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   Chapter 17 Simon the Vampire (Climon) (Malec)

City of Ice and Fire By Grace Estellar Characters: 31533

Updated: 2019-09-12 00:08


*****Simon's POV*****

The new vampire had felt weird ever since he clawed his way out of the earth.

Simon felt as though all of his senses had been sent into overdrive. He could feel his companions' blood pulsating inside their bodies as they moved forward, their ears pricked with alertness. They were moving with steady paws towards the TwolegPlace that loomed up ahead of them.

Upon Patchfur and Sparkpaw's insistence, Arrowheart had agreed to take a day off for Simon to get used to his new reality. Sparkpaw had argued that he needed more time- something the former kittypet was grateful for- but Arrowheart had been adamant that they got moving the following day.

"The longer we wait, the more likely WolfClan will slip through our paws." The black furred warrior's words echo in Simon's mind. Arrowheart did have a point, waiting around wouldn't help them find WolfClan. But still, I would've appreciated a little more time.

The air was crisp cold breeze, billowing so that it ruffles the cats' fur. Simon could see Sparkpaw and the others shivering slightly, but he hardly felt the wind at all. Patchfur, the apparent Downworlder expert of the group, had told him that as a vampire he wouldn't be as affected by the temperature.

Simon can't help but wish he could give that ability to Sparkpaw. The she-cat's ginger fur is short and relatively useless at keeping out the fierce chill in the air. He looks at his own thicker tabby coat, getting an idea. Maybe there's something I can do. The tabby sidles up to her, pressing himself against her side.

"What are you doing?" Sparkpaw asks.

"Keeping you warm. You're freezing Fray." He tells her.

She opens her mouth to object, but ends up deciding to keep quiet. Sparkpaw burrows herself farther into Simon's tabby fur to the point where she's plastered to his side. The fledging vampire can't help but be in awe of the open display of affection they're sharing, even if it is just to share warmth. Arrowheart and Patchfur are pressed close together too, talking with quiet voices. In the background the small tags on Simon's collar jingle occasionally, the noise a small break from the quiet on their journey.

When they reach the TwolegPlace Arrowheart brings them to a halt. Simon's surprised to see the Shadowhunter's blue eyes fixated on him. "Simon, if we're going to travel with you then we must do something about that." His tail flicks behind him irritably.

The tabby can't tell if the warrior means a certain part of him or all of him. Since Arrowheart doesn't seem to like him very much, Simon would guess the warrior meant all of him. The vampire would feel irritated, but the intimidating stare Arrowheart sports keeps him rooted to one spot.

"Uh what do you mean?" He asks hesitantly.

"Yes. What do you mean Arrowheart?" Sparkpaw shoots her mentor a glare. It wouldn't be that far of a stretch to assume she had made the same assumption Simon meant as to what the warrior meant.

Arrowheart rolls his eyes at the two younger cats, letting Patchfur respond for him. The bicolored warlock lets out an amused chuckle, his left ear twitching. "Biscuit, Arrowheart is talking about Steve's collar. It's making way too much noise."

He wants to protest the incorrect name, but doubts it would do him any good. So Simon takes the information in, looking dismally down at his collar. The orange band is mostly discolored now as there was no way it could've remained the pristine orange it once was after the fight and being buried. It's now a splotchy brown and russet red, with only one small streak of orange left. The tags connected to the band are no longer silver, instead taking on an unpolished gray.

This collar is something he has worn for as long as he can remember. Taking it off now would be like signaling the end of an era. And I suppose it is. He looks at Sparkpaw, her ginger fur no longer marred by a light blue band around her neck; the blue collar had been removed several moons ago now.

Simon is surprised to find he doesn't miss the jingling bell his crush used to wear, that he prefers Sparkpaw without the collar. He can't recall seeing her look so comfortable in her own skin back when she was a kittypet. I can't recall her looking like she belonged as a house cat. I couldn't back then, but now...she looks like she belongs. Would Simon belong as a forest cat is the real question?

"I- do you want me to take it off? I'm not sure how. I mean maybe if I snag it on a really long branch I might be able to, but what about my house folk? I-I.... " Simon trails off, looking down at his paws.

"Simon just leave the collar to Arrowheart. He got mine off, so I'm sure he can remove yours too." Sparkpaw tells him reassuringly.

"But what about my house folk?" He repeats. "How will they be able to find me if I'm not wearing my collar?"

Arrowheart rolls his eyes, speaking in an incredulous tone. "They wanted to permanently remove your claws from you. I don't think those are the type of Twolegs you want to go back to." At Patchfur's stern look the black tom adds in another sentence, much gentler than the first. "You're a vampire now, the forest is where you belong."

