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?


18. Visits

"How are you?" he felt someone ask. Snowpaw opened his eyes, and smiled up at Frostpaw.

"I'm alright," he said. "I can't move or anything, but I'm fine."

"Must be boring," Frostpaw said, and her eyes wandered around the den, looking at the dried herbs that had gone to waste while the group was gone. "Will this be your den?" she asked. "I mean, when you're a medicine cat?"

"I suppose," Snowpaw said. Truly, he wasn't sure if he wanted to be a medicine cat…but after the battle, he knew it was almost certain. He couldn't cause pain to other cats, it just wasn't in him, not to mention how his deafness had nearly gotten him killed. "I wish I was well, so I could take care of you," he said, his tail brushing a scratch on Frostpaw's nose. "I mean, the Clan, not just you or anything," he said quickly.

"Of course," Frostpaw said equally quickly, and both of them were quite for a moment, embarrassed for some unknown reason.

"No one is hurt like, seriously though, are they?" Snowpaw asked anxiously. "I don't want to be taking up needed space, or anything."

"No, you had it the worst," Frostpaw replied. "Some of the others were hurt, but Moss took care of them with cobwebs and those golden things."


"Yeah, those." Frostpaw yawned. "It was so exciting though, don't you think? I mean, I was scared during the battle, but when I was fighting that tom that hurt you…I felt so, I don't know, empowered! It was kind of exciting!" Her eyes seemed to glow. "But…I could have killed him. I think I would have, if you hadn't stopped me," she said slowly. "I don't want to be that kind of warrior, Snowpaw. I don't want to be some sort of…mindless killer!"

Snowpaw licked her muzzle. "That tom almost killed one of your Clanmates," he said. "Naturally you'd feel that way. But it is okay, because even though you could have killed him, you didn't. You made the choice not to."

Frostpaw nodded slowly, but she didn't appear completely reassured. Snowpaw nuzzled her muzzle again.

"Have you thanked Cricketpaw?" he asked. "He was a hero; if he hadn't left the battle to find you guys, we probably would have lost."

"Yeah," Frostpaw purred. "He was really proud to have helped so much, and he even helped bring down his first warrior with us, didn't he? He was so excited! I overheard him telling Rainpaw that he was nervous at first, because he thought he might not be brave enough to go through with it…but he did, didn't he? I'm proud."

"What about Angel and Kit?" Snowpaw asked. "Where are they?"

"They're in the nursery with Moss and her kits," Frostpaw explained. "Bree is in the warrior den with her brother, and stuff."

Snowpaw nodded slowly. "It's good that we're getting the dens and stuff worked out," he said. "It all puts us one step closer to becoming a Clan!"

"Mud has been helping Lightning create the patrols and stuff, too," Frostpaw said. "Gleam said she scented something strange on the evening patrol though, maybe a fox—"

"Wait, what?" Snowpaw asked. "What are you talking about? I haven't been asleep that long, have I?"

Frostpaw blinked at him. "You slept all day yesterday," she explained. "The battle was at sunhigh, and you woke up around evening. Then you slept all through the next day."

Snowpaw blinked in surprise. "I had no idea!" The she-cat didn't stay with me for very long then, did she? Snowpaw wondered. I guess I really am on my own, for now.

Frostpaw nodded. "The Pride hasn't shown their ugly face again, though," she said. "We're going to patrol more often now though, just to make sure. Otter wasn't happy about that; he's a bit lazy." Her whiskers twitched with amusement.

"He'll just have to get over that, if he is planning on living in a Clan," Snowpaw said. "Every cat has to help out equally." He heaved a sigh. "I'mnot going to be of much use for a little while though, with my back the way it is," he said gloomily. Frostpaw nuzzled his shoulder.

"You'll be back in action soon enough," Frostpaw replied, "and you've served the Clan, haven't you? You're kind of like one of those old cats – elders? – only you'll be better soon enough."

Snowpaw shrugged, and then winced at the pain. "I'm kind of hungry," he said slowly. "I hate to ask, but could you bring me a mouse or something?"

"I'm actually supposed to be out hunting with Slate," Frostpaw purred, "but I'll bring you the biggest mouse in the forest when I get back!" Snowpaw smiled at her, and she turned, scampering off. Snowpaw had several moments of peace, before a shadow fell over the den. Two shadows, actually. Young Kit and timid Angel were standing in the den together, staring at him. Snowpaw blinked at them, feeling a bit confused – were they looking for someone else? – but when Kit took a step forward, Snowpaw beckoned them both with his tail.

