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Literature
SkyClan Warrior Code
SkyClan's Warrior Code:
1. Defend your Clan, even with your life. You may have friendships with cats outside of the Clan, but your loyalty must remain to your Clan, as one day you may meet them in battle.
2. Do not hunt or trespass on territory that belongs to another cat unless necessary for the good of the Clan.
3. Elders, queens, and kits must be fed before apprentices and warriors. Unless they have permission, apprentices may not eat until they have hunted to feed the elders. If any warrior or apprentice is sick or injured, they may eat while the elders, queens, and kits are eating.
4. Prey is killed only to be eaten. Give thanks to StarClan for its life.
5. A kit must be at least six moons old to become an apprentice.
6. Newly appointed warriors will keep a silent vigil for one night after receiving their warrior name.
7. A cat cannot be made deputy without having mentored at least one apprentice.
8. The deputy will become Clan leader when the leader dies, retires or is exiled.
9.
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Literature
Sasha's Calling Allegiances of SkyClan
Sasha’s Calling Allegiances
SKYCLAN
LEADER
SHREWSTAR - skinny black tom
DEPUTY
RABBITLEAP - brown tom
MEDICINE CAT
FRECKLEWISH - mottled light brown tabby she-cat with spotted legs, mother of Rabbitleap's kits (Chervilkit, a gray spotted tabby she-cat with yellow eyes, Fennelkit, a scruffy white tom with green eyes, and Mottlekit, a brown spotted tabby-and-white tom with pale green eyes)
     APPRENTICE, SMOKESONG (black tom with amber eyes)
WARRIORS
SASHA - sleek tawny she-cat with darker points, a white belly, and ice-blue eyes
     APPRENTICE, FLUTTERPAW
CHERRYTAIL - tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat
EBONYCLAW - striking black she-cat
HARVEYMOON - plump white tom
MACGYVER - black-and-white tom
BOUNCEFIRE - ginger tom
MINTFUR - gray tabby she-cat
EGG - cream tom with blue eyes
CREEKFEATHER - gray tabby tom
LUCKYLEAF - gray-and-white tom with amber eyes
SANDYFOOT - light brown and ginger torbie tom with amber eyes
BI
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Literature
EOTW: Sasha's Calling: Chapter Eleven
Warriors Series 5.5: Echoes of the War
Novella 5: Sasha's Calling
Chapter Eleven
     “Sasha? Are you up yet?”
     The senior warrior shifted in her nest, reluctantly cracking open one eye. “Keep your fur on,” she grumbled. Her jaws split in a massive yawn. “I'm coming.”
     Crowdusk's whiskers twitched as Sasha pushed herself onto her paws. “Don't blame me, you're the one that didn't want to sleep in today,” she pointed out. She waited while the she-cat stretched out her limbs, giving one last yawn before she stepped away from her nest. “Flutterpaw's waiting for you by the fresh-kill pile, and Kayleewing and Bouncefire offered to let you join their patrol.”
     The news was enough to banish Sasha's grogginess. She curled her tail, giving a rusty purr. “I'd better not keep them waiting, then,” she mewed. Crowdusk stepped out of the way so Sasha could ap
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Literature
EOTW: Sasha's Calling: Chapter Ten
Warriors Series 5.5: Echoes of the War
Novella 5: Sasha's Calling
Chapter Ten
     The loner sat in the snow for a while after Sharpstar had gone. Her mind was racing with thoughts and memories, but the panic she’d felt last time she’d gotten this offer no longer accompanied them. She allowed her mind to go over her entire life, her memories of the Clans, and her feelings for SkyClan.
     She started with her early life with her house folk. In those first moons, she had been happy as a kittypet. She wouldn’t give up those memories for anything. But Ken and Jean were gone, and she had enjoyed life in the wild much too long to ever be happy as a kittypet again. That life was behind her - but so was any happiness she’d had in her life as a rogue. Her first moons on her own had been happy, but she’d been doomed to be unsatisfied in that life from the moment she set paw in ShadowClan’s camp. Whatever choices she’d made
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Literature
EOTW: Sasha's Calling: Chapter Nine
Warriors Series 5.5: Echoes of the War
Novella 5: Sasha's Calling
Chapter Nine
     They're in danger!
     Sasha wasted no time. She spun around, pointing herself in the direction of Shrewtooth's patrol, then launched herself onto a branch of a tree in front of her. The loner bounded from tree to tree, no longer allowing herself to hesitate as she had before. She had to get to Shrewtooth's patrol now, before the dog got to them first.
     Her flight through the snowy trees nearly made her slip more than once, but it finally brought her to where she needed to be. The hazy shape of five cats trudging through the snow finally appeared beneath the branches. “Shrewtooth!” she yowled. Before the tom could react to his name being called, Sasha hopped down to a lower branch, then hurtled down to the ground, landing clumsily in the snow in front of the patrol. She meant to land on her paws, but slipped onto her shoulder in
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Sasha With Collar by Jayie-The-Hufflepuff Sasha With Collar :iconjayie-the-hufflepuff:Jayie-The-Hufflepuff 33 4
Literature
EOTW: Sasha's Calling: Chapter Eight
Warriors Series 5.5: Echoes of the War
Novella 5: Sasha's Calling
Chapter Eight
     Sasha froze in shock. Stunned disbelief coursed through every hair on her pelt. She could feel her legs starting to tremble underneath of her – it took all of her self-control to remain standing.
     “I ask you to join my Clan as a warrior.” The words banged around in Sasha's head, distorting and stretching as she tried to wrap her mind around just what she'd heard. She'd grown close with SkyClan, yes. She'd allowed herself to be reluctantly nudged into every suggestion, staying longer, going on patrols, moving into the warrior's den, and she'd come to know each SkyClan cat like they were kin. But still, somehow, she would have never seen this question coming. Not this time. Not after so long.
     All around her, the cats of SkyClan were watching her, waiting to hear her answer. Everywhere she looked, acceptance and joy were shinin
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Literature
EOTW: Sasha's Calling: Chapter Seven
Warriors Series 5.5: Echoes of the War
Novella 5: Sasha's Calling
Chapter Seven
     “Ew, get away from me!”
     Sasha looked up, surprised to hear unhappy squealing from the nursery. The loner kit Storm scrambled out of the den, followed more slowly by a surprised Smokekit.
     The loner padded over. “What happened?” she demanded. “Is Storm hurt?”
     Smokekit shook his head, looking baffled. “All I did was ask if she wanted to play,” he mewed.
     Storm curled her lip. “Mama says that I shouldn't play with kits I don't know,” she sneered. “And I don't know you, or your scruffy littermates.”
     Sasha narrowed her eyes. “There's no need to be making fun of how any cat looks,” she scolded the kit. She glanced at Smokekit, adding, “And if someone doesn't want to play, you need to respect that.”
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Literature
EOTW: Sasha's Calling: Chapter Six
Warriors Series 5.5: Echoes of the War
Novella 5: Sasha's Calling
Chapter Six
     “The visitors are here!”
     Sasha lifted her head, still blinking the last of sleep from her eyes. All around her, warriors were waking up, blinking groggily and pricking their ears towards the den's entrance. Most of them had been roused by Birdshade's cry – though a few were still asleep in their nests.
     While the rest of the warriors started out of the den, Sasha crossed over to Shrewtooth's nest. It had been the black deputy, together with Frecklewish, who suggested that Sasha move into the warrior's den. Sasha had hesitated for a bit before agreeing to it. Her nest had been in the warrior's den for the last few nights. Much as Sasha hated to admit it, she had missed the feeling of pelts beside her own as she slept, and was glad to be able to sleep beside other cats again.
     “Shrewtooth,” she murmured,
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Literature
EOTW: Sasha's Calling: Chapter Five
Warriors Series 5.5: Echoes of the War
Novella 5: Sasha's Calling
Chapter Five
     The starling hardly had time to squawk its alarm before Sasha snagged it out of the sky. She hooked her claws into its wings and brought it down to the earth, landing neatly on all four paws with the bird under her claws. It struggled and screeched, but a quick nip to its spine quickly silenced it.
     “Great catch!” Sasha turned to see Egg approaching her, the rest of the patrol behind him. “You're really starting to get the hang of jumping like a SkyClan cat.”
     The loner's tail curled in pleasure. “Thanks,” she purred, lifting her head proudly. “Shrewtooth's been helping me with it a lot – though I still can't manage it as well as you SkyClan cats can.” She grabbed up the starling in her teeth, carrying it over to a dip beside a snow-laden bush and began burying it.
     “Jumpin
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Sasha the Loner - Sasha's Calling by Jayie-The-Hufflepuff Sasha the Loner - Sasha's Calling :iconjayie-the-hufflepuff:Jayie-The-Hufflepuff 27 6
Literature
EOTW: Sasha's Calling: Chapter Four
Warriors Series 5.5: Echoes of the War
Novella 5: Sasha's Calling
Chapter Four
     “Sasha?” A pale, fluffy she-cat stood in front of the loner’s nest, her tail twitching uncertainly behind her. “I’ve come to change your bedding.”
     Sasha lifted her head from her nest. Though the last symptoms of ache-fever had faded some days ago, she’d chosen to keep her nest in the medicine den rather than move in with the warriors. Frecklewish said she’d wanted to keep an eye on Sasha for a bit longer, since she was still weak from being underfed, before letting her move into a den with other cats. Sasha didn’t mind - she preferred staying with just Frecklewish in the den. It made things less complicated to only have one close friend in the Clan.
     “Alright,” she mewed easily. The loner pushed to her paws, stepping back so the apprentice could reach her nest. “Thank you, Softpa
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Literature
EOTW: Sasha's Calling: Chapter Three
Warriors Series 5.5: Echoes of the War
Novella 5: Sasha's Calling
Chapter Three
     Days might have passed, or half a moon, or endless moons, since Sasha had left SkyClan behind. She could no longer count the passage of days. Her fevered mind could no longer perceive whether hours, or days, were being left behind her as she trudged through the forest. Snow had come early that season – the snow and ice bit into Sasha's pelt and clung to her legs and belly while she tried to trudge a path forward.
     The cold, and the lack of prey to eat, had made her illness far worse in the days since leaving SkyClan. She could no longer feel her legs – they were numb through to the bone from the cold. All she could feel was an ache spreading throughout her pelt, and the desperate clutching of her empty belly. Her strength had all but deserted her.
     Snowflakes and wind swirled together in front of her eyes as she hobbled painfully forward.
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Waspwhisker of SkyClan - Sasha's Calling by Jayie-The-Hufflepuff Waspwhisker of SkyClan - Sasha's Calling :iconjayie-the-hufflepuff:Jayie-The-Hufflepuff 21 2
Literature
EOTW: Sasha's Calling: Chapter Two
Warriors Series 5.5: Echoes of the War
Novella 5: Sasha's Calling
Chapter One
     SkyClan? Shock blazed through every hair on Sasha's pelt. There's another Clan?
     As she stared in dumb silence at the cats in front of her, they seemed to get impatient. “What are you doing with these kits?” a torbie tom hissed. His worried gaze flitted to Emberkit, who was still lying on the ground behind Sasha, looking at the cats around her with wide eyes. Sasha was surprised to see her shift a little closer to her leg, as though looking to Sasha for protection from the anger of the older cats.
     Sasha's tail was trembling with anxiety, but she forced herself to look the tom straight in the eyes as she mewed, “I haven't done anything to them. Emberkit will be fine, she just needs rest.”
     Bouncefire opened his jaws as if to argue, but Smokekit cut him off. “We fell in the river. Spa
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Frecklewish of SkyClan - Sasha's Calling by Jayie-The-Hufflepuff Frecklewish of SkyClan - Sasha's Calling :iconjayie-the-hufflepuff:Jayie-The-Hufflepuff 24 0

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EDIT: I'm sorry for the delay on picking the commissions. I had some job interviews pop up unexpectedly, and I had to focus on those. To make up for the delay, I've decided to take on four commissions instead of three. You can find the commisions I've picked below.

