"Thank you, Dash. You have the heart of a warrior."
Tigerheart to Dash in Tigerheart's Shadow, page 319

Dash is a skinny black-and-white tom[1] with yellow eyes.[2]


In the Super Editions

Tigerheart's Shadow

As Tigerheart travels through the station, he scents another cat. He's surprised, and scans his surroundings closely, noting the scent to be fresh and old. The tabby wonders if another tom lived there. He follows the scent trail, finding it to be fresher, and he knows that the tom must've been here recently. The scent leads to an opening, with mesh in front of it. However, the mesh had fallen away, and Tigerheart ducks inside. It is all dark, but the tom's scent was even stronger, and a hiss from the shadows makes him freeze up. He swiftly tells the cat his name, saying he just needed help, and unsheathes his claws. The unknown cat might not want another cat on his territory, and strains to spot him.
Tigerheart spots the loner. He is a skinny black and white cat, glaring at him, eyes slitted. The station cat arches his spine, hissing a threat at the tabby tom. Tigerheart backs away, pleading him to help. He catches the tom's scent, and wrinkles his nose, as he smells of Twoleg leavings. The black and white loner flicks his gaze over Tigerheart, and his arched spine relaxes slowly. The tom asks if he'll steal, and Tigerheart says he doesn't need to. The loner seems suspicious still, then breathes clearly, analyzing the former Clan cat's scent. He concedes that Tigerheart doesn't smell like the rot-pile cats, which confuses the brown tom.
The black and white tom explains who the rot-pile cats are, saying they live behind the station, and have been tying to drive him away. The loner tells Tigerheart he doesn't understand why, since there is enough garbage for him and them. This only confuses Tigerheart more, and silently the dark tabby says the loner uses odd words. He stares at the black and white cat, aware how far from home he is. After Tigerheart questions why he doesn't fight them, the yellow-eyed loner looks at him like he's a mouse-brain. He mentions three of the rot-pile cats, then meows there's one of him. Tigerheart wonders where the tom's Clanmates are, and the loner appears puzzled by the question. He informs the traveling tom that only he lives in the station, and asks if Tigerheart is an outsider. The loner tom remarks only outsiders call the trains 'Thundersnakes'.
Dash asks if his friend is from the forest also, and the brown tabby confims this. He tips his head, once again calling Tigerheart a stray, and then his gaze sharpens when he mentions the warrior ranking. His yellow eyes glitter in the dingy light, asking if he can fight. Tigeheart is uncertain, wondering what the station cat wants, and the black-and-white tom reveals his name, Dash. He says that he lives in the train station, and the traveling tabby tom feels prickly, knowing Dash is planning something. The loner leans closer, asking more questions, but Tigerheart avoids them. The ShadowClan deputy asks the station tom about a Twoleg gathering place, and Dash frowns in response.
The dark-furred tabby lifts one paw, and fans his claws, demonstrating what he's saying. The yellow-eyed cat shows knowledge of the place, and Tigerheart asks if Dash can take him. However, instead of agreeing, the station cat looks down, soundind cagey with his own offer. The tiger-striped tom narrows his dark eyes, pondering if Dash will ask him to do something bad. The black-and-white loner explains about the rot-pile cats again, testifying they've always been trying to chase him out. He adds that if they knew he has a tough friend, they might leave him. Looking away, the lone cat admits he's never been good at fighting, hence why he can't defend himself.
Tigerheart tries telling him that he is, but Dash reminds him that the rot-pile cats are too. The tabby tom feels pity for the skinny loner, since nobody enjoys being bullied. He asks if they belong to a Clan, but the black-and-white tom appears confused, questiong what that is. He says there's no Clans in the city, and cats only live alone, as strays. Tigerheart motions to the entrance of Dash's den, asking if he'll take him, and Dash agrees, padding past. He slips from the cavern, and the brown tabby follows, satisfied to have a guide.
The black-and-white cat skirts a long wall, and turns to climb a tunnel that slopes upward. Tigerheart's main hope is that Dash might lead him to find Dovewing, if they could deal with the bullying strays. He quickens his pace; Dash turns into a narrow tunnel, and no Twolegs are in sight. The loner hurries down the narrow path, and when his companion notices a dead end, Dash nods toward some mesh, sort of like one outside his nest. He tells Tigerheart of the exit through a vent, and he makes his way out. The dark brown tabby follows the black-and-white cat, and a tunnel greets him, open, and cool breeze washes over him.
