Blazing - Book One: Into the Wild

Seasons ago, Bluefur refused to give up her kits, and Thistleclaw became deputy in her place. Thistlestar leads his clan cruelly, greedy for land. In his territorial rage, he chases away and injures young kittypet Rusty. RiverClan rescues Rusty and accepts him into their clan, but while he just wants to learn the ways of his clan, he finds himself in the middle of a desperate war.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11615947/1/Blazing-Book-One-Into-the-Wild

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19. Chapter 17

Firepaw screeched as his skull cracked painfully against the hard surface of the Twoleg bridge. Silverpaw slammed his paws down on Firepaw's chest, and hot pain seared through him as the tabby tom's claws dug into his side.

"Fox-heart!" Firepaw spat. The fiery tom lashed out with a paw, hitting Silverpaw in the face. The tom shook his head, loosening his grip, and Firepaw was able to shove him off of him and roll away. Firepaw had hardly regained his balance when he felt Silverpaw's claws tear through his shoulder.

"You cheater!" Firepaw hissed, bristling and skipping back. He growled in frustration as he realized Silverpaw was pushing him further back the way he came.

Silverpaw curled his lip. "I knew you'd try to be clever, fox-dung, so I came straight to the bridge. Took you long enough to actually get here." The tom leaped again, claws outstretched, and though Firepaw tried to sidestep, Silverpaw struck him with his claws before he landed and skidded hard on his paws. As Firepaw turned about to face him, Silverpaw threw his weight forward and lashed out with his hind legs, clipping Firepaw in the jaw.

Hissing quietly, the ginger tom stepped back, shaking his head. Silverpaw flew at him again, and in Firepaw's dazed state, he could do nothing but yowl as Silverpaw threw him down. Firepaw expected to knock his head against the bridge once more, but cold fear rushed through him as he realized there was nothing but air under his head.

"Silverpaw!" Firepaw cried, eyes wide. "Get off of me! You win, okay?"

Silverpaw snarled down at him. "Why should I? Kittypets have done nothing but ruin my life. Now I can ruin yours, too."

Firepaw swallowed, but gazed up at his adversary in confusion. "What do you mean?" He asked. "Just talk to me!"

Silverpaw curled his lip. "You don't care! Ever since you got here, all you've done is ruin things. All you're ever going to do is ruin things! If I get rid of you now, I'll be doing RiverClan a favor."

"Just talk to me," Firepaw repeated, heart racing as he realized Silverpaw had just pushed him farther out. He had to strain his neck to keep his head upright like this. He could hear the thundering, gushing water beneath him, and for a moment he wondered if this was what prey felt like. "Tell me why you hate me so much."

Silverpaw let out another hiss. Firepaw stared hard back at him. Despite the fierce look on his face, he could see the doubt in Silverpaw's eyes. To his surprise, Silverpaw spoke.

"My mother never raised me," Silverpaw growled. "Do you know why? A kittypet took her as his mate, and that same kittypet murdered her in cold blood. I was only a few days old when a patrol found her body. She had already been weak from kitting, and some cats say she tried to ask him to take me to be a kittypet. Kittypets are worthless and care for no one but themselves!"

Firepaw furrowed his brow. "I thought Mosspaw and Shadepaw were your sisters."

"Adopted." Silverpaw curled his lip at the word. "They're no blood kin of mine, but their mother never told them that. Everyone else knows who I am, and cats were finally starting to respect me until you came along!"

Firepaw let out a yowl as Silverpaw's claws again dug into his chest. "Silverpaw," he hissed through clenched teeth. "You're not a killer."

"Don't tell me what I am!" Silverpaw snarled, pushing him forward again.

But before Firepaw's shoulders moved past the bridge, both cats froze as a piercing shriek of a kit sounded out from across the bridge, and soon after, a loud bark.

Silverpaw was very still before he stared down at Firepaw again. Firepaw could see him swallow, and he was surprised to see an emotion flash across his features- shame.

Silverpaw stepped off of him, and Firepaw quickly twisted around and scrambled backup to his paws. The two toms stared off silently for a few long moments, before another woof made both flinch.

"We have to go," Firepaw told him, watching Silverpaw carefully. "There's a kit in danger. That's more important than either of us winning."

Silverpaw hesitated before he nodded. His tail was hanging low. "You're right."

"It's coming from across the bridge," Firepaw said, padding past him. "Let's go."

Without argument, the two toms broke into a run across the warm stones, and as they reached the other side, it took Firepaw only a moment to see a scruffy-looking dog barking and leaping up at a tree branch, snapping.

In the tree, Stormkit and Sparrowkit were perched precariously, each bushed up fearfully. "Help!" Sparrowkit wailed. "Help!"

