Snatched: The Story of Snowkit

Snowkit was always assumed dead by ThunderClan. But what if he wasn't? What if StarClan took him away from the Clan that would have never given him a chance? What if he had a greater destiny than anyone in ThunderClan could have believed?


31. Lune's Return

They were frozen for several moments, lost in their grief, with Leafshine wailing loudly. Windheart nosed her shoulder gently, and Snowhawk knew he was grieving too, for the son that had never known his father. Windheart gently nosed Leafshine to her paws, and led her back to the medicine den.

"It's my fault," Rainpaw croaked. "I promised that I would protect him! But I was the one that betrayed the Clan. Betrayed him. If it wasn't for me trusting Ruin, maybe…maybe he'd still be alive…." Rainpaw bowed his head.

"It wasn't your fault," Frostpaw said softly. She turned to blink at Snowhawk. "What do we do now?"

"We sit vigil for them both, during the night," Snowhawk said, "and we have to name a new deputy before moonhigh." Above them, the clouds appeared to gradually be drifting away, sending shafts of moonlight shining downward.

"There's a ceremony for that, I guess?" Lightningstar asked. His voice was rough, choked, and Snowhawk realized that Mudstripe must have been the first to join him, after Mossflower. They must have been good friends.

"Yeah," Snowhawk said, and then repeated the words quietly. Lightningstar listened, and then nodded, rising to his paws.

"We can't let their deaths cripple us," he growled. "That's what Ruin wants; he wants us to feel lost without them. But I've seen StarClan for myself, as has Snowhawk; that's where they are now, waiting for us, as warriors."

The rest of the Clan nodded slowly, wearily. Glancing around, Snowhawk couldn't help but feel that someone was missing.

"Batter!" he exclaimed, blinking. "Where's Batter?"

The rest of the Clan turned to him, feeling confused. "Ruin's big tom?" Frostpaw asked. "Why would he be here?"

"He's on our side, supposably," Snowhawk said. "It's complicated, but he had a change of heart after seeing StarClan's power. Where is he?"

"He's probably back with Ruin now, since it seems we're beaten," Mossflower said, padding to stand beside her mate.

Snowhawk's ears flattened. He didn't want to believe it; the dark tom had seemed so convinced. Had he really gone back to Ruin? He could be hurt on the battlefield, somewhere, Snowhawk thought. He could be dead.

"If he comes back, fine, if not then he's on Ruin's side. If he doesn't return, then kill him if you see him on the battlefield," Lightningstar growled. And with that, he padded to the top of the StonePile. "We will not be beaten by Ruin," he yowled to his Clan, "and we will not back down. We will not give up! We have lost members of our Clan from this battle, it is true. But we will not allow this to defeat us! We are proud warriors, following StarClan's noble code. We will not flee our home, and we will not run away We will fight, to the death if we must, and when it comes time, we will go to StarClan as honored warriors."

The Clan yowled in agreement below him. Lightningstar tilted his muzzle to face the bright moon.

"I saw these words before Mudstripe's body so that he may know of and approve my choice. Windheart will be the new deputy of our Clan!"

Windheart appeared astonished, but Snowhawk found himself smiling. Windheart had been the one warning the Clan of Ruin's treachery before any other cat. Windheart had shown strength in fighting for his Clan, and kindness towards even the smallest of kits. Windheart had supported Leafshine and cared for her despite her lying to him and running away with his kits. Windheart had stayed loyal to the Clan, even when it appeared that Lightningstar would join his Clan with Ruin's. Windheart was the right choice for deputy.

"Windheart!" Snowhawk yowled, and he could feel the others taking up his chant.

"And now, to show our spirit," Lightningstar continued, "we will name two of our apprentices warriors, as their brother was just named, so that if they are to lose this battle, they will join him as warriors. Frostpaw, Rainpaw, please come up here."

Frostpaw's eyes seemed to glow, but Rainpaw's remained dull; Snowhawk knew this was not how he had imagined his warrior ceremony, with his brother dead on the ground.

"I call upon our warrior ancestors to look down upon these apprentices. They have trained long and hard to learn your noble code, and have undergone many hardships, and I recommend them to you as warriors in their turn. Frostpaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and fight and defend your Clan, even at the cost of your life?"

"I do."

"Then by the power of StarClan, I give you your warrior name. Frostpaw, from this day forward, you will be known as Frostflight. StarClan honors you for your grace and loyalty, and we welcome you as a full warrior of our Clan.

