|"Clanmates were Clanmates, but friends were just as precious."|
|— Dovepaw about relationships in Fading Echoes, page 553|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter eighteen of Fading Echoes. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 18 (of 24)
- Page Numbers: 249-253
- Dovepaw heads through the forest, refusing to return to the hollow. Her pale gray fur is fluffed up, and the she-cat is fuming. She believes cats want her to be a spy, despite her protests. Racing through the trees, swerving around bushes, and recklessly charging through ferns, the smoky gray apprentice does not care for prey. With her ability to hear greater, she's able to just catch more. Anger surges through Dovepaw's muscles, and she recalls what her Clanmates asked her to do. Such as, find the beavers, find prey, or spy. Mind fizzing now, she challenges those Clanmates to do it on their own, and imagines Lionblaze and Jayfeather's expressions when she spoke her mind.
- Resentment crawls in the gray she-cat's stomach, angry that Ivypaw doesn't have to talk with her, or that she doesn't require friends. Suddenly, she detects leaves rustling, and pricks her ears. A border patrol is nearby, and Dovepaw wonders if she'd run that far. Skidding to a halt, the green-eyed she-cat sniffs the air, realizing she almost went into ShadowClan territory. The ground beside her slopes up, and Ivypaw's patrol can be heard. Brackenfur, a senior warrior, calls out, and Ivypaw reports back, telling him that there's no tufts of fur. Dovepaw ducks into a bramble thicket, and hides. Whitewing prompts Ivypaw to estimate how fresh the markers are, and the silver-and-white tabby scoots over the rise.
- Ivypaw reports the markers are somewhat fresh, and Dovepaw feels a rush of pride. She knows her sister will be a brilliant warrior, and great in the eyes of their Clanmates. She sighs, thinking the Clan will turn on her, especially if they know she's hiding a secret. On the rise, Brackenfur, Bumblestripe, and Whitewing appear now. The three warriors check the trees and bushes, which makes Dovepaw shift back. Barbs scrape her pale fur, so she grits her teeth. Just then, Brackenfur pads closer, and the apprentice scoots back even more, while the golden-brown tom sniffs the bush.
- In desperation, she scrambles up one of the thick stems, biting her tongue as thorns scrape at her. The smoky gray cat reaches the top of the bush, and worms her way along. Prickers tear her fur, scratching her muzzle, causing her to wince. Dovepaw peers back, and sees Brackenfur carrying on with the patrol, and is relieved to know he must've ignored her scent. The pale gray apprentice drops onto the ground, and her paws slide over pine needles. She sniffs the air, realizing her location as in ShadowClan territory. Dovepaw glances around, and begins to make her way back to ThunderClan's territory.
- A mew rings out, greeting her, and the ShadowClan tom is Tigerheart. Heart thumping, Dovepaw spins toward the dark brown tabby, stamnering and stumbling her words. He simply shrugs, calling her his friend, and the apprentice's ears burn. Tigerheart's sleek pelt shines in the light, cutting through the pine trees, and the tiger-striped warrior approaches her, then presses his muzzle to hers. He sits down, and runs a paw over his whiskers. The brown tom tells her he's missed her, and Dovepaw's feelings are mutual. Her pale gray pelt flattens, asking herself why borders should separate her from friends.
- She goes, mentioning the Gatherings, but it isn't the same. Tigerheart agrees, tending to his flank now, smoothing a stray tuft of fur, recalling how they built nests beneath the stars, and waking up in new places. The young cat sounds restless, and Dovepaw wonders if he's frustrated at being stuck in ShadowClan. She tells about of how Sedgewhisker was bitten, and the way she tried to visit the WindClan she-cat. The ShadowClan tom narrows his eyes, responding he did see the dog bite at a Gathering. Dovepaw's gray paws prick with frustration, remembering how everyone was mad at her for being worried. She asks aloud if it's so bad to care for other cats.
- Tigerheart catches her gaze, and the smoky she-cat looks away, self-concious. Then, the dark-eyed tabby changes the subject, reminding her of the river almost sweeping them away to StarClan. He stands up, kneading the ground, going on about the branches they needed to hold, then jumps, and swings on a low-jutting twig. The ThunderClan apprentice purrs with amusement, putting in about the logs, and how hard it was to dislodge them. They exchange words of how brave each other were then, and words dry up on Dovepaw's tongue as she stares into her friend's amber eyes. Then the call of a ShadowClan cat interrupts them, and Tigerheart nudges her over the border, then turns, and races off.
- Dovepaw glances around, and scoots back from ShadowClan territory. She heads for home, through the trees, and her mind is filled with Tigerheart, causing her to purr. She thinks of Jayfeather and Lionblaze, determined not to let them ruin her friendship with the ShadowClan warrior, for she'll never say. The gray she-cat lifts her nose, imagining the two brothers telling her to spy on ShadowClan, and tells herself they are wrong. Clanmates are Clanmates, but for her, friends are just as precious.
Notes and references
|Fading Echoes chapters|
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23 • Chapter 24|
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