If I've picked your commission, please message me so we can discuss payment and any details of the commission that haven't already been stated.

~-~-~

There's a commission from another artist that I have my eye on, but I don't have enough points yet. If I buy 400 points for $5, I'll be 25 points shy of the amount of points I'd need. Since I don't feel like shelling out an extra five dollars for another 400 points I don't currently need, I decided that instead, I'll open a few commission spots, with the hope of raising the points I need for this other commission, with some left over. ^^

It's been a long time since I've had commissions open, so I decided to completely revamp my list of prices and options for commissions. Most of the prices are about the same, but have maybe been bumped up a bit. I think my prices are rather fair for what I'm offering.

I'm offering only three commission slots at this time, and it'll be my choice, not first come first serve. I'll probably decide on which I wanna do rather quickly, though, so ask quickly if you want something. Below you will find my commission prices, and the commission form you'll have to fill out before I'll accept your commission. I won't promise any specific deadline for when these commissions will get done, because I know myself too well, but if it takes longer than two weeks for your commission to be done, let me know and I'll bump it up to first priority.

Commission Form:


Character(s): (name the character(s) you want me to draw and leave a link to their reference sheet or anywhere I can grab their colors from) 
Commission Type: (tell me which of the commission type options I've listed here that you want) 
Background: (tell me whether you want a detailed or abstract/plain background, and if detailed, describe the background you want)
Any Additional Requests: (anything else you want me to know about how you want your commission drawn)

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Jayfrost Christmas Avatar 2017 by Jayie-The-Hufflepuff

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Activity


SkyClan's Warrior Code:

1. Defend your Clan, even with your life. You may have friendships with cats outside of the Clan, but your loyalty must remain to your Clan, as one day you may meet them in battle.

2. Do not hunt or trespass on territory that belongs to another cat unless necessary for the good of the Clan.

3. Elders, queens, and kits must be fed before apprentices and warriors. Unless they have permission, apprentices may not eat until they have hunted to feed the elders. If any warrior or apprentice is sick or injured, they may eat while the elders, queens, and kits are eating.

4. Prey is killed only to be eaten. Give thanks to StarClan for its life.

5. A kit must be at least six moons old to become an apprentice.

6. Newly appointed warriors will keep a silent vigil for one night after receiving their warrior name.

7. A cat cannot be made deputy without having mentored at least one apprentice.

8. The deputy will become Clan leader when the leader dies, retires or is exiled.

9. After the death or retirement of the deputy, the new deputy must be chosen before moonhigh.

10. A Gathering of all Clan cats is held at the full moon during a truce that lasts for the night. There shall be no fighting during that truce, unless in necessary self-defense.

11. Boundaries must be checked and marked daily. Confront all trespassers - but only attack if a clear threat is posed to the Clan. Not all trespassers are enemies.

12. No warrior can neglect a kit in pain or danger, even if the kit is from outside of the Clan.

13. The word of the Clan leader is the warrior code - but a leader must lead according to what is best for their Clan, and must listen to criticism from their Clanmates.

14. An honorable warrior does not need to kill other cats to win his/her battles, unless it is necessary for self-defense or the defense of others.

15. Cats may serve their Clan during the day as daylight warriors and live with twolegs by night as kittypets. However, any other Clan cat must not draw unnecessary attention from twolegs, for the safety of the Clan.

16. Any cat may visit the Clan and take part in training - however, visitors must hunt for the Clan every day, and must stay with the Clan for a full moon before they are taught to fight.

17. Any cat who brings outside danger to the Clan must leave - a Clan is not a fighting force for outsiders to use for their own battles.

18. Clan cats may take outsiders as their mates, or have kits outside of the Clan - however, they must put their loyalty to their Clan first, and kin of Clan cats must adhere to the warrior code while on Clan territory or be chased out.
SkyClan Warrior Code
COVER: link
ALLEGIANCES: link
CHAPTER ONE: link
FINAL CHAPTER: link
ALLEGIANCES OF SKYCLAN: link

Nothing too exciting to say here, it's just SkyClan's warrior code as it has deviated from the other Clans' code over the seasons. ^^ A lot of this is straight from Code of the Clans and belongs to the Erin Hunters, but some of it has been tweaked to address the fact that SkyClan doesn't have other Clans to consider, and also to fit SkyClan's more tolerant approach to outsiders. The new laws that Leafstar added at the end of SkyClan's destiny have also been added, as well as the code mentioned in Sasha's Calling about outsiders being acceptable as mates for Clan cats.
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Sasha’s Calling Allegiances


SKYCLAN


LEADER

SHREWSTAR - skinny black tom

DEPUTY

RABBITLEAP - brown tom

MEDICINE CAT

FRECKLEWISH - mottled light brown tabby she-cat with spotted legs, mother of Rabbitleap's kits (Chervilkit, a gray spotted tabby she-cat with yellow eyes, Fennelkit, a scruffy white tom with green eyes, and Mottlekit, a brown spotted tabby-and-white tom with pale green eyes)
     APPRENTICE, SMOKESONG (black tom with amber eyes)

WARRIORS

SASHA - sleek tawny she-cat with darker points, a white belly, and ice-blue eyes
     APPRENTICE, FLUTTERPAW
CHERRYTAIL - tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat
EBONYCLAW - striking black she-cat
HARVEYMOON - plump white tom
MACGYVER - black-and-white tom
BOUNCEFIRE - ginger tom
MINTFUR - gray tabby she-cat
EGG - cream tom with blue eyes
CREEKFEATHER - gray tabby tom
LUCKYLEAF - gray-and-white tom with amber eyes
SANDYFOOT - light brown and ginger torbie tom with amber eyes
BIRDSHADE - black tom
DAWNBLOSSOM - tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat with pale green eyes
STORMFALL - gray-and-ginger she-cat
HARRYTOOTH - long-haired gray tom
PEACHFLOWER - cream tabby she-cat with a white chest and paws and yellow eyes
THYMELEAF - gray tabby she-cat with a white chest and green eyes
LARCHLEAF - white tom with ginger tabby points and pale green eyes
     APPRENTICE, BRIGHTPAW
BRINDLESTORM - large dark tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat with dark green eyes
GOLDENTAIL - golden pointed tabby she-cat with pale blue eyes
CROWDUSK - partially hairless black she-cat with golden eyes
SOFTPETAL - fluffy very pale gray she-cat with pale green eyes
BLIZZARDFANG - large, fluffy white tom with pale gray patches and golden eyes
GRAYSTORM - gray tabby tom with a white chest, muzzle, paws, and green eyes
RUFUSTAIL - fluffy, scruffy dark brown tom with pale yellow eyes
     APPRENTICE, DAPPLEPAW
KAYLEEWING - tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat with one amber eye and one green eyes
LEAFBREEZE - gray tabby she-cat with a white chest and paws
LUNACLOUD – black-and-white she-cat with amber eyes
SPARKBREEZE - ginger tabby she-cat with yellow eyes
EMBERSHADE - tortoiseshell she-cat with amber eyes
DOVECLOUD - pale gray tom with yellow eyes
CREAMWILLOW – cream tabby tom with amber eyes
BARKFALL – long-haired gray-brown tom with yellow eyes
NIGHTSTREAM – sleek black she-cat with a white chest and paws and ice-blue eyes
MORNINGBREEZE – scruffy, lanky light brown pointed tabby she-cat with pale yellow-green eyes

APPRENTICES

DAPPLEPAW – dark gray-and-white she-cat with bald spots and yellow eyes
BRIGHTPAW – partially-hairless white tom with amber eyes
FLUTTERPAW – skinny, fluffy gray she-cat with a white muzzle and chest and golden eyes
OREOPAW – skinny black-and-white tom

QUEENS

COSETTECLOUD - small, fluffy pale gray she-cat with pale amber eyes, mother of Birdshade's kits (Chirpkit, a small pale gray tom with green eyes, and Berrykit, a black-and-white she-cat with amber eyes)
FIRELILY - ginger tabby she-cat, mother of Sandyfoot's kits (Splashkit, a light ginger-and-brown torbie-and-white she-cat with one green eye and one amber eye)
HONEYFLOWER - light brown she-cat, expecting Egg's kits

ELDERS

WASPWHISKER - gray-and-white tom
PATCHFOOT - black-and-white tom
CLOVERTAIL - light brown she-cat with white belly and legs


CATS OUTSIDE OF THE CLANS


TETRA - golden tabby she-cat with green eyes, loner
DAHLIA - pale gray tabby she-cat with pale green eyes, loner
STREAM - gray she-cat with blue eyes, rogue
LOLA - black she-cat with amber eyes, kittypet
CASSIA - ginger-and-white she-cat with green eyes, kittypet
ERIK - gray tabby tom, kittypet
COAL - tattered back tom with amber eyes, loner
Sasha's Calling Allegiances of SkyClan
COVER: link
ALLEGIANCES: link
CHAPTER ONE: link
FINAL CHAPTER: link
SKYCLAN WARRIOR CODE: link

Here are the allegiances for the final chapter of Sasha's Calling, which takes place two years after the main plot, just a few moons after the Dark Battle for the timeline of the other Clans.

SkyClan changed their code to allow warriors to mate with outsiders and to allow outsiders to visit the Clan, so I figured it would make sense to allow medicine cats to have kits as well. Frecklewish and Rabbitleap are mates, and two of her kits are named after the healing herbs she works with all the time. ^^ After I decided to make Frecklewish an ocicat, I really wanted to pass on those genes in SkyClan, so I decided to let her have kits. :P

All of the cats who were listed in the last allegiances but aren't listed here are dead and in SkyClan's StarClan. I'm not listing who led all of them to StarClan, but I will say that Tadpole is also in StarClan now, and was led there by Leafstar, who let him join once his mother joined SkyClan. He had previously been looked after by Ken and Jean and some kittypets in a human/kittypet afterlife, and he still visits them, as Sasha will when she dies, but he spends a lot of time in StarClan watching over his mother and siblings. Mothwing will also visit SkyClan's StarClan frequently to watch over her mother. Hawkfrost, of course, is nowhere at all after his spirit was killed by his brother. Poor Sasha. Last chapter had a bit of a bittersweetness to it, with Sasha not knowing that her son is dead and a traitor, and it'll hurt to learn once she dies and her kin in StarClan tell her. But she'll get through it, and she'll be happy and at peace with her family and loved ones surrounding her.

Softpetal, Blizzardfang, and Graystorm are of course Mintfur and Harveymoon's kits grown up. Rufustail and Kayleewing are Rufuspaw and Kayleepaw, I'm rather happy with their names. :D Leafbreeze is Leaf, as discussed in the last chapter, Lunacloud is a new daylight warrior. Sparkbreeze, Embershade, and Smokesong are Ebonyclaw's kits grown up - I tried to hint at Smokesong's future calling as a medicine cat in earlier chapters, but subtly. ^^ Dovecloud is Tinycloud's son grown up - his brother Sleetpaw died of a sickness that Frecklewish's herbs couldn't seem to cure before he finished his training. Sorry, but I felt the need to kill of at least one of the young set. :P Creamwillow and Barkfall are Peachflower and Harryooth's kits. Yay, Leafstar and Billystorm descendents. :D

And now for future warrior names:

Dapplepaw - Dapplecloud
Brightpaw - Brightfern
Flutterpaw - Flutterwing
Chirpkit - Chirpsong
Berrykit - dies young of greencough
Chervilkit - Chervilstorm
Fennelkit - Fenneltuft
Mottlekit - Mottlewing

They all grow up to become warriors because I say so. :P And Smokesong eventually becomes the full medicine cat of SkyClan.