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

Rainpaw glanced at Cricketsong's still body, and simply nodded.

'Then with the power of StarClan, I give you your warrior name. Rainpaw, from this day forward you will be known as Rainfur. StarClan honors you for your resilience and strength, and we welcome you as a full warrior of our Clan."

"Frostflight! Rainfur! Frostflight! Rainfur!" the Clan chanted. Then, Snowhawk felt the chanting stop. Blinking slowly, he turned and saw the Clan was staring at the medicine den. Lightkit was standing there, and slowly she padded towards Cricketsong's body. Something was different; her gaze was sharp, her strides were confident, and she held her head high, unburdened by pain. She stopped by Cricketsong's body and gently, tenderly, licked his muzzle. With that, she turned to Snowhawk.

"When I felt him die, I thought I would do," she said, her voice as soft as he remembered, "but I didn't. And now I can feel them without being them; cats are still lingering, still dying, but I don't have to be them. I feel them, but I'm not…consumed by them."

Nightpaw moved to touch Lightkit, but she stepped away. "Someone is coming," she said, "and he too is dying."

Snowhawk was transfixed by Lightkit's strange, almost new character, but he followed her blue-violet gaze towards the camp entrance. There, practically dragging himself, was Batter.

"Batter!" Snowhawk exclaimed, rushing forward to the tom's side. One of his back legs was badly mangled, and deep bite wounds covered his body.

"Snowhawk," Batter wheezed, collapsing. Snowhawk nosed him on his side, and instantly knew there was nothing he could do; the wounds were too numerous and too great. As Lightkit had said, Batter was dying.

"Don't talk, just relax," Snowhawk said, attempting to console him. Batter closed his eyes.

"Too late," he rasped. "But there's hope. I went…I went back to Ruin…I thought maybe I could kill him, as revenge for Crunch…but some cats had seen me fighting for you and told him…they were all on me in an instant…but before they attacked, a strange cat came, black and white…his name is Bone, works for Scourge. He told Ruin that he needed Ruin's warriors…some sort of big battle that Scourge was preparing for…." Batter trailed off, struggling for breath, his face contorting into a grimace of pain. "Most of his warriors left with Bone…still too many for you to fight, but less now…." Batter seemed to run out of breath, for he stopped speaking, his sides rising and falling painfully. Snowhawk could feel the uncertain looks of the Clan on his pelt.

"You've done well, Batter," Snowhawk murmured. "You were technically a part of a Clan, even a twisted one like Ruin's…hopefully StarClan will have pity on you."

Snowhawk wasn't sure, but he thought he saw the slightest shadow of a smile twitch Batter's mouth, before his dark flanks stopped rising, and he went limp.

Lightningstar came to stand beside Snowhawk. "Can we trust what he said?"

"Would he have come back to lie to us with his dying breath?" Snowhawk replied. "We'll stand vigil for him, with Cricketsong and Mudstripe."

"Actually," Lightningstar said softly, "it might be best if we don't hold a vigil."

The Clan turned to blink at him curiously. "What I mean is, it's almost certain Ruin will attack again before dawn," Lightningstar said, "and we've been fighting for hours. We're tired, we need rest. Cricketsong and Mudstripe will understand if we don't stay with them all night. Just give them your farewells, and we'll leave them here to rest under the stars. We'll bury them tomorrow, after the battle."

The thought of Cricketsong's and Mudstripe's bodies rotting in the sun made Snowhawk flinch; if the Clan didn't make it, Cricketsong and Mudstripe wouldn't be buried. No one would be.

Still, Snowhawk nodded. "They know if things were different, we'd sit vigil for them, but if we don't want to join them, we'll need our rest."

He felt the Clan murmur in agreement, and then Snowhawk blinked at Lightningstar.

"Let me tend to your wounds, before you go to sleep," Snowhawk said. Lightningstar nodded, and Snowhawk escorted him into the medicine den.

. . .

That night, Lightkit slept with Sorrelkit and Willowkit for the first time in moons, leaving Snowhawk's nest empty. He felt himself yearning for the feel of a soft pelt; that was to say, the pelt of Frostflight. He realized before he drifted off to sleep that the Clan had forgotten about Frostflight's and Rainfur's warrior vigil. But there was simply no time to waste staying awake; Frostflight and Rainfur needed to rest like the others. StarClan would still see them as warriors; perhaps they could stand their vigil the following night.

