"Silverstorm," Skypaw whined, jolting Silverstorm out of her memories, "Can we learn some real fighting now? Not those stupid SunClan routines."
"Hush," Silverstorm mewed fiercely, "you don't want any cat to hear you."
It had been two seasons since Silverstorm had joined SunClan as an apprentice. When she had gotten her warrior name, Rippedtail had resigned from SunClan. It had been a sad occasion. For the other cats, it meant resigning to seeing Rippedtail only at Gatherings of during battles, but for Silverstorm, it was like the loss of her best friend. Rippedtail had been the only one she could talk to about SunClan.
What Silverstorm didn't tell anyone about were her growing feelings for Wildpaw, now Wildwind. The two were best friends, now Silverstorm as starting to feel something for Wildwind that her sister, Whiterose had often used to describe her feelings for Sandfur, a ginger warrior she liked.
Silverstorm's life was too complicated as it was to worry about her feelings for Wildwind, let alone an apprentice. She had been given Skypaw two moons ago by Copperstar. Silverstorm was already exasperated by the apprentice. The little brown she-cat whined, groaned, and complained about SunClan and what they were doing there, so many times nearly giving them away.
"So," Skypaw flicked her tail impatiently, "I want to learn something new."
Silverstorm flicked her tail in amusement, finally coming up with an idea. "Spottedfur," She mewed, "Bring Heartpaw over. I want her to spar with Skypaw."
Heartpaw and Spottedfur trotted over. "Are you sure?" Spottedfur asked. "Heartpaw is much more advanced. Do you think Skypaw can take her?"
"I think Skypaw needs to learn some respect for battle forms," Silverstorm mewed. She turned to Skypaw. "You ready?" She asked.
Skypaw flicked her ears in annoyance. "You bet," She said. She hopped over to where Heartpaw was waiting. Silverstorm came to stand by Spottedfur. "Begin," She meowed.
Skypaw immediately launched herself at Heartpaw. Heartpaw danced lightly out of the way. Skypaw came at her again and Heartpaw cleared Skypaw's head with a high jump. "You really need to focus on your drills, like this." Heartpaw came at Skypaw with a series of moves that Skypaw couldn't see coming, and she fell neatly into Heartpaw's trap. Heartpaw had her pinned within five attacks.
"Let me up," Skypaw yowled from the ground. "That wasn't fair! Let me try again." Heartpaw lifted her paw and allowed Skypaw to get up. Silverstorm trotted over to where Skypaw stood, shaking sand out of her fur.
"Use the Twilight," Silverstorm mewed quietly, using a code word for one of the attack routines that Skypaw had learned.
Skypaw nodded, but sent a questioning look at Silverstorm. "Why?" She asked.
"Heartpaw doesn't know the other part like Eaglepaw and Lionpaw do," Silverstorm mewed, "You just go through the routine. Trust me."
Skypaw nodded. She trotted back out to where Heartpaw was grooming her fur. "Ready... begin!" Silverstorm called.
Skypaw launched at Heartpaw, but instead of blindly attacking Heartpaw, slipped into a routine that she had practiced countless times with Eaglepaw, and apprentice from ShadowClan. Skypaw's paws began landing on Heartpaw. The tabby she-cat had never seen this type of completely planned battle. Skypaw moved effortlessly from on attack to the other, nailing the tabby she-cat, and when she reached the end on the routine, she came up behind Heartpaw's guard, and pinned her.
Spottedfur purred in amusement. "Nice comeback Skypaw. You must have been holding back on Heartpaw. We shall have to practice together more often. Now, if you wouldn't mind getting off of my apprentice."
Skypaw seemed elated when she pranced over to Silverstorm. "That was amazing," she meowed, "I never knew you could use our battle dances to fight in real battles."
Silverstorm twitched her tail. "So now do you want something new to learn besides those, quote 'stupid SunClan routines'?"
Skypaw shook her head avidly. "Are you kidding?" She gasped, "I want to learn some more routines. You were thinking of teaching me The Eclipse?" She sounded hopeful.
Silverstorm started to trot away from the training hollow. "No," She said, "I want Eaglepaw to learn the routine too. You'll have to wait."
Skypaw scampered after Silverstorm. "Please," she begged, "I'll be good. I won't whine at all. Please teach me the new routine!"
"You're already whining," Silverstorm warned. Skypaw shut up like a clam.
"Silverstorm!" The pale gray she-cat heard the deputy call her name. Dogclaw came over at a run. "We've got ShadowClan invaders at the border by the Thunderpath. We need enforcements. Take Skypaw and go help!"
"Spottedfur and Heartpaw are in the training hollow," Silverstorm called to Dogclaw as the dark brown tom took off. Silverstorm broke into a run, Skypaw close behind. "Ready?" She asked Skypaw.
"I was born ready," The light brown she-cat meowed.
"Then stay close," Silverstorm commanded as the battle came into view. Screeching and yowls split the air. Silverstorm leaped right into the fray, knocking a ginger tom off of Firefur. She and Firefur had the tom running back across the border.
Silverstorm looked up long enough to see Skypaw meet up with a ShadowClan apprentice. The two became locked in a battle fast, but the apprentice was young, and Skypaw had him down fast. She turned to another apprentice. Skypaw and Eaglepaw nearly bumped noses as they turned to face each other. She heard Eaglepaw mew, "The Moon," and the two launched into a practiced routine. Silverstorm had to turn her eyes from the battle to tend to the warriors around her.
"Silverstorm," A hard blow to her ear sent Silverstorm tumbling as a black warrior perched on her.
"Get off you piece of Mouse dung," Silverstorm grunted, pushing the warrior off of her. She started to attack but a familiar cool voice mewed in her ear. "Silverstorm, its Nightshadow." Silverstorm looked up. Nightpaw, now Nightshadow was standing over her. "Eclipse," The ShadowClan warrior grunted, loosening her grip just long enough for Silverstorm to climb to her feet.
Silverstorm nodded conformation and began performing the longest and most complicated of the SunClan routines. Both SunClan warriors twisted in patterns almost unidentifiable to the watching eye. Over her shoulder, she could see Skypaw and Eaglepaw watching their mentors in awe. She briefly heard Skypaw murmur, "I've got to learn that."
She was so distracted by the routine she almost missed Nightshadow's soft mew of, "Your surrender or mine?"
Silverstorm jolted back to the present. "You," She mewed just as softly, "It seems as though your clan is losing." A confirmation from Nightshadow that she had heard and Silverstorm stitched to a different routine, The Takedown. Nightshadow played her part perfectly, and after Silverstorm had her pinned, she darted across the border to ShadowClan Territory.
The battle was breaking up. ShadowClan was fleeing across the border. Skypaw cheered. Silverstorm saw Eaglepaw meow something to Skypaw before he took off across the border too.
Silverstorm surveyed herself and her apprentice. She had a few minor cuts across her flank and up her chest. Skypaw was in the same state. As ThunderClan wearily padded back to the camp, Skypaw chattered on. "Did you see me take on that apprentice?" She asked, I had him totally beat. He ran from me he was so scared!" Not before whispering something to you, Silverstorm thought dryly. But something had grown between Silverstorm and Skypaw. A bond of trust. Silverstorm could see it in Skypaw's eyes. Maybe, things would be different now.