I don't think there was any more than I wanted to say, I think I covered the rest in-chapter. Actually, wait, there is one more thing - I wrote up SkyClan's revised warrior code, and I'm gonna post that, because I feel like it and because it'll mirror how I posted new allegiances and a new code at the end of my first novella, Sushi's Society. And I do love me some parallels. ^^ So keep an eye out for that.
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Warriors Series 5.5: Echoes of the War
Novella 5: Sasha's Calling
Chapter Eleven

     “Sasha? Are you up yet?”

     The senior warrior shifted in her nest, reluctantly cracking open one eye. “Keep your fur on,” she grumbled. Her jaws split in a massive yawn. “I'm coming.”

     Crowdusk's whiskers twitched as Sasha pushed herself onto her paws. “Don't blame me, you're the one that didn't want to sleep in today,” she pointed out. She waited while the she-cat stretched out her limbs, giving one last yawn before she stepped away from her nest. “Flutterpaw's waiting for you by the fresh-kill pile, and Kayleewing and Bouncefire offered to let you join their patrol.”

     The news was enough to banish Sasha's grogginess. She curled her tail, giving a rusty purr. “I'd better not keep them waiting, then,” she mewed. Crowdusk stepped out of the way so Sasha could approach the den's entrance. The younger cat followed Sasha out of the den into camp.

     Sasha descended down gorge wall below the warrior's den with practiced ease, no longer having to struggle to make the climb. Even as she grew slower and stiffer with age, moons of living in SkyClan had allowed her to learn the best ways to climb and jump, and now it was second nature to her. Once she reached the floor of the gorge, she paused for a moment, allowing herself to take in the scene around her.

     The gorge itself had not changed much in the two leaf-falls that Sasha had lived with SkyClan. Sleek cliffs still loomed over her head, the river still murmured past on the gorge floor, the caves that served as dens were still carved into the rock the same way they had been when she’d came. But the sight meant more to her now, after so many seasons of living here. The unchanging rock walls and river were comforting sights and sounds. To her, they meant home.

     Her attention was drawn by the sounds of the cats around her. Warriors and apprentices were milling around camp, readying themselves for patrols, or sharing morning meals. One apprentice in particular caught her gaze. She padded up to the fluffy she-cat, purring, “Ready for some hunting, Flutterpaw?”

     The apprentice looked up from her meal, her eyes bright. “Of course!” she purred. The she-cat lacked her mother’s partially-hairless pelt, unlike her littermates, and she seemed to lean more towards her father in looks. The gray shade of her fur, as well as her bright personality, reminded Sasha very much of her father Luckyleaf.

     “Then finish eating and meet me by the camp entrance when you’re done,” Sasha purred. She left the apprentice to her meal, then turned and padded away towards a group of warriors, grabbing a starling off the fresh-kill pile as she passed it.

     Though it was early, the daylight warriors were already in camp, and sharing meals with their Clanmates. The elders were out sunning on the rocks, their eyes half-closed as they took in the leaf-fall sun. Sasha felt a pang of grief as she looked at them. Petalnose and Billystorm had both died some seasons ago, departing to join their beloved mates in StarClan. Patchfoot and Clovertail were getting stiffer and grayer with every day, but they still hung on season after season, passing on stories to the young cats and enjoying their days with each other. A third cat sat beside them on the sunny rocks. Waspwhisker had joined their ranks some moons ago, and now spent his days sunning himself and sharing prey and stories with his Clanmates. Sasha knew that she didn't have many seasons left herself until it was time to join them, but she held off on retiring for now. She hadn't gotten to be a warrior for much of her life – she wanted to enjoy it a while longer before moving in with the elders. There was still more that she could do as a warrior.

     Several warriors looked up as Sasha approached their group. “Hey Sasha,” Kayleewing purred. She and Blizzardfang made room for Sasha as she joined them with her own meal. “Big day today, huh?”

     “How are they handling the wait?” Leafbreeze asked with a purr. After Shelia’s exile from SkyClan territory, the treacherous queen and her kits Storm and Patch hadn’t been seen again. But to many cats’ surprise, Coal and his daughter Leaf had returned some moons later. Coal explained that Shelia had died in a fight with other rogues, and that Storm and Patch had turned their backs on him the moment their mother was dead, declaring him to be weak and useless before setting off on their own.

     Leaf, however, had always had a good heart, and had been enthralled with Clan life no matter how her mother scorned them. The Clan had welcomed the pair back once their friendly intentions were clear. Though Coal chose to remain a loner, Leaf had joined SkyClan as an apprentice, then as a full warrior, Leafbreeze. There had been some suspicion when she’d first joined, but the friendly young she-cat had quickly proved that she was nothing like her mother. She was now a valued and loved warrior of SkyClan.

     “They kept me up half the night with their whispering,” Dapplepaw complained. The bald-patched she-cat gave an irritated snort. “Even when they were asleep, they kept twitching and kicking.”

     Dapplepaw’s mentor, Rufustail, purred his amusement. “Don’t be too cross with your denmates,” he chided the young she-cat. “It’s not every day a cat gets to become a warrior. They’re bound to be excited.”

     “It’s no fair,” Dapplepaw’s brother, Brightpaw, grumbled. “We’re not that much younger than them. We should be warriors too!”

     “It won’t be that much longer,” Larchleaf assured him. “And besides, Cosettecloud and Frecklewish’s kits will be old enough to be apprenticed soon, and then at least you'll be the oldest apprentices in the den.” Brightpaw snorted, but he did look a little mollified at the thought.

     Kayleewing's whiskers twitched for a moment, then she turned to Sasha. “I haven't seen them this morning,” she mewed. “I think they're still asleep. Feel like pulling those lazy mousebrains out of their nests?”

     Sasha swallowed the last bites of her starling before purring, “Leave it to me.” She left the warriors behind and started towards the apprentice's den. Before she could reach it, however, a nearby mew distracted her. She turned to see a familiar black tom padding towards her.

     “On your way to see someone?” he asked in an amused purr.

     Sasha purred as she brushed muzzles with the tom. “Just a few mouse-brained apprentices who decided to sleep in,” she joked. “Care to join me?”

     “You bet,” the tom purred, whiskers twitching. The two cats headed together, pelt beside pelt, for the apprentice's den.

     Early morning sunlight was trickling into the apprentice's cave when Sasha and the black tom arrived. Most of the nests were empty – all of Crowdusk and Luckyleaf's kits were already awake, and the only other apprentice, Oreopaw, was a daylight cat who didn't have a nest in the apprentice's den. Only two furry lumps were still curled up in their mossy nests.

     Sasha and the black tom swapped a quick look, a silent message passing between them. Then they lowered into identical crouches. They crept closer and closer to the sleeping cats until, after a brief pause, they pounced at the same time. Yowls of shock rang out from the apprentices as Sasha and the tom bowled them over. The black she-cat under Sasha's paws hissed her surprise, twisting on her back to claw at her attacker – only to relax as she recognized her. The aggression in her ice-blue eyes softened into affection. “Great StarClan, you scared the fur off of me,” she mewed.

     “You're supposed to be warriors, not kits,” the other apprentice grumbled. The scruffy brown tabby glared at the black tom, groggy annoyance flashing in her yellow-green eyes, a lighter shade of the tom's eyes. “And you, you’re supposed to be an example to your Clan,” she chided him.

     The tawny warrior purred her amusement. She stepped back to let the apprentice rise to her paws, the tom doing the same behind her. “Just because we're getting a little gray around the muzzle doesn't mean we can't have fun every once in a while,” Sasha joked. She reached out her muzzle, licking smooth a tuft of fur sticking up on the black cat's head. “Especially when it comes to waking up our lazy kits.”

     Sasha's daughter blinked at her with ice-blue eyes that were identical to her own. The white that marked her paws, chest, chin, and forehead were similar to Sasha's pelt as well, as was her sleek fur and smaller size. “We couldn't sleep very well last night,” she revealed, waving a white-tipped tail behind her. “We kept thinking about the ceremony and just couldn't seem to settle down.”

     “And of course Nightpaw fell asleep first, and her snoring kept me up even longer,” the tabby joked. Her taller size and scruffy pelt were more reminiscent of her father, but the light brown hue of her pelt, as well as the darker coloring on her face, paws, and tail, were definitely from her mother, as well as the lighter shade of her eyes. A small flash of her mother’s white underbelly fur marked her chest. “And Brightpaw always kicks and twitches in his sleep like he's chasing prey – whatever he says otherwise. It's all any cat can do to get some sleep in this den.”

     The black tom purred his amusement. “Well you won't have to worry about that for much longer, Morningpaw,” he pointed out. “Now come on. You two are going to be late for your last patrol as apprentices.”

     Joy lit up in Morningpaw and Nightpaw's eyes. “Great StarClan, we forgot!” Morningpaw cried. Without another word, the she-cats scrambled past their parents and out of the den, leaving the older cats to follow more slowly behind them.

     Morningpaw and Nightpaw were already halfway across camp and beside their mentors by the time Sasha and the tom left the den behind. Their kits were practically bouncing with excitement as they joined with their patrol, their eyes shining and their tails curled with joy. The sight filled Sasha with a warm rush of love. It had been a hard path to find someone she wanted to raise kits with, and to bring herself to have another litter after what happened to her first, but she didn't regret a moment of any of it now. Her daughters were happy and safe in SkyClan, and now, they would finally be full warriors.

     The tawny she-cat glanced at her mate. “You could come with us, if you like,” she offered.

     He shook his head. “I promised Rabbitleap I would lead a patrol to do a sweep of the border,” he mewed. “There's been some rogue scents in the area. But once that's done, I'd love to go for a walk with our kits, if there's time before the ceremony.”

     “That sounds perfect,” Sasha purred. She reached out and brushed her muzzle against the tom's cheek, purring deeply. She had been so afraid for so long of what it would mean to let herself love again. But once she had let go of that fear, she had come to love the tom in front of her with a deep, fierce passion that brought her more peace and happiness than she had known for a very long time. She had never forgotten Tigerstar – she didn't know if she ever could forget him – but her new mate was a better tom than he had ever been, and she loved him with all of her heart. Piece by piece, she had been able to leave Tigerstar in the past, and build a new life with the cats that she loved in the here and now.

     The tom touched his nose to Sasha's cheek, his warm breath stirring the tips of her fur. “Have fun on your patrol, love,” he murmured.

     She closed her eyes, leaning into his touch. “You too, Shrewstar,” she murmured.

     Shrewstar pulled back, blinking warmly at his mate, before turning and padding away. Sasha watched him go for a few moments, then padded away to join her own patrol. Kayleewing and Bouncefire were standing by the camp's entrance with their apprentices beside them. Softpetal, Embershade, and Lunacloud, the newest daylight warrior, were waiting with them, as well as an excited Flutterpaw. “Good, we're all here,” Bouncefire mewed. “Then let's get going.”

