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A Warrior at Heart

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I blinked my eyes open, wincing as the sunlight filtered in the den. It looked beautiful outside, being Greenleaf, and the birds were chirping. I wanted to go out there. 

I stood up unsteadily, my skinny black legs shaking from the pressure. I was born weaker and smaller from the other kits, and I hated it so much. 

I just wanted to become a warrior. It was many moons away, but at least then cats would treat me with respect. I would be such a good warrior, that my brother would realize that he shouldn’t have disowned me as his brother. 

Yes, before you ask, he actually disowned me, thinking that I was worthless. 

I watched with scorn and sadness as he pranced around Sandkit, acting like he was Starclan’s gift to the world. Sandkit had never paid much mind towards me anyways, me being Dustkit’s shadow. 

Everyone complimented him when he tried out a battle move, or attempted a hunting crouch, but when I did it, everyone just watched along with pity. 

Many cats had tried to convince me that I should just become a medicine cat, and I was tempted, because everyone listened to the medicine cats. 

But I knew, my heart would never be in it, and I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life doing something that I wouldn’t want to do, despite the advantages that came along with it. 

But it’s ok, because just 10 more moons or so, and then I’ll be a warrior. I can bear through that much more, and the sad and scorning glances that came along with it. At least I had a friend, Graykit. He’s a little younger than me, but very hyper, and actually looks up to me. It’s easy to talk to him, and explain how everything works to him. 

That’s right, I don’t need Dustkit and Sandkit. I told myself that often. I have one good friend, and that’s all I need. Oh how I just want to be a warrior. 

I just want to show everyone that I was capable, and that I’m not as shy, fragile, and useless as everyone makes me to be. 

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All my confidence towards being a warrior as a kit melted away when I got assigned Tigerclaw as my mentor. 

He was enormous, muscles bulging out within his dark tabby pelt, and amber eyes gleaming with scorn and something else I couldn’t read. 

Probably thinking that I’m a pushover, in which case he isn’t exactly wrong. Bluestar thought that having a tough mentor would toughen me up, but it had quite the opposite effect. 

I was terrified, and couldn’t get anything right under the pressure that I would mess up and then he would yell at me. 

Then the battle at Sunningrocks happened, and when I witnessed Tigerclaw slash Redtail’s -our current deputy- throat, I knew that I was in serious trouble. 

I tried running back, but I wasn’t fast enough as usual. Tigerclaw easily picked me up in his jaws, and I struggled frantically, my heart beating at 3 times it’s normal rate. 

My life may be a mess, but that doesn’t mean I want to die, at least let me get my warrior name! 

“You’re gonna go say that Oakheart and Redtail killed each other, or the next cat getting killed will be you.” Tigerclaw whispered in my ear, and in my current state, all I could is whimper and nod. 

Then the bright orange kittypet joined our clan, name being Firepaw, which suited him rather well, given his pelt. 

I made friends with him, and he proved out to be a good one. I had confided in him, due to the heat of the pressure bearing down on me as he asked question after question, but he had my back. During the battle with Shadowclan, he formulated a plan to let me get away from the clans, and letting everyone else believe I was dead. 

Though I doubt anyone would care anyway. 

I knew I was going to like it at the barn, when I saw Barley’s welcoming demeanor and sparkling blue eyes. I wasn’t wrong. 

Fitting in rather quickly, I began to enjoy my life at the barn. It felt good to not live in fear that you won’t see another day. I had one regret only, and that was not getting my warrior name. 

It was the one thing that I wanted the most, and had that taken from me, but I knew I shouldn't take what I have for granted. 

Having a proper supply of food all-year round, a partner that appreciates and takes care of you, and a comfortable place to sleep in feels amazing, and my warrior name is a small sacrifice compared to all that.  

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The next time that I saw a warrior was many moons later, being Firepaw and Sandpaw. Or rather, should I say Fire heart and Sand storm , and an apprentice along with them that I didn’t recognize. When I asked Sandstorm if that was her apprentice, I didn’t miss the flash of bitterness in her pale green eyes as she answered with a ‘No’

The slight tension in the air made me think something was wrong, but I didn’t push it. 

Sandstorm had warmed up to me surprisingly, and seemed to have done the same for Fireheart, despite their rivalry as apprentices. 

When Fireheart said that they needed my help, a sense of accomplishment had bubbled up in me. 

This time I’m the one helping someone, not the other way around.. 

It felt good to be of use, and Fireheart had done so much for me, to the point where I owed him my life. I was obligated to help him, and even if I wasn’t, it’s my duty as his friend to do so. 

