|"His friend was heading for a place with nests that reach to the sky, like the one you used to live in."|
|— Fuzzball to Ajax in Tigerheart's Shadow, page 93|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter ten of Tigerheart's Shadow. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 10 (of 35)
- Page Numbers: 84-98
- Tigerheart notes he slept for a while before dawn, and had crossed the silent Thunderpath with ease and allowed the landscape to guide him, guessing that was where Dovewing would have done. He prays to StarClan, and imagines what Dovewing might see and trying to follow her pawsteps. Tigerheart silently apologizes to her.
- He notes that the days of rain had washed away all the scents, and there was nothing to guide him but hope. The ShadowClan deputy pushes on, and feels his heart lift as he sees a clear sky beyond the gray clouds ahead. He pads clear of the rain shadow, and feels sunshine warm his pelt. Tigerheart fluffs out his fur happily, and thinks to himself that ShadowClan was far behind him, and every paw step he took, he felt lighter, and the worry he that had felt like a weight in his chest had slowly lifted. Tigerheart would find Dovewing, even if he had to walk forever.
- Tigerheart approaches a Twolegplace, he thinks to go around it, but realizes that where there Twoleg nests, there were Kittypets. He crosses a meadow edged by the nests, and scents Monster stench. He then smells strange food, and wonders how any cat could hunt when the scent of prey was hidden by such unnatural odors. Tigerheart reaches a wooden fence, and leaps up onto it. He notices an opening between the two closest nests, and jumps down and goes into the shadowy gap. He wonders if Dovewing had been there, and notes there was no familiar scent to guide him. He approaches a Thunderpath, ducking below a low spreading willow as a monster growls along the Thunderpath. The deputy knows he needs to find at least one friendly kittypet.
- An excited mrrow sounds behind him. Tigerheart spins around and is met with a soft bundle of fur at his face. It topples clumsily over him and knocks Tigerheart off his paws. Tigerheart scents kittypet, and sees that it was a young tom, with his scent faint. Tigerheart darts from beneath the willow, and the kittypet chases after him. Tigerheart notices that it was a splotchy ginger tabby, thick furred and no bigger than Whorlpaw. The tom's yellow eyes flash excitedly, and with a squeak, he lunges for Tigerheart, and the bigger tom bats him away. Tigerheart then wonders if the way the tom was fighting was how all kittypets fought. The ginger tom seems unconcerned with his clumsy fighting skills, and Tigerheart sees the tom's paws flutter around him like butterflies, and ducks behind another flurry of paws. The kittypet bounces around him, and mews eagerly for him to fight back.
- Tigerheart swallows a purr, and wonders if the kittypet thought it was a real fight. The deputy keeps his claws sheathed as the kittypet flings himself at Tigerheart again. Tigerheart ducks beneath his flailing paws and jabs his nose beneath his belly, and flicks his head up, which in turn flips the tom onto his back. The kittypet scrambles to his paws, and is amazed by the move. The kittypet attempts to recreate Tigerheart's move, but Tigerheart neatly hops out of the way. The kittypet spins around, and asks where he went. Tigerheart mews his location, and the now befuddled tabby drop into an ungainly attack crouch. Tigerheart lifts up his paw and tells him to stop. The toms blinks at him, and asks why, wondering if he was winning. Tigerheart explains that he wasn't looking for a fight. The tabby pauses, and asks again if he was winning.
- Something catches the kittypet's eye. The tabby mews that he has to go, but that they should fight again soon. Before Tigerheart can speak, the kittypet dashes past him, and disappears into the shadows between two nests. Tigerheart stares after him, and wonders what it was all about. He thinks that if it was a kittypet defending his border, he wasn't very good at it. He then wonders if the tabby was trying to scare him off, and concludes that kittypets must have bees in their brains. He then follows the Thunderpath, skirting the row of Twoleg nests. A gentle mew suddenly makes him stop, and a pale cream she-cat is crouched on a wide wooden fence. She glances at him, and accurately states that he was not from around here, and asks if he was lost.
- Tigerheart eyes the she-cat, but notices softness in her gaze. He tells her that he is looking for someone, and pads over to her, blinking at the kittypet hopefully. Tigerheart then explains that her name was Dovewing, and was heading for a den with spikes on the roof. The kittypet however, is puzzled, and says it wouldn't be around the area. Tigerheart asks if she had seen Dovewing. Suddenly, an excited yowl comes from behind him, and he turns and sees the ginger tabby rushing towards him again. Tigerheart rears for the kittypet, frustration spiking his pelt. The deputy flips the tom's paws from beneath him, and knocks him to the ground with the other. Tigerheart pins him down, claws sheathed, and notes that his fur was so soft, it was like touching moss.