     The ginger tom led his patrol over the rocks and out into the forest. Hues of red and amber painted the treetops and the leaf-ridden forest floor, and golden light poured through the breaks between tree branches. The days were getting colder - leafbare would be there soon. But SkyClan had made it through leafbare before, and Sasha knew they would do it again, as long as they had each other.

     As the patrol walked along, Flutterpaw kept her ears pricked and swiveling at every sound. Her eyes were bright as she stared out into the undergrowth. “I heard some robins singing earlier,” she commented. “Should we try to track them down?”

     “Don’t be mouse-brained,” Lunacloud snorted. “Those birds could be half a forest away by now.”

     Sasha narrowed her eyes at the she-cat. Lunacloud was a fine hunter and loyal warrior, but she could be pretty blunt and snobbish at times. She lashed her tail once, then turned to Flutterpaw. “She’s right that the birds could have flown away by now,” she explained, though in a gentler tone than Lunacloud had taken. “And when birds sing like that, it usually means they’re somewhere that they think a predator can’t reach them, like high up in a tree, where even we can’t easily climb.” Flutterpaw was starting to look embarrassed, so Sasha added, “It’s always good to be aware of your surroundings and any signs of prey. Part of being a warrior is just learning when to listen to which signs, and how to use all of them to your best advantage.”

     Flutterpaw ducked her head. “I’ll remember that next time,” she vowed.

     “Don’t worry, Flutterpaw,” Embershade mewed. The tortoiseshell cast a friendly gaze towards Sasha, saying, “You’ve got a good mentor, and you’re a smart cat. You’ll be a warrior in no time.”

     Sasha blinked gratefully at her former apprentice. Ebonyclaw’s kits had become apprentices a few moons after Sasha joined the Clan, and Sharpstar had chosen Sasha to mentor Emberpaw. Sparkpaw, later Sparkbreeze, had been assigned to Crowdusk, but Smokepaw chose a different path than his littermates. All three cats seemed happy with the paths that they had chosen. Sparkbreeze and Embershade had grown into fine warriors, just like their parents, and Sasha was fiercely proud of the warrior Embershade had become. Smokepaw had come just as far as his sisters. Though technically still an apprentice, Smokesong was now a fully-trained medicine cat, which had finally allowed his mentor Frecklewish to have kits with her mate, Rabbitleap. Smokesong was fulfilling most of Frecklewish’s duties while she looked after her kits.

     Thoughts of her first apprentice led Sasha to sadder thoughts of the cat who had chosen her as a mentor. Sharpstar had ruled SkyClan for another leafbare and a half after Sasha joined SkyClan. Last newleaf, however, he had finally lost his last life in a battle against a fox, in which Sageleaf also perished. Then-apprentices Creampaw and Barkpaw survived because of his sacrifice. Shrewtooth received his nine lives after that and became SkyClan’s new leader, with Rabbitleap as his deputy. Grief for Sharpstar still hung over the Clan like a dark cloud, but it had slipped away more and more as each moon passed, giving way to hope for the future. Sasha would always be grateful to the tom who invited her to join SkyClan in the first place, and she grieved for Sharpstar as much as the rest of the Clan, but she knew that SkyClan was in safe paws under Shrewstar’s leadership.

     Sasha was drawn out of her thoughts of the past by two bright voices. Nightpaw and Morningpaw were chatting with their mentors, their eyes shining as they took in what they were being told. Sasha’s heart surged with love at the sight of them. It had taken her a long time to be ready to have a second litter, but she couldn’t be more happy now that she had them. Shrewstar had agreed to let her name their daughters, with some suggestions from him - Nightpaw for ShadowClan, and the darkness her life had started with, and Morningpaw for how her life had changed for the better and become brighter. And both names were for SkyClan, the morning and night sky, after the place where she had made her fresh start and where she and her family belonged.

     Shrewstar had worried about Nightpaw’s name at first, but he’d understood when she’d explained why she’d chosen it. While she didn’t forgive what had happened in her past, it had still ultimately led her to discover SkyClan, and her experiences with ShadowClan were what had made her realize she was a warrior at heart. Both morning and night had shaped her into who she was. Whatever their names, Sasha and Shrewstar loved their daughters dearly, and had done their best to raise them well. And now they would finally become warriors.

     “You’ll stay for the ceremony, won’t you?” Morningpaw was asking Kayleewing. “I know you have to get back to your twolegs, but-”

     “Of course I’ll stay!” Kayleewing interrupted her apprentice with a purr. “I wouldn’t miss it for all of StarClan! In fact, I’m going to stay in camp tonight so I can be the first to greet you in the morning after your vigil.”

     Joy lit up in Morningpaw’s eyes. “Really?” she gasped. “Your twolegs won’t mind?”

     “They can stand to live without me for one night,” Kayleewing mewed brightly. “This is your big day, Morningpaw. I want to be there for it.”

     From the front of the group, Bouncefire added to Nightpaw, “And you know I’ll be there. That goes for after the ceremony too. Even though I won’t be your mentor anymore, I’ll always be here if you need my help. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for anything.” The tom’s tone was unusually sincere. Even after this many seasons of having a happy family, Bouncefire was gruff more often than not, though not in an unkind way. But there was pride in his eyes as he gazed at Nightpaw now.

     Nightpaw nudged Bouncefire’s shoulder with her own, purring her amusement. “I’m sure I’ll be too embarrassed to ever ask anything again once my name changes,” she joked in a wry tone. Bouncefire gave a dry purr of laughter in response.

     Seeing her daughters joking and laughing with their mentors, their last time doing so as apprentices, filled Sasha with a sort of bittersweet joy. She suddenly felt the need to say something before they became warriors. “Bouncefire, would you mind if I borrow these two for a moment?” she called out to the patrol leader. Morningpaw and Nightpaw looked back at her in surprise. “I won’t keep them too long.”

     Bouncefire nodded easily. “Take all the time you need.” With a flick of his tail, he led the rest of the patrol away, leaving Sasha alone with her daughters.

     “What’s going on?” Nightpaw asked, concern glowing in her eyes. “Is something wrong?”

     Sasha paused a moment, taking in the sight of her two daughters, grown cats now, no longer tiny kittens that needed her protection. Her chest swelled with pride and sadness alike. “Nothing's wrong,” she assured them. “I just wanted to talk to you before we head back to camp.”

     She curled her tail, unable to hold back a purr. “I wanted to tell you how proud I am of you, both of you,” she mewed. “You've both worked so hard to get to this point. I know you're going to make fine warriors. I want you to know that I'll always be here if you need me – but I also know that you're grown cats now, and that you can look after yourselves.” Unease pricked at Sasha's pelt. She had been so afraid of losing her daughters the same way that she'd lost her first litter, she'd sometimes been too over-protective when the kits were young. She'd worked hard with Shrewstar to overcome that, but she worried sometimes whether her daughters still saw her that way.

     “I'll always be here for you, but I understand that you'll want to stand on your own as warriors now, and I respect that,” she continued. “Just know that I always love you.”

     Surprise lit up in the sisters' eyes. “Don't be mousebrained,” Morningpaw mewed bluntly. “Of course we still need you!”

     Nightpaw took a gentler approach. “We are going to be warriors, and we can look after ourselves as much as any other warrior,” she mewed in a soft tone. “But the whole point of being in a Clan is that no cat stands alone. We all depend on each other. We don't want to be treated like kits, of course, but we'll always turn to you when we need you. You're our mother.”

     Joy lit up in Sasha's heart. “Thank you,” she purred. “All I want is for you two to be happy, whatever that means for me and your father.” She reached out her muzzle, touching her nose to Nightpaw's ear. “I'm just happy seeing you take your place as warriors. I'm so proud of both of you,” she repeated.

     For a moment, uncertainty flashed in Morningpaw's eyes. “Do you think our brother and sister would be proud of us too?” she asked. Sasha blinked at her in surprise. “If they knew us, I mean?”

     Grief twisted in Sasha's heart. Not a day had gone by that she didn't think of Mothwing and Hawkfrost, and of her poor lost Tadpole. The whole Clan knew about her past now. She had told them over time, when she'd been ready, when the hurt felt bad enough that she needed to share it with others. But the hurt grew less and less with every day. Hawkfrost and Mothwing were happy with their own Clan, and now, she had two beautiful, wonderful daughters that she'd never been forced to give up. She could see so much of her other kits in her daughters. Mothwing's compassion and thoughtfulness were reflected in Nightpaw, Tadpole's energy and joy in Morningpaw, and Hawkfrost's ferocity and courage in both of them. But they were their own cats too, and wonderful in all their own ways. It brought Sasha more joy than she had ever known to watch them grow into the extraordinary cats that they had become.

     “Of course they would be proud of you,” she murmured, rasping her tongue gently over Morningpaw's head. “They would be just as proud of you as I am.” She pulled back, gazing at both of her kits with equal pride. “And I know that right now, Tadpole is watching over all of us, and he's proud too.” She blinked slowly at both kits, then gave a quick shake of her head. “But today isn't about the past. It's about your future. So let's get going, before Bouncefire wonders where we got to.”

     “And when sunset comes, it'll finally be your time to be warriors.”

SCENEBREAK

     “Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey join here beneath the Rockpile for a Clan meeting!”

     A crowd was already beginning to gather in front of the Rockpile before Shrewstar even opened his mouth. News of the ceremony had spread quickly through the Clan. Sasha near the front, next to Cherrytail and Graystorm. Everyone was in the crowd, even the daylight warriors. Oreopaw was sitting beside her father, Macgyver, and Lunacloud was sitting beside some of the younger warriors, the older daylight cats scattered in the crowd. The youngest warriors, Barkfall and Creamwillow, were sitting near their mother Peachflower, with their father Harrytooth on their mother's other side. Even some of the local kittypet and loner visitors had decided to stay for the day's ceremony. All of SkyClan and its friends were gathered together to celebrate this special moment.

     As Sasha sat, out of the corner of her eye, she spotted movement from the nursery. Two curious kits were poking their heads out of the nursery, but Cosettecloud quickly herded them back inside. Sasha's whiskers twitched. Cosettecloud and Birdshade hadn't been able to have kits of their own, but Cosettecloud had managed to find a kittypet tom willing to father kits for them, and now the couple was lovingly raising their kits together. Her heart stirred with joy. New life was starting all the time, and even now that her kits' journey growing up was done, new journeys were already starting.

     Sasha's attention was drawn back to the Rockpile as Shrewstar lifted his head. “Today is a day of celebration for our Clan,” he called out for every cat to hear. Joy was blazing in his eyes. “SkyClan has seen hard times and losses, and leafbare is coming soon to bring us more grief. But we will survive, as we have always done, and now two of our members are ready to join our ranks as full warriors. Step forward, Nightpaw and Morningpaw!”

     Sasha watched as her daughters made their way through the crowd. Their pelts were groomed to perfection, even Morningpaw's scruffy pelt, and their eyes were shining with joy as they came to stand before their father.

     Shrewstar leaped down from the Rockpile, coming to stand in front of his daughters. Love glowed in his eyes as he called out, “I, Shrewstar, leader of SkyClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on these apprentices. They have trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend them to you as warriors in their turn.” Pride glinted in his eyes. “Morningpaw, Nightpaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code, and to protect and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?”

     “I do,” Morningpaw purred, joy blazing in her eyes.

     “I do,” Nightpaw echoed. Though outwardly she was calmer than her sister, Sasha could see the excitement she was hiding underneath.

     A purr escaped Shrewstar. “Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior names.” His gaze slid briefly to Sasha. Her chest flooded with warmth – they had picked these warrior names together.