When they leave the tunnel, Dash gazes towards some ground, which has large red shapes. The things are overflowing with reeking Twoleg waste, and Tigerheart's first guess is those are the rot-piles Dash has mentioned. His companions confirms this; from where the two toms hide, three cats sniff around the trash. One is a big brown she-cat with tabby stripes, and she stands on one of the piles. He whispers, saying those three are the cats who bully him, and goes on to answer that Floyd, a smaller brown-and-white rogue, is the meanest. Tigerheart assess the trio, then begins speaking, but Dash cuts him off. He protests that he cannot fight, and the tabby turns to him.
He swipes one paw at the station cat, softly, yet firmly. His blow sweeps Dash's paws out from under him, but before he can fall, Tigerheart catches him. He orders Dash to try it on him, and the skinny tom blinks, recovering from his shock. He then frowns, thoughtful, before jabbing at him. He hooks the brown tom's paws with speed, rather than accuracy, then swings his paw at Tigerheart, catching his ear. The tabby praises him, beginning to talk of the plan. He informs Dash that he'll fight Floyd, and Tigerheart will drive the she-cat off the pile. The station cat looks alarmed, and asks what'll he do if Floyd fights back, so his companion promises he'll be okay. The black-and-white cat nods, but his eyes flash anxiously once Tigerheart says he's fighting for territory.
The brown tabby doesn't give him a chance to argue, and marches toward the piles. Leaping onto the rot-pile, he meets the tabby, who is a she-cat named Mae. Mae compliments the Clan deputy, and he glances back, spotting Dash padding toward the mangy toms. Tigerheart explains to the bullying she-cat that he's moved in with Dash, and doesn't think there's enough food for them. The big tabby curls her lip, challenging if he really believes he and Dash can drive them away. An angry yowl rings out, directing toward the station cat, asking if he can fight now. Tigerheart attacks Mae, throwing her off the rot-pile, holding her, and spots Dash swinging at Floyd. The mangy rogue hits the stone, and the dark tom flings his opponent away, then gets up.
He gets between Floyd and Dash, snarling at the brown-and-white tom. He introduces himself as the black-and-white loner's new friend, before slashing at Floyd. The fight sears down, and Tigerheart pads to Dash's side. Floyd and Mae bicker, arguing over who'll fight him. The former ShadowClan tom bares his teeth, thinking of how the trio are mouse-hearts, and orders them off Dash's territory. Floyd leads them away, and Mae glares at Tigerheart, calling him mean. He retorts back that she's been bullying Dash, and the brown she-cat says the station cat is pathetic. Just before she leaves, the traveling tabby tom calls out that Dash fights for his territory. The station cat agrees, fluffing up his fur, telling the rogues not to come back.
Tigerheart glances at him, asking if he'll be safe now. The skinny tom blinks at him happily, stating that he will now, since he's seen first-hand how easily his former bullies give up. The tabby warns him, considering Floyd, Mae, and Scrap working together against him. Dash watches the three rogues disappear around a corner, and assures his new friend that cats tend only to look out for themselves, so it's unlikely. Tigerheart's chest prickles with sadness, recalling how his Clanmates hunted together, respondig the cats where he comes from work together. Dash asks why, and the deputy stares, wondering why he doesn't seem to understand, then explains working together makes a force stronger.
The yellow-eyed cat seems perplexed by this thought, asking why it isn't easier to only look after themselves. His words spark guilt inside Tigerheart, trying to recall if that's what he'd thought when leaving his birth Clan. He shakes the thoughts off, and blinks at his friend, pointing out that he seemed to struggle caring for himself. The station loner swishes his tail, complimenting himself for being smart in getting Tigerheart's help. The tiger-striped cat states Dash didn't make him do anything, for he wanted to help him, surprising the city dweller. Tigerheart cranes his neck, looking at the stone path along the Thunderpath, asking if the gathering place is there somewhere.
Dash confirms his wonders, before glancing back at the trash piles hungrily. He offers giving some food to his friend, but Tigerheart politely declines, still having the smell of rancid rubbish on his paws. While he scans the surroundings, his station cat companion keeps staring at the rot-piles. He offers food once more, remarking that some of its quite good; Tigerheart, however, wills Dash to stop offering. He refers to Dash's 'good food' as crow-food, causing the loner to frown, echoing him. He learns what it means: crow-food is scraps, and he appears to think, before simply shrugging, declaring that if it's good enough for a crow, it's good enough for him. Tigerheart's striped pelt pricks uneasily, wondering why Dovewing had thought coming to a place where cats seem themselves like crows was a good idea. He beckons for Dash to come, and heads along the stone path.
