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   Chapter 15 Rain and Loss (Malec)

City of Ice and Fire By Grace Estellar Characters: 37703

Updated: 2019-08-26 00:00

****Goldenclaw's POV****

The sky had begun to rain down the second he got back into HunterClan camp. The tabby wasted no time in getting to Blossomstar, dismissing Violetpaw with a quick flick of his tail. The tortoiseshell knew they would be starting training late tomorrow, the events of today more exhausting then originally planned.

Not that we could've planned for a fight like that. Pushing those thoughts away, he scrambles up the slippery slope that leads to the Leader's Den. Oddly enough, Vultureclaw is sitting in front of the entrance, as though he was waiting for the same cat. The deputy greets him with a stiff nod, the jerking mechanism giving off a general feel of wrongness.

"Goldenclaw. I see you've returned to HunterClan camp. I hope you weren't fraternizing with your father." The tabby's narrowed amber gaze would've been intimidating to some. Goldenclaw was just annoyed, irritation making his fur want to spike up.

"Vultureclaw. I'm here to report to Blossomstar. Where is she?" He asks, trying to peer over his shoulder.

The two tabbies were close in height, so the task wasn't that Herculean. The dark hole that represented the cave entrance didn't reveal Blossomstar though, so he found himself slumping back onto his haunches.

"She's not here, not that she'd want to talk to the likes of you." The deputy said.

Goldenclaw bit back a growl, grinding his teeth in the process. "And why might that be?" He asked.

Vultureclaw blinked. There was a look on his face that told the younger warrior the deputy believed him to be an idiot. "Let me put it in terms your mouse sized brain will understand: you are your father's son. I have no doubt that you'll turn out to be just like him."

This time Goldenclaw can't stop himself from letting a vicious retort. "Says the cat who was a member of the Circle. How do I know you're not working for Frostfang?!" Goldenclaw exclaims, his hackles rising.

"How dare you, a traitor's son say something like that to me. I'm am the deputy of HunterClan so you shall respect me." Vultureclaw snarls.

Goldenclaw lets out a growl of his own back. "And why should I do that if you don't respect me?" He'd thought the fire of battle had left him for the evening after fighting against Circle members all day, but being in front of Vultureclaw's ugly mug again was making him change his mind.

Vultureclaw looks like he's about to snap back a nasty retort but is cut off when Blossomstar leaps up to join them. The light brown tabby she-cat is regarding them coolly with a narrowed amber gaze, eyes flitting back and forth between the two toms thoughtfully. The toms quiet at their leader's approach, though Goldenclaw's hackles remain risen in warning.

"Goldenclaw, come with me into my den. I'm sure you have something riveting to report." She gestures with a nod to the wounds littering Goldenclaw's pelt.

The young tabby warrior can still feel some of the attacks he received like a phantom pain, Ratchet's sharp teeth burying into his shoulder, the Sour twins' scratch marks on his flanks. None of the injuries were serious, but that didn't mean that they didn't hurt. The blood of them had long since dried up to leave burgundy stains against his fur.

"But Blossomstar I need to speak with you. This insolent tom should have to wait his turn." Vultureclaw growls out in protest.

The leader tilts her head thoughtfully, her expression one of assessment. "I will talk to you afterwards. Both of you should know better than to start fights, especially you Vultureclaw whom I trust to be my loyal deputy. I expect you both to act more cordially in the future. Am I understood?" Her voice is hard as flint.

Goldenclaw wishes he could tell the tabby she-cat why he was fighting with Vultureclaw in the first place, and why she shouldn't trust the deputy whatsoever. But we can't accuse Vultureclaw until we get believable proof. We can't just go off Dawnpaw's word.

"Yes Blossomstar." They both mutter, Goldenclaw with an averted gaze. The golden warrior knew if he was looking up his expression would still be one of rage.

Blossomstar, for her part is satisfied with their answers. She beckons Goldenclaw to follow her into the den and he does with measured paw steps. He casts one last glance at the tabby deputy before disappearing into the cave. The tabby tom's expression is mostly unreadable, though Goldenclaw can still sense the hate lying beyond scrutinizing amber.

