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?


7. The Warrior Code

Snowpaw entered camp nervously, glancing around. Suddenly, he felt afraid; what if Frost had been wrong? What if no one had missed him at all? Or worse: what if Lightning decided to kill him after all?

"He isn't dead!" Frost shouted joyfully. Cats appeared and heads turned. Lightning looked surprised, and Moss let out a cry, rushing toward to nuzzle her adopted son, as if making sure he really was there, really was alive. He could feel her whispering his name over and over as she licked him, checking him all over to make sure he wasn't hurt.

Tabby's face had split into a wide green, although Mud and Slate were looking carefully neutral as they approached. Snowpaw's eyes glanced around the other faces - Gleam looked surprised, Cricket fearful, Rain mildly impressed – avoiding the one he was dreading until he was forced to look at him. Lightning was staring at Snowpaw with disbelief. He quickly recovered, approaching slowly. Snowpaw gazed up at him fearfully, and took a deep breath, offering Lightning his tail. Lightning's eyes flashed, but he accepted it.

"I suppose I was mistaken about your fate," Lightning said slowly. "You wandered off when I was trying to explain Fear's group to you, to explain our way of life. I called but you did not hear me, and I waited, thinking you would return. You did not and when I followed you, I found blood everywhere. I assumed the Pride had gotten you." He shook his head. "Thinking back the blood smelled rather strange, perhaps prey's blood, but I didn't notice it at the time. However, we are very glad to have you back, Snowkit." Lightning smiled, but his eyes told Snowpaw If you ever tell anyone the truth, I won't spare you.

Snowpaw gazed up at Lightning's face. Could no one else see the strained edges of his smile? Could no one else see the menace behind Lightning's warm eyes? Could no one else see the resentment that flashed over his face when Moss pulled Snowpaw closer to her?

The white cat was right, Snowpaw thought, I am able to see things no other cat can, in relationships and emotions as well as the world around me. It isn't nearly worth the trade off, though, not nearly!

"Snowpaw," Snowpaw said quietly. "My name isn't Snowkit anymore. It is Snowpaw."

From the confused look on Lightning's face and the way everyone else looked confused as well, Snowpaw realized none of them knew what it meant, the transition from kit to apprentice. He had to constantly remind himself of that, that he was in strange territory and not his home. No one knew of the warrior code here, or of Clan names, or anything like that.

"I think it is a nice name," Moss said, resting her chin on Snowpaw's head. "If that's what you want to be called, we'll do it."

Lightning nodded slowly. "Welcome back," he said, and his voice had an edge to it that only Snowpaw could feel, as Lightning turned and padded away. Moss let out a thrumming purr, and instantly Snowpaw felt comforted, at home again. Sudden weariness grabbed him, and he felt slow and sluggish. Today had seemed to be so long, all he wanted to do was relax and push Fear and Hog and the others far, far out of his mind.

"Can I go to sleep?" Snowpaw asked wearily, and Moss nodded, leading him back to the den they shared.

"I'm sorry I didn't keep you safe," Moss said softly, curling around Snowpaw. "I won't fail you again, my son."

My son. Simply feeling the words made Snowpaw feel safe, peaceful. The feelings followed him as he drifted off to sleep.

"Snowpaw!" he heard a voice exclaim with joy. He blinked, seeing the white she-cat approaching him.

"You did it," she purred, licking his head. "Oh, I knew you would!"

Snowpaw blinked, feeling confused. "I did what?" he asked.

"You did it, you made the choice to stay with Lightning, even knowing how he resented you and wanted you gone to protect his family," the white she-cat replied. "StarClan is very proud, Snowpaw. We can tell you everything now." Her blue eyes glittered with joy.

Snowpaw blinked. "What?" he asked. "I don't understand. Why was it such a big choice?"

The white she-cat smiled. "Snowpaw, you have a very special destiny," she said softly. "ThunderClan would have never appreciated you for who you were, but these cats already do. Moss loves you and Frost trusts you. Tabby is fond of you and with a touch of bravery, Cricket would have come with his sister to find you. You're becoming part of their Clan."

Snowpaw blinked in surprise. "Clan?" he asked. "Have you even seen these cats? They have no idea about the Clans. And what was the big choice?"

The white she-cat sat down. "I'm going to tell you a story," she said with a slight smile, although there was sorrow in her blue eyes. Still feeling hopelessly confused, Snowpaw sat down beside her, ready to listen.

"You and every cat in ThunderClan were told that there were always four Clans," the she-cat began. "However, they were wrong. There were five Clans; ThunderClan, RiverClan, ShadowClan, WindClan, and…SkyClan. SkyClan's home was where Twolegplace is now, and it was destroyed by the Twolegs that built it. SkyClan had to flee the forest, and find a new home. They lost faith in their warrior ancestors, and although SkyClan eventually found a home, they were destroyed.

"However, not all of SkyClan made it to their new home. A small group of warriors had lost faith in their leader as well as StarClan, and they chose to leave SkyClan and settle down somewhere else. This forest that you are in now is where they settled, and although they were not adapted for forest life, they mingled with other cats that already lived here, and prospered. Over the generations the Clan ideals and the warrior code dissolved and gradually ceased to exist. The ex-SkyClan cats no longer wanted to remember their past.