"Alright. But can you please be gentle. This collar doesn't exactly like to come off." Simon said. He can remember the last time one of his house folk took off the band, the snapping black buckle squeezing his skin tightly in the process.

Arrowheart sighs but nods. "Fine. But I need you to squat down so I can get a good look."

Simon complies readily enough, squatting down so his belly fur brushes the ground. The brick walls are a burgundy red blue behind Sparkpaw and Patchfur's forms. The two other cats were watching intently as Arrowheart stepped behind Simon to examine the collar.

The vampire kept his focus on the neighborhood, the black ThunderPath that marks its entrance veers away from the traveling cats away down the green rolling hill they'd just traveled up. All the strange smells that humans carried with them filled the air even here.

Scratch. Scritch. Click.

Simon could feel Arrowheart's hot breath along the back of his neck, goosebumps rising up along his skin. The tall Shadowhunter gripped the collar buckle tightly and began to tug. Two strong forepaws held the vampire in place as Arrowheart did his work. The collar fell off with a small clunk, the once bright orange band lay sprawled out on the dirt floor.

The second Simon was free of the collar he felt as though a weight had been taken off him. He couldn't help but pad over to a nearby puddle to take a look at himself. Through the reflective surface of the muddy puddle Simon could see his tabby fur free of the orange band.

He could also spot the features of his that had changed. Patchfur had been correct when he said that all of Simon would be sharpened; his ears are sharp brown pricks, two gleaming white fangs poked out of his lips, his jawline was sharp like a steel blade, and his claws are like miniature daggers stabbing into the earth as he unsheathed them.

He's still lost staring at his reflection when Sparkpaw comes over to join him. The ginger she-cat's head comes up to his shoulder, a testament to just how short she truly is. It reminds him of the height comparison the young HunterClan she-cat has with her mentor; Arrowheart is a mountain of a cat compared to Sparkpaw, the powerful black shadow of him lithe and dangerous.

He finds it amusing how the tall tom interacts with the group, and he figures he could be good friends with Arrowheart if he tried hard enough. The most interesting thing he'd seen out of the black tom by far was his interactions with Patchfur. The bicolored warrior couldn't for the life of him remember Simon's name- something that annoyed him to no end- but the way he acted around the stoic Shadowhunter was dare he say if adorable.

They're just so cute together! Though I doubt Arrowheart would take that as a compliment. No, if anything Arrowheart would be more likely to claw his face off, or just plain out maul him in an enraged outburst.

"Arrowheart and Patchfur say its time to get going. Are you ready?" She asks him tentatively.

Simon shrugs, turning to face her. "I don't know. How do I look?"

Sparkpaw takes him in with a dubious stare, her whiskers twitching. "You look like a wild cat to me." She ends up saying with a purr. Simon returns her grin and follows her back to their other traveling companions.

"Nice to see the two of you have finally rejoined us Biscuit." Patchfur comments. Beside him Arrowheart remains stoically glaring at the single clump of grass poking up out of the muddy floor. He looks up at Patchfur's words, his expression unreadable.

"We're about to head into the TwolegPlace. Remember to stick close together and keep out of sight of Twolegs, monsters and dogs. Hopefully some cats here will have seen WolfClan pass through here because I doubt we'll be able to track them in this muddled up scent area." Arrowheart says.

The other three cats nod before following Arrowheart into the neighborhood with caution. Simon takes one last look at the clearing they're leaving behind before following. With the sun high in the sky, they would have plenty of time to travel before nightfall hit.

*****Arrowheart's POV*****

Arrowheart couldn't help but flinch at the cacophony of noise the TwolegPlace provided. Almost none

r ears to the hollowed out earth.

The FaerieClan cat gives her an approving nod. Junipernose breaks his gaze away from Morningsky to face her, the entranced expression fading from him. "Of course. Thanks again for everything." He murmurs to the pretty ehe-cat before following Nightrose back to HunterClan camp.

If the shadowhunters had turned around they would've seen Morningsky watch them go with a darkening smirk. Her plan was beginning to unfold, having succeeded in the first step of getting a Shadowhunter tom's attention.

******Sparkpaw's POV******

"Sparkpaw.....are you sure this is a good idea?" Arrowheart asks.

Her mentor stands behind her with whom she knows must be his boyfriend at this point (they may not have told her, but Sparkpaw isn't blind). Simon sits above them atop a metal wire fence, having already followed her idea.

The tabby's tail swings idly behind him as he watches the three clan cats converse below, his now amber eyes focused on her as he licks his tongue over the sharp, pinprick fangs peeking out of his mouth. Sparkpaw can't help but return his warm gaze with a smile, happy to have him with her, especially since Patchfur and Arrowheart unwittingly had begun to make her feel like a third wheel before he arrived.