"Yes?" he asked, resting his tail on Kit's side, confident that the black kit would do most of the talking. Angel's blue-violet eyes were wide with fear as she stared at him. Snowpaw wondered briefly if she was afraid of all the Clan cats, or just him, before brushing the thought away. He was a young, injured, deaf cat. What could he possibly do to her.

"You're Snowpaw," Kit said, cocking his head to one side and studying Snowpaw with his keen green eyes.

"Yes, yes I am," Snowpaw said, and gave the kits a smile. "Is there something you need?"

"And you're the meddy cat?" Kit continued. Snowpaw nodded, and Kit frowned at him. "Why aren't you helping yourself, then?" the little kit growled, as if Snowpaw was trying to trick him somehow.

"I was injured, I couldn't tend to myself," Snowpaw replied. "If you were hurt and not I, I would be helping heal you. Moss would do most of it, though, she knows more than I do still. I'm trying to learn all I can."

Kit sat down, and after a short pause, Angel copied him. "And the cat visiting you was your apprentice?"

"No, just a friend," Snowpaw said. "Slate is Frostpaw's mentor. I'm too young to mentor an apprentice; I'm still an apprentice myself."

"Who's your mentor, then?" Kite asked curiously. Snowpaw hesitated for a moment, wondering if he should say Moss or the white she-cat. He settled on the she-cat. "I have a mentor in my dreams, a white she-cat. In my dreams, I can hear while I walk with StarClan," he explained.

"And who're they?" Kit persisted. Snowpaw's whiskers twitched with amusement; how many questions did the little kit have in him?

"How about we start from the beginning, instead of bouncing around the middle?" Snowpaw asked. "Let me explain the warrior code…."

Kit listened to everything Snowpaw had to say, although he had to force himself not to blurt questions. Angel had a faintly troubled look in her eyes as she listened, but she said nothing, simply soaking up the information like moss in a pool.

"I see," Kit said finally. "I'm five moons now. Do I get to be an apprentice soon, then?"

Snowpaw nodded, and then touched Angel gently with his tail. She flinched slightly at the contact. "How old are you?" Snowpaw asked her.

"F-four months, I t-think," she mumbled at her paws, not looking him in the eyes as she spoke.

"I get to be an apprentice first!" Kit crowed.

"Not necessarily," Snowpaw reminded him, "you'll need a mentor. Bree's mothering you now, so she can't be a mentor, and it might be more than a moon before Gale or Otter know the warrior code well enough to teach it to others."

Kit frowned. "But I want to be an apprentice now! I'm a tiger, and tiger's don't take orders from nobody!"

Snowpaw couldn't help feeling amused again. "You'll be apprenticed all in good time," he said, "and you'd better learn to take orders, or your mentor will claw your fur off!" He meant it as a joke, but little Angel flinched again.

"He does mean it for real," Kit said to Angel kindly, before rising to his paws. "I'm gonna find Gale," he announced. "He'll mentor me right now, I know it!" And with that, the young black kit raced away, leaving Angel alone with Snowpaw. Snowpaw blinked at her for a moment, before looking away, not wanting to make her feel uncomfortable.

"Snowpaw?" Angel asked, her voice whisper-soft. Snowpaw raised his head.

"Yes?" he asked, trying to be quiet so he wouldn't scare her. Angel reminded him of a little bird, hesitant and nervous around others, quick to flee.

"I…I…." Angel seemed to lose her nerve.

"Yes?" Snowpaw asked, prompting her. "You can tell me whatever you need to, Angel. I'm going to be a medicine cat someday; that means I am not only here to help your body, but your mind too. Medicine cats know more about the spiritual well-being of a cat than any other. If there's something weighing on your mind, you can just tell me; I won't tell anyone." He winked at her. "For being deaf, I actually hear quite a bit about the Clan."

Angel actually looked relieved at his words, and Snowpaw knew he had said the right thing.

"Did Wander tell you about my…visions?" she asked softly.

"She said you had them, but she didn't tell me what they were about." He blinked, as something occurred to him. "Do you hear voices, prophecies? Do you see starry cats?"

"No, none of those," Angel said and stared at her paws again. "I wish I did, though. Anything could be better than what I see."

"What is it?" Snowpaw asked gently, brushing his tail over her white fur.

"I…I see it when cats die," Angel said, and her eyes were wide, as if she was daring him to disbelieve her. Snowpaw said nothing, simply waiting for her to continue. "When cats die…I'm sort of inside them. I see the whole thing. I see…everything…." Angel began shaking. Snowpaw wanted to drape his tail over her shoulder, or press his pelt against hers, but she was too far away and he couldn't reach.

