|"Good luck. I hope you find your friend."|
|— Dash to Tigerheart in Tigerheart's Shadow, page 131|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter thirteen of Tigerheart's Shadow. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 13 (of 35)
- Page Numbers: 116-133
- Tigerheart flees along the ledge between two Thundersnakes, his claws slithering back and forth, unable to get a firm grip on the tracks. and swerving between Twolegs. The deputy can hear them yelp at him. Instinctively, Tigerheart heads for a wall and craves shelter, and manages to find a corner, and edges himself into it, and the Twolegs ignore him. He notes that the cavern was huge, and brightly lit dens in the walls thronged with Twoleg, arches and tunnels showed beneath them. He lets his panic ease and tries to think. If he could get used to the stench of Thundersnake and Twolegs, maybe he could be able to detect fresh air.
- He keeps low, and slips along the wall to the front of a brightly lit den. A Twoleg pads out and heads across the cavern. He opens his jaws, hoping to taste fresh air that would guide him out, but he only tastes harsh scents. However, he notes to himself that it would take him out of the tunnel, and that it might lead to another tunnel that would take him out of the one he was in. He feels to cold stone against his paws, and hurries up, and feels relief that no Twolegs were using the tunnels. However, a new scent hits his nose, and recognizes it as cat. Feeling hope, he realizes that there were multiple scents, old and and fresh, and that it was a tom. He wonders to himself if a cat actually lived in the tunnels. He weaves around the tunnel, and it eventually leads him to a small opening in a lower section of the tunnel wall. A hard mesh lies in front of it. Tigerheart ducks inside, and feels relief to find it dark, with the scent of tom significantly stronger. A hiss from the shadows make him freeze. Tigerheart quickly informs him that his name was Tigerheart, and we wasn't there to fight, and he just needs help, but unsheathed his claws warily, knowing that the tom might not want to welcome a new cat onto his territory.
- As the ShadowClan deputy's eyes adjust to the darkness, he sees a skinny black and white tom glaring at him through slitted eyes. The tom arches his back, and bares his teeth, and tells him to get out or he would shred his muzzle. The dark tabby backs away, and tells the tom that he just needs to find his way out of the tunnels. His gaze runs over the dark tabby, and slowly he arches his back, relaxing, and asks if he really wasn't there to steal food. The ShadowClan deputy confirms, and says he can hunt. The tom then asks if Tigerheart didn't want to fight. The ShadowClan deputy says no, and waits for the tom to breathe deeply, knowing he is testing his scent. The tom concedes that he doesn't smell like a rotpile cat, and Tigerheart, confused, asks what a rotpile cat was. The tom explains that they were a gang of cats that hang around the rotpile behind the station, adding that they're always trying to drive him away, and he doesn't know why, since the Twolegs leave enough trash for every cat. Tigerheart however, is confused on the tom's terms, and thinks to himself that he used odd words, and stares at the tom, realizing how far away from home he really was. He puffs out his chest, and asks why he didn't fight them.
- The tom looks at him like Tigerheart is a mouse-brain, saying that there are three of them, and only one of him. Tigerheart asks if he had Clanmates around, and tom stares at him, puzzled, and Tigerheart gropes for a word that the tom could understand, and settles on Kin. The tom simply replies that he was the only cat in the station. The dark brown tabby pricks his ears in interest, and asks if that was really what it was called, admitting that he thought it was the Thundersnake nest. The tom blinks at him, and grunts that he clearly wasn't from around here, saying that only outsiders called trains Thundersnakes. Tigerheart blinks back at him, and explains he was from the forest, and he was looking for his friend. The tom asks if his friend was from the forest too, and Tigerheart says yes, to which the tom tips his head, meowing that he didn't know there were strays in the forest. The deputy corrects him, saying they were warriors, and for the first time, the tom seems genuinely interested. He asks if that meant they fight. Tigerheart cagily meows that he does if he has to, although dislikes the inquisitive edge to the tom's mew, and wonders he wants.
