Fire and Shadow

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


22. Chapter Twenty-Two

That night Firefang had a sounder sleep than any he had known since WindClan was driven out. Firefang found himself at Fourtrees again, surrounded by StarClan. He bowed to the warrior ancestors of the Clans.

"I have done what you asked." Firefang looked up in time to see the large dark brown tabby tom with ragged fur and a ripped ear that he had seen earlier approach him. Now he had a name to attach to the face. "Raggedstar." He meowed.

"Thank you Firefang." Rumbled the late ShadowClan leader. "For saving ShadowClan from the menace I sired and put on its dark path…and for uncovering the truth about my murder."

"Why...why couldn't you just tell me?" Firefang asked. "Why couldn't you just tell Yellowfang or any of us in a dream?" He looked around. "Why did StarClan give Brokentail its blessing and nine lives if you knew what he had done?"

"I often wondered the same." Raggedstar nodded. "But there is a course of events that is going to take place…and that StarClan cannot stop. We can only help those along the way."

"But it's over!" Firefang's shoulder fur stood up as he got to his feet. "Brokenstar is gone! You told me to oppose the evil and I did! It's done!" Raggedstar didn't answer, he simply stepped back. From out of the assembled spirit cats stepped a real beauty: a young fit, blue furred she-cat. "Mistyfoot? Firefang gaped. "You can't be dead!" It took a heartbeat for him to realize that she was older than Mistyfoot was.

With a sad look in her eyes, the she-cat stepped forward, her tail curling across Firefang's back. "I'm afraid, my brave warrior; that this is only beginning…"

Firefang jerked awake. He couldn't get another wink of sleep that whole night.


The following night was a full moon. That meant a Gathering. Firefang strode out proudly next to Nightpelt, who was going to the Moonstone right after the Gathering to get his nine lives as Clan leader. His first Gathering as deputy of ShadowClan…he had to fight down the feeling of nervousness as he realized that he would be the center of a lot of attention tonight…not to mention that Nightpelt would have to explain what happened to Brokentail and why without making ShadowClan look weak.

The wind carried the scents of ThunderClan and RiverClan to the ShadowClan delegation. With a nod, Nightpelt led the ShadowClan cats into Fourtrees. Onewhisker accompanied them. Firefang looked around, his whiskers twitching in amusement as he saw cats from the other Clans furtively look over at the ShadowClan cats: looking for Brokentail. Well, they weren't going to see him tonight, Firefang thought curling his lip. And they were not likely to do so again! With a delighted purr, Firefang waved his tail at Mistyfoot. Mistyfoot gave a nod and smile back.

Firefang looked over for Ravenwing…but was surprised when he saw the black cat sitting at the back of the Gathering, not talking to anyone and looking down at his own paws. What was wrong?

"Let the Gathering begin!" A voice yowled from atop the Great Rock. Conscious as his role of Deputy, Firefang hurried over to stand beneath the leaders with the other deputies: Leopardfur of RiverClan and…was that Darkstripe there for ThunderClan?

With a sinking feeling, Firefang looked up. Standing between Crookedstar and Nightpelt was not the kind face of Bluestar—the face, he belatedly realized he had seen walking with StarClan last night—but Tigerclaw...No…Firefang realized with growing horror: TigerSTAR.

A shiver ran down his spine as Firefang remembered Bluestar's words to him. "I'm afraid, my brave warrior; that this is only beginning…"

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