The skinny tom falls in beside the deputy, and they reach a monster sleeping next to a wall. The monster is without one round paw, but Dash just pads past, unconcerned, and at the end of the path, he continues on. He walks onto a walkway next to a Thunderpath, and beckons to his friend with his tail. When attempting to force down panic, Tigerheart asks Dash why there are many dens, and he ducks beside him. He explains many Twolegs live in the city, so they must need more places to sleep; this leads the striped Clan cat to question how his guide is so calm. He exclaims about the crowded areas, and the yellow-eyed tom shrugs, explaining how everything continuously moves, warning him not to get involved in anything, and keep his head down.
Dash skirts a wall, following the walkway, until it opens up to a Thunderpath. Lights on a stick flash colors, so the city cat says not to go until a Twoleg-shaped light turns green. He adds not to trip Twolegs, for it'll make them angry. The color changes, and Dash nudges Tigerheart with his shoulder. The two cats hurry along, following the crowd of Twolegs; when they reach the other side, the scrawny tom leads him along another walkway. It lines an even larger Thunderpath, and Tigerheart tries not to look at it. He asks how far the gathering place is, and his friend replies it isn't too far, then picks up the pace, Twoleg crowd thinning out now.
Dash turns a corner, ending up on a quieter walkway, with less Twolegs and monsters. The pair cross more Thunderpaths, until at last, the gathering place nest appears. Dash halts, telling Tigerheart to find his own way now. Dipping his head, the black-and-white cat thanks him for driving out the rot-pile rogues, for now, his sleep will be easier. The brown tabby reminds him not to forget his fighting move he taught him, and his friend promises not to. Dash wishes for Tigerheart to find his friend, before heading back along the pathway.
Long after, Dash appears once more, when his old friend makes the final journey through the station. Tigerheart retraces old steps he'd taken with the lone tom, leading his friends to the place where he'd first scented the city stray. A brightly lit Twoleg den marks Dash's den, and he hurries toward it. His scent touches the tabby's nose, which comes with a flash of hope. Picking up his pace, he comes across the place where Dash and him first met. Tigerheart drops Shadowkit in the gap in the wall, then calls his friend's name into the darkness. Yellow eyes shine, blinking, and the stray's scent floods his nose. The loner scrambles up, his alarmed gaze sliding to where Dovewing and the others stand, crowded.
He asks what's he doing, and Tigerheart swiftly tells him he's found his friend, not wanting to scare the tom. The brown warrior admits that he needs help, and Dash slinks from the shadows, squeezing past Tigerheart. The stray stares at Shadowkit, Pouncekit, and Lightkit, surprised, and his ears twitch, asking the Clan tom if they're his. Tigerheart mentions the forest, and Dash narrows his eyes, looking at Spire, Blaze, Ant, and Cinnamon. He questions his friend on if they're going, to which the broad-shoulder tom confirms. Dash tips his head, sounding unconvinced, asking if city strays are really going to the forest. Cinnamon flattens her ears, retorting they only need his help, not opinions; Ant warns her to be polite, glancing at the Twolegs.
Dash looks at the small kits, offering to show them what train to climb onto, but Dovewing sharply replies they'll not be traveling in a Thundersnake. The black-and-white-furred tom's confusion returns, and he asks how they'll leave then. The smoky gray she-cat firmly declares the group can walk, and Dash argues there's nowhere to do such. Tigerheart dislikes lingering in the tunnels, and tells his friend they'll be using the Silverpath as a guide. The tom's yellow eyes widen, and he appears shocked, questioning if he really will use the tunnels. Tigerheart blinks at him, reminding him the tunnels lead to the outside, but Dash protests, telling his friend it'll be dangerous.
Tigerheart breezily remarks, then notices the stray's gaze narrowing, doubtful. The broad-shoulder dark tom firmly adds he just needs help finding the Silverpath that led him to the city. Dash now appears thoughtful, admitting he didn't see what train he'd gotten off on, but if Tigerheart can take him to the ledge, he might be able to direct them to its tunnel. The sleek-furred tabby frowns, asking Dash if he's been in the tunnels before, causing the city cat to admit to hunting rats there before. Dovewing's ears flick suspiciously, recalling to the pair how Dash told them the tunnels are dangerous. The station cat defends himself, exclaiming that he'd never been strays, let alone kits, inside them.
