Briarlight sighed and readjusted her position on her mossy nest. She had noticed how Millie was shunning Blossomfall and Bumblestripe because of her and her injury. Briarlight didn't need Millie, however. She had Jayfeather. She was about to give Millie a piece of her mind.

There was a noise outside the den entrance, and Briarlight stiffened, peering through the trailing brambles to see who it was. Her heart began beating quickly when she caught a glimpse of gray fur, mingling with the musty smell of a freshly caught mouse. Millie had come with fresh-kill for Briarlight.

"Hi, Briarlight! How are you? Are you feeling all right? Did Jayfeather give you your herbs?" Millie dropped the mouse and began sniffing at Briarlight's fur, patting with a paw below the break in Briarlight's spine. When Briarlight didn't reply, she asked, "Briarlight? Are you all right?"

Briarlight raised her head off of her paws and glared at Millie. "Yes, I'm perfectly fine. Don't you think Jayfeather would alert you if I was about to die?"

Millie blinked, startled. She seemed speechless with shock.

"Yes, I'm fine," Briarlight repeated, her voice strengthening with every word, "However, why don't you go bring fresh-kill to your other kits?"

Millie's expression changed, hardening and growing slightly angry. "I have no other kits! You are the most important young cat to me!"

Briarlight pushed herself into a sitting position and glared at Millie, her eyes flashing dangerously. "Who are Blossomfall and Bumblestripe, then? They're my littermates, right? Well, then they must be your kits! Blossomfall was goaded into joining the Dark Forest because she felt abandoned by you! It was your fault! I don't want to be the special one anymore! I don't need you!"

Millie seemed to deflate. She was staring at Briarlight as if she couldn't believe her eyes.

Briarlight turned her back on her mother and dragged herself out into the clearing, spotted her brother and sister, and joined them by the edge of the clearing. She didn't look around as Millie emerged from the medicine den.

As she shared tongues with Bumblestripe, she heard tentative pawsteps behind her.

"Blossomfall, do you want a mouse?" Millie asked, standing behind Briarlight.

"Um... sure," Blossomfall meowed, looking surprised and happy.

Briarlight turned and smiled at her mother. "Thank you," she whispered.