- The kittypet wails and tries to struggle free of Tigerheart's grip. Tigerheart firmly meows that he doesn't have time to fight, and he was looking for someone. He then adds that if he lets him go, that the kittypet would back off. The tom squirms, and questions why, saying he was having fun. Tigerheart growls for him to back off, and the kittypet stops squirming, and agrees. The ShadowClan deputy lets him go, and the tom leaps to his paws and backs away, and cheerfully mews that Tigerheart's move was great, and asks to show him how he did it. Tigerheart irritably says that he doesn't have time, and thinks that every moment that passed, Dovewing was getting farther away. The tom asks if Tigerheart needed to get back to his twolegs. Tigerheart tells him that he didn't have twolegs, and that he was a warrior. The kittypet's eyes widen in wonder, and exclaims that that is why he fought so well, and asks how long he had been one.
- Tigerheart replies since he was born, but realizes that it was a bit inaccurate, as he had been a Kit and an Apprentice first, but it didn't seem to matter to this kittypet. The tom asks if he lived in the wild, Tigerheart confirms, and the kittypet asks why. Tigerheart pauses, noting it's a mouse-brained question, and asks why he lives with Twolegs. The kittypet seems to completely ignore his question, and asks if he ever got cold and hungry. The deputy replies that he does sometimes. The kittypet asks if he ever fought badgers and foxes, and Tigerheart says that they do when they have to. The she-cat cuts him, and tells the kittypet to give him a break, and refers to him by his name, Fuzzball.
- Tigerheart says his name out loud, his whiskers twitching, and asks if that was really his name. Fuzzball blinks at him, and tells him of course. Tigerheart is dumbfounded on why Fuzzball didn't mind having such a dumb name, and tells him he had never heard of a cat called Fuzzball before. Fuzzball asks what his name was, and Tigerheart replies with his own. he kittypet's eyes widen, clearly impressed, and exclaims that it was a great name. Fuzzball blinks at the she-cat, and says Tigerheart's name, which seems to please him. He then purrs and says he wants to be called Tigerheart. The she-cat blinks at him fondly, and tells him that she thinks Fuzzball suits him better. The tom tells her that it wasn't as much as Tigerheart would, and puffs out his chest. The she-cat turns to Tigerheart, and introduces herself as Rose. Rose apologies that they can't help find his friend, but says that he said that she was looking for a place with nests that reach the sky. Rose turns to Fuzzball, and asks if he knew where it could be.
- Fuzzball looks pleased to be asked, and replies that he doesn't, but points out that Ajax might, and tells the two that he had told him that he lived in a den so high, he could look down and see the birds. Tigerheart shudders at the thought of anything without wings wanting to live in the sky. Fuzzball beckons Tigerheart, telling him that he would take him to Ajax. Tigerheart nods towards Rose, and thanks her for her help. Rose tips her head in return, and wishes him good luck, and she hopes he finds his friend.
- Tigerheart notes that Fuzzball wasn't a good fighter, but knew his way around Twolegplace, and hurries to keep up with the ginger tom as he leads him between mazes of paths and tracks. Tigerheart is surprised that he shows no fear as he ducks beneath monsters sleeping in front of nests, while Tigerheart was caught up in the countless new scents and noises that he didn't recognize. Fuzzball stops in front of a yellow Twoleg nest, and yowls Ajax's name. A moment later, a burly black and white tom appears, and lifts his tail as he sees Fuzzball. The tom greats him warmly, asking if he was looking for a fight. Fuzzball purrs that he wasn't today, but that Tigerheart could teach him a thing or two, and that he beat him in a fight. Ajax teasingly tells him that Rose could beat him in a fight. Fuzzball just flicks his tail, and tells him that one day, he's going to be the best fighter in the neighborhood.
