing. “Do you promise to uphold the Warrior code and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?” Robinpaw and Shadowpaw both nodded.
“I do,” said Shadowpaw.
“I do,” said Robinpaw.
“Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your Warrior names,” said Ravenstar then. “Shadowpaw, from this day forward you shall be known as Shadowflame. Robinpaw, from this day forward, you shall be known as Robinwing. ThunderClan welcomes you as full Warriors.” The Clan cheered loudly then.
“Shadowflame! Robinwing! Shadowflame! Robinwing! Shadowflame! Robinwing!” the Clan chanted, with Rainpaw leading them. He wished he could be louder for Robinwing, but of course his wounds got in the way.
Rainpaw waited for the rest of the Clan to congratulate Robinwing and Shadowflame before walking up to them both. He then licked Robinwing on the cheek.
“Congratulations,” Rainpaw said happily. “You’ve finally made it.”
“It won’t be long until you’re up there as well,” said Robinwing, licking him back. “That will be a very exciting day.” The two of them then walked over to the fresh-kill pile and began eating while talking about the normal things. And that was just it. What they were doing was normal, showing Rainpaw once again that Cheetahfur had been right.