|"It's just that sometimes I dream about being in the forest, hunting with Brackenpaw, and then I wake up and the pain in my leg reminds me I'll never hunt again. It feels too much to bear. I have to pretend that maybe, one day, I'll be able to hunt."|
|— Cinderpaw to Fireheart in Fire and Ice, page 234|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty two of Fire and Ice. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 22 (of 30)
- Page Numbers: 231-242
- It seems to Fireheart that the days leading to the next full moon dragged on slowly. He feels it already seems a long time since the last Gathering, and it is noted that there was no Gathering at the last full moon since clouds covered the moon. ThunderClan patrols keep reporting RiverClan scents at Sunningrocks, and ShadowClan scents at Owl Tree again. When Fireheart isn’t hunting, he is dividing his time between Cloudkit, Cinderpaw and Brackenpaw; even when Graystripe has continued his role as Brackenpaw’s mentor. Fireheart notices the apprentice at loose ends sometimes with his mentor nowhere in sight. When Fireheart asks Brackenpaw where his mentor is, all the apprentice says that Graystripe is hunting. Fireheart asks why he didn’t go with him, and Brackenpaw tells him that Graystripe says he’ll go tomorrow. Fireheart feels the usual anger for Graystripe’s stubbornness, but shrugs it away as he has given up trying to make Graystripe see sense. He notes they have hardly spoken since Cloudkit has been brought into camp. Fireheart notes he has tried hard to keep Brackenpaw out of sight whenever Graystripe has gone missing. Tigerclaw would never accept the apprentice’s excuse so easily.
- The full moon finally appears in the cloudless sky as Fireheart comes back from hunting early. He passes the fallen Oak where Swiftpaw and Speckletail’s kit has recovered from greencough. Fireheart drops his catch at the fresh-kill pile and heads to Yellowfang’s den to see Cinderpaw. The threat of greencough has left the camp, so only Cinderpaw is in the care of Yellowfang. Fireheart pads into the tunnel to see Cinderpaw helping the medicine cat with sorting herbs. Fireheart winces as he sees the apprentice limp towards the split rock with a mouthful of herbs. Cinderpaw greets Fireheart as she spits out the herbs and turns to him. She complains she could only just scent him through the disgusting herbs. Yellowfang growls that the disgusting herbs have cured her leg. Cinderpaw retorts she should have given her more, but Fireheart is relieved to see a mischievous glint in her eyes. Cinderpaw tells Yellowfang to look at this, as she twitches her twisted hind leg, and reports she can hardly reach her claws to wash them. Yellowfang meows perhaps she could give more exercises to loosen them up. Cinderpaw mews quickly no thanks, and complains they hurt. Yellowfang retorts they’re meant to hurt, that means they are working. The medicine cat turns to Fireheart asks him to persuade Cinderpaw to do her stretches, and reports she needs to go to the forest to dig up comfrey roots. Fireheart promises he will try. Yellowfang calls over her shoulder as she leaves that he’ll know it’s working because she’ll complain.
- Cinderpaw limps over to Fireheart and touches noses, thanking him for coming. She sits down and grimaces as she tucks her bad leg under her. Fireheart purrs he likes coming to see her, and he misses their training sessions. Fireheart immediately regrets those words as a wistful look clouds Cinderpaw’s eyes. She meows she does too, and asks when they will start again. Fireheart heart sinks as he stares at her; Yellowfang hasn’t told her that she will never be a warrior. He suggests doing those exercises, as they could help. Cinderpaw agrees to do only a few so lies on her side and stretches her leg out till her face twists in pain. With her teeth clenched, she slowly begins to move her bad leg back and forth. Fireheart tells she’s doing really well, hiding his sorrow. Cinderpaw let her leg drop and stays still for a moment before pushing herself up. Fireheart watches her quietly as she shakes her head and says she will never be a warrior, and asks if that’s true. Fireheart can't lie, so whispers no, and he is sorry. He licks Cinderpaw’s head. After a few minutes, Cinderpaw sighs and lies down again. She explains that she knew it, she just dreams of being in the forest and hunting with Brackenpaw. She then wakes up and feels the pain in her leg, which reminds her that she can never hunt again. She explains it feels too much to bear, and she has to pretend that one day she’ll be able to hunt. Fireheart can’t bear to see her in low spirits, so promises to take her to the forest again and they’ll find the oldest and slowest mouse for her catch. Cinderpaw looks at him and purrs gratefully. Fireheart purrs back, but asks a question that’s been nagging him: can she remember what happened when the monster hit her, and if Tigerclaw was there.