"Why do I see these things?" Angel whimpered. "It's been like this as far as I can remember…Rainpaw was talking about some cats that have something wrong with them, a flaw. Those were the cats before, right? I…I'm flawed like them, with these visions. D-does that mean I have to go live with them? Do I have to join them?"

The terror in her eyes was obvious; she didn't want to be with the Pride, to be regarded as an outsider, a freak.

"I think StarClan gave you these visions, and for a reason," Snowpaw said gently. "Maybe you're supposed to become a medicine cat, who knows? When I'm older and a medicine cat of my own, I'll need an apprentice too. Moss won't be a medicine cat, she's already got kits…so it will be up to me."

"But why would StarClan do that? I've done nothing wrong," Angel whimpered. "I just want them to go away."

"I'm sure there's a way for them to go away. But StarClan gave you them for some purpose, and we'll just have to find out what that is." Snowpaw smiled at her. "No one will make you go anywhere you don't want to. And besides, I'm pretty sure the Pride isn't around here anyway."

Angel still looked unsure. "If it happens again, just come and find me," Snowpaw said in a soothing voice. "I'll help you through this as best I can, okay?"

Angel nodded slowly, and rose to her paws. "Thanks," she said, but did not smile. She padded out of the den.

Snowpaw yawned, relaxing slightly. He rested his head on his paws and closed his eyes, eager for rest; he was still tried, even after apparently sleeping through the entire day.

Without knowing it, he must have drowsed off, for a gentle nudge woke him up. He blinked up at Moss, who was smiling down at him.

"I didn't want to wake you, but I have to look at your back," she said. "Eat these first; it might be painful." She nudged several dark seeds towards him, poppy seeds. Snowpaw obediently lapped them up, and Moss moved out of sight. He felt her prodding his back with her paws, peeling back the cobweb poultice to examine his wound. Snowpaw gritted his teeth, and didn't let the cry in his throat escape; he knew Moss was being as gentle as she could, and he didn't want to worry her. Finally, he felt warm juices seep into his fur as Moss replaced the marigold and cobwebs.

"It's healing nicely," Moss said, after wiping her paws off on a ball of moss. "You'll be up and around again in a few days."

"Good," Snowpaw said, resisting the urge to stretch his stiff muscles, "I feel so useless lying here! I want to be patrolling." He let out a quiet growl, resting his head on his paws once more. "Is Frostpaw's patrol back? Did they find anything?"

"No, it appears the Pride has vanished," Moss replied. The news should have been good, but Moss looked troubled. "I just can't imagine Fear leaving," Moss said. "She was notorious for clinging on to what she had. She wouldn't even let former Pride members go in peace."

Snowpaw blinked at her. "Former Pride members?" he echoed. Moss's ears flattened slightly.

"Lightning never told you?" she asked. Snowpaw's eyes widened.

"Lightning was in the Pride?" he cried.

"No," Moss said slowly. "I was."

Snowpaw stared at her, unable to say anything. What could he say? "H-how? Why?" was all he managed to get out.

Moss shuffled her paws awkwardly. "My sister and I found the Pride after our parents kicked us out," she explained. "She had problems first, and she told me about them in secret; voices whispering to her, about the names of herbs and things. She was excited at first, until one day she awoke to find the voices replaced by new ones, two voices that couldn't seem to agree in her head. Her old voices – the ones that spoke of herbs – came to me instead. I could hear them in my dreams…when I slept, starry cats walked with me. They showed me different herbs to heal others, stories and legends…all sorts of things." She sighed. "We found Fear, and we were some of the first cats in the Pride. It was good, for a long time. We were happy together, for a time. But gradually my sister drew away from me as the voices bickering inside of her began driving her mad, and Fear herself changed. Fear had once been a good cat, a decent cat, Snowpaw. However, as more and more 'broken' cats came to our group, Fear began changing. She began despairing. None of us – save Sin, perhaps, the first member of the Pride – could understand it. I grew uneasy; I began wanting something more.

