"Wait up!" Leafpool called to the golden cat ahead of her.
The fluffy tabby stopped and turned to Leafpool. "Okay, hurry up though." She looked up at the moon. "I want to get there and back before anyone notices we're missing."
"Okay, Mothwing," Leafpool purred. "Just remember, I'm not your apprentice."
Mothwing flicked Leafpool's ear with her tail teasingly. "Sure you're not."
Leafpool rolled her eyes. "Come on, you said we have to be there soon, right?"
Mothwing bounded ahead. "Yes. Now follow me!"
Leafpool ran alongside Mothwing, feeling calm and balanced. Mothwing had a certain auora that could make any cat just feel better, or maybe just Leafpool. She tilted her head and looked at her. Her amber eyes looked so similar to Brambleclaw's. It was odd that she'd never noticed it before, not until she knew that Mothwing was Brambleclaw's half-sister.
Mothwing looked at Leafpool curiously. "So . . ?"
Leafpool blinked. "Hm?"
"Can you guess where we're going?" Mothwing asked.
"I don't know, you tell me," Leafpool purred.
Mothwing affectionately nudged her. "You'll find out in a few moments!" She sped up, and Leafpool followed closely behind. They neared a valley with tall grass and bushes taller than them both. Mothwing stopped and turned to Leafpool. "What do you think?" she asked, catching her breath from running. Leafpool couldn't help but let out an amused purr.
"It's amazing, Mothwing," she whispered, leaning toward her. She nuzzled Mothwing's cheek and weaved around her. "So how long do you think we have to be here?"
Mothwing seemed to be thinking for a moment, then mewed "A bit of time." She nuzzled Leafpool. "I can show you how to catch a fish!"
Leafpool's whiskers twitched with amusement. "I'll watch, but I don't want to get my paws wet!"
Mothwing licked the top of her head. "Okay then," she purred. "Follow me." Mothwing padded along a small trail, worn out by pawsteps of other cats. It led to a stream.
Leafpool admired the view as she and Mothwing stood on a rock, overlooking the stream. "Wow . . ."
Mothwing stepped down, standing by the stream. "Watch!" she called to her. She stood perfectly still, then suddenly, lashed out a paw, scooping up a fish and putting it on the shore. Water splashed up, sprinkling Leafpool's pelt.
"Hey!" Leafpool squeaked. She shook off her pelt.
Mothwing carried the fish up to her. She nudged it toward her and purred. "There."
Leafpool licked her ear. "You're a skilled hunter," she mewed.
Mothwing looked down at her paws bashfully. "Thanks." She glanced at Leafpoo excitedly. "You've tried fish before, right?"
Leafpool nodded. "Yes."
"Try this one," Mothwing meowed. "It's one of the best fish types I've found before."
Leafpool ducked her head to taste the scaly fish. She took a small bite from it and met Mothwing's orangey-amber gaze.
"What do you think?" Mothwing asked eagerly.
Leafpool padded closer to her and purred, nuzzling her cheek. "I think it's delicious, and that you did a great job finding that."
Mothwing weaved around her. "Thanks! You're the best!" she chirped, burying her muzzle in Leafpool's shoulder fur.
Leafpool purred. "I wish we could stay here forever." When she saw Mothwing's blank expression, she continued. "I don't mean that we should leave our Clans. I wouldn't run away and become a rogue again, but I just kind of wish that we could be together somehow." She sighed and stretched her muzzle to Mothwing's. "Is that stupid?"
Mothwing looked almost shocked. Affection glittered in her amber gaze, and she slowly shook her head. "No . . . it's not stupid. I've thought about it before too." She looked away shyly. "I thought I was the only one who thought that. I just assumed that you loved Crowfeather-"
Leafpool hushed her. "Crowfeather isn't you, Mothwing. I like you, not Crowfeather. Crowfeather and I have our own lives now; we were young and stupid when we chose to be together. If there was one cat I loved, it would be you, Mothwing." Leafpool pressed her muzzle against Mothwing's.
Mothwing looked down at the ground. "If you could do everything over again, would you still choose him over me?"
Leafpool sighed. "I think if I knew what I knew now. . . I don't know. I would never want to be in a world where my kits were never born. . ." She looked up at Mothwing. "You have to understand that if I had never been with Crowfeather, I would have never had them. I would never want to erase them. But if you and I could have been their parents, instead of Crowfeather and I, I think I would choose that." She leaned forward and nuzzled her.
Mothwing nuzzled her back. "That would have been amazing if it was possible. . ." She purred and curled her tail around her. "I love you, Leafpool."
Leafpool rested her head on Mothwing's shoulder. "I love you too, Mothwing."