"We're coming!" Firepaw called, racing towards the dog, who had yet to see them. Silverpaw was hard on his paws, and passed him just as they neared the tree.

"Hey, badger-breath!" Silverpaw screeched. "Pick on some cats your own size!"

The dog whirled about, snarling. It was just a head taller than Firepaw, but it looked fierce. With a yip, it sprang forward, but it's charge was clumsy and both apprentices leapt aside easily.

"I'll go for the face, you go for its tail!" Silverpaw shouted, and Firepaw nodded firmly. This was no time for bickering or rivalry- saving the kits was what mattered, and both toms knew that.

Firepaw pounced and sank his teeth into the dog's thin tail. As the dog yelped and whipped its head around to snap at Firepaw, Silverpaw struck it in the face with unsheathed claws. As the dog barked in confusion, Firepaw slashed at its haunches and Silverpaw clawed its face.

Suddenly, Firepaw heard of screech of pain from Silverpaw, and watched as the dog sank his jaws into the tom and haul him up off the earth. The dog began to shake him back and forth like dead prey, and all Silverpaw could do was shriek painfully and flail his legs in hope of managing to scratch the dog.

Without really thinking, Firepaw leaped, pouncing on the dog's back. "Leave him alone, fox-heart!" Digging his claws into its shoulders, he bit down hard on one soft ear and tasted blood.

The dog snarled in pain and recoiled, dropping Silverpaw with a thud as its head rolled back to try and dislodge its attacker. Firepaw just pulled back harder and bit down as hard as he could.

The dog practically squealed as it bucked, and Firepaw jumped clear as it shook itself and took off, tail between its legs.

Firepaw panted heavily before he slowly approached Silverpaw. "S...Silverpaw? Are you okay?"

The silver tabby was sprawled out on the ground, blood welling up from the bites of the dog. "Hurts…" he groaned, eyes clenched shut. "A lot. I think… I think I'm okay, though." One eye opener as he peered up at Firepaw. "Why did you save me? I almost killed you back there."

Firepaw frowned. I didn't even think about it. I just reacted. "Because you're my clanmate," he replied quietly. "We don't have to be friends for that to be true."

Silverpaw grunted in acknowledgement before a hiss of pain escaped him. As Firepaw turned away to check on the kits, he heard Silverpaw murmur, "Thank you, Firepaw."

Firepaw blinked in surprise. Silverpaw's never called me by my name. He glanced over his shoulder. "You're welcome. I'm just going to get the kits down, and then we can head home."

Firepaw pricked his ears as he heard pawsteps thudding against the Twoleg bridge. Someone's in a hurry.

He was surprised to see Crookedstar and Leopardfur racing towards them as they turned away from the bridge.

"What happened?" Crookedstar demanded. "I smell dog."

"I smell blood," Leopardfur added as they both slowed to a halt in front of Silverpaw. "What happened to-?"

"I'm alive," Silverpaw hissed. "We were fighting on the bridge when we heard a dog and the kits."

Firepaw nodded. "Silverpaw and I came here and fought it off. He got hurt badly, though."

"Firepaw saved me," Silverpaw muttered quietly.

Crookedstar was quiet for a moment. "Leopardfur, go get the nearest mentors. We're going to have to get him back to camp somehow."

Leopardfur nodded and turned around to run off towards the bridge again.

Crookedstar looked down at Silverpaw. "You both displayed great courage in taking on a dog together. I am proud to see that you could put your differences aside for the sake of their lives."

"Yeah?" Sparrowkit shouted, seeming to already be over her fright. "Get us down then!"

Crookedstar chuckled before he shook his head. "I'm sure your mother will have some punishment in store for you when you get home, little ones. Kits are not meant to be outside of camp.

"We just wanted to watch the assessment!" Stormkit protested.

"But look what happened," Crookedstar said. "You were nearly killed by a dog and Silverpaw nearly died saving you."

Stormkit hung his head and nodded, but his sister still looked indignant.

Firepaw looked up at the two little kits. They're safe, and that's what matters. But with a glance at Silverpaw, he wondered, Will he be able to become a warrior if we didn't finish the challenge, though?

Firepaw bit into his small hare tiredly. He was utterly exhausted- from not eating this morning, crossing the territory, fighting Silverpaw, and fighting a dog- and he was ready to collapse into his nest and sleep until next new-leaf.

Crookedstar's yowl echoed throughout camp. "All cats old enough to swim gather beneath the Rockpile for a Clan meeting!"

Pushing his half-eaten meal aside, Firepaw padded up to join his clanmates as they gathered. He glanced at Silverpaw as the weary tom limped out of Mudfur's den, covered in cobwebs. At least he's walking. Will Crookedstar make him a warrior?