"The cats that you are with now are the descendents of those SkyClan cats. SkyClan had hard black pads and strong legs for jumping, because of their harsh territory. However, the ex-SkyClan cats bred with forest cats, and the cats you live with now are the closest thing to SkyClan-ThunderClan cats that will ever exist. Their pads are still black and hard, but weaker than those of their ancestors, and they can still jump high, but not as high as their ancestors. These cats are more compactly built like ThunderClan cats, for pouncing and stalking.

"It is your duty to rebuild this lost Clan, and turn it into a new one."

Snowpaw blinked at her. "I have to rebuild SkyClan?" he asked.

She shook her head. "SkyClan is dead and gone here. Another cat will rebuild SkyClan in the future, but in their new home, not here. No, these cats will become a completely different Clan, a new Clan. And Snowpaw, you must help them to do this."

Snowpaw's eyes widened. "I can't!" he exclaimed. "How can I do this? I'm deaf, no one will listen to me!"

"I'll be with you every step of the way," the white cat said soothingly. "StarClan believes in you, Snowpaw. We couldn't tell you of your destiny before until you chose to stay with Lightning; you would have fought your destiny, and stayed with the Pride instead, upsetting everything we've planned. This is your destiny, Snowpaw. Embrace it."

Snowpaw opened his mouth to argue, but the white she-cat was already up and walking away, beckoning him with her tail.

"You remember some things, but not all," she told him, "and you will need to remember. I'm going to teach you the entire warrior code, first; you can mention it to the other cats in passing if you like, or not yet; it doesn't matter. Don't rush it, or they'll fight it, just as you would have."

Snowpaw nodded slowly, and didn't speak again, for the white she-cat spoke of many things, some parts of the warrior code that he hadn't heard of or hadn't understood when his mother had tried to explain it to him. By the time the night was over the she-cat had quizzed him ceaselessly, until he committed the entire thing to memory.

"Go now, Snowpaw," the she-cat said with a smile. "Embrace your destiny." The dream began fading around him and

Snowpaw awoke. He blinked slowly, glancing around as if he expected to still be in the forest. He let out a quiet breath and forced himself to relax, despite the weight on his shoulders. How can I build a Clan? He wondered. I'm only a kit, despite my apprentice name. How can they entrust all of this to me? He curled into a tight ball, feeling stress well up inside of him. Then, he took a deep breath.

Frost likes me, he thought. If I can tell her about the warrior code she'll tell her siblings and they'll listen to her more than they would listen to me. Maybe this will be easier that way. Like the she-cat said, I have to take my time.

He uncurled and moved, carefully tiptoeing past Moss. She moved slightly, and he froze, thinking she was waking up, but she simply murmured something in her sleep and rolled over. Snowpaw left the den silently, and then blinked, staring up at the sky. It was streaked with color on the horizon as the sun was rising, and Snowpaw paused for a moment, transfixed. It was beautiful. His eyes absorbed every color, every detail, and for a moment he wondered if everyone saw it this way, or was it just him, with his keener eyes? Finally, he shook himself free of the sun's spell, and padded toward Gleam's den. He peered inside, and whispered into the darkness,


He received no answer after waiting a moment, and whispered it again. "Frost?"

A pair of mismatched eyes appeared in the darkness, blinking at him, and Frost let out a yawn. She moved so that she was at the entrance of the den.

"What?" she mouthed, blinking sleepily.

"Can I tell you about something?" Snowpaw asked shyly. Frost looked puzzled, and then shrugged.

"Fine, my dreams were weird anyway," she said, and sat down beside him.

"Have you ever heard of the warrior code?" Snowpaw asked softly. Frost looked at him, bemused, and shook her head. Quietly, Snowpaw began speaking, and as he spoke Frost's eyes widened and began to shine, as the possibilities appeared before her. She seemed to drink in his words like a cat dying of thirst, and when he finished speaking she was smiling from ear to ear.

"That's amazing!" she whispered, her eyes glittering. "Where did you come up with that? It's really cool! I want to be a warrior!"

Snowpaw smiled. "Where I came from, everyone is a warrior," he said quietly, glancing towards Gleam's den nervously. "Everyone, even cats like you with one good ear," he said. Frost nodded quickly.

"Can you teach me?" she asked. "Were you a warrior?"

Snowpaw shook his head. "I was only a kit, and now I'm an apprentice, hence the name 'Snowpaw'," he replied. "But I want to be, someday."

"Do warriors have to fight?" someone asked, but it wasn't Frost's rumble. Without him noticing, Cricket had snuck up on Snowpaw. His muzzle was on Snowpaw's shoulder now. Snowpaw blinked at Cricket in surprise, and smiled as he saw Rain emerging from the den as well.

"Yes, for their Clan," Snowpaw said. "It is very honorable and important. Warriors are very brave."

"I guess I can't be one, then," Cricket said, and he looked so down at Snowpaw actually felt sorry for him.

"You can learn to be brave," Snowpaw assured him, and Cricket smiled shyly.

"You think?" he asked, and Snowpaw nodded.

"Of course," he said. "Any cat can be brave if they need to be, to protect the ones that they love."

Cricket nodded slowly, and Frost still looked excited.

"How about we play a game?" she whispered. "Could we pretend to be a Clan? A real one, I mean? It could be our game without the other cats even knowing about it!" Her whiskers trembled with excitement.

Cricket also looked excited, although Rain looked carefully neutral, there was a gleam in his eyes. Snowpaw hesitated, and then felt warmth in his chest. Somehow, he knew this was right.

"Yes," he said. "Let's make our own Clan. Together."

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