     “Nightpaw, from this moment on you will be known as Nightstream.” Sasha watched as her daughter stiffened in joy at her new name. Nightstream – a name for RiverClan and her connection to them, and for her calm and contemplative personality. “StarClan honors yours patience and your forethought, and we welcome you as a full warrior of SkyClan.” Nightstream purred her joy, ducking her head so Shrewstar could lay his chin over it.

     With his first daughter named, Shrewstar turned next to his second kit. “Morningpaw, from this moment on you will be known as Morningbreeze,” he announced. The newly-named Morningbreeze bristled in excitement. Sasha and Shrewstar had chosen her name for her energy and freedom, and for the spirit that she had inherited from both of her parents. “StarClan honors your determination and your spirit, and we welcome you as a full warrior of SkyClan.”

     A cheer rose up from the crowd. “Nightstream! Morningbreeze! Nightstream! Morningbreeze!” Sasha added her voice to the crowd, her heart ready to burst with joy as she called the new names of her kits. Morningbreeze and Nightstream stood before their Clanmates, practically trembling with joy as they were accepted as full warriors.

     Even as the ceremony came to an end, and the crowd broke up, Sasha remained where she was, her heart full of love and joy and contentment. She didn't look at Shrewstar as he came to stand beside her. She just kept her gaze fixed on the spot where Morningbreeze and Nightstream had padded out of camp to start their vigil. She felt nearly ready to burst with love. Her purring and Shrewstar's blended together as they sat side by side, until it was nearly thunderous in sound. There was no need for either cat to say a word.

     Sasha's life had been full of so much pain, and the losses and betrayals of those she had cared about the most. And that pain had taken a long time to work past. But in the end, it had all been worthwhile. She had two wonderful kits serving RiverClan with loyalty and love, and she knew that Tadpole still watched over her, safe in StarClan with the ancestors of SkyClan. And now, she had a Clan that she could call her own, a family that love and supported her, an amazing mate that she loved with all her heart. And most importantly, she had two amazing daughters who were now warriors of SkyClan beside her. One day, she would walk with all of them in StarClan, a united family once more. But for now she knew exactly where she belonged.

     And now, finally, she was happy.

END OF NOVELLA FIVE
EOTW: Sasha's Calling: Chapter Eleven
COVER: link
ALLEGIANCES: link
CHAPTER ONE: link
PREVIOUS: link
ALLEGIANCES OF SKYCLAN: link
SKYCLAN WARRIOR CODE: link

Well, here we are. The end of the novella. :D I'm gonna post the allegiances of SkyClan at the time of this last chapter in a few minutes, and I'll discuss full warrior names and fates for some of the cats there, so keep an eye out for that, but this is the end of the story proper.

Y'know, after Shrewfoot's Spite, it was nice to write a novella with a happy ending again. :P I'm not totally satisfied with this chapter, something about it is still bugging me, but it does hit the points I wanted to hit for the most part. Most of all, I wanted to show that Sasha is totally settled and happy in SkyClan, and that she's finally where she's always belonged, as a warrior of a Clan, and SkyClan has become a family to her. That's what the calling in the title refers to. I'm a total proponent of not every cat needing to be a warrior or a Clan cat to be happy and fulfilled, but that line from Return to the Clans about her being a warrior always had me totally convinced that Sasha was a Clan cat and a wariror through and through. This novella was a chance for me to finally explore that, and to pair her up with the Clan that I always felt fit her tolerance and compassion for others the best, SkyClan.

I always loved the idea of Shrewtooth leading SkyClan one day, so I definitely wanted to work that into this fic, as well as him giving his kits their warrior names, chosen by him and Sasha. I always loved Rabbitleap after the manga at the end of SkyClan's Destiny, so he was definitely my first choice for Shrewstar's deputy. ^^ I thought a lot about the names and designs and personalities for Sasha's second litter - I always knew I wanted to give her and Shrewstar kits of their own. Not everyone needs a romantic relationship or children to have their happy ending, and that's important to represent as well, but just with who Sasha is, it felt right that she would eventually want a second litter and that this time she would never have to have them taken away from her. Nightstream and Morningbreeze felt like fitting names for all of the reasons I listed in the story, and I tried to make their descriptions a good mix of their parents. I think I succeeded. ^^

We also learn here that Sasha mentored Embershade, the SkyClan kit she saved from drowning that started all of this, and that she now mentors Crowdusk's daughter Flutterpaw. I always felt she'd be a good mentor, and I thought her and Embershade's personalities would mesh well for that. ^^

I can't remember everything that I wanted to say here, but I think that covered most of it. It was really fun plotting out this novella and writing it, and it was so nice to finally give Sasha the happy ending I always felt that she deserved. Now, I mentioned earlier that I might be rather busy in the near future. My plans aren't totally settled yet, so that might not end up being the case, but it's possible that some real life stuff is going to keep me rather busy for the foreseeable future. If you don't see much content from me for a good while, that would be why, and though I have the next novella planned, I won't be starting it for quite a while. But don't worry - I'm not going away for good, and I definitely have more content planned for you guys. Until then, I hope you've enjoyed Sasha's Calling, and keep an eye out for the allegiances I'll be posting soon. I'll probably also be posting ref sheets for Morningbreeze and Nightstream soon. ^^
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Warriors Series 5.5: Echoes of the War
Novella 5: Sasha's Calling
Chapter Ten

     The loner sat in the snow for a while after Sharpstar had gone. Her mind was racing with thoughts and memories, but the panic she’d felt last time she’d gotten this offer no longer accompanied them. She allowed her mind to go over her entire life, her memories of the Clans, and her feelings for SkyClan.

     She started with her early life with her house folk. In those first moons, she had been happy as a kittypet. She wouldn’t give up those memories for anything. But Ken and Jean were gone, and she had enjoyed life in the wild much too long to ever be happy as a kittypet again. That life was behind her - but so was any happiness she’d had in her life as a rogue. Her first moons on her own had been happy, but she’d been doomed to be unsatisfied in that life from the moment she set paw in ShadowClan’s camp. Whatever choices she’d made, whatever she’d denied herself through fear or through circumstance, she wasn’t made for living alone. She was a cat that longed for the companionship of others, and the friendship and loyalty they could offer each other. She wasn’t a loner anymore than she was a kittypet. But if that was the case, then what was she?

     Slowly, her mind played over her time with the Clans. Hunting in the forest with Blackfoot’s patrol. Joking and laughing with Russetfur. Fighting side by side with ShadowClan to confront ThunderClan intruders. Swimming and hanging out with Leopardstar. Overlooking her kits’ training as they grew into full RiverClan warriors. The joy of seeing them earn their full names. And finally, oddly, her mind jumped back to a particular moment, when she and her kits had tried to take shelter at the barn, to the farm queen panting and trembling in front of her after she beat her in battle. Sasha had been shaking with righteous anger, standing between the miserable she-cats and the kits she would die to protect, and the queen had said something. “You're... you’re one of those stupid warriors, aren’t you?”

     She remembered her response to that miserable she-cat - and suddenly, everything felt clear.

     “Sasha?” The loner turned to see Shrewtooth approaching from the camp, coming to stand before her. A thick clump of cobwebs had been wrapped around his wounded leg, some sort of herb poultice being kept in place by the webs. Concern glowed in the tom’s eyes. “You’ve been out here for a while,” he mewed. “Did Sharpstar say something to you?”

     The loner purred. Though there was still a flutter of fear in her chest, the sight of the tom brought a sense of joy and comfort that only hardened her resolve. “Nothing bad, I promise,” she assured him. “Just something I needed to hear.” Shrewtooth looked confused, but there was a glow of relief in his eyes. Sasha stood. “Come on,” she mewed, suddenly feeling much lighter than she had in seasons. “It’s a beautiful night. I feel like going stargazing - care to join me?”

     Warmth lit up in a Shrewtooth’s eyes. “I know the perfect place,” he told her.

     The deputy led Sasha to the top of the gorge, guiding her up a series of ledges and across a large crevice, until they were at the top of a large rock. Sasha padded curiously up to the edge of the rock, surprised to see that it jutted out over SkyClan’s camp. She could see the dark water of the river churning past below, and a few distant specks as cats paced in front of the medicine den, but other than that all was still below.

     “This is the Skyrock,” Shrewtooth informer the loner. “The Clan holds the Gathering here every full moon, and leaders gain their nine lives here. It’s the closest in SkyClan territory that you can get to StarClan.” There was a peaceful gleam of contentment in Shrewtooth’s eyes as he settled down onto the snow. Sasha laid down beside him. “We can see our ancestors more clearly here than anywhere else.”

     Sasha glanced curiously at Shrewtooth. “How do you have Gatherings without the other Clans?” she asked.

     “We may not have neighbors to share our news with, but the full-moon truce is still important to SkyClan,” the deputy explained. “We hold Gatherings every full moon to honor that, and our traditions, and to tell each other stories of the past moon and celebrate our accomplishments.”

     Sasha allowed that to sink in as she and Shrewtooth settled side-by-side onto their backs to stare up at the stars. The earlier flurrying had stopped, and the clouds had pulled away, leaving a perfectly clear night sky above them. Hundreds of thousands of stars gleamed in the dark sky and lit up the night. Sasha could understand perfectly why Shrewtooth called it the closest one could get to StarClan - she almost felt like she could reach out with her paw and scoop up the stars in her claws and take them for her own.

     There was something comforting about the closeness of the stars, and the closeness of Shrewtooth’s pelt against her own. She was feeling braver than she had in seasons. If this was a place for sharing stories of the past and reaffirming bonds between cat and cat, then maybe it was finally time to face her own past by sharing it with another.

     “I wasn’t born a loner, you know.” Shrewtooth turned a little to face her, his yellow-green gaze fixed curiously on her, but he said nothing, allowing her to continue. “My mother was a she-cat named Sapphire. She was a purebred Siamese cat.”

     “Purebred,” Shrewtooth repeated, eyes glowing with surprise. “You mean, a kittypet?

     Sasha nodded. “Her house folk wanted her to have purebred kits of her own, but my mother was stubborn,” she told them. Memories of the beautiful she-cat swam in her mind, making her pause. She hadn’t thought of her mother or father in seasons. The happy, secure first moons of her life felt like part of someone else’s story, or like they were from another lifetime. “Instead she had kits with a local kittypet, a tom named Blackjack, with no Siamese blood,” she continued. “My littermates and I were their kits. We were raised with house folk all around us, and eventually we were each sent off to live with our own house folk.”

     “I missed my family, but my house folk, Ken and Jean, welcomed me into their home. They loved me like a kit of their own.” Grief clawed at Sasha’s heart. “But then Jean got sick. My house folk were already old when I moved in as a kitten, and Jean died when I was still young. Then Ken was taken away by some younger house folk, and I was left alone.”

     Sasha paused, taking a moment to collect herself. Shrewtooth reached out a paw and laid it comfortingly over her own. “I’m sorry,” he murmured. “I was never that close to any of my twolegs, but I’ve seen how much my daylight Clanmates love their house folk. I’m sorry you lost them.”

     “Your twolegs?” Sasha repeated, surprised out of her grief. “You were a kittypet too?” She had hidden her own kittypet roots for so long out of fear of being looked down on that sometimes she forgot that she wasn’t the only kittypet-born wild cat. Even in the accepting SkyClan, with their daylight warriors and kittypet visitors, she somehow hadn’t stopped to think more than the daylight cats had kittypet roots.

