NorthClan had been stirred up with the recent news of battle. Skypaw trusted her leader, but she understood why her clanmates were upset over it. She had gone out for a walk to clear her mind. The foothills were glorious, and even though it was cold she didn't mind walking through them for the scenery.
She hoped that there would be no uprising in her clan due to the circumstances with EastClan. She knew that Scatterstar could sometimes seem bloodthirsty or battle hungry, but he knew what was best for the clan because he was the leader. She sat down, looking out over the valley below from her perch. It was truly a breathtaking sight.
The smoke and white apprentice approached Skypaw carefully. He had seen her from a distance before, but because he was only a new apprentice, the two had never spoken. He swallowed, not really knowing how he was going to begin a conversation with a she-cat. He cleared his throat. "Hey Skypaw," he rasped to the black and white apprentice.
Thunderpaw sat down next to her, noticing that she looked awed at the scenery. He also found it to be intriguing, but he wasn't as enthralled by it as she was. "It's really nice out here," he commented. A breeze ruffled his fur.
The apprentice was surprised to see that someone had followed her. She turned to Thunderpaw, recognizing him as one of the newer apprentices and one of Sparkstorm's kits. She nodded her head in agreement to his comment. "Yes, it's really nice. It's a little bit cold, though, but hey... it's NorthClan." She tilted her head and smiled.
"You're Thunderpaw, right?" she meowed, giving him recognition. She was surprised that she remembered his name so clearly, since there were so many new apprentices and she hadn't heard much about them when they were kits.
Thunderpaw nodded. He sat down next to her. He was surprised that she knew his name, but he once again nodded. "Yeah, I'm Thunderpaw," he meowed. "I'm one of the new apprentices. I'm sorry I followed you out here, but I was wondering where you were going." He was used to being confined to the camp in his kithood.
He was relieved that he actually could go places without having his mother there to watch over him. He wasn't even sure if Sparkstorm liked him anyway. She never seemed to be proud of her family. He didn't even know who his father was.
She didn't mind that Thunderpaw had followed her. She needed some company. Besides, perhaps Thunderpaw would be one of those rare cats who didn't make fun for her for being a total klutz. She looked back at the mountains and sighed. "I don't mind at all, I could use someone to talk to," she meowed.
She tilted her head and stared at the gray and white apprentice. She wondered who his mentor was. She didn't know much about a few of the other members of her Clan. For a while she had grown up without many apprentices to speak to.
Thunderpaw was happy about how welcoming Skypaw was being towards him. He thought maybe he had found a true friend for once. He wondered if she was interested in having him as a friend, and thought maybe he should perhaps say something about it. He wasn't sure about how to make friends. "Are we friends now?" he asked naively.
He didn't want to scare her away by bursting out about it. He hoped this was how friends were made, by asking. He wasn't sure if cats just became friends or if it required a sort of declaration.
His offer of friendship was amusing to Skypaw, but she wasn't about to pass it up. She nodded. They'd barely exchanged but a few sentences, but at least he wasn't calling her clumsy or anything. She'd barely moved, so she really didn't have a chance to trip over her paws. "I guess so," she meowed with a giggle.
She got up from her place and began walking around, trying to look down at the ground to make sure she didn't trip over something. She turned back to Thunderpaw. "Want to play a game?" she asked.
He looked curiously at her. He had thought being an apprentice meant be more grown up, but he didn't realize that there was still room for games. He nodded excitedly. "Okay! What game are we going to play?" he asked. His tail swished as he began to prance around excitedly.
Thunderpaw purred with delight. Not only had he made a friend, but his friend was fun as well. She seemed to be the type who he could play games with and socialize with in general. "This is going to be so much fun," he mewed.
Skypaw thought for a moment. There weren't many other cats to play with when she was younger, so she didn't know too many games. "We could play hide and seek, maybe?" she suggested. There weren't too many places to hide in the foothills, though.
She shook her head, changing her mind. "Er - no, maybe we can play tag?" she meowed. "You run and I'll chase after you and try to catch you. If I catch you, then you have to chase after me. Does that sound good?"
A game of tag sounded especially fun to Thunderpaw. He nodded, and tensed himself and got ready to run. "I'll bet you'll never catch me," he boasted. He ran off down the hill and into the rolling highlands, as fast as his paws could carry him. He felt free as the wind, and he occasionally looked back to see how close Skypaw was getting to him.
He felt a little bit winded, but he was determined to go for as long as he could without getting caught by the she-cat. He was having a blast as the wind went through his fur.
She was surprised at how fast the younger apprentice ran off, but with a purr she gave chase. She loved feeling the cold wind through her fur as she jumped and bounded along the plains. The scenery flew by just as quick as she ran, getting ready to tag Thunderpaw when she got close to him.
She tripped briefly and it took her a second to recover her speed. By that time, Thunderpaw seemed to be getting away from her. She continued to pursue him, laughing all the way. She hadn't had this much fun in such a long time. She finally caught up with the other cat, and pawed at his hindquarters. "You're it!" she meowed.
When Skypaw tagged him, Thunderpaw went rolling to the ground and laughed. He then sprung back to his paws and got ready to chase Skypaw. "This is so much fun," he meowed to her. "You'd better run fast, because I'm going to catch you." He prepared himself by shifting his weight around and getting into a crouch.
I like her a lot, he thought to himself as he stared at the black and white she-cat in front of him. Maybe I like her too much? I think I might have a crush on her. He swallowed. It threw him off a little to think that he might be falling for this other apprentice.
She bounded away at top speed, though once or twice she lost her balance and went into a sort of lollop. She laughed at her own klutziness. For once she didn't feel so bad about it. She tripped again and this time she went rolling into the grass, almost fully down a hill, and close to what she knew to be EastClan territory.
"Wow, we ran really far," she commented to herself. She knew that Thunderpaw would catch up shortly, so she didn't bother getting back on her paws again.
When she tripped, he tripped over her and went rolling to the ground. He landed with a thud, and shook his head dizzily. "That was pretty fun," he laughed. He tilted his head and purred. It took him a moment to realize his surroundings. They had ran close to the EastClan border, and he stepped back a little bit.
Thunderpaw's eyes were wide. He didn't want to go anywhere near the EastClan territory, especially since he knew about the war. He swallowed. The last thing he wanted to do was be caught by them, like Freezecloud had been.
Skypaw saw Thunderpaw's eyes go wide as he stared into EastClan territory, and she understood why. "I hope there's not patrols out," she meowed. What if they thought that we were trespassing or spying? she thought. She knew they were probably already on the lookout because Freezecloud, when she was an apprentice, had gone to spy on them.
"We should probably head back towards our territory," she meowed, giving one last look to the ominous looking fields. She shuddered. Even though she knew that EastClan usually had a fairly neutral stance, this war was changing everything.