Snowhawk found himself waking slowly, of his own will rather than from a nudge or murmur. He blinked slowly, staring up at the sky. The moon was dipping down low now; dawn was coming, as was Ruin's attack.

Snowhawk rose to his paws and padded out of the den. Most of the other warriors were already awake; Cricketsong's family was sitting with him. Snowhawk tried to catch Frostflight's eyes, but she was staring down at her paws. There was almost a look of horror on her face, but Snowhawk connected that with Cricketsong's death.

"Lightningstar," Snowhawk said, seeing his leader in the leader's den. "We need to move. We can't fight the battle in here, the risk is too great to the kits."

"I know," Lightningstar said. "We'll move in about half an hour; hopefully we can meet Ruin's forces somewhere else."

"We'll need Breezefeather and Mossflower to fight with us in this battle," Snowhawk said gently. "Leafshine is too injured, and she can stay here. Nightpaw should as well; he's our only apprentice now, and I know he's fond of all three kits."

"I'm going to fight," Snowhawk felt a voice behind him say, and he turned, blinking at Lightkit.

"Are you crazy?" Snowhawk asked. "You're not even an apprentice, Lightkit."

Lightkit raised her chin proudly, and again Snowhawk was struck by how she almost seemed to be a different cat. "If it wasn't for my visions, I would have been an apprentice by now," she meowed, "and I've seen plenty of fighting in them. I can't just sit here and wait for the rogues to kill me. We all know that we aren't going to win this battle, unless there's some sort of miracle. I'd rather be fighting than just sitting here waiting."

Lightningstar and Snowhawk exchanged glances. Then, Lightningstar said,

"You must stay here in camp…but you can fight. Leafshine will be too injured to defend camp well, and Nightpaw isn't very experienced either, but you being here will give him something to fight for. The two of you can fight side-by-side, defending camp."

Lightkit's eyes flashed, and she nodded. "I won't let you down."

Lightningstar nodded, but Snowhawk could see fear in his amber eyes; he was entrusting his kits to an untrained she-cat haunted by visions, a young apprentice, and an injured warrior. He had no choice, though; they needed every cat fighting the real battle, to defend camp as well.

And then, it suddenly hit Snowhawk; even with half of Ruin's force gone, as Batter had said before he died, there were still too many for the Clan to fight. Snowhawk's Clan was going to die on the battlefield. Frostflight, Fernstep, Lightkit…everyone.

Then at least I'll see Fear again, and Cricketsong and Mudstripe, Snowhawk thought, pushing the fear away. If this is how our Clan ends, so be it; better to die nobly than to flee like cowards. When Fear came around, we weren't a Clan then. But we are now.

"We need a name," Snowhawk said softly. Lightningstar blinked at him.

"A name?" he echoed.

"For our Clan. Something to really unite us together, for…for our last stand." The words were almost painful. "The Clan is usually named after their leader and founder."

Lightningstar's whiskers twitched. "But our leader and our founder are two different cats."

Lightningstar rose to his paws suddenly, and padded towards the StonePile. Snowhawk felt him summoning the Clan, and with a glance at Lightkit, padded forward.

"Cats of my Clan, our time has come," Lightningstar yowled. "This day…this day will be our last on this earth. We all know this, do we not? And yet, we are all here, prepared for the worst. We may perish today, but we will go on to StarClan. And we will take down as many of them as we can!"

The Clan yowled in agreement below.

"However," Lightningstar continued, "there is still one final step we must take to becoming a Clan unto ourselves. We must have a name. Snowhawk has said that we are the closest combination to ThunderClan and SkyClan the forest will ever see. So LightningClan, named after its first leader, sounds the most appropriate, yes? But is it not the thunder that should come after the lightning? Isn't that how such things were meant to be? And so I say that we will not be named LightningClan. Rather, we will be named for someone else. Not after our leader, but after our founder…or should I say founders. We will be named SnowClan, after both Snowhawk, who fell from the sky to place our paws on the path to becoming a Clan, and Snowfall, the cat who put Snowhawk on the path to come to us. Through both of their actions and struggle, we have become what we are today, even if that is only for this day alone. SnowClan, today we become a true Clan! Today we fight for our forest!"

Snowhawk was overwhelmed, both by the honor of the Clan name and from the roaring of the Clan shooting through his paws, as the Clan yowled their new name, announcing to the forest that they were finally a Clan, a true Clan, united until the day they died, even if it was for this day alone.

