Chapter Sixty-nine (am I right on this?)
Frostwhisker hissed with distaste, flattening her rising fur as Flowershine stepped out of the nursery. She looked away, refusing to set eyes upon the traitor who, so long ago, she had thought to be her sister. As Flowershine entered the warriors' den, Frostwhisker got up and began to pace slowly around camp. Fawntail only could have a few visitors at a time. Sighing, she intercepted Twistfire, who was coming out of the nursery.
"How are the kits?" she asked.
"Beautiful. A litter of three, two toms and a she-cat. Icekit, Rabbitkit and Deerkit, I think Fawntail named them. The littlest one, Deerkit... she's weak. I'm afraid she might not make it through the night."
Frostwhisker's eyes clouded with sadness. "I'm sorry.." Suddenly, she felt a cold sensation on her nose. Small snowflakes were falling daintily from the sky, spinning and whirling in the cold leaf-bare air. A small grin crept onto her muzzle. "I hope Deerkit gets better. She's a leaf-bare kit, like me..." Twistfire left, disappearing into the medicine den. Quiet whispers drifted from the underground room, and coughs and sneezes were heard frequently. Poor Ivyleaf. This snow won't help her whitecough.
Suddenly, Frostwhisker felt fur brush against hers. She looked over, expecting it to be Sunstep, but instead it was Lightpaw. Her cheek was bleeding from a long scratch. It was very close to her eye, and looked to have been a lucky miss.
"What happened?" she mewed softly to the younger she-cat.
"Specklepaw," Lightpaw muttered back. "Halfstar told Eaglefeather to take us training while he was with Fawntail. He had us do a couple of quick rounds of fighting, and she unsheathed her claws. She beat me every time... she cut me, and he insisted it was a stray thorn or particularly sharp gorse or heather twig, but I know she scratched me. I don't want to live in fear, Frostwhisker. I can't stay anymore."
"Yes, you can. I'll talk to Halfstar-"
"I told you, that'll make it worse. I knew you wouldn't understand." Head hanging, the apprentice started away, but she followed her, determined to make amends.
"I do understand. She'll bully you more if you tell. Halfstar wouldn't believe me anyway. Try to make sure it's only me who takes you training."
"It isn't only that, she attacks while I'm hunting too, and steals my catch... she's really not a good warrior, that's just what she has them believe," Lightpaw explained miserably.
"Lightpaw..." Frostwhisker felt pained for the young cat. She shouldn't have to experience this bullying from her own sister.
"Please take me to the abandoned Twoleg den. I might come back one day..." she mewed.
"Let Twistfire patch that cut up first, please. Then I'll take you," she compromised, and the golden she-cat nodded, then followed her to the medicine den. Ivyleaf lay sprawled on top of her nest, wheezing and coughing. Twistfire looked up from mixing a poultice.
"She's getting worse... what can I do for you?" he asked, herbs dusted over his gray-and-black swirled pelt.
"Lightpaw needs cobwebs for her scratch. She stumbled into some briars accidentally," Frostwhisker lied, and the medicine cat dipped his head to her before grabbing a pawful of cobwebs and carefully plastering it over the wound.
"All set. There you go." He sent them out, turning to Ivyleaf and watching her with a worried expression. She looked pained at this point.
They padded out of camp, excusing themselves for a private training session, and they took off running over the gently sloping hills. A thin dusting of snow coated the grassy ground, and more caught in their thick pelts. Their tails streamed out behind them, a gentle leaf-bare breeze ruffling their fur. Paws pounding against the solid ground, they trotted to a halt. The looming abandoned Twoleg den filled with the weird yellow grass-like stuff stood before them. The two cats stepped inside, and smelled mouse.
"Here you are, Lightpaw. I'll check up on you once in a while."
"I'll be glad to see you." The apprentice dipped her head.
"I hope you have a better life here.." Frostwhisker whirled around and dashed away, afraid she would start getting emotional. Her apprentice had been one of her closest friends....