- Cinderpaw’s eyes cloud with confusion as she stammers she doesn’t know. Fireheart feels guilty as the apprentice flinches from the memory. Cinderpaw explains she went to the burned ash where Dustpaw and Tigerclaw were supposed to be, but then a monster appears and she doesn’t remember the rest. Fireheart shakes his head slowly and states she must have run straight onto the Thunderpath. He wonders why Tigerclaw wasn’t there. In a flash of rage, he thinks the deputy could have stopped Cinderpaw. Fireheart remembers Princess’s words, that it could have been a trap. Fireheart pictures Tigerclaw crouching downwind, hiding among the trees and staring at the verge while he waits. Cinderpaw cuts into Fireheart’s thoughts and asks how Cloudkit is, clearly wanting to change the subject. Fireheart is happy to do so, since it’s about his sister’s son. He meows proudly his getting bigger every day. Cinderpaw explains she’s dying to meet him, and asks when Fireheart’s going to bring the kit to see her. Fireheart answers as soon as Brindleface lets him, she won’t let him out if sight at the moment. Cinderpaw asks if the queen likes him then. Fireheart meows she treats him like her other kits thank StarClan. Fireheart honestly admits he wasn’t sure if she’d take him in, since he looks so different to her other kits. Even Fireheart can’t deny his white fur looks out of place against the other kits’ forest-colored short mottled fur. Fireheart says at least his getting on well with his nursery mates before trailing his meow. He stares at the ground with twinges of anxiety.
- Cinderpaw prompts what’s wrong. Fireheart explains he's just sick of the way some of his Clanmates look at the kit, like he's stupid or worthless. Cinderpaw asks if Cloudkit notices these looks, and Fireheart shakes his head. Cinderpaw mews for him not to worry then. Fireheart objects, saying Cloudkit doesn’t know he was born a kittypet. He also probably just assumes his is from a different Clan. If they give him those looks, he’s going to realize there’s something wrong with him. Fireheart looks at his paws fretfully, and Cinderpaw echoes in wonder if somethings wrong with him, and Fireheart was born a kittypet and there’s nothing wrong with him. By the time Cloudkit works out where he comes from, he’ll be able to start proving that a kittypet can be as good a Clanborn warrior. Just like Fireheart has done. Fireheart asks what would happen if someone told him before he was ready and Cinderpaw meows if his anything like Fireheart, then his born ready. Fireheart asks when she got so smart, surprised at her sharpness. Cinderpaw rolls onto her back with a dramatic moan, saying suffering can do that to a cat. Fireheart prods her stomach with a paw and Cinderpaw gives a squeak, scrambling back onto her side. She mews really, look who she’s been hanging out with lately. Fireheart tips his head in confusion, and Cinderpaw scoffs Yellowfang, calling Fireheart a dope. She explains the medicine cat is a sharp old cat, she’s learning a lot. She sits up and reports that Yellowfang says there is a Gathering, and asks if Fireheart is going. Fireheart admits he doesn’t know, since his not popular with the Clan at the moment, but will ask Bluestar later. Cinderpaw promises the Clan will get over it, and nudges his shoulder, saying he should go and find out if his going, they’ll be leaving soon. Fireheart replies she’s right, and asks if she’ll be okay until Yellowfang gets back, and if she wants him to fetch some fresh-kill. Cinderpaw reassures she’ll be fine, and Yellowfang will bring something, she always does. She tells after Yellowfang has finished with her, she’ll be the fattest cat in the forest.
