Moon of the Daisies - September 7, 2062 - Moonhigh

ShadowClan

I'm-

Rabbitkit wasn't sure how it happened.

I'm so-

It was all a blur of grief and confusion and fury and rage and fear, oh StarClan, the fear-

I'm so sor-

Moon of the Daisies - September 6, 2062 - Sunhigh

ShadowClan

The three kits were huddled in a secluded corner of the nursery. Emberpoppy was outside, talking with Rubblefire, while Quailcreek was at the medicine cat den with a thorn in her paw. Softkit and Brightkit were playing with Swanbreeze, who had recently gotten her medicine cat name. The sunlight barely leaked through the brambles of the entrance.

"We should sneak out of camp at moonhigh tonight!" Rabbitkit announced in a hushed voice.

Sparrowkit's eyes widened. "Really? Why?"

"Well, we're five moons now, and we'll be apprentices in one moon! What difference does one moon make if we go out to see the territory now? I mean, one moon isn't that long and we're almost as big as the apprentices now." Jaykit and Sparrowkit were nodding. His arguments made sense.

"But won't we get caught? How are we going to get past the guards?" Jaykit asked, always the one to ask reasonable questions.

"We'll go through the dirtplace tunnel." The kits wrinkled their noses at the thought of having to go through the smelly, dirty place, but their excitement to go see the territory overruled their disgust.

"Okay!" Sparrowkit chirped. "We'll stay up until Emberpoppy and the others fall asleep, then we'll go out!"

Moon of the Daisies - September 6, 2062 - Between Moonrise and Moonhigh

ShadowClan

It seemed like forever before Emberpoppy's breathing slowed. Rabbitkit carefully extracted himself from his mother, freezing when he heard her breathing catch.

He waited for three long heartbeats before she relaxed. He pried himself away, and padded to the entrance to wait for his siblings.

Once Sparrowkit and Jaykit had caught up to him, he left the nursery with care and, making sure that no one was watching, bounded over to the dirtplace and slipped into the tunnel. Rabbitkit poked his head out and waited for them.

"It smells horrible," Jaykit complained softly as they padded through the tunnel. He wrinkled his nose as he stepped on something mushy and unidentified.

Rabbitkit silently agreed. Finally, they left the tunnel and he could breathe fresh air again. He took a deep breath, allowing the cool, crisp air to fill his lungs.

"I'll be smelling the dirtplace for a moon after this," Sparrowkit muttered, grimacing as she rubbed her paws against the grass to get some of the dirt off her paws.

"Come on! Let's go explore!" Rabbitkit bounded off into the pine forest, not looking back at his siblings to see if they followed or not.

The evening sky was a swirling pot of ink, dark as a crow's feather and freckled with shining, distant white spots. The half-moon hung in the sky lazily, watching the world below with a sleepy eye. Tall pine trees were streaks of black splattered against the sky, outlined with soft white light. There was a slight breeze that ruffled Rabbitkit's fur as he ran through the forest, his paws landing on soft earth littered with sharp pine needles. He could hear cicadas chirping obnoxiously, their screeching voices vibrating in his ears.

He stopped, unable to run any farther. Panting, he noticed that he was in a clearing illuminated by the moonlight. The grass was soft as moss and he could see flowers spilled here and there, red and white and yellow and blue brushes of color against the green background.

Sparrowkit caught up to him first, completely winded. Jaykit followed at a slower pace. "Wow, this place is so pretty!" The cinnamon and white kit gasped, her blue eyes glittering with the light reflected from the moon.

"When we're apprentices, we can come here and have meetings! We can make a new Clan- RabbitClan!" the tom-kit added.

Sparrowkit scoffed. "No way! It should be called SparrowClan!"

"How about NightClan?" Jaykit suggested, his tail swishing over the delicate blades of grass. "You know, since we found this place at night and it sounds properly intimidating."

Rabbitkit and Sparrowkit nodded. "I like that name!" Rabbitkit announced, eyes gleaming. "Can I be leader? Please?"