Lightningstar sprang down from the StonePile, and flicked his tail. "Let us go, SnowClan," he rumbled, and the Clan followed him, except for Lightkit, Nightpaw, and Leafshine. Snowhawk saw Leafshine lick Windheart's muzzle tenderly, fearfully, knowing that he would probably not return. Snowhawk saw Fernstep press her pelt to Stoneclaw's, and saw the regret in Stoneclaw's eyes; if he had told Fernstep he had loved her sooner, and not been afraid of dying and leaving her alone, he would have had much more time for the pair of them together.

Snowhawk's pelt prickled, and he looked for Frostflight; if SnowClan perished today, him breaking the code…would it matter so much?

Snowhawk fell into step beside Frostflight, but she didn't look at him. Her eyes had almost a glazed look to them, and she was trembling.

"Don't be afraid," Snowhawk murmured to her, and he moved to touch her, but she flinched, and Snowhawk realized something was wrong.

"Are you alright?" Snowhawk asked anxiously, but when Frostflight met his eyes, something about them had changed. They were sorrowful, broken. Something had happened during the night. Something had hurt her, even more than the death of her brother.

"Frostflight, what—" Snowhawk started to ask, but he saw Lightningstar's tail fly up, signaling for silence. Moving slightly, Snowhawk's eyes widened as he saw the wall of cats, tensed and ready to fight. We're still too close to camp! Snowhawk realized. They could overwhelm us easily!

Ruin was at the front of the line, smirking.

"So, that traitorous Batter went to your side, did he? He's dead though now, certainly, and it no longer matters. Your numbers are down, my numbers are down, but you still don't have a hope of defeating us. My father may have taken half my forces, but what does it matter, in the end? You're still all going to die today. You don't have the numbers to fight." From Snowhawk's other side, Windheart murmured the words to him, so that Snowhawk could understand as well; Ruin was too far away for Snowhawk to see his mouth-movements clearly, or feel through his paws.

"We may be outnumbered, and we may die, but we have StarClan to live on in," Lightningstar said. "What do you have to look forward to?"

Ruin's amber eyes flashed, and he lashed his tail. Snowhawk saw his mouth open in a battle cry, and saw the cats lunge forward.

The fight had begun.

Lightningstar's forces began to separate, fanning out to have more room, although they stayed in pairs. Snowhawk saw Lightningstar and Mossflower fighting side-by-side, Fernstep and Stoneclaw, Rainfur and Frostflight, Windheart and Breezefeather. Snowhawk's eyes widened at Frostflight's ferocity; her mouth was open in a feral snarl, as she slashed a tom's shoulder to ribbons.

Snowhawk's eyes narrowed, as he realized he didn't have a partner, and he swiftly moved to stand beside Frostflight.

"Just like the first battle," he meowed, and Rainfur glanced at him.

"In the last battle, Cricketsong was alive," Rainfur said bitterly, slashing at a tortoiseshell. Snowhawk blinked slowly, and then felt pain lance down his back. He turned, spitting, slashing a tom's muzzle open.

This time, the passing of time was all too evident; the sun rose, spraying the sky with streaks of pink, and continued on until it peaked at the top of the sky. Snowhawk's muscles ached, and his wounds stung in a dozen places, but he had to continue fighting. He had to fight for as long as he possibly could; Sorrelkit and Willowkit were depending on him, after all. They were depending on their big brother.

"This is hopeless!" Rainfur spat, chasing a silver tabby away. "We can't beat them all!"

"Yes, but we already knew that," Snowhawk reminded him, dodging a blow from a large tabby that would have crippled him, and springing upwards to land on the tom's back, ripping and tearing.

Only Frostflight said nothing, intent upon running out every cat she could.

On and on the battle dragged, and Snowhawk felt himself weakening. Several times, he was too slow to dodge an attack and felt his attacker's claws shred through his fur. Snowhawk's sides were stained crimson, although whether it was all his blood or blood of his enemies as well, he wasn't certain. Snowhawk's legs began trembling between blows, and he found himself wishing that it would just end, so he could finally rest.

He was so slow, that when he found himself on his back, at first he didn't know what was happening. A dark face leered down at him, her fangs white against her black face. Snowhawk struggled weakly, but he didn't have the strength to push her off, and Rainfur and Frostflight had their own problems.

This is it, Snowhawk thought hazily, as the she-cat raised her paw, ready to slash his throat. Snowhawk closed his eyes; he had nothing left to give.