She huffs annoyed. "Yes, I'm sure this alleyway will be completely safe. It would be much more dangerous to try finding a way around that." She flicks her tail towards the ThunderPath stretched about behind them. The hot, black road consisted of four lanes with constant traffic, the smell of burnt rubber and asphalt making her nose itch.

There's no way in StarClan we're getting around that. It had been very surprising to find such an enormous road in the midst of a neighborhood. Sparkpaw is certain she's never seen anything like it before.

"I think she's right Arrowheart. I don't see us finding a way through that anytime soon." Patchfur murmurs.

A sigh is heard, presumably from Arrowheart. "Okay, but we need to keep a look out. There's no telling what might be lurking in the shadows."

Sparkpaw ignores the last comment, too busy hauling herself up the thick metal mesh to join Simon at the top. Arrowheart and Patchfur scramble up after her, Patchfur having much more finesse at wrapping his paws around the metal rungs. Arrowheart joins them last after slipping on a few of the rungs, muttering our words of frustration. Patchfur graciously helps the black furred tom up the last bit of the way, gripping his scruff between his teeth to pull Arrowheart up beside him.

"Thanks." Arrowheart tells Patchfur, the bicolored warrior responding with his own 'you're welcome.'

Sparkpaw finds it oddly funny that the forest born tom struggles so much with the fence. Then again, it's not like he's ever been on one before, the only fences near HunterClan are made of wood and are much easier to climb.

The four cats leap down from the fence once Arrowheart catches his breath. The alley is just as dank, dark, and smelly as Sparkpaw figures it should be. A few silvery gray trash cans are stuck to one wall filled to the brim with trash bags.

A few pieces of broken glass litter the floor, the light overhead casting an amber glint off what had once been a brown bottle. She and her companions step gingerly over the pieces, all of them having the sense to avoid pointless injury. The sounds of rats scuttling around nearby is the only noise in the air besides the fast paced whirring of distant cars.

Arrowheart squints in the gloom of the place, his blue eyes narrowed. "How long does this alleyway go?" He asks.

Sparkpaw shrugs. The ginger apprentice can't see any exits close by, the multiple bags of trash and stringed up low hanging laundry making it impossible to tell how much longer they would have to walk.

"If we keep going straight we should be out soon." Simon tells them.

"That's reassuring." Arrowheart grumbles, spluttering as one of the articles of clothing- a pink pair of pants- drops down from the close pin line.

The pants fall right atop his head, rather instantly blinding the Shadowhunter. At this point Sparkpaw can now recognize that it's not pants that have fallen on him, but instead some sort of underwear that was thankfully clean. He shakes it off with aggravated contempt, his claws unsheathing.

"Hahaha that's hilarious." Sparkpaw giggles at her mentor's misfortune. Simon joins in on her laughter and even Patchfur can't help but crack a smile. They all stop at Arrowheart's murderous look he shoots out (particularly towards Simon).

"It's not funny!" He exclaims.

Patchfur blinks at him sympathetically. "Darling, I hate to break it to you but it kind of was."

Arrowheart's tail tip twitches crossly as he stares at the mostly shredded underwear with disdain. A few strings of fabric still cling to his claws that he shakes off grumbling. If the Shadowhunter wasn't in a good mood before, he certainly was in a bad mood now.

"You're supposed to be on my side." He whines, his expression turning into that of a pout towards Patchfur. Sparkpaw finds the look very adorable, not a word she would use to describe her mentor often.

Patchfur pads over to Arrowheart to press against his side. The warlock murmurs something soft into Arrowheart's ear that she can't quite pick up on. Simon is also unable to tell what Patchfur might've said, his ears straining with effort to pick up the noise. Whatever it had been, it changed the Shadowhunter's demeanor completely. Arrowheart is happy again, a light pink sheen of blush dusting across his cheeks.

GRRRRRR......

An unpleasant growl sounds from somewhere nearby. The noise was not a pleasant one, the anger pitch of it making Sparkpaw's fur fluff up. The cats look around wildly to spot the source of the sound, only to find that it was right behind them, slavering away with vicious delight.

The animal turns out to be a dog, as Sparkpaw and the others turn to face it. The creature's teeth are barred in a snarl, it's black and brown pelt thin but rippling with muscle. Drool dribbles down it's muzzle almost as though it's foaming at the mouth. They stare at in shock for a few moments, unmoving and fearful. Simon breaks the silence, his eyes widened in terror.

"RUN!!!!!"

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