- Fireheart feels a burst of happiness at her spirit, and is tempting to stay but she is right, he should find out if he can go to the Gathering. He meows he’ll see her tomorrow then, and there'll be plenty of news from the Gathering. Cinderpaw mews she wants to hear it all, and to make sure Bluestar makes her go. He tells him to hurry, and Fireheart retorts his going. They both say goodbye before Fireheart stops at the edge of the clearing to look for Bluestar. She is talking with Willowpelt outside her den and Willowpelt stands up to leave just as Fireheart approaches. The warrior nods to Fireheart as she pads away. Bluestar guesses that Fireheart wants to go to the Gathering. Fireheart opens his mouth to speak, but Bluestar interrupts, telling all warriors want to go tonight, but she can’t take every cat. Fireheart feels disappointed, stating he wants to see WindClan again, to see how they’re doing since he and Graystripe brought them home. Bluestar narrows her eyes and meows sharply she doesn’t need a reminder. Fireheart flinches, but Bluestar went on to say his right to be concerned, so he and Graystripe will go tonight. Fireheart thanks her, and Bluestar warns it will be an interesting Gathering, since ShadowClan and RiverClan have explaining to do. Fireheart twitches his ears nervously, but feels a thrill of excitement as Bluestar clearly means she wants to challenge Nightstar and Crookedstar about the invasion of ThunderClan territory. Fireheart dips his head respectfully and pads away.
- As Fireheart collects two voles for Brindleface, he notices Yellowfang trudging into camp. Her paws are muddy and her mouth full of roots, her search for comfrey is obviously successful. Fireheart carries the fresh-kill to the nursery and Brindleface is curled up inside as she feeds Cloudkit. Fireheart notes her other kits have recently given up their mother’s milk, and Cloudkit will soon follow. Brindleface looks up with concern, stating she sent for Yellowfang. Alarmed, Fireheart asks if something’s wrong with Cloudkit. Brindleface says his just a little feverish, she licks the top the kit’s head as he stops feeding and squirms restlessly. Brindleface continues to say and there’s probably nothing wrong. She does wants to see what Yellowfang thinks of though, she doesn’t want to take any chances. Fireheart remembers that the dappled queen has recently lost a kit. He hopes she is just being overcautious, but Cloudkit does look uncomfortable. Fireheart promises to see them after the Gathering. He ducks out of the nursery and heads to the fresh-kill pile. Brindleface’s news has spoiled his appetite, but he knows he had to eat before the Gathering. Longtail and Dustpaw are standing over the pile, so Fireheart sits down to wait his turn. The two tom’s talk of Cloudkit, calling him Cloudchick. Fireheart feels a familiar ripple of frustration. Dustpaw mews his probably realized how silly he looks and decided to hide in the nursery. Longtail sneers he’d like to be there when he tries hunting for the first time, the prey will spot him coming a tree’s length away from his white fur. Dustpaw states unless they mistake him for a puffball mushroom, and twitches his whiskers as he throws a sideways look at Fireheart.