Then, he felt the she-cat's claws tear into him, although not at his throat, but at his chest, as if she had been torn away. He opened his eyes to find a white tom slashing at her, and then sinking his teeth into her throat. She flailed, but then went still and limp. The tom released her, and turned to Snowhawk.

His eyes were golden.

"Lune?" Snowhawk whispered, slowly rising to his paws. "What?"

Lune glanced at him, and then turned, and Snowhawk followed his gaze. His eyes widened at the golden-brown-white monster charging over the battlefield, picking up cats and throwing them a dozen tail-lengths, where they didn't move again.

"Lincoln?" Snowhawk asked, feeling utterly bewildered. Lune turned away from him, launching himself into the battle without replying.

Something touched Snowhawk's flank, but he was too confused to react aggressively. He turned, and blinked into a pair of green-gold eyes set in a dark face.

"Hedge?" he asked, feeling completely astonished.

"You don't look so good," Hedge purred, touching his muzzle with her tail, "but you sure have grown. Those muscles…."

"I-I don't understand," Snowhawk said, bewildered. "What…how…why?"

"Lune came and found us," Hedge purred. "Well, really he found Wander, and through Wander found the rest of us. He said you were in trouble."

"Who all is here?" Snowhawk asked, looking around.

"Shaw, Wander, Lincoln – Buttercup couldn't come, but he wanted to, he jumped right over that big Twoleg fence! – and me, of course."

Snowhawk stared at her. "Why would you come?"

Hedge smiled. "I've matured…at least a little," she purred. "I wanted to help. Fighting is yuckier than I imagined though; I don't think I'll want to fight again after this."


Hedge grinned. "I'm staying! I've been working with Wander lately, after that brown friend of hers disappeared. She used to be kind of snappy, but I think I impressed her; I've been working hard. I'm not a total ditz anymore."

Snowhawk blinked slowly. "I don't understand. Why did Lune round up all of you?"

"To help!" Hedge purred, and then turned. "Yikes. Lincoln's a real monster, isn't he? So much for never hurting a cat; apparently he doesn't mind hurting cats that Buttercup told him were bad."

Snowhawk opened his mouth to argue, but Hedge smiled at him. "Come on, focus; questions later. We've got a Clan to save, right?"

Snowhawk nodded, and seeing Lincoln tearing over the battlefield, glimpses of Lune's white pelt, Shaw fighting alongside Fernstep, Wander fighting with agility he didn't even know she had, and with Hedge at his side, he felt emboldened, energized.

We have a chance.

AN: What's this? A gray tom with dark gray flecks and blue eyes named Rainfur? Doesn't that sound familiar….But how?

Simple, really. While reading FQ for the first time, I was intrigued about mysterious Rainfur, the only cat with a warrior name; indeed, Firestar even 'confirms' his warrior name in his ceremony, rather than giving him another one. How could a cat have a warrior name without knowing the Clans?

This is how!

It sounds strange and first, but it makes sense later. After the battle, Rainfur leaves the Clan, feeling like he's betrayed them. He eventually wanders to SkyClan's old territory and settles down with Petal. Eventually Firestar comes over and makes them a Clan and junk. Now, the timeline would seem a bit shaky; there's hardly enough time for him to fall in love with Petal and have kits, right? Well, I don't think the kits are his; Sagekit's eyes are green, Petal and Rainfur's eyes are blue. In cat genetics, blue is recessive to green; meaning it would be impossible for both parents to have blue eyes. My theory is that Petal had kits with another tom, and when he realized he was going to be a father, he fled. While looking for him, Petal met Rainfur, and the rest is history.

Several things that Rainfur says in FQ, I used for my own story. When he first meets Firestar, he says that he doesn't want the area to become torn over the new Clan and fighting for territory; naturally he would feel this way, since his own Clan was torn apart first by the Pride's fighting, then by fighting against Ruin. Later, Firestar says SkyClan could 'use' Rainfur, and Rainfur responds with "I don't want to be used, thanks," and leaves. Rainfur felt that he had been used by Ruin and Ottertail when he trusted them, and didn't want it to happen again. Rainfur is never shown having to learn the warrior code, either, which suggests that he did know it, at least in part. And he does eventually become loyal to the Clan, sacrificing himself to protect Petal and her kits, which I think shows some progress on Rainfur's part.

The theory that Rainfur belonged to a Clan is just that, a theory, but I've adapted and used it for this story.

The more you know~

Oh noes! What has happened to Frostflight?

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