Crookedstar's gaze scanned the clearing. "Mosspaw and Shadepaw, please come forward."

Silverpaw hung his head, and Firepaw felt pity for him. This is so unfair, Firepaw thought.

"Petaldust and Beetlenose," Crookedstar called. "Have these two young cats completed their assessments, and do you believe they are ready to become warriors?"

Beetlenose nodded. "Yes."

Petaldust's tail flicked. "They both did well."

"Then I, Crookedstar, leader of RiverClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on these apprentices. They have trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend them to you as warriors in return." Crookedstar looked down at the two she-cats. "Shadepaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?"

Shadepaw nodded firmly. "I do."

"Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior name," Crookedstar said as he leaped down from the Rockpile. "Shadepaw, from this moment on, you will be known as Shadepelt. StarClan honors your wit and determination, and we welcome you as a full warrior of RiverClan." He moved forward to rest his muzzle on her head, and she gave his shoulder a respectful lick before he moved on to her sister. Shadepelt moved away to sit beside Beetlenose, head raised proudly.

Crookedstar padded towards Mosspaw. "Mosspaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?"

Mosspaw grinned and nodded. "I do!"

Crookedstar smiled. "Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior name. Mosspaw, from this moment on, you will be known as Mosspelt. StarClan honors your energy and independence, and we welcome you as a full warrior of RiverClan."

After he rested his muzzle on her head, he looked out at the Clan. "Before this meeting is over, we will have four new warriors tonight, not two."

Four? Firepaw frowned in confusion. What?

"Silverpaw and Firepaw," Crookedstar called. "Please, step forward."

Firepaw's eyes widened in surprise. It's me? I'm the fourth warrior? Blinking, he rose and padded through his clanmates to Crookedstar. As Silverpaw limped forward, the two toms shared a startled glance.

"Though your assessment was not completed, Silverpaw," Crookedstar began, "You and Firepaw showed admirable courage in leaving it in order to save Mallowtail's kits from a dog. You fought bravely together- something I never thought I would see in my lifetime-"

There was a ripple of amused purrs. Firepaw flattened his ears in embarassment.

Crookedstar smiled. "-But you both impressed me very much today, and more than that, you saved two previous lives. Because of this, I ask StarClan to look down upon these two apprentices. They have trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend them to you as warriors in return. Silverpaw," He asked, looking first to the silver tabby. "Do you promise to uphold the warrior code and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?"

"I do," Silverpaw said, tail raised high.

"Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior name. From this moment on, you shall be known as Silverthorn. StarClan honors your strength and motivation." He leaned forward to rest his muzzle on Silverthorn's head, and moved away after the new warrior licked his shoulder in return.

"Firepaw," Crookedstar smiled at the apprentice. "You came to us as an injured kittypet, but you have proven yourself to be a warrior just as much as any of us. I have no doubt that you deserve to be receiving your name this evening."

Firepaw dipped his head, humbled at his leader's praise. "Thank you," he murmured.

"Firepaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?"

"I do," Firepaw vowed. There was no doubt in his mind.

Crookedstar nodded. "Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior name. Firepaw, from this moment on, you shall be known as Fireheart. StarClan honors your loyalty and courage, and we welcome you as a full warrior of RiverClan."

Crookedstar rested his muzzle on Fireheart's head, and the ginger tom leaned forward to lick his leader's shoulder. I'm a warrior! He thought, brimming with excitement and joy. I did it!

As they parted, the Clan burst into cheers. "Shadepelt! Mosspelt! Silverthorn! Fireheart!"

Cats crowded around the warriors, congratulating them gleefully.

Mallowtail was the first to approach Fireheart. "Thank you for saving my kits," she purred. "You deserve your name."

Fireheart dipped his head. "I hope they're okay."

Mallowtail rolled her eyes. "Those furballs won't stop going on about how you and Silverthorn fought the dog! If anything, I think they only want to be warriors more now!"

Fireheart laughed as Grasspaw shouldered him. "Hey, furball!" Grasspaw teased. "I didn't think you of all cats would be a warrior before me!"

Fireheart grinned at his friend. "You're not mad?"

Grasspaw shook his head. "No- I just wish I had a dog to fight off!

Leopardfur padded up to him. "Congratulations," she said. "You are to hold silent vigil tonight with your fellow new warriors, as is customary."

Fireheart nodded.

"You may rejoin your Clan at sunrise," She mewed, padding away to speak with Shadepelt. "For now, take your post at the camp entrance."

Fireheart nodded and padded away from his clanmates to sit by the camp entrance. Before long, Silverthorn joined him, Sitting quietly by him. The two shared a long glance before they nodded and looked away.

I don't think we'll ever be friends, Fireheart thought. But we'll always be clanmates, and I think he knows that now.

 
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