"And then I met Lightning." Moss closed her eyes, letting out a quiet purr at the memory. "I was hunting, and so was he, but it was raining and neither of us could scent each other. We both sprang for the same prey, and both caught it between our paws. We had quite an argument over it, which he won, but even after securing his prey, he didn't leave. We talked for a bit, but I knew Fear would be suspicious if I was away for too long, and I told him to meet me later, in secret. We met that night, and for many nights after, and after a time I realized I was falling in love." Moss bowed her head slightly, and Snowpaw realized she was blushing under her gray fur. "I was worried that Fear would figure it out, but she never did. I knew very well that Lightning was 'flawed' like the rest of us, and I knew he would never agree to join the Pride. He wanted me to come with him instead. I debated it for many days before I finally decided to go. We ran off together. When Fear found out, she was furious, enraged. If it wasn't for the fact that her Pride was still small and Lightning had a powerful friend – Mud – to help, she might have attacked us right then. She bided her time, as did we, both sides trying to build up a stronger force. Fear wanted to forcibly win me back; she could never let go of anything, especially not one of her followers. We had many battles, all of which ended indecisively, usually through bungles on her end; Savage killing one of the Pride members on accident, Corse fleeing the scene, Twist almost getting herself killed because of the voices preventing her from fighting….

"And then, one day, the starry cats visited me. They told me they would not be back again, even though I begged for them to stay and guide me. But before they left me, they did tell me one thing: 'a cat will fall from the sky, and set your paws on a new path'. I didn't know what it meant at first, and I didn't want to tell Lightning in case it worried him….

"The next day, we found you."

Snowpaw stared at Moss disbelievingly. StarClan had been speaking to Moss, long before the Clan had even been thought of?

"Wait a minute," he said slowly. "Your sister heard voices? Two of them?" Moss nodded, and the idea forming in Snowpaw's mind passed his lips before he could hold it back. "Twist is your sister!" he blurted. Moss smiled sadly.

"She is indeed," Moss said, and laid down beside him, tucking her paws beneath her. "That's part of the reason she won't fight; partly because of the voices, and partly because she can't fight me. I would never want to hurt her either…and sometimes it's hard, fighting my former Pridemates. But it's something I have to do, for my family. I have to put my past behind me, to 'set my paws on a new path', so to speak." She smiled at Snowpaw warmly. "As soon as we found you, I knew you were special. I knew you'd lead us somewhere new for our family." She nuzzled him, and then turned. "It looks like Frostpaw's coming. I'll let you get some rest, okay?"

Snowpaw nodded, watching Moss go. It wasn't Tabby that Twist reminded me of, with her gray fur and green eyes, Snowpaw realized. It was Moss. I just didn't realize it at the time.

"Hey!" Frostpaw chirped, entering the den and dropping a plump mouse at his paws. "What did I tell you?" she asked, beaming at him. Snowpaw couldn't help but smile back.

"Thanks," he said, pulling the mouse closer t him with one snowy white paw. He took a bite, allowing the delicious juices to flood his mouth, before swallowing.

"Fresh out of the forest," Frostpaw purred. "Is it good?"

Snowpaw nodded, swallowing another bite before replying, "Have you eaten yet?"

"Slate and I had a snack while we were hunting," she admitted.

Apprentices are supposed to feed the Clan first, Snowpaw thought, and apprentices shouldn't eat on hunting patrols. Still, it was kind of her to bring him back a mouse, and she looked so pleased with herself that Snowpaw couldn't bear to correct her.

"Being an apprentice is so fun!" she continued. "Rainpaw and I are supposed to spar later. I bet I beat him." Her whiskers twitched with amusement. "He acts all cocky, but he's slower than I am."

"Is everyone else training too?" Snowpaw asked anxiously. Frostpaw nodded. "Slate had Gale and Bree sparring with each other while Tabby watched the kits," Frostpaw explained. "Gale's a good fighter, he's very strong. I was surprised at Bree, though; she isn't very strong, but she's really fast!"

Snowpaw nodded. "I'd like to watch, sometime," he said. "Maybe when I'm better."

Frostpaw nodded, and watched Snowpaw eat as much of the mouse as he could. Snowpaw let out a burp, feeling full, and Frostpaw giggled.

"I'll take the rest to the kits," Frostpaw offered. Snowpaw shook his head, and Frostpaw blinked at him, confused.

"It's good that you want to provide for the kits, like apprentices should," Snowpaw said, "but kits shouldn't just get the scraps of what other cats leave behind."

Snowpaw was afraid Frostpaw might get angry, but she simply nodded. "Thanks for telling me," she said, rising to her paws. "I'll go grab them a mouse, or something."

She licked Snowpaw's muzzle, before leaving the den. Snowpaw yawned, his pink tongue curling, before he rested his muzzle against the dusty bottom of the den. Within mere moments, he was asleep again, getting the rest his body desperately craved, to heal.

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