Chapter One== Hurry up, Flamepaw! We're going to be late!, yells a cream colored tom. "I'm coming as fast as I can, Sandpaw!" replies a dark black and brown she-cat with ivy, green eyes. Dry blood marks her back and muzzle ever since she was an apprentice. As she rounds a boulder, she sees the rest of the patrol ahead of her, and farther on she can see four large oak trees. She quickens her pace and passes her mentor, Thorntail, and pads next to brachen and moss covered Sandpaw. "What took you so long?" he teases, "Were you looking for fleas?" Flamepaw slaps his ear with her tail and replies, "Yep, and I also found a nice juicy tick and put him on your shoulder, too" Sandpaw squeals and turns in circles, trying to get the imaginary tick. "Enough, guys," says a stern voice. Sandpaw looks up and rolls his eyes, "It's Icypaw again, he's acting like he's a warrior, already." A white with grey stripes along his shoulders and chest tom pads up to them. He turns to Sandpaw and says, "Even though you're an apprentice and this is your first Gathering, you're acting like a kit." Sandpaw draws his lips back in the beginning of a snarl and is about to protest when Flamepaw replies, "All apprentices have their moments, can't blame him." Icypaw turns to her and purrs, "Not all apprentices." She fixes her gave back at Fourtrees and sees it getting closer and closer. She opens her mouth and tastes the air. She turns to Sandpaw and Icypaw and says, "Riverclan and Windclan are here, looks like we're not late tonight." Sandpaw nods but Icypaw snorts, "Thunderclan is never late." Sandpaw rolls his eyes and Flamepaw holds back a chuckle. Icypaw turns to face her and mews, "That last battle with Shadowclan really nipped you in the tail, didn't it?" Flamepaw shrugs and replies, "I've seen worse. I'm just glad I was able to come, instead of being confined to the medicine den." Icypaw presses his body toward hers and whispers, "I can take you up in one of the trees, we can watch the clans together." Sandpaw sticks out his tounge and puffs his chest out to mimink Icypaw. Flamepaw purrs in amusment but Icypaw shoots Sandpaw a scowl. By the time they get to Fourtrees, Flamepaw looks this way and that, trying to catch a glimpse of a golden pelt. Suddenly, a voice sounds behind her, "Hi, Flamepaw!" She turns and sees a golden tabbu tom padding toward her. "Hi, Hawkp! How's Windclan going?" Hawkpaw sits down and sadly shakes his head, Twolegs are making traps for the rabbits. One of our-" Hawkpaw!" growls a tall tabby she-cat. He turns and sighs, "Yes, Birdpaw?" She pads up to them and gives Flamepaw a scowl. "What have I told you about talking to them?" "He was just telling me about how fast he is," Flamepaw lies. Birdpaw turns to her and growls, "Thunderclan, always trying to steal hunting tactics." Flamepaw flexes her claws and is about to pounce when a yowl sounds, meaning the beginning of the Gathering. Birdpaw herds Hawkpaw over to where Windclan is and Flamepaw sits next to Sandpaw. Icypaw pads up to Flamepaw and twines his tail with hers. Windstar says the prey and hunting is good, so does Shadowclan. Riverclan says that Twolegs are hunting some of the fish, but not enough for them to starve. Marshstar stands up and says, "We have a new apprentice. Sandpaw's mentor is Rosefur." Thunderclan cheers and Sandpaw puffs out his chest and beams with pride. Icypaw whispers, "I remember when we were made apprentices." Flamepaw purrs, "You almost lost your tail when that badger attacked. If it wasn't for me, you would be Notail." Icypaw gives his chest a few licks in embarrasment. As the Gathering draws to a close, Flamepaw rubs Hawkpaw's cheek with hers in farewell, then pads up to Icypaw. He looks over his shoulder and stares at Hawkpaw and says, "You really shouldn't talk to another clanner." "It's a Gathering Icypaw, I can talk to Blackstar if I wanted to," Flamepaw says. When they finally get to camp, she dashes for the apprentice den, and lets sleep consume her.