He shakes out his sodden fur the second he steps inside the dry den, scattering droplets everywhere. Blossomstar sits down in her nest like she always does during meetings; her thin tail curls over her paws to show she's ready to pay attention.

"I think you should start off by telling me how the journey to the Silent Forest went? The Portal is running well correct?" She asks.

"Yes. We ran into Ravenspirit along the way." He tells her.

"Why was Ravenspirit headed to the Silent Forest?" Blossomstar asks.

Goldenclaw's eyebrows furrowed, unable to recall exactly what herb the tom was going to see the Silent Brothers for. "He needed to collect an herb of some sort. I don't remember which one." He confesses.

Blossomstar's ears twitch. "There's no harm in that, herbal knowledge won't benefit us. So what did the brothers say about the demon? And how did you end up injured?"

Goldenclaw recalls Jemsong's words. "They agreed that demon sightings in broad daylight are unusual and not likely to happen during the daylight, unless some outside force is acting upon them."

"Meaning what exactly?"

"Brother Zachariah said that demons like that would likely be appearing because someone is using the Mortal Moss to make it happen. As for my injuries..." He proceeds to tell her about the battle. Blossomstar remains quiet during his speech, her tail tip twitching to and fro.

"So Frostfang has made his move on the Mortal Stick." She comments this with a nonchalance that is strange given the situation, as though she's trying to be detached as possible.

"Blossomstar, what are we going to do about the Circle? They have two of the Mortal Instruments now, if they find the third..." He trailed off, not wanting to continue.

The third instrument, the Mortal Mirror had been lost in time long ago. It was said that if one had all three instruments, they would be granted one wish from the Angel Raziel. Knowing how evil Frostfang is, the thought of what the mad cat might do with such power makes him tremor to his core.

Blossomstar blinked, amber pools remaining expressionless. "Let me handle that. For now, you should see the Medicine cats and turn in for the night." She orders.

"But, are you going to tell the other leaders? They have to know-" his protests are cut short.

"I understand that Goldenclaw. As leader it is my responsibility to inform the other leaders. You must leave that to me. Now go, and tell Vultureclaw he can come in on your way out. I must speak to him." Goldenclaw dips his head at her before turning tail to pad out of the den.

He keeps his mouth shut about about a few of the occurrences that happened at the Silent Forest. Particularly the glowing runes that allowed him to jump down from the falls safely and Frostfang's ever burdening desire for Goldenclaw to join him. Those two memories muddle his brain and make his head hurt. He doesn't know what to think, and that uncertainty bothers him to no end.

How did my runes start glowing like that? And Frostfang...surely he knows I won't join him? Except Goldenclaw wasn't certain that was the case. The battle scarred Circle leader was adamant about his golden tabby son joining forces with him. To make matters worse, some cats in HunterClan thought he would too, the whispers spoken when his back was turned reaffirming that fact almost daily.

Vultureclaw is waiting outside right where they left him. "Blossomstar is ready to see you now." Goldenclaw grunts as he passes the older tabby, resisting the urge to bring a claw to his face. It's not like he doesn't deserve it. Vultureclaw dips his head before disappearing into the den.

Neither tom speaks to the other after that for the rest of the day, but the tension between the two is clear.

*****Nightrose's POV*****

The rain was still pouring when Nightrose met Goldenclaw outside of the Medicine Den. Her brother looked a little worse for wear, an bite mark on his shoulder covered up in a sticky poultice of dock and colts foot. The stringent smell of herbs itches at her nose and makes it burn. Yet she still embraces the tabby with vigor, it may have only been a short while since his departure, but that didn't mean she had not missed him.

"Nightrose." He purrs, his warm breath ghosting down her neck.

"Bro, it's so good to see you, but might I ask happened to you?" She gestured to the wounds littering his pelt. Goldenclaw steps back from her. His golden eyes cast over the wounds; his expression darkens visibly.

"Frostfang and the Circle attacked the Silent Brothers. They took the Mortal Stick." He mews.

Nightrose's brown eyes widen in horror. "They did what?!" She exclaims, not quite believing her ears. Her exclamation catches the attention of Scratchnose and Bearfur, the two senior warriors look at the pair in confusion.

