|"You seem to have misunderstood. [...] We are equals here. This isn’t a Clan."|
|— Fierce to Tigerheart in Tigerheart's Shadow, page 160|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter sixteen of Tigerheart's Shadow. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 16 (of 35)
- Page Numbers: 158-171
- Pipsqueak tells Tigerheart that the guardian cats are not fighters, squaring up to Tigerheart in the middle of the cavern beneath the gathering place. Tigerheart rebukes the tom's statement, saying Fierce said the cats that stay each have their own role. Dotty pads up beside Pipsqueak, and tells the deputy that keeping watch and warning if danger is near is different from attacking foxes. Tigerheart recalls that it had been two days since the