- Fireheart flattens his ears and looks away. He watches Yellowfang hurry to the nursery with a mouthful of feverfew. Longtail and Dustpaw notice to, so Longtail meows the kittypet caught a chill, what a surprise. He says Goldenflower is right; he won’t last through leaf-bare. Longtail turns and stares at Fireheart for a reaction. Fireheart ignores him and walks to the fresh-kill pile, picks a thrush and carrying it away to eat. He feels drained by the endless spite. Graystripe is sharing a meal with Runningwind by the nettle clump. Runningwind calls to Fireheart as he passes how his hunt went. Fireheart replies yes thanks, and Graystripe doesn’t look up. Fireheart tells Graystripe Bluestar says he could go the Gathering, and Graystripe answers he knows, still chewing. Fireheart asks if Runningwind is going, and Runningwind says he bets. He wouldn’t miss this one for anything. Fireheart pads on and finds a quiet spot at the edge of the clearing. Longtail’s words echo in his head and he wonders if the Clan would ever accept Cloudkit. Fireheart closes his eyes and begins to wash himself. As he turns to lick his side, he opens his eyes to see Sandpaw standing beside him. Her pelt is glowing silver beneath the rising moon as she mews she thought he’d like some company. She sits down and begins to wash Fireheart’s back with long soothing strokes. Through half-closed eyes, Fireheart can see Dustpaw staring from the apprentice den, unable to disguise his envy and amazement. Fireheart is also surprised, he hadn’t expected such friendliness from the apprentice. Her warmth is welcome though, so he isn’t going to question it.
- He asks if she’s going to the Gathering. Sandstorm pauses and says yes and asks if he is. Fireheart tells he is. He asks Sandpaw if she thinks Bluestar’s going to challenge Nightstar and Crookedstar about their hunting. Sandpaw doesn’t answer, but stares at the dark sky. She murmurs she wishes she was going as a warrior. Fireheart tenses, but there is no hint of jealousy or bitterness in her meow. He feels awkward as he knows his training has started after Sandpaw’s, and he has been a warrior for more than two moons. Fireheart tries to sound encouraging as he meows it can’t be long before Bluestar gives her warrior name. Sandpaw asks why he thinks Bluestar is taking so long, turning her pale green eyes on Fireheart. Fireheart admits he doesn’t know, and says Bluestar has been ill. He also mentions RiverClan and ShadowClan have been causing trouble. He guesses she’s got other things on her mind. Sandpaw meows they’d think she’d need more warriors than ever, and Fireheart feels a stab of sympathy. He says he supposes Bluestar is waiting for the right time. He knows it doesn’t sound helpful, but it is the best he can say. Sandpaw sighs maybe by newleaf, and asks Fireheart when he thinks he’ll get a new apprentice. Fireheart replies Bluestar hasn’t said anything yet. Sandpaw suggests that she might give Cloudkit when his old enough. Fireheart meows he hopes so, and stares across the clearing at the nursery, wondering if Yellowfang has finished treating the kit. He says if he makes it that far.
- Sandpaw meows confidently that he’ll make it. Fireheart notes he has a fever, and let his shoulders sag with worry. Sandpaw retorts all kits get fevers, and with his thick fur, he’ll recover in no time. That coat will be handy in leaf-bare, perfect for hunting in the snow. The prey will never see him coming, and he’ll be able to stay out twice as long as thin-pelts like Longtail. Fireheart purrs and feels himself relax as Sandpaw has lifted his spirits again. He stands up and gives a brisk lick on her head. He meows for her to come on, as Bluestar is calling the cats for the Gathering. The two cats join their Clanmates beside the camp entrance, and they are described as a silent purposeful group. Bluestar signals to them with a flick of her tail, and leads them through the gorse tunnel and out of the ravine. The forest glistens in the moonlight as the Clan sprints towards Fourtrees. Clouds of breath billows from Fireheart’s muzzle, and the forest floor is feels frozen beneath his paws. For the first time since Fireheart joined the Clan, Bluestar didn’t hesitate at the ridge above Fourtrees to prepare herself for the meeting. Instead, ThunderClan followed their leader wordlessly as she plunges straight down the slope into the clearing.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 231
- ↑ Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 235
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 240
- ↑ Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 233
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 234
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 239
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 238
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 237
- ↑ Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 241
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 232
|Fire and Ice 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 • Chapter 25 • Chapter 26 • Chapter 27 • Chapter 28 • Chapter 29 • Chapter 30|
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