He was looking for his nephew, a white fluffy cat named Cloudpaw, and my memory sparked with realization. I had seen a similar cat yowling for help at the barn, and I eagerly guided them there. 

Everything seemed to be going perfect, but nooo something had to come and ruin it along, because nothing can ever stay that way. Dogs had come and attacked, and I fled for my life, momentarily forgetting about my companions. 

When I cautiously crept back, I realized that the dogs had left, and I could see Fireheart and Sandstorm in the tree, practically trembling at their narrow escape. 

I almost snorted with amusement when I saw Sandstorm frantically licking Fireheart, and the soft concern in her eyes. Didn’t think Sandstorm out of all cats would ever fall for someone, especially Fireheart. Huh...I guess life surprises you often.

When I went up to them, Sandstorm shot me a distrustful look, clearly thinking that I had led them here on purpose. I decided to pay no mind though, it being a better idea that I just prove it to her instead. 

Even though Fireheart was trying to convince her otherwise, I wasn’t blind, able to spot his wary footsteps as he followed me. 

I was grateful for his trust in me, but just wished he had a little bit more.

I took them to where the white fluffy cat who did turn out to be Cloudpaw - thank starclan- and the wariness disappeared and the trust came back. 

Then the twoleg attacked. Of course. Nothing can ever go right, can it? I wanted to yowl my frustration out, but then figured that I could find a better time. Y’know, not when I’m about to die. 

We all huddled together, trying to stay as silent as possible and the footsteps of the twoleg melted away in the shadows. I could breathe now, and when I saw Fireheart press up against Sandstorm, his tail curling protectively around her, I knew that her feelings were returned. 

About time he stopped being an oblivious furball. 

They took Cloudpaw and left, and then I took the time to yowl my frustration out. 

Next time I saw them, Fireheart had become Fire star, the Thunderclan leader, and he and Sandstorm had 2 beautiful daughters together. 

Squirrelkit was the hyper one, bouncing around and getting in everyone’s paws, while Leafkit stood by and watched everything with large, curious amber eyes. 

When they came by me and looked up to me, 2 pairs of innocent sparkling eyes, my heart melted. 

I told them stories, about my life, about their parents, about the clan and told them how lucky they were. They believed every bit. 

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Many, many moons had passed now, and I was old, a couple footsteps away from death’s doorstep. My life hadn’t been very interesting, just the same old thing every day. I didn’t mind though, the peace was nice. 

The clans had moved, and I knew that I’d left them on my own will, but a part of me wished I could go with them, surrounded by cats that would protect you with their life. 

I was content where I was though, and wouldn’t ever leave Barley after all he had done for me. 

But I longed for something more, something exciting, just … something new. 

Then Silverstream came into my dreams, and showed me 2 cats, Riley and Bella who needed to go become warriors of Skyclan. 

The information was kind of a lot to process, but I knew that I had to do this, and wasn’t going to miss the chance. 

I found them, and they 2 were hyper little cats, draining the energy right out of me. Thankfully, Barley had come along on this trip with me, and I was grateful for his support and company. 

We taught them how to hunt, how to fight, and the warrior code. I still remembered everything by heart, because what a warrior learns, a warrior never forgets. 

Not gonna lie, I was skeptical about Skyclan at first, but then I saw them working together just like a clan would, and I was thoroughly impressed. 

They accepted the 2 cats in, after a little bit of pleading and proving ourselves worthy, but that was expected. 

After the entire charade, I lied down and didn’t feel like getting up. I was just so tired, and when I saw the stars, I had a sudden urge to go there. 

I was vaguely aware of Barley, Leafstar, and Riley paw and Bella paw by my side, begging me to get up. 

I blinked affectionately at the Skyclan leader and the newly-named apprentices, and wished them a warm goodbye. 

When I turned to Barley, and his blue eyes shining with tears, I felt immensely bad. He had been with me when I was 10 moons old to 100 moons old. 

I wouldn’t leave him. I couldn’t - no -wouldn’t do that to him. As I murmured my last words to him, I didn't get the chance to hear what he had said in return. 

Bluestar and many other Starclan cats appeared in front of me, including my mother, father, best friend, and more. I had missed them, but as I looked back at Barley who was grieving me, I knew I would miss him more. 

I rejected the offer to get my warrior name. It just wasn’t meant to be. I would wait for Barley, and we would walk through the stars together. 

Hopefully there would be a barn in Starclan, otherwise that’s just sad. Would they have the same juicy mice, and the soft hay? What about the- I cut my not-so important thoughts off, and jumped in some old memories. 

I reflected through everything I had been through, and maybe, just maybe, I was already a warrior. Not a warrior by name, no, but a warrior by heart. And in the end, that’s what matters.