A shipping story between Cinderpelt and Firestar, two cats who should have ended up together.
Longtail grabbed the orange kittypet by the neck and thrashed him around. Suddenly, his collar snapped and Longtail went flying backwards. The kittypet got back up and attacked Longtail again, taking a notch out of his ear. Longtail snarled as blood dripped down his face. The kittypet had won.
"The kittypet has been freed from the ownership of the twolegs. StarClan has spoken." Bluestar meowed. "The kittypet's new name is Firepaw.
Longtail snarled and limped away to the medicine den.
The grey she-cat watched from a bush. Cinderpaw looked on as Greypaw and Ravenpaw ran up to the newly named Firepaw.
"A kittypet? Why is Bluestar allowing a kittypet into the clan?" Cinderpaw meowed. "Kittypets can't be warriors. So why is Bluestar allowing him in ThunderClan?"
Greypaw and Ravenpaw talked happily with Firepaw.
Sandpaw and Dustpaw gave them a weird look from behind.
As Cinderpaw stared on, she did have to admit one thing. "He's kind of cute..."
Many moons later...
Cinderpaw laid on the thunderpath, bleeding and wounded. She groaned, looking up, meeting Fireheart's eyes. "Fireheart..."
Fireheart gave her a worried look and ran to fetch Yellowfang.
It was then that Cinderpaw slipped into unconsciousness.
When she awoke again, she was in the medicine den with Yellowfang and Fireheart.
Yellowfang gave her a few herbs to help her with the pain. "Cinderpaw, you'll be happy to know you'll live."
Cinderpaw sighed in relief.
Fireheart took a step toward her, green eyes partially hazed over. "But, Cinderpaw, you can never become a warrior."
Cinderpaw's blue eyes widened. "What? I can't?"
Fireheart saw the sorrow in her eyes. "Maybe you could help around the medicine den. You do know your herbs well."
Cinderpaw curled her tail over her wounded paw. She could see her dream of being a great warrior and bounding into battle alongside Fireheart floating away with the wind. She hung her head in sadness. "How can I help anyone? With a bad leg, what use am I?"
Yellowfang tied more stiff leaves around Cinderpaw's leg. "Like Fireheart said, you could always help me around the medicine den."
Cinderpaw looked down at her bad leg. "I guess I could..." she said, disappointed.
Cinderpaw, now Cinderpelt, looked on with envy as Fireheart happily shared tongues with Sandstorm. Now that she was an apprentice medicine cat, she couldn't have a mate. There was only one cat she wanted as a mate anyway, and she wasn't even brave enough to tell him.
Sandstorm was likely to be Fireheart's future mate. And then I'll just be a memory... Cinderpelt thought sadly. She used her claw to scratch a picture of three cats in the dirt. Sandstorm and Fireheart were happily nuzzling each other while she drew herself off to the side, with a broken heart above her head. Why won't he love me?
She stood up. "I have to tell him how I feel." she mewed quietly. She took a few steps toward Fireheart and Sandstorm and a call echoed from Yellowfang.
"Cinderpelt, there's something wrong with Speckletail's kit. Can you help me with it?"
Cinderpelt pushed her ears back. No.... She turned around to face Yellowfang. "Sure, Yellowfang." She then darted off after Yellowfang into the nursery.
Fireheart was already there.
Cinderpelt's mood brightened. "Oh, hello Fireheart!" she meowed happily.
Yellowfang walked over to Speckletail and sat down as her kit played nearby. "So Speckletail, what did you say was wrong with Snowkit?"
Speckletail flicked her tail back and forth. "Whenever I call him, he doesn't respond. He doesn't respond to anyone. Please help him, Yellowfang. He will be the last kit I have before I go to the elder's den!"
Cinderpelt walked over to the little white kit playing near his mother's tail. "Snowkit? Snowkit?" She waved her paw back and forth.
Snowkit looked at her and walked toward her. "Hi!"
Cinderpelt looked at Speckletail. "Speckletail, I think Snowkit is... deaf." she said grimly.
Speckletail gasped. "How is that possible? He can't be deaf! How will he be a warrior?"
Cinderpelt became distant. "Fate can be cruel sometimes, Speckletail. I would know."
Firestar walked through the camp, chest held out and broad shoulders back. He couldn't have been happier. Sandstorm had agreed to become his mate and she was expecting kits.
Cinderpelt, however, was nowhere near as happy. Firestar, her only love, had a mate now. She'd lost any small chance she had at being his mate and bearing his kits.
She paced around the medicine den. It hadn't been the same since Yellowfang died.
Cinderpelt growled at herself. "You just couldn't tell him, could you?" She lost the ferocity in her voice and sat down sorrowfully. "Oh Firestar..." she sighed. She smiled a little. "I'm just going to open my heart to him. I'll tell him how I feel."
She walked out to the area where Firestar proudly sat on a rock.
She cleared her throat. "Um... Firestar?"
Firestar turned around. "Hm? Oh, hello Cinderpelt."
"Hello, Firestar. I need to talk with you." She sat down next to him. "There's something I've been meaning to tell you for a long time. I just never knew how."
Firestar continued to listen.
Cinderpelt's paws began to shake. "Firestar... I-I love you!" She clamped her paw over her mouth as she finished.
Firestar just looked at her. "Cinderpelt, I'm Sandstorm's mate. We're even expecting kits. I'm sorry Cinderpelt, but I can't love you back." He got up to walk away.
"Wait!" Cinderpelt reached out and grabbed his shoulder. "I'm not asking you to be my mate. But can we put our differences aside... just for one night?"
Firestar saw the pleading look in her eyes and gave in to her plea. "Alright. But only for one night. And no one is to find out about this. Deal?"
She rubbed up against his chest. "Deal."
He licked her cheek and she pushed him over and ran. "Try and catch me, leader. Or are you too scared!" she joked.
Firestar laughed. "They don't call me Firestar for nothing!"
The two ran into the forest and spent all night in each other's arms.
The next morning, Cinderpelt woke up in the medicine den with Firestar next to her.
She rubbed her eyes. "Good morning, Firestar." she meowed.
Firestar looked at her. "Good morning, Cinderpelt." He got up and walked to the exit.
Cinderpelt stood up. "Where are you going?"
"Cinderpelt, I have to go back to Sandstorm."
Cinderpelt's paws began to shake. "But... Firestar. What about last night?"
He turned around to face her. "Last night is exactly was it is, Cinderpelt. In the past."
She hung her head. "I thought it actually meant something to you..."
"I'm sorry, Cinderpelt. But we can't be together."
A tear rolled down her cheek. "Firestar... What if kits come from last night's doings?"
But he was already gone.
Several moons later, Cinderpelt was showing signs of pregnancy. She was due to begin kitting any day. She didn't want anyone to know she was having kits, so she left into the forest for a few days under the excuse she was looking for herbs.
She made a nest in a hollow tree, far away from any clans.
She had four kits, two toms and two she-kits. She named the reddish she-kit Rosekit, the shaggy grey tom Wolfkit, the fluffy tailed white tom Blizzardkit, and the red, orange, and golden she-kit Autumnkit.
She looked up at the sky through the opening at the top of the tree. "StarClan, please, I beg you. Please don't take my kits away!"
The four kits mewed and pawed at their mother's belly.
Cinderpelt knew she had to take them back to ThunderClan. She reluctantly picked her kits up and carried them back to ThunderClan.
Upon arriving, she was greeted by ThunderClan cats eager to know where she'd been.