Sparrowkit sighed. "Fine, as long as I'm deputy."

"I want to be the medicine cat!" Jaykit squeaked. "I won't have a chance in ShadowClan since there's already two." He sighed.

There was a rustle in the ferns behind them.

They tensed, not daring to move. Was it a warrior, sent to retrieve them? Rabbitkit parted his jaws to taste the air- it was putrid, sour and terrible. His eyes widened and he could smell his own fear scent. He whipped around to look at it and-

The fox jumped out from the bushes just as he turned around, grabbing Jaykit and pinning his small blue body down with a giant russet paw.

"Run!" Sparrowkit screeched. Rabbitkit didn't need to be told twice. They bolted away from the clearing, white rimmed around Rabbitkit's blue eyes as he desperately willed his legs to go faster.

I'm sorry, Jaykit-

He took the lead, subconsciously taking the shortest route back to ShadowClan, back to home, back to safety- back to Emberpoppy, back to the nursery, back to peaceful nights under the stars-

There was a piteous yowl that only a dying cat could make. His heart filling with dread, he looked back just in time to see the fox tearing at his sister's soft white belly, an awful, terrible ripping noise as the she-kit's screams weakened, the horrible squelching sound and the monster's russet muzzle covered with- with dark red- blood-

I'm so sorry, sister-

He blanched and ran faster than ever, adrenaline pumping through his small body. His legs were burning, his breaths came in short gasps. As he desperately ran through the forest, his eyes stung and he felt sick to his stomach. Black spots danced in his vision- he couldn't go on for much longer- oh! The camp was just ahead- of him- just a little longer-

Rabbitkit couldn't go on anymore. He tried, he really tried, but his lungs felt like they were simmering in a pool of boiling water and he couldn't feel his legs and his heart was punching at his chest, threatening to escape- boom, boom, boom- the black spots were swarming over him, a curtain of little purple-black flecks pulled over his eyes. He collapsed four fox-lengths from the camp- how ironic, he thought, as he twisted his head and stared numbly into the dark, dark sky that had so entranced him just the tiniest amount of time before- and he could barely make out the gleaming spots of light before a towering figure loomed over him, and through the haze of exhaustion and fear, he managed to gather his strength to look up once more at the sky and say-

I'm sorry.

He squeezed his eyes shut, waiting for the inevitable pain that he would feel. Would his stomach be ripped out like Sparrowkit? Or would his throat be torn out? He began counting the moments to his death, hoping vainly that it would provide a distraction from the torture-

One-

A sharp, sharp claw dragged down the length of his back and he screamed and he screamed and he screamed- oh StarClan, it was playing with its prey-

Two-

He could feel the hot, sickening trickle of blood down his spine and it was a struggle not to thrash about because he knew that it would make it hurt even more. The fox pinned his back down with a colossal paw, applying pressure to his wound, its claws digging sharply into his skin. He whimpered. Please, kill me already, please-

Three-

Someone was yowling. It took a while for Rabbitkit to realize that it wasn't him. The pressure was suddenly lifted and he could hear sounds of a scuffle. Not daring to open his eyes, he continued to count.

Four-?

Five-

Six…

Seven.

Lifting one eyelid cautiously, Rabbitkit first saw the sharp pine needles before him. He tried to stand but fell over immediately, a cloud of dots descending over his eyes. Feeling dizzy and nauseous, he stayed still, trying to block out the pain and the reality of what had happened.

"Rabbitkit." It sounded far-away and soft but loud at the same time. Turning his head, he looked up to see two glinting eyes and a red pelt. He took in a deep breath.

"Eaglestar."

"Sleep. You need your rest." And since this was the leader of ShadowClan, the most respected cat that every kit looked up to, Rabbitkit relented and allowed the wispy tendrils of dream-land to swirl over his consciousness as Eaglestar gently picked him up and carried him back to camp.


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Thank you to Kikyo Phantomhive for beta'ing!

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