- The tom dips his head, and introduces himself as Dash, and says he lives there. Tigerheart mutters that he guessed as much, but doesn't feel like warming up to the tom, noting he seemed to be planning something. Dash leans closer, asking if he knew where is friend was heading. Tigerheart avoids his answer, simply stating that is a big Twoleg den with a roof that had gorse spines stretching up to the sky. The loner frowns, and Tigerheart holds up his paw and fanned out his claws. The loner tips his head, explaining there was a big den with a couple small thorns, and one larger one, adding that it was a Twoleg gathering place. Tigerheart realizes that it was the same thing Ajax mentioned, and wonders if it was the place Dovewing dreamed about, and asks if it was near here. Dash replies that it wasn't far, and the tabby asks if he could show him. Dash looks down as his paws, and says he can help him, if Tigerheart helps him. The dark tabby narrows his eyes, noting that the loner sounds cagey, and wonders if he was going to ask him to do something bad, and asks what. Dash says he told him; the rotpile cats had been trying to drive him away, and he says that if they thought he had a tough friend, they might leave him alone. Tigerheart accurately guesses that he wants him to help fight them. Dash looks away, admitting he wasn't a good fighter. Tigerheart points out that he was, since he was a cat. Dash rebukes this, and says so were the rotpile cats. Tigerheart feels a glimmer of pity for him, knowing that no cat liked to be bullied. He asks if the rotpile cats belong to clan, wanting to know what fighting skills they had. Dash gets confused, and repeats the word Clans as a question, and tells him that they don't have Clans in the city, only strays.
- The ShadowClan deputy repeats the word in his head, and hopes that they don't know any warrior moves. Tigerheart jerks his nose towards the entrance of Dash's den, and asks to be shown where they are. Dash pads past him, and says they'll be at the rotpiles. Tigerheart follows him, and feels relieved to have a guide this time. He trails Dash as he skirts around various Twoleg objects as Twolegs stream past them. Tigerheart is then met with fresher scents, and wonders hopefully that Dovewing is nearby. He quickens his pace as Dash turns into a narrower tunnel, noting there were no Twolegs. The loner hurries along it, but Tigerheart realizes that it was a dead end, although the black and white tom nods towards a piece of mesh, and tells the deputy that the only way out is through the vent, and he noses it open easily and goes inside, and as the dark brown tom follows him, he feels a cold breeze funnel over him, and realizes that it was the cool, bright daylight, and relief swamps through him. He then notices four huge red shapes, like square monsters, stood, overflowing with Twoleg trash. He asks if those were the rotpiles, and Dash confirms, and Tigerheart sees two mangy toms sniffing around the base of one of them while a big brown tabby she-cat dug through the litter at the top, and Tigerheart asks if that was them, and Dash says yes. The deputy asks who is the meanest, and Dash nods towards the smaller of the two toms, replying that his name was Floyd.
- The dark brown tabby stares at Floyd, who is brown-and-white, and notices his muzzle is filthy and he has torn ear tips. Tigerheart assesses the three, and says that Dash is going to have to help him, but Dash interrupts him, saying he can't fight. Tigerheart says he only needs one move, and turns on Dash, slowly but firmly sweeps one paw under him, tugging them from beneath him, and then swept softly over his ears. Dash stumbles, but Tigerheart catches him before his flank hits the ground, and tells him to try it on him. Dash blinks at him, and frowns thoughtfully. Although after a moment of concentration, he jabs clumsily at Tigerheart's front paws, managing to hook them with speed rather than accuracy, and then swung an awkward blow at Tigerheart's ears. Tigerheart, impressed, says that it wasn't bad, and regains his balance. He then says that he will drive the she-cat from the top of the rotpile, and as she lands, Dash is to try his new move on Floyd. Dash, alarmed, asks what if he fights back, and Tigerheart assures the black and white tom that he just needs to start the fight, and he'll finish it. He adds that it has to look like he attacked Floyd, or they'll keep hassling him, and Dash nods in response. Tigerheart then encourages him that he's fighting for his territory. He sees Dash's eyes flash anxiously, but he doesn't give him a chance to argue, and tells him to follow him.