Goldenclaw waves them off with a flick of his tail before turning back to her. Nightrose can see the worry reflected in golden orbs, a stark contrast to the carefree attitude he usually carried with him like a flag streaming in the wind.

No, this expression on Goldenclaw's face was much more common to see on Arrowheart. A pang of longing hits her as the thought of her littermate. He left before Goldenclaw's journey and still has yet to return. Please be okay big brother.

"Come with me. We can talk right outside the Dirt Place tunnel where no one will overhear us." He doesn't wait for her reply before trudging over to the small hedge tunnel built with interwoven branches and vines.

Oval shaped leafs stick up everywhere in the small gap, a few of them brushing Goldenclaw's thick tabby fur and sputtering to the ground. Nightrose steps on a few of them, the leaves making a small crunching sound as she does. The Dirt Place smells as dank as ever once they step out into the clearing. Nightrose's nose wrinkles in distaste at the awful smell.

And this is why I usually go out into the woods when I need to make dirt. The place smelt awful, and it was clear some other cat must've been here recently, though she's unsure whom that might've been. The rain was still pouring down, though thankfully it wasn't the freezing cold kind that made her limbs feel as frigid as frosty icicles.

Only when Goldenclaw was certain that no one would over hear them did he continue. Rain was dripping down his whiskers now, his fluffy tabby fur plastered to his side. He looks like a distraught yellow puddle...or an unhappy duckling.

She's certain her brother would NOT want to be compared to his least favorite animal, so she holds back saying so. The she-cat also holds back a snicker as Goldenclaw tries and fails to rid himself of the water soaking up in his pelt. Both warriors would likely get drenched while standing out here, but at least they could dry off

. He won't be himself at first and is likely to attack you both, your angelic blood will be too much for him to resist." Patchfur tells them.

Arrowheart nods, giving the other tom's ears a reassuring lick. The couple like action is so domestic and so them, it melts her heart a little. It saddens her a little too, because she's reminded of Goldenclaw. Those soft exchanges and gentle reassurances Arrowheart and Patchfur gave one another was exactly the kind of thing she wanted from the golden tabby warrior.

But he's my brother, and I need to stop thinking about him in that way. This was easier said then done, her thoughts almost always drifting to the first love interest she'd ever had. Sparkpaw yearns for her mother's advice on the matter, but the dark ginger she-cat is still not set to wake up for a few more moons so she won't be getting any guidance from Russetleaf for awhile still.

"I won't approach him Patchfur, I promise." She murmurs out in response.

Patchfur gives her a small nod of approval before whispering something into Arrowheart's ear. Sparkpaw can't hear what it was, but if she had to guess it was definitely some form of romantic words if Arrowheart's blush is anything to go by.

It's amusing to see the two warriors sitting so close to one another. Sparkpaw had been under the impression that Arrowheart didn't much like being touchy feely, but apparently Patchfur was an exception to that unspoken rule.

Arrowheart's like a completely different cat around him. It's kinda adorable. I wonder if their dating yet? They have to be surely. Sparkpaw loses herself to her musings for the rest of dinner while the sun disappears behind the horizon.

*****Patchfur's POV*****

Lowering Speedster into the ground was no easy task, but at least burying the tabby wasn't that difficult. At least it doesn't look it. Patchfur and Sparkpaw watch as Arrowheart showers loose dirt over the corpse. The warlock can't help but eye the muscles of his Shadowhunter boyfriend as they flex and bulge while he works.

I could watch him work all day. If Sparkpaw wasn't sitting beside him, Patchfur might've even started salivating. Arrowheart may be young, but he is already well defined with rippling muscles and power in his frame suggesting a lot more hidden strength within. The thought of exploring that expanse of his boyfriend is enticing and exciting all in one.

Arrowheart's paws are covered in dirt when he finishes. The black tom huffs out a sigh as blue eyes blink at Patchfur. "I get why Sparkpaw didn't want to help, but why exactly couldn't you lend a paw?" He asks a bit breathless.