     Something dark flashed in Shrewtooth’s eyes. “For a time, yes,” he said carefully. “My mother wasn’t a kittypet, but she did live with twolegs as a farm cat, hunting mice that lived in the barn, and the twolegs looked after her and gave her a place to live.” For a moment, a wistful gleam came into Shrewtooth’s eyes, replacing the earlier fear. “Her name was Tess,” he murmured. “My father left before I was born, and my littermates were stillborn, so it was just me and my mother. She called me her little Shrew, and she looked after me - but she died when I was still kit.”

     Sympathy pricked at Sasha’s heart. “I’m sorry,” she murmured.

     Shrewtooth just gave a sad twitch of his tail, then continued, “I learned to hunt and live on my own in the woods. But when I was still a young cat, an old twoleg captured me and made me his kittypet.” The fear returned to Shrewtooth’s eyes, and he seemed to draw in on himself, becoming smaller, more vulnerable. “My time as a kittypet wasn’t... pleasant. I don't talk about it much.” He glanced at her after a moment, his expression suddenly apologetic. “I'm sorry, I know you've been telling me about your own past...”

     It was hard to see the kind, thoughtful tom retreating into his fear and hurt the way that he was - but Sasha could see her own pain and fear reflected in the tom, and she understood it. “Don't worry about it,” she assured him in a gentle mew. “I waited until I was ready to tell you. I'm not going to push you for anything if you're not ready.” Fear flickered in Shrewtooth's eyes again, but after a moment, there was gratitude there instead. Sasha allowed her tail-tip to brush comfortingly across his flank, then she changed the subject so Shrewtooth didn’t have to dwell on his fearful memories. “I did sort of the same thing you did,” she mewed. Shrewtooth's gaze grew calmer as he listened. “I decided that if I couldn’t have my house folk, I didn’t want any, and so I left to live on my own in the woods.” Her breath caught for a moment. “And that's where I met him.”

     “Him?” Shrewtooth repeated gently. He seemed to sense the shift in Sasha's mood; his paw reached out to brush against hers again. There was sadness in his eyes, as if he at least partly guessed where this was going, but he said nothing further on it.

     “Tigerstar,” Sasha breathed. Memories of the dark tabby flooded her mind; his dark fur, the hard muscle under a rippling pelt, the scars from a lifetime of battle, his intense amber gaze that sent her heart racing. The dark heart that had taken everything she loved away from her. “He was ShadowClan's leader when I came to the forest. He was strong and handsome and brave, and he helped teach me how to hunt and fight like a Clan cat.” She closed her eyes. “I fell in love.”

     Shrewtooth waited patiently as Sasha paused to pull herself together. “Tigerstar gave me the chance to join ShadowClan to be his mate. And I almost accepted. I loved him more deeply than I'd ever loved before, even though he thought that kittypets were worthless, even though he made me swear not to tell any cat that I'd been a kittypet, because he saw it as shameful.” Sympathy glowed in Shrewtooth's eyes. “And part of me still loves him, even after everything. But I learned the truth about him before I had the chance to join his Clan.”

     “What truth?” Shrewtooth asked gently.

     “Tigerstar was born in ThunderClan, and had been their deputy for a time, before becoming ShadowClan's leader,” she explained. “He told me that his leader had exiled him because she envied his strength – but the truth was that he had murdered the old deputy in secret so he would be chosen in his place.” Shrewtooth stiffened, surprise and horror flashing in his eyes. “After the truth was discovered, Tigerstar was exiled, then he became ShadowClan's leader after their old one died.”

     A bitter edge came to her mew as she added, “But that wasn't enough for him. I overheard him and his warriors planning to take over the other Clans by force, and killing any cat who stood in their way, or who had divided loyalties by being halfClan. I later learned that he took all halfClan cats in RiverClan prisoner and forced them to fight to the death. I left him and the forest as soon as I found out the truth, and while I was gone, Tigerstar was killed by a rogue he tried to ally with to take over the forest.”

     “That's horrible,” Shrewtooth breathed. Sasha expected judgment, but there was only gentle sympathy in his eyes. “I'm so sorry, Sasha.”

     Sasha sighed. “That's not everything,” she murmured. “After I left the forest, I discovered I was expecting Tigerstar's kits.” Surprise flashed in Shrewtooth's eyes, but he stayed silent, allowing her to continue. “I came back to the forest to give birth to them, though I stayed well out of ShadowClan's way. There were three of them. Hawk, Moth, and Tadpole.” The name of her firstborn brought a fierce wave of grief crashing over the she-cat, but she forced herself to press on. “I struggled to look after them on my own. I had to leave them alone when they went hunting, and as they got older, they got more adventurous. One day, they snuck away to twolegplace while I was out hunting, to see if they could find Ken if he was still alive. They got trapped in a den that flooded... Hawk and Moth made it out, but Tadpole drowned.”

     This time, Sasha allowed herself to feel her grief, closing her eyes and feeling her pelt tremble all over with the force of it. Shrewtooth brushed his tail against her, and Sasha leaned into his embrace, burying her muzzle against his neck and allowing the tom to steady her trembling. “I'm so sorry,” Shrewtooth repeated, his mew trembling a little. Horror was glowing in his eyes. “I can't even imagine.”

     Sasha just nodded. She gave herself some time to stop her trembling and reign her grief back in before continuing. “I realized after Tadpole died that I wasn't up to caring for Moth and Hawk by myself.” Her mew was rough with emotion, but she managed to keep herself from slipping back into that horrible haze of grief again. “Another rogue had told me that RiverClan was less aggressive and hostile than the other Clans, so I decided that the only thing I could do to provide for my kits was to have us all join RiverClan. Their leader, Leopardstar, was kind, and she started my kits on their warrior training not long after we joined the Clan. My kits were happier than they'd ever been.”

     “I was determined to make sure no one ever knew who Mothpaw and Hawkpaw's father was,” Sasha continued. “Tigerstar's life of murder and treachery was revealed to the Clans before he died, so he was hated by all of the Clans now, and I didn't want my kits to be judged for their father's deeds. But I quickly realized that there was no way that it would remain secret if I stayed with the Clan. I would have to attend Gatherings eventually, and the ShadowClan cats I knew when I was with Tigerstar would recognize me, and they would realize just who had fathered my kits. So I made the hardest decision I ever had to. I left my kits to be raised by RiverClan, and returned to my life as a rogue, alone.”

     Sasha nearly broke down again, but Shrewtooth touched his nose to her cheek, murmuring, “I can't imagine how hard that choice must have been. But you were trying to do what was best for your kits. No cat could blame you for that.”

     The loner stared at Shrewtooth for a few moments. He was so gentle, so understanding, because he had felt fear and loss too. In that moment, Sasha was struck by just how different he was from Tigerstar – and how much she loved him for it. A small purr escaped her before she continued. “Hawkfrost and Mothwing grew up to become RiverClan warriors, though Mothwing later decided to train as a medicine cat. I visited them as often as I could. Eventually, the twolegs began destroying the forest, and the Clans decided to leave entirely.” Shame flooded her as memories of that day played in her mind. “I... I was scared. I knew the forest wasn't safe for my kits anymore, and I was scared the the Clan could no longer protect them as I'd hoped. I didn't want to lose them. I confronted them in front of the Clans and asked them to leave their Clan to live with me again. And... I revealed who their father was, in front of everyone, to try and push them into leaving.”

     She sighed. “But I failed. Mothwing was the Clan's full medicine cat by that point, they needed her, and Hawkfrost... well, he was always polite, but I could sense him growing more distant to me over the moons. I think he wanted to be seen as totally loyal by his Clanmates, and having a rogue mother soiled that, so he tried to push me away. There was no way he would ever leave his Clan for me.” She closed her eyes, fighting back a wave of pain. “That was the last time I ever saw either of them. The Clans left the forest, and I wandered alone, too scared to care about anyone again – until I met you and SkyClan.”

     Surprise flashed in Shrewtooth's eyes. After a moment, though, the look there softened into warmth. “I can't imagine how hard all of that must have been,” he murmured. He pressed against Sasha's side, laying his chin over her head, while she curled up against him. “I see now why you were so reluctant to stay with our Clan. I'm sorry.” He pulled back, gazing at her with a somber expression. “But I hope... from everything you told me, you were always trying to do what was best for your kits. Even if you made mistakes, you were always trying to protect them. They were lucky to have a mother like you. What you went through was terrible, but you're a good cat, Sasha. I've always known that.”

     Emotion surged in Sasha's chest at his words. She twined her tail with his, trying to steady its trembling. Shrewtooth watched her with a gentle gaze as he continued, “And I hope you can believe that SkyClan cares about you. We're not like Tigerstar or his Clan. I know my Clanmates, and these cats, they really care about you – and, well, I care about you too. A lot.” There was a shyness to the tom's expression as he admitted that, but his mew didn't waver.

     Sasha pressed her muzzle against his neck, purring deeply. Recounting her past had been difficult, but somehow, now that it was all out in the open, she felt freer than she had in seasons. “I believe it,” she murmured. “It took me a while, but I truly believe it – and I care about you too, Shrewtooth.” Joy flashed in Shrewtooth's eyes, and she could feel a deep purr rumbling within his chest as she pressed against him.

     “And I think I finally know what to do about it.”

SCENEBREAK

     “Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey join here beneath the Rockpile for a Clan meeting!”

     Sharpstar's call drew the attention of every cat in the clearing. The cats of SkyClan abandoned their evening meals and made their way to the Rockpile, gathering in a crowd in front of it. Sasha joined them. She came to stand beside Shrewtooth and Frecklewish. The tabby leader stood atop of the rocks, his head lifted proudly.

     “Yesterday, our warriors fought bravely to drive a dog from our territory,” he called out for every cat to hear. “Our patrols have confirmed that the dog has left our borders. From the beating it got yesterday, I doubt it will be in any hurry to return.” Triumphant yowls rose from the crowd, warrior and loner visitors alike cheering for the Clan's victory. The cats from the patrol were all in the crowd, even Harrytooth, who had recovered from his blow to the head. Billystorm stood proudly beside his son, joining the crowd's cheers.

     Sharpstar allowed them to cheer for a short time before waving his tail for silence. “But our victory was only possible because of one cat, who warned our patrol in time to save them,” he continued. “A cat who has been a friend and ally to our Clan time and time again, and has proven to have the loyalty, compassion, and courage that any warrior would be proud of. And today, she finally takes her place among us.” The tom lifted his chin. “Step forward, Sasha!”

     Shocked mews rose from the crowd. The she-cat had discussed her decision with no one other than Shrewtooth and Sharpstar before the Clan meeting. As the surprise wore off, however, she could see joy and acceptance shining in the eyes of the cats all around her. The kits, the warriors, the elders... even Tetra and her kits, who had only known Sasha for a short term, were purring their approval. Shrewtooth nudged her shoulder, murmuring, “Go on.” She glanced back at him with a small purr, then rose to her paws, approaching the Rockpile. As she padded up to the SkyClan leader, her mind once again played over her victory over the farm queen, and the queen's question. “You're... you're one of those stupid warriors, aren't you?”

     And with a proud heart, she remembered her response. “That's right. I am a warrior.”

     Sharpstar leaped down from the Rockpile, standing before the loner. “Sasha, is it your wish to become a warrior of SkyClan, and to serve beside us for the rest of your life?” he asked, calling out so that every cat could hear.