- He marches across the stone and leaps onto the rotpile where the tabby she-cat is rummaging, and swallows the nausea that swept over him as he feels wetness seep into his fur. The tabby looks at him in surprise, and her warm scent touches his nose. She flicks her tail at him flirtatiously, greeting him, before adding he's new around here. A hiss sounds from below, and asks who she was talking to. Mae then picks her way across the rubbish and peers over the edge, replying back that it is just a stranger. She glances back at Tigerheart and winks, claiming it was nice to see a tom who looks like he could feed himself. The deputy glances towards Dash, who is padding toward the two toms at the foot of the rotpile. Tigerheart quickly meows that he's moved into the station with Dash, and that they don't think there's enough food to share with the three of them, and flattens his ears and gives her a warning hiss.
- Mae hardens her gaze, and asks if he really thinks he and Dash can drive them away. She curls her lip, and claims that they were the ones who owned the bins, and adds that the sooner he learns that, the better. With a hiss, she flings herself at him. Tigerheart leaps clear, and he feels the garbage shifting beneath his paws, and realizes that it wasn't an easy place to fight. He turns to meet another attack, and his paws sink deeper into the trash. Below, he hears an angry yowl, and hears one of the toms tauntingly ask if they think Dash can fight. Struggling to get a pawhold, Tigerheart rears to meet Mae's next attack. He wraps his paws around her, and throws himself onto his side and rolls over the trash towards the edge of the pile. Then, he drops over the edge, bringing the she-cat with him. As his paws met the stone, he lets his hind legs fold beneath him, absorbing the impact of the landing while still holding Mae. She struggles and hisses in his grip. Behind him, he hears an angry yowl, and sees Floyd collapse as Dash swings a blow at his cheek, and thinks to himself that Dash was doing well. He flings Mae away and leaps between Dash and Floyd while the ragged tom finds his paws.
- Tigerheart greets him with a snarl, explaining he's Dash's new friend, and slices his claws across his face. He hears Mae hiss behind him, and he kicks out his hind legs, slamming his paws into her chest, and she grunts and staggers away. The other tom stares, unmoving. From the other side of the rotpile. Floyd backs away hissing at Dash, and Tigerheart pads to Dash's side while Mae glares angrily at Floyd, and asks if that was it, asking if he was even going to fight him. Floyd spits back that she fights him, claiming his claws were sharp, and dabs at his bloody muzzle with his paw, Mae snaps that he threw her off the rotpile. She then asks if Scrap was going to bother defending her. Scrap looks nervously from Tigerheart to Dash, and mutters that they should just find somewhere else to eat. Tigerheart bares his teeth, and says that's a good idea, and tells them to scavenge somewhere else, and that it was Dash's territory. The three rogues glance at one another, and Floyd breaks the silence, saying that they'll just find another rotpile, and he walks away. Scrap follows Floyd, glancing reproachfully at Dash. Mae shoots Tigerheart an angry look, claiming he didn't have to get mean. Tigerheart glares at her, saying she and her friends were bullying Dash, and Mae simply states that it was his fault for being so pathetic, and headed off after the toms. Tigerheart yowls that at least he was willing to fight for what was his. Dash fluffs out his fur, and tells them to not come back.
- Tigerheart glances at the loner, and asks if he'll be okay once he's gone. Dash blinks happily at him, and says yes, since he can see now how easily they give up. Although Tigerheart warns him that if they learn to work together, they could be dangerous. Dash replies that they won't, since cats tend to look out for themselves around the rotpiles. The tabby replies that cats looked out for one another where he was from, and attempts to ignore the prickles of sadness in his chest as he remembers how much fun it was hunting with his clanmates, and Dash interrupts his thoughts, asking why. Tigerheart stares at him, and says that cats are stronger when they work together. In response, Dash asks if it would be easier only taking care of yourself. The ShadowClan deputy feels guilt spark in his belly, and asks himself if that was the thought that occurred when he left ShadowClan, although quickly tells himself that it was not, knowing that Dovewing needed him. He blinks at him, and retorts that he didn't seem to be doing so well taking care of himself. Dash swishes his tail, and says that he made him help him, adding that it was pretty smart. Tigerheart says that he didn't make him do anything, and says he wanted to help him. Dash, surprised, asks if he really meant that. Tigerheart agrees, and glances to the stone path that the rogues had taken towards the Thunderpath, and asks if the Twoleg gathering place was that way. Dash follows his gaze, and glances hungrily at the rotpile, and asks if he wanted food first. Tigerheart notes the rancid trash scent on his paws, and politely declines, claiming he'll hunt later. Dash offers again, claiming that he'll like it. Tigerheart declines again, and says that he doesn't eat crow-food unless he has no choice. Dash frowns, repeating the word. Tigerheart explains that he means scraps.