Patchfur shrugs shamelessly. "I got a front row seat to watching you work. Did you think I was going to give that up?" The younger tom flushes at that, averting his ocean blue gaze.

If Sparkpaw was listening in on their conversation, she doesn't acknowledge it. The ginger she-cat has her attention on the grave. Arrowheart had buried Simon well as not a speck of him could be seen underneath all the loose dirt.

"So how long do we have to wait?" Sparkpaw asks.

Patchfur looked up at the sky, the moon is high in the sky now. A mere three days from half-moon. I wonder how Berrypool is doing? Does she have an apprentice yet? He's tried not to think of MagicClan for as long as he could, though worrying about his long time friend is practically unavoidable.

She and Prickleclaw are the best friends I've ever had. They knew almost everything about me, including my warlock mark. He looks down at his pelt self-consciously. No one outside of those two cats and....well, his father knew about his warlock mark.

And Wishstar, he adds bitterly. His former leader had accepted him into MagicClan regardless of his strange mark, but he'd told Patchfur he had to hide it if he wanted to stay in the clan by the river. So of course Patchfur followed the tom's words, though being glamoured constantly made his heart ache.

Several cats thought is was his eyes for some strange reason (admittedly most cats don't have bicolored eyes, but that's besides the point). No, Patchfur's mark had nothing to do with his eyes. Instead the mark had everything to do with his pelt and what lay inside of him.

There was a reason why Patchfur is such a fitting name for him, his pelt being more colors than just the two he showed to other cats. Tortoiseshells are only meant to be she-cats, but he was a rare exception to that unspoken rule.

It was his father's fault that he was born so unnatural looking, and it was because of him that most other cats would see him as a freak if they knew. His fur has been a source of shame for him for his entire life and he's unsure if that'll ever change.

But what would Arrowheart think? Would he see me as a freak too? He didn't know what he would do if Arrowheart stopped caring about him because of this. The Shadowhunter is young, not as prejudiced against Downworlders as generations of his kind have been in the past. The information makes him hopeful that his boyfriend will accept him.

But I won't know for sure unless I tell him. So-

His thoughts are cut off by Sparkpaw's strained voice. "Something is happening." She mews. Arrowheart is already watching the grave with his apprentice, his expression unreadable in the darkness. Patchfur looks over to the grave a few tail lengths away, the prey they'd put around it (to hopefully draw Simon out) was shaking slightly.

Then it happened.

A paw broke out from the surface of the earth, claws unsheathed and covered in all sorts of dirt and debris. The rest of the tabby followed as the hole in the earth got bigger. The new fledgling vampire comes out of earth disgruntled and confused, with sharp glittering fangs on either side of his mouth. The canines weren't even fully elongated yet but they still send a tremor of excitement down Patchfur. Despite being born with slowage, he'd never seen a vampire be made before, so this is an entirely new experience for him.

"Simon!" Sparkpaw cries out in relief before attempting to go over to him. Arrowheart is the one to hold her back, his teeth embedding into her scruff to yank her backwards. She lets out a small yelp of surprise at the action before glaring at Arrowheart.

Her mentor returns the glare as he lets go of her. "Patchfur told us to wait." Arrowheart speaks in an even tone. "Simon is going to be confused at first remember?"

Sparkpaw lets out a huff, but doesn't argue. Patchfur turns out to be right about the confusion, as Sardine paces around the grave sniffing the air and muttering unintelligible words. If he knows that the three other cats are there, he doesn't acknowledge it.

From so close up Patchfur can see that the glowing red light around Solo has faded, leaving behind two small pink punctures on his throat. He notes with relief that this is the only wound on the tabby's What feels like hours later (though was definitely only a minute) Sift notices the prey left out for him and digs in. Patchfur, Arrowheart and Sparkpaw watch in a morbid sort of fascination as Sargeant rips apart the prey and downs every last bit of it (including the bones).

It is only only one the tabby is finished eating that he seems to come back to himself. Steroids looks up at them with widened amber eyes (because yes, eye color is subject to alter during transformations apparently by author's decree). Blood and grizzle are hanging from his muzzle in morbid strips.

"Guys? What's going on?" He asks.

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