Cinnamon reacts in a hostile manner, challenging him about the stray part, ears flat. Ant, once again, reassures her, and the ginger she-cat huffs, meowing that Dash was quite rude about it. The black-and-white tom dips his head to her, apologizing. He adds on how much of a difference there is, between a stray hunting between the tunnels, than a group with kits journeying from the city. He glances at Tigerheart, checking to see if he is sure about not using a Thundersnake, for the method is quicker. The brown tom glances at his kits, remembering the chaos, and shivers, sure he wants to walk. Dash pads into the Twoleg bustle, and Tigerheart picks Shadowkit up, his group hurrying after the city tom.
He leads the cats to a large cavern, where Thundersnakes rest. Tigerheart glances at them, then catches up to Dash, passing him, leading the loner towards a gap. They reach it, and the black-and-white tom asks if it's the correct one, following the tabby's dark gaze. He nods; Dash orders for the small group to follow him, and to do it exactly. He mentions that he's seen rats burned on the tracks when they placed a paw wrong. Suddenly Twolegs start gathering, causing Tigerheart's breath to quicken in fear, convincing himself he needs to trust Dash, and follows him along a ledge. The lone cat jumps off the ledge, and lands neatly between the tracks. He waits, then looks up; Dash instructs them to hurry, but go one at a time. Cinnamon falls, landing with a thump, and Lightkit squeals. The black-and-white loner waves them toward the tunnel wall quickly, warning the pair not to touch the Silverpath's tracks.
Blaze is frightened, voice small. Dash calls for the ginger-and-white kit to jump, for he'll break his fall. The young tom swallows, then springs; the station cat rears, wrapping his paws around Blaze as he falls. He swings the kit down, setting him between the tracks, then nudges him toward Cinnamon and the others. They trek onward, with Tigerheart following Dovewing and Dash, into the darkness of the tunnel. The loner slips into the lead, telling them to follow, but Tigerheart stops, putting Shadowkit down. He offers that Dash doesn't have to help them anymore, but his friend's yellow eyes flash in the gloom. He asks if he'd have any peace knowing Tigerheart and his group is wandering alone in shadows.
Dash tells him that he's going to accompany them until daylight comes. Tigerheart feels graditude for him, surprised how willing the station loner is to help him and his friends. He had once expected strays to only care for themselves, then thinks of Fog. The group starts travelling again, and Tigerheart sees his daughter lift her tail, and follows Dash. Half-way through the journey, the brown tom hears a hum, recognizing it as a Thundersnake. Dash seems to hear it also, so he stops, turning toward the other cats. The lone tom warns them to crouch at the tunnel edge, frightening Pouncekit, who asks if it'll squash her.
The black-and-white cat sounds calm as he replies, telling the gray she-cat the Thundersnake will be loud and windy. The train appears, screaming past, blowing foul wind everywhere, hitting the group, then disappears. Shadowkit blinks, admitting he thought the tunnel fell in, and Dash assures the gray tabby it could not happen. Tigerheart loses track of time, and scans the cats, then notices Dash hurries ahead here and there, searching for rats. Nearly at the end of the tunnel, Dovewing looks over at her kits, scurrying ahead, with the black-and-white tom at their side protectively.
Tigerheart finally reaches the tunnel's end, celebrating leaving the city. Dash shifts beside the excited group, telling them he'd best leave. Dovewing looks at the station cat, questioning if he's going to be fine, to which he assures her positively. Dash admits to not traveling that far; suddenly, Dovewing offers to come to the lake. Tigerheart is unsure, for they're already bringing other cats to the Clans; the loner purrs, responding that he likes city life. The brown tom blinks gratefully, thanking Dash for everything, adding he has the heart of a warrior. His friend twitches his tail, pleased, wishing luck to Tigerheart's friends. Then, dipping his head, Dash glances at each cat, before turning, and heading off into the tunnel.



Dash: "Follow me."
Tigerheart: "You don't have to come any farther, Dash. We can follow the tunnel to the end."
Dash: "Do you think I'd have a moment's peace knowing you and your kits were wandering down here alone? I'm staying with you until you reach daylight."
—Dash and Tigerheart Tigerheart's Shadow, pages 310-311

Dash: "I'd better head back."
Dovewing: "Will you be okay on your own?"
Dash: "Yeah. I've never been this far, but I'm glad I came."
Dovewing: "You can come with us."
Dash: "Thanks. But I like city life."
Tigerheart: "Thank you, Dash. You have the heart of a warrior."
Dash: "I don't know about that. But I've been glad to help. Good luck to you all."
—Dash leaving the group Tigerheart's Shadow, pages 319-320

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Revealed in Tigerheart's Shadow, page 119
  2. Revealed in Tigerheart's Shadow, page 306
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