- Dash repeats the word again, more thoughtfully this time, and concludes that if it was good enough for a crow, it's good enough for him. Tigerheart's pelt prickles uneasily, and asks himself why Dovewing thought to raise their kits in a place where cats thought themselves no better than crows. Tigerheart simply mutters for Dash to come on, and the black and white tom follows suite. The two approach the end of the path, and he sees Twolegs streaming past bright lights. Dash, unfazed, tells him to follow him, and forces himself out into the flood of movement, and a stinking breeze washes his pelt. He sees glittering walls and towering den, making him feel dizzy. Tigerheart asks why the Twolegs here need such big dens. Dash replies that there were a lot of Twolegs in the city, ducking beside the ShadowClan deputy as Twolegs stream past. He mutters that they all probably have to sleep somewhere. Tigerheart blinks at him, and wonders how he could stay so calm. He thinks to himself that he was glad that Ajax and Fuzzball had shown him how to slip around Twolegs and monsters in their small Twolegplace, although he was unprepared for this. The ShadowClan deputy stares at Dash with wide eyes, asking how he got around, noting that it was crowded.
- Dash simply shrugs, saying that everything keeps moving, but not very fast, and the Twolegs and Monsters aren't interested in cats. Dash then tells him to just keep his head down and don't get in anything's way and he'll be fine, before gesturing for his friend to follow him. The two toms reach a gap where two Thunderpaths cross, and Tigerheart asks where they go now. Dash nods to a light shaped like a Twoleg, and tells him they have to wait for it to turn green, and to cross with the Twolegs, but be sure not to trip them, as it will make them mad. Tigerheart sees the light brighten, and the monsters stop, almost as if an invisible wall were just in front of them while Twolegs stream over the Thunderpath. Dash nudges Tigerheart, and tells him to move, and the two hurry alongside Twolegs, and he feels relief wash over him as he reaches the end, and the Loner guides him further along another stone walkway. Keeping his eyes fixed ahead, he feels the noise and bustle making his head swim, and wonders how Dovewing even found her way through the noisy trails. He asks Dash if the gathering place is much farther, and Dash answers that it was a little farther, and picks up his pace and turns a corner into a quieter walkway, much narrower with fewer Twolegs. They cross more Thunderpaths until Tigerheart notices a break in the dens, and his heart soars as he sees grass and trees. He sees a den, with stone walls that reflect the late afternoon light like shattering rainbows.
- He sees a sloping roof stretched along the den, and on either side, having small spikes poke into the sky, and in the middle, one larger one, almost if it were trying to pierce the clouds. The ShadowClan warrior stops and stares, exclaiming that it was the gorse thorns. Dash stops, and tells Tigerheart he can find his way from here. Dash then dips his head to Tigerheart, and thanks him for chasing out the rogues, and he'll be able to sleep easier for a while. the deputy drags his gaze from the thorn den, and tells him that if they come back, to not forget the fighting move he taught him. His friend blinks at him happily, and says he won't, and he wishes him good luck, and hopes Tigerheart finds his friend, and the dark brown tabby says that he does too, and Dash turns back to the pathway. Tigerheart returns his gaze to the gathering place, noting it seemed empty, and the stretch of grass surrounding it was deserted. Thin slabs of stone stood upright in neat rows. Tigerheart hurries forward, and relieved to feel grass underneath his paws, weaves past the stone slabs. He tastes the air for Dovewing's scent, and he feels his heart tighten as he scans the great glittering den. He thinks to himself that he was here, and hopes that Dovewing is too.
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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