A/N;; This is yet another challenge for WingClan. The requirements: Must be a What if? fic, and it must be over 700 words. Total words, 1520.
Silverstream was pressed against the earth walls of her prison, her tail curled protectively around her two kits. The two were apprentices, but in that moment she acted as if they were young kits once again, and both Stormpaw and Featherpaw seemed to welcome the comfort she offered them. Stonefur and his sister Mistyfoot, who was also her best friend inside the Clan, were conversing quietly in another corner. The pale tabby pricked her ears to try to catch onto what they were saying, but the loud yowls from above blocked out what little she would otherwise have been able to hear.
For the first time since they'd met, Silverstream was relieved that Greystripe was a ThunderClan cat. She might be able to survive the heartbreak of whatever was to come knowing that the love of her life was still alive, safe and with his Clan.
She and he had met when she saved his life, then at a gathering, and after that, almost every night for several moons. Any kind of romantic relationship between them was forbidden, but love is too strong of a force to be stopped simply by rules or willpower. They told each other every night that it couldn't go on, but after a moon they gave up. A few moons later, Silverstream found out that she was pregnant with Greystripe's kits. The birth had almost killed her. Now that all of the other cats in all four Clans knew of their relationship, she hadn't seen him since the birth of her kits, seasons earlier, other than when they ran into each other during patrols, accompanied by other warriors. The hole in her heart ached with sorrow, but she still loved him. Nothing she did could change that.
Still, sometimes she couldn't help but wish that she'd fallen for someone from her own Clan - Stonefur or Blackclaw maybe. But no. It had to be Greystripe, who was always going to unintentionally break her heart.
Silverstream was jerked from her thoughts as a dark cat descended into the murky den. "Tigerstar wants to see you." The tom spat, nodding to her, Stonefur, and her two kits. She rose, fur brushed out, glancing over at her deputy and then down at her kits. What could that piece of fox-dung want with her and her kits? She clenched her jaw in defiance, but with a gentle push she led her kits out, walking behind Stonefur.
When they walked through the reeds and out into the clearing, jeering faces and insults were thrown into their faces, but it only made her raise her head higher. Show no weakness. She told herself as she met the gaze of every RiverClan warrior who had betrayed her. Every cat who she thought was her friend, who she thought she could depend on, every Clanmate who'd treated her like family. Her gaze burned with pain, rage and determination, and she directed it towards those who'd been close to her.
After a few moments of this silent display of emotions and the sneers of her Clanmates, Tigerstar finally spoke, flicking his tail for silence. "We are surrounded by enemies, cats that want to harm us, claim our territories. We face hardships too, the cold of leaf-bare, two-legs. We must be able to trust our own Clanmates, that's the only way we'll be able to last through every obstacle. We have no room in TigerClan for anyone who might hesitate in battle, or worse, turn on us. TigerClan do not tolerate traitors!" He announced. "We will especially not tolerate half-Clan cats. No one loyal would ever break the code and take a mate from another Clan. No one loyal would dilute our pure heritage. Both Silverstream," he paused to throw the most hate-filled glare Silverstream had ever seen in the direction of her and her kits, who shuffled closer to her. "And Bluestar of ThunderClan have done the unspeakable and done just that. Kits with such parentage can never be trusted!"
The TigerClan cats raised their voices in a chant of insults, the wave seemed powerful enough to throw Silverstream back, but she stood her ground, Stonefur at her side and her kits flattened to the ground at their paws. She was sure the sun had moved across the sky by the time it died down.
"The Clans have tolerated half-Clan cats for far too long, but that time has passed. Now, we must rid ourselves of these abominations. Together, we will purify this Clan, then the forest!" He stood triumphant, his gaze burning in a way that suggested he actually believed what he was saying.
"Hang on!" Stonefur demanded, his tail flicking in irritation and anxiety. "No one has questioned our loyalty before. We didn't even know Bluestar was our mother until a few moons ago. I and my sister have been loyal to RiverClan for our entire lives." He continued, then looked around the crowd as if challenging them to disagree.
Tigerstar dipped his head, to Silverstream's surprise. "And that, Stonefur, is why I'm offering you a chance to prove your loyalty. You have been a loyal deputy to Leopardstar so far, prove that you can continue to be one." He gestured to Silverstream and her kits. "Kill them." He said it with such calm composure that Silverstream worried if he even cared. Did he have no sense of right and wrong? Was he really ordering a warrior to kill in cold blood?
She turned to Stonefur, searching his gaze for any sign that she'd have to fight him. His jaw clenched, then he turned to Leopardstar, his expression questioning.
Leopardstar wavered, her eyes reflecting her uncertainty. Then, with a dip of her head she nodded. "Do as he says."
"I'd rather die." The tom growled, and Tigerstar shrugged.
"As you wish." He flicked his tail and nodded to Darkstripe, who leapt into the center of the clearing so that he stood face to face with Stonefur. Silverstream pressed her kits back, then leapt to stand beside him. Waves of dread flowed fromhe kits, and she was sure it was coming from her ownpelt, too, because Darkstripe sneered at her, before leaping for Stonefur. The tom had lost weight and health over this last moon, but he'd lost none of his skill. He rolled back, avoiding the blow. In a split second decision, Silverstream leapt over him in mid roll, landing where he would have been a few moments later, squarely on top of Darkstripe's shoulders. It was a mistake. He threw her off easily, advancing on Stonefur who matched him blow for blow.
As she turned to rush to his eyes she caught a glimpse of the look in Tigerstar's eyes. If looks could kill, the clearing would be littered with cats. He turned to speak to the cat sitting on his right, but Silverstream didn't have time to register what he said, she didn't realize what was happening until a huge weight was on top of her.
She attempted to roll the weight from her shoulders, but only succeeded in ripping a wound using someone else's claws. She finally managed to free herself from the burden, and twisted around to face Blackfoot. She'd faught him in battle before, he was a skilled and strong fighter. Silverstream knew she wasn't strong enough to beat him, but maybe she could save her kits. With a yowl of defiance, she launched herself at him, claws outstretched. Blow for blow she pushed the stocky tom backwards, but her relentless offense did little, and she was quickly losing her energy, and with it, her greatest advantage - speed.
The blaze of rage and pride in her opponent's eyes grew brighter as he took the offense, pressing her back. With agility that should have been impossible for a cat his size, the ShadowClan deputy rolled underneath her, pushing up with his hind legs and throwing her across the clearing. Silverstream landed in a heap, her limbs on fire, burning with pain, she tried to push herself up, but her paws gave out beneath her. The white pelted warrior who had thrown her only moments before loomed over her broken form. This is the end.
Greystripe, I'm sorry I never got to tell you I love you again, or say goodbye. I know you'll take care of our kits. You're becoming a great deputy, and I know your loyalty is pure again. Maybe we were never meant to happen, just like they all told us. I'll never believe it truly, but I also know that you could find another. Maybe this time, she'll be right for you. Hopefully, your love won't cause a war. And hopefully, she'll be able to grow old with you, raise her kits beside you, and hopefully you'll be happy. That's all I ever wanted. Your happiness. Goodbye, my love. I will wait for you in StarClan.