- Ajax circles around Fuzzball, and agrees that he might be, but only if he spent less time at his food dish and more time patrolling his territory. Tigerheart pricks his ears in surprise, and asks if Kittypets patrol their territory too. Ajax turns to face Tigerheart, his eyes narrowed, and says of course, if they had territory to patrol. Tigerheart points out that they weren't Warriors, and Ajax pokes his muzzle forward and sniffs Tigerheart. Fuzzball asks Ajax if he had ever heard of warriors, and Tigerheart sees that he is clearly happy knowing more than Ajax. Fuzzball explains to Ajax that warriors were strays who live in the wild. Ajax blinks sympathetically at the deputy, and asks if he couldn't find a twoleg to take him in. Tigerheart bristles his pelt, and tells the kittypets that he wouldn't want a twoleg to take him in. Fuzzball lifts his muzzle and says he likes being a stray. Tigerheart corrects him by saying he is a warrior. Ajax circles Tigerheart slowly, and notes he looked lost. Tigerheart explains to him that he is looking for a friend. Fuzzball tells the black and white tom that his friend was heading for a place with nests that reach to the sky, like the one Ajax lived in. Tigerheart adds that she had a dream that told her there was a den with a spiky roof. Ajax pricks his ears, and exclaims "She?", and shares a meaningful look with Fuzzball, and asks if it was a romantic quest.
- Before Tigerheart can respond, Ajax tells Tigerheart that there were plenty of she-cats around. Tigerheart informs them that the one in question was special, and wonders if kittypets ever fell in love. Ajax shrugs, and tells the dark brown tom that if she was looking for a nest with sky-high nests, and gestures to his own nest disdainfully, and adds that it was huge and filled with Twoleg nests. He continues, and says that the Thunderpaths and Monsters looked tiny, and the Twolegs looked like prey. Tigerheart swallows in shock, and asks if there was a den with big spikes like gorse thorns on the roof. Ajax narrows his eyes, and notes it sounds like a Twoleg gathering place. Tigerheart blinks at him, confused. Ajax explains that he could see it every quarter moon from his old home. Twolegs would go there and yowl together. Fuzzball asks why, and Ajax simply replies that it was something Twolegs do. Tigerheart feels his heart spark with hope, and knows he is going in the right direction.
- Tigerheart asks Ajax how he gets to the Twolegplace. Ajax tells Tigerheart to follow him. Fuzzball asks Tigerheart if he was sure, and the deputy responds that he has to. Ajax calls to them, and asks if they were coming. Tigerheart hurries towards the two, and lets them take the lead, knowing that they were more skillful at dodging Twolegs and monsters. As they reach a stretch of grass, Tigerheart puffs that if they could learn how to dodge Twolegs and monsters, they could learn how to fight. Fuzzball blinks at him hopefully, and asks if he really thought that. Tigerheart agrees, and says that they just need to work out a few battle moves and practice them until they can do them without thinking. Fuzzball purrs at the thought. Ajax pads on, and Tigerheart sees two shiny tracks cutting across the land ahead. Ajax informs him that this is where Twolegs wait for Thundersnakes. Tigerheart uneasily asks what it was, and Ajax stares at him, and asks if he really doesn't know. Tigerheart fluffs out his fur, and says that there were no Thundersnakes in the forest. Fuzzball pads between the two, and explains that Thundersnakes were huge monsters that travels along the Silverpath, and nods to the shiny tracks that lay before them. Ajax adds that the Silverpath leads to the Twolegplace.
- Ajax also adds that the reason the Twolegs were waiting was so they could get into it's belly and let it carry them there. Tigerheart shudders in horror, and asks how long until the Thundersnake comes. Ajax replies soon, and looks expectantly at the tracks. Tigerheart observes the twolegs on the ledge, and sees one put down the heavy bundle it was carrying, and uses its forepaws to open it, revealing colorful pelts inside. Tigerheart asks Ajax what they were, and the tom replies that it was a shell, and that Twolegs use it to carry their spare pelts around. Ajax stiffens, and informs him that the Thundersnake was coming. Tigerheart follows his gaze, and feels the air tremble, and sees a huge monster appear where the shiny tracks dipped behind a ridge. Tigerheart feels his paws freeze in fear, and knows that the Thundersnake was far bigger than any monster he had encountered. He glances at Ajax and Fuzzball, and wonders why they aren't running away. The Thundersnake roars past them, and feels hot air breath from it's flanks. Tigerheart narrows his eyes against it's choking stench and digs his claws into the earth, and flattens his ears against it's deafening yowl. Stiff with terror, he holds his breath as the world seems to explode around him, and wonders if this was really what Dovewing's dream was supposed to lead.
Notes and references
|Tigerheart's Shadow 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 • Chapter 31 • Chapter 32 • Chapter 33 • Chapter 34 • Chapter 35 • Manga|
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