     Sasha met the leader's gaze calmly. “It is,” she answered in a clear mew. All of the fear and hurt that had plagued her for so long was muted now, leaving her strong and confident as she stood before her new leader. She knew that wasn't the end of it. Hurt like hers was not banished so easily, and she knew there would be hard days still ahead. But with the love and support of her new Clan, she could get through it, and she knew now more clearly than ever that this was where she belonged. She was no loner – she had always been, deep in her heart, a warrior.

     “On one condition,” she continued. “I would like to keep my name. My house folk gave it to me, and I am proud to carry it still, and to remember the love they had for me.” Even more surprised cries rang out from the crowd, from the cats who hadn't known of her kittypet past. Sasha no longer felt fear of being shamed for it. Not from this Clan. The fear that Tigerstar had taught her would no longer rule her. She was finally ready to leave Tigerstar, and everything he had meant to her, behind her.

     Sharpstar dipped his head. “Very well,” he rumbled. When he lifted his head once more, he began with the words that Sasha thought she would never get to hear. “I, Sharpstar, leader of SkyClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on this cat. She has fought hard to defend the ways of your noble code, and I commend her to you as a warrior in her turn.”

     Her breath caught as he continued, “Sasha, do you promise to uphold the warrior code, and to protect and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?”

     Sasha's mind flashed to the memories of her time with the Clans. Of the strength and courage she'd felt when fighting beside Tigerstar. Of the joy of seeing her own kits become warriors. Of the love and loyalty she shared with the SkyClan cats. And she knew her answer.

     “I do.” Her words rang out clear for every cat to hear.

     “Then by the powers of StarClan, I confirm your warrior name,” Sharpstar announced. “From this moment on, you will continue to be known as Sasha. StarClan honors your strength and your compassion, and we welcome you as a full warrior of SkyClan.”

     Joy, fiercer than Sasha had ever known, flooded through the new warrior as the ceremony was completed. She dipped her head to her leader, allowing Sharpstar to rest his chin atop her head. As he pulled back and she lifted her head, she could hear her new Clanmates calling out her name with joy and love in their voices. “Sasha! Sasha! Sasha!”

     Her path had been a hard one. She had known loss and suffering and betrayal, and the ones she had loved most dearly had been lost to her. But she had survived. She had broken past the loss of her past by allowing herself to find love and happiness again. Two of her kits were still alive, and happy with their lives somewhere, and now it was time for her to be happy too. She had finally fulfilled the calling that had been waiting for her all of her life. She was a warrior at last. And now, with her new Clan all around her, and with the support of her fellow warriors, she knew that she was exactly where she belonged.
EOTW: Sasha's Calling: Chapter Ten
COVER: link
ALLEGIANCES: link
CHAPTER ONE: link
PREVIOUS: link
NEXT: link

I promised I'd have the next chapter up soon. ^^ Like I said, this was supposed to be part of chapter nine, but it got too long, so I chopped it into two chapters. That means there's still one more chapter for this novella, chapter eleven, and I'm gonna try to get that done and posted really soon. I know this chapter seemed rather final, but trust me, there's a bit more to wrap up - all I'll say is, expect a jump forward in time. ;)

So here we get to see Sasha opening up to Shrewtooth about her past, and we get to learn a little more about his, namely his mother's name. I'm gonna give the descriptions and names for all of Sasha's parents and littermates, and for Shrewtooth's mother, because I feel like it. :P

Sasha's Parents:

Sapphire - lithe, tall oriental cream she-cat with dark brown points and blue eyes, purebred Siamese
Blackjack - small black tom with a white muzzle, chest, and paws, and pale yellow eyes

Sasha's Littermates:

Pearl - white she-cat with blue eyes
Sassy - light creamy-brown she-cat with a white chest, muzzle, and paws and ice-blue eyes
Layla - dark brown she-cat with yellow eyes
Poe - small, skinny black tom with a white chin, chest, and paws and yellow eyes
Tao - cream tom with brown points and blue eyes

Shrewtooth's Parents:

Tess - scruffy dark gray-and-white she-cat with yellow-green eyes
Juniper - sleek black tom with golden eyes, loner

Juniper and Tess had a brief relationship, but Juniper wasn't up for something more committed, so he left before Tess discovered she was pregnant. The rest of her kits were stillborn. I based Sasha's littermates off of the page in Into the Woods that shows her and her littermates in their nest together, though I expanded on their designs a bit. They all went on to be happy kittypets, I think, I didn't really want to go too much into their stories, just their descriptions. I liked the idea of Sasha being half-Siamese, sort of making her a bit of a halfbreed with rebels in her family from the start, to make her even more of a stark contrast from the pureblood-obsessed Tigerstar. Plus, I liked the idea of her build being sort of half Siamese, lithe and with a longer muzzle and narrow face, but not nearly as much as a full-blooded Siamese.

And we also finally see Sasha become a warrior, in the finale that probably everyone saw coming, but oh well. :P Really, the main reason for me writing this novella boils down to that one line from Return to the Clans. "That's right, I am a warrior." That was when I became convinced that Sasha wasn't just a loner who had some unfortunate run-ins with the Clan but never belonged with them. She was a warrior at heart, just as much as any Clanborn cat, but the situations she was in kept her from becoming a warrior. That's how I wanted to end her story, by letting her finally become a warrior, in a Clan more suited to her accepting mindset.

It was really cool getting to finally write a warrior name ceremony for Sasha. A very satisfying moment. :D Anyway, I think that's everything I wanted to say. Next chapter should be interesting. ^^
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Warriors Series 5.5: Echoes of the War
Novella 5: Sasha's Calling
Chapter Nine

     They're in danger!

     Sasha wasted no time. She spun around, pointing herself in the direction of Shrewtooth's patrol, then launched herself onto a branch of a tree in front of her. The loner bounded from tree to tree, no longer allowing herself to hesitate as she had before. She had to get to Shrewtooth's patrol now, before the dog got to them first.

     Her flight through the snowy trees nearly made her slip more than once, but it finally brought her to where she needed to be. The hazy shape of five cats trudging through the snow finally appeared beneath the branches. “Shrewtooth!” she yowled. Before the tom could react to his name being called, Sasha hopped down to a lower branch, then hurtled down to the ground, landing clumsily in the snow in front of the patrol. She meant to land on her paws, but slipped onto her shoulder in the snow.

     Groaning, the loner looked up to see five familiar faces staring down at her in shock. And none was more surprised than Shrewtooth himself. “Sasha?” he gasped. His eyes were wide as moons, shock and disbelief and raw hope blazing together in his eyes. “What... how...?”

     “You came back!” Honeyflower cried, cutting the deputy off. The she-cat's eyes were shining with joy as she bounded forward, touching her nose to Sasha's head with a purr.

     Rabbitleap and Thymeleaf mostly just looked stunned that she was there, while Harrytooth took a step forward, concern glowing in his eyes. “Are you okay?” he asked as the loner struggled to her paws. “You look like you've seen a nest of rats!”

     “Not rats...” the loner panted, trying to catch her breath after her race through the trees. Her pelt bristled with terror. Every moment wasted was a moment that brought the terrible jaws of the dog closer. “A dog! A huge dog!”

     Every cat instantly stiffened in horror. “Dog? Where?” The patrol shifted into a defensive circle, facing out with their backs to each other, ready to take on the threat from any direction.

     “Close,” Sasha gasped. “Very close! We have to climb, now!” Rabbitleap stiffened, and Shrewtooth glanced at him. “There's no time to waste!”

     Before any cat could respond, a growl sounded over the howling of the wind. Two brown eyes gleamed at them through the sheets of swirling snow. Time seemed to freeze. Sasha stared at the dog, frozen in place by her terror.

     “Run!” Shrewtooth's yowl snapped time back into place. The dog lunged at the patrol, cats scattering in each direction as its jaws snapped at empty air. Sasha fell in beside Shrewtooth, pelt against pelt as they flew together across the snow. Shrewtooth launched himself at a nearby oak, scurrying up the trunk with Sasha right behind him. Once they were on a branch together, Sasha peered through the snow, trying to see how the rest of the patrol had fared.

     By the time she and Shrewtooth were safe on their branch, Harrytooth, Honeyflower, and Thymeleaf were already in trees of their own, above the snapping jaws of the dog, and Rabbitleap was halfway up the trunk of a beech. Relief flooded through her. They're safe. But before she had even finished the thought, Rabbitleap began to falter. His hind paws slipped out from under him as he tried to balance on a branch.

     Shrewtooth stiffened behind Sasha. “Rabbitleap's never been a good climber,” he breathed.

     Sasha watched, frozen in horror, as Rabbitleap's hind legs dangled over the open air. The dog paced under Rabbitleap's tree. He leaped again and again, snapping at the air beneath Rabbitleap. He's going to fall, she realized.

     “We have to help him,” Shrewtooth growled. He glanced at her, as though just remembering she wasn't a warrior for him to command, but she simply gave a brisk nod. His gaze hardened with determination. Together, the two cats leaped to a branch in another tree closer to the dog, then to another, then another, until they were close enough.

     With twin battle yowls, Shrewtooth and Sasha leaped off their branch and towards the dog waiting below. The massive animal reared back, baying in fury as the cats swarmed across his back. Sasha hooked her claws into his pelt and hung on for dear life as the dog shook and spun around, trying to snap at her and Shrewtooth. Fear flooded her as the dog’s teeth tore at her pelt and pulled her back paws loose, but failed to get a strong enough grip to pull her off entirely. Sasha snarled furiously and readjusted her grip, hooking her back claws into the dog’s pelt again.

     “Ree-ee-owr!” A battle cry rang out as a brown blur threw itself into the fray. With Shrewtooth and Sasha keeping the dog distracted, Rabbitleap had leaped safely down from his branch, and was now snapping and slashing at the dog’s legs with fury bright in his eyes. Harrytooth, Thymeleaf, and Honeyflower scrambled down from their own trees and raced into battle, joining Rabbitleap as they surrounded the dog on the ground.

     The dog was outnumbered and weakened by hunger, but he showed no signs of backing down. Rage only blazed brighter in his eyes as the rest of the patrol joined the battle. A high-pitched shriek of fury escaped the dog as he whirled and snapped, fighting to throw off the cats on his back, while also trying to get a grip on the cats attacking him on the ground. Harrytooth dove in to slash at the dog’s foreleg, only to shriek as the dog’s jaws snapped down on his flank. The dog snapped his head back and flung the tom away from him. Harrytooth hit the ground with a muffled thud, and didn’t stir from where he fell.

     “Harrytooth!” Rabbitleap gasped. He moved to check on the fallen warrior, but the dog blocked his way. Rabbitleap snarled his fury as he fell back into the fight beside Thymeleaf and Honeyflower. Sasha and Shrewtooth still clung to the dog’s back as they swiped at the animal from the ground. Shrewtooth was at the base of the dog’s neck, eyes dancing with fury as he buried his claws and fangs in the back of the dog’s neck, while Sasha was positioned further down its back. She had her jaws closed over the dog’s back near its shoulder. Though the dog’s thick fur made it harder to keep her grip, she forced herself to keep biting down harder and harder, even as the tasted blood on her tongue. Eventually she felt her teeth snapping down on bone.

     “Arooooo! The dog’s furious howling and baying suddenly rose in pitch into a shriek of pain. Out of the corner of her eye, Sasha spotted Thymeleaf clinging to the dog’s bloodied lip with tooth and claw. The dog thrashed around wildly, finally managing to throw Thymeleaf off, but the damage was done. A bloody tear now parted the skin of the dog’s lip.

     All of the fire seemed to die from the dog once he threw off Thymeleaf. The fury in his eyes turned quickly to fear, his shrieks and howls turning to fearful yelps. As Shrewtooth and Sasha leaped clear of the dog’s back, he whirled away and raced off into the woods back towards the border, his tail firmly between his legs.

      Silence followed after the dog’s escape. The fierce wind and thick snow had died down during the fight, and now only a gentle flurry was falling, leaving the forest quieter than it had been all day. Every cat seemed too exhausted from the battle, and too stunned at its sudden end, to do much more than lick their wounds. Sasha twisted around to look over her back, wincing as the bite marks the dog had left there twinged. None of the bites were very deep, to her relief, though they still stung fiercely as she swiped her tongue over them a few times.

     As she groomed, out of the corner of her eye, she noticed Shrewtooth, who sat beside her, leaning over to lick a wounded hind leg. Fear flooded through her. Abandoning her own grooming, she looked at the tom and asked, “Are you alright?”

     “I’m fine,” he grunted. “It’s not that deep.” He paused, then lifted his head, meeting her gaze. Neither cat spoke for several moments. Sasha felt her breath catch at the mix of hope and fear and joy in Shrewtooth’s eyes. All of those emotions and more were echoed in her own heart.

     Finally, Shrewtooth murmured, “You came back.” He sounded like he almost didn’t believe it. Hope danced in his eyes as he stared at her. “What made you come back?”

      Something twisted inside of Sasha’s heart as she stared at the tom. It took her a few moments to find her voice again. “I... I was worried about how the Clan was doing with this storm,” she admitted. “I had to see for myself.”

     Warmth flooded Shrewtooth’s eyes. Before he could respond, a groan sounded nearby. They both turned to see Rabbitleap and Honeyflower helping Harrytooth to his paws. The gray tom’s gaze was glassy, and his flanks were bleeding badly. He didn’t seem to be able to stand without his Clanmates’ help.

     Honeyflower looked him over briefly before calling to her Clanmates, “It looks like he hit his head when that dog threw him. He’ll be pretty disoriented for a while.” The gentle she-cat had taken on a tone of brisk authority - Sasha was reminded of the times she’d seen her help Frecklewish. “These wounds are pretty deep. We need to get him to Frecklewish.”

     “Then let’s get going,” Rabbitleap growled. The large tom allowed Harrytooth to lean most of his weight against him as he started off towards camp. Honeyflower stayed next to Harrytooth, keeping a careful eye on the tom, while Shrewtooth and Sasha fell in beside her, Thymeleaf limping at the rear. The she-cat’s shoulder and muzzle were wounded, but there was a gleam of fierce satisfaction in her eyes even as she limped along.

     Regret clawed at Sasha’s gut as she looked at the wounded cats around her. “I should have come sooner,” she sighed. “If I’d seen the dog earlier and warned you, we wouldn’t have had to fight at all.”

     “But if you hadn’t come in the first place, we wouldn’t have stood a chance,” Shrewtooth mewed. The warmth and even love glowing in his eyes was almost too much for Sasha to bear. “That dog would’ve been on us before we even knew what was happening. We’re alive because of you.” He reached out his muzzle, touching his nose to Sasha’s ear. Her cheek fur was tickled by his relieves breath. “You have a habit of coming along just when SkyClan needs you most,” he murmured. “Thank you.”

     A rusty purr escaped Sasha, her tail curling with pleasure. Her chest filled up with warmth at the deputy’s praise. She said nothing, but as Shrewtooth pulled away and they all continued on their slow way to camp, she could feel some of the fear that had followed her for so long ebbing away.

SCENEBREAK

     Cats had already been settling in for the night by the time the patrol reached camp, but the shock of wounded cats and Sasha’s return had every cat awake pretty quickly. They were lucky enough to reach camp before Frecklewish left for the night. She and Honeyflower worked together to help Harrytooth into the medicine den and look after everyone else’s injuries. Billystorm refused to leave his son’s side once he learned what happened. The tom has been very depressed and lost to his grief since Sasha had known him, but a new fire seemed to spark in his eyes as he worried over his son. Luckily, Frecklewish was able to assure him after checking Harrytooth over that he would live, and that he just needed treatment and rest.

     Once the initial worry over the wounded cats died down, Sasha found herself being eagerly greeted by all of the cats she thought she’d never see again. Ebonyclaw’s kits practically swarmed her squealing in glee, Larchleaf, Crowdusk, and Peachflower greeted her with purrs and gushed that they thought they’d never see her again, even Firelily came forward and thanked her for fighting beside her brother. Every greeting filled her with a new warmth, spreading through that empty feeling in her heart and filling it up piece by piece. She still didn’t know exactly what she was doing or what would come next, but she was sure of one thing more than ever - there was a love between her and SkyClan that would never be broken, no matter what she did to try to ignore it.

     Finally, when the clamor died down, Sharpstar approached her. “I’d like to speak with you,” the tom rumbled. There was a grateful glow in his eyes, and a friendly air to the stern tom as he led her just outside of camp.

     The two cats settled by a clump of snowy ferns, letting a comfortable silence hang between them for several moments. Sharpstar stared out into the forest with a content expression for several moments before turning to look at Sasha. “I didn't think I would get the chance to apologize for the last time I saw you,” he rumbled. Sasha blinked in surprise. “It wasn't fair of me to spring my offer on you in front of the whole Clan. I didn't mean to put so much pressure on you. I'm sorry.”

     Sasha stared at the leader for a few moments, surprised into silence, before finding her voice again. “Thank you,” she mewed. “And I'm sorry for running off the way I did. You and your Clan were so kind to me, you deserved more than that, even if I wasn't staying.”

     “I think it's safe to say you've been forgiven for that,” Sharpstar mewed, his whiskers twitching. Sasha purred her agreement. Her chest filled with warmth again as she thought about the SkyClan cats she had seen again today, and how glad they'd been to see her again. Returning to the SkyClan camp had almost felt like coming home.

     Sharpstar looked out into the forest for a few moments, his expression thoughtful, before continuing. “When I first joined SkyClan, it was for all of the wrong reasons,” he began. Sasha was surprised at the change in topic, as well as the leader's admission, but she simply nodded for him to continue. “I wanted to learn the strength and fighting skills that the Clan could teach me, more than I cared about defending other cats. When I learned that Clan leaders are granted nine lives, I craved that power and invincibility. I fought hard to be considered for the leadership of the Clan for my own selfish reasons.”

     Sasha could easily picture the young Sharpstar, hardened by moons of living as a rogue, eager for the power and strength the Clan could offer him, fueled by his own ambition. It brought to mind another ambitious tabby she had once known, who had also chased power for all of the wrong reasons. “Nine lives doesn't always bring the invincibility you think it will,” she said in a dark mew, memories of Tigerstar's death being described to her flashing in her mind. Her mate had been the most powerful and cruel tom in the forest – and then one swipe of the claws had taken that all away. “And leadership brings sacrifices and heartaches of its own.”

     Surprise flickered in Sharpstar's eyes, but he nodded his agreement, rumbling, “I was too ambitious to see that in my first moons in the Clan. But the longer I lived with SkyClan, the more I came to see how much we all depended on each other, and how we grew stronger through our loyalty and compassion to one another. Leafstar was a better leader than I could have ever been if I'd been chosen then, and I learned so much from her. And now I try to lead SkyClan by what she and the rest of my Clanmates taught me. I wouldn't change anything about how it all worked out.”

     The tom rose to his paws, glancing at the loner with a softness to his gaze. “SkyClan isn't perfect,” he rumbled. “No Clan is, or any group of cats. But we have loyalty to each other, and we try to be the best that we can be. And I honestly think that you help to make us better, just as I like to think we've helped you. I believe that you would make a wonderful warrior. My offer from before still stands – but I don't want to pressure you. Only we can decide for ourselves the best way we should live.” He turned and began padding back into camp, calling over his shoulder, “I'd like for you to stay the night, if you can. I'm sure our injured Clanmates will want to thank you properly in the morning.”

     “I will,” Sasha mewed, trying to ignore the anxious fluttering in her heart from what Sharpstar had said. The leader dipped his head, then bounded back towards camp, leaving Sasha alone with her thoughts.
EOTW: Sasha's Calling: Chapter Nine
COVER: link
ALLEGIANCES: link
CHAPTER ONE: link
PREVIOUS: link
NEXT: N/A

Okay so, there were only supposed to be ten chapters in this novella. However, as I was writing this chapter, it was ending up way, way too long, nearly 7000 words. I really didn't want to have a chapter that long, and when I figured out that there's a canon novella with eleven chapters, Leafpool's Wish, I decided to just cut this chapter in half and make the novella eleven chapters long.

So, I currently have all of chapter nine and chapter ten, which were both originally going to be part of chapter nine, written up, and I will be posting chapter ten in a few minutes, as soon as I've looked over all of it for one last edit. So you won't have to wait long for it, and I'm sorry about the confusion over chapter numbers, but you shouldn't have to wait much longer for that final chapter either, so hopefully it doesn't matter much.

Anyway, here we get to see the fight against the dog, and Sasha's return to SkyClan's camp. ^^ And we get to see a bit more of Sharpstar as a leader. I haven't been able to show him as much as I wanted in this novella, but I hope this scene gave some good insight into how he's still stern and fierce in defending his Clan, but has matured over the seasons and learned a lot of compassion from Leafstar.

I think that's all I wanted to say here. Like I said, you won't have to wait for the new chapter, so I'll see you there. ^^ Next chapter will touch on a fair bit that's already been addressed in the books, but I've tried to still tell it in an interesting way, so hopefully it's not too boring to read over that stuff again.
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Jayie-The-Hufflepuff
Jayie
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
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Hi, I am Jayie.

At this time, I am only accepting Point Commissions. I will only accept requests and art trades when I feel like them. If I still owe you part of an art trade, please, please feel free to remind me. I will not mind at all, and I really do need reminders, my memory is horrible.

I am still writing my "Echoes of the War" Warriors fan series. All other fanfics are on hold.

I am a figure skater, and I have been for the last eleven years or so. I also horse-back ride, but ice skating is definitely a bigger part of my life.

I love to read and write stories. Some of my favorite books are from the Warriors series, Les Miserables, and especially Inkheart. I am a Whovian, Sherlockian, and Supernatural Fan, and a fan of Firefly, Castle, and Agents of Shield, and so much more. I also like the movies/musicals Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Sweeney Todd, Lion King, Aida, and Les Miserables.

I like getting critiqued; we can only learn through our mistakes if we know about them.
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:iconforteycat:
Forteycat Featured By Owner 4 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
dude, i can't say this enough, but you have a serious talent for writing. seriously, your stories are so good, and really creative, better than i ever could!
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:iconstormyskies101:
StormySkies101 Featured By Owner 3 days ago
If you still have it, could I have the link to the Google Docs Sheet you had of all the family trees from the epilogue of Silent Sacrifice?
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Jayie-The-Hufflepuff Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
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StormySkies101 Featured By Owner 2 days ago
Thanks!
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:iconjayie-the-hufflepuff:
Jayie-The-Hufflepuff Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
No problem. :)
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CartoonAnimator15 Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the favorite!
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hailpawofwildclan Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2018
if you dont mind can you check out my comic here's the link to the cover (in the desp of the cover is a link to the first page) Golden Blood cover
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Tyranide Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thx for the :+fav:
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Its-Marfn-Time Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the fave!! <3
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Foxes-of-the-void Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you sooooooooooooo much, I will look for your help on Warriors in the future if I get stuck, Thanks sooooooooooooooooo much again!
(I didn't properly reply because I want to keep comment in my notifications if I forget something, thanks!) 
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