Fire and Shadow

AU. Rusty has been adopted not by ThunderClan...but ShadowClan!


38. Chapter Thirty-Eight

Firefang moved to leap into action but something butted him in the side. Firefang rolled on his side before scrambling back to his paws. A tabby BloodClan cat hissed and leapt at him. Firefang slashed at his face, trying to drive him off fast so he could get to Mistyfoot.

The RiverClan deputy meanwhile was slashing at Scourge with a fierceness that it was thanks only to the speed and small size of the BloodClan leader that he wasn't in four pieces already. But fierceness alone wouldn't prevail. Scourge's wicked claws flashed in the sunlight as he struck once, twice then again. The first slash missed but the second one cut Mistyfoot below the eye and the last one dug into her shoulder. She hissed, more in anger than in pain. Onewhisker and Ravenwing, seeing her fight, ran to assist her.

Firefang meanwhile hissed furiously, trying to disengage from his own opponent. But everytime he tried to turn away he opened himself up to attack. Yowling in frustration he lashed out and sliced his foe's nose. The BloodClan cat screeched and ran. The ShadowClan deputy winced. Those dog-studded claws were a major weapon: even in the paws of untrained fighters like BloodClan those dog teeth could tear a cat open.

Suddenly, Firefang's eyes widened. He yowled out suddenly at a nearby Clan cat. "Hey! You there!"

"What is it?" As the tom approached Firefang managed to peg him as a ThunderClan cat, Runningwind.

"Are you fast?" Firefang panted. Runningwind looked at him as if he were joking.

"Yes…" He meowed slowly as if to someone simple. "I am."

"Good." Firefang ignored the cheek. "Get the fastest cats you can find, WindClan mostly and try to break away from the battle."

The ThunderClan warrior's eyes narrowed in surprise. "Why would I do that?" Quickly, Firefang explained what he wanted him to do. Runningwind's jaw dropped open in shock.

"Can you do it?" Firefang hissed urgently. Numbly, Runningwind nodded. "Good! Then go do it! Now!" Runningwind turned on his paws and ran. He gathered up a group of WindClan cats and one fleet footed ThunderClan apprentice, Swiftpaw, and dashed off to do as he was told. Firefang then ran over to help his friends fight Scourge.

He saw a dark shadow out of the corner of his eye a brief second before it struck. Firefang fell on his side and before he could move a heavy paw came crashing down and pinning Firefang to the ground. He twisted and squirmed, but couldn't get free. Firefang managed to get a glimpse of his attacker: it was Tigerstar.

"Why don't we just have a seat and watch." Tigerstar purred, not making any motion to actually attack Firefang. He just looked ahead as his "ally" battled Firefang's friends. However the battle went, he won. If Firefang lost his supporters and friends in the other Clans, so much the better; it would make his revenge against Firefang all the sweeter. And if they somehow managed to defeat Scourge, well, that would hardly break Tigerstar's heart.

Mistyfoot cuffed Scourge's head with her paw as Ravenwing dug his claws into Scourge's flank. Hissing, the small leader of BloodClan whirled around and slashed. His claws sunk deep into Ravenwing's shoulder. He yowled in pain as Onewhisker moved to support him. The WindClan warrior bit down on Scourge's tail.

It was Scourge's turn to yowl as he yanked his tail away and clawed at Onewhisker's side, drawing blood. Mistyfoot sprung onto Scourge's back, nearly flattening the smaller cat beneath her. Scourge couldn't claw Mistyfoot from her position and she bit down on the back of his neck. Hard.

The wicked cat swung his head back and forth, trying to dislodge her. Finally, with one last large heave, Mistyfoot lost her footing and fell onto her side. Scourge clawed at her belly. Firefang struggled frantically under Tigerstar's paws, trying to get to her.

"Mistyfoot!" Firefang yowled. Scourge raised a claw, ready to tear Mistyfoot apart like he had done to Leopardstar. But when he moved to slice at her, Mistyfoot rolled over and his claws sliced the empty air. Then with a speed and grace few would have thought possible from a RiverClan cat out of water, Mistyfoot rolled onto her paws and leapt for Scourge. Firefang could've sworn he saw her pelt glimmer, as if there were stars in her fur as she leapt with all the grace and power of a leopard. Her claws sank into Scourge's throat as she raked and slashed at him.

Scourge gurgled and gasped as his lifeblood drained from his throat. He collapsed onto his side and struggled for breath as his mouth and lungs filled with his own blood. Soon his movements became more spasmodic and fainter. With no nine lives granted by StarClan, when Scourge died, he died for good.

A fighting BloodClan warrior paused, his jaw agape when he saw Scourge's body lying in a pool of his own lifeblood, the small black cat looking smaller than ever. "Scourge! No! No!" Other BloodClan cats took up the wail as they started to waver.

Tigerstar ran forward, forgetting about Firefang for the moment. "Fools! You cowardly mice! Scourge was a weakling! Follow me and the forest will be yours! Follow a cat with nine lives—and who doesn't need to wear the claws of another in order to fight." He growled, pawing the ground with his long claws.

Clawface, the last living Clan cat who supported Tigerstar, hurriedly moved to support the murderous cat, hoping to step into Darkstripe's now empty paws as Tigerstar's deputy. "Tigerstar! Tigerstar!"

Slowly, the cats of BloodClan took up the call as they rallied around their new leader. "Tigerstar! Tigerstar! Tigerstar!"

Tigerstar's eye glinted as he was once again the sole leader of a Clan, ready to kill at his command. He turned and growled at Firefang, who had climbed to his paws. "Destroy these soft fools." He meowed softly, dangerously. "But the kittypet is mine!"

Firefang hissed and sprung at Tigerstar just as the large tabby sprung at him. They met and collided in midair, soon turning into a twisting turning ball of fur and claws.

Firefang broke away first. Looking around he saw the four forest Clans and BloodClan still locked in mortal combat. He hissed at Tigerstar. "If you want me you murdering rogue piece of fox-dung, come and get me!" With an angry yowl Tigerstar charged. Firefang leapt into the bushes, darting away from Fourtrees. He needed BloodClan leaderless and without direction for what came next.

Meanwhile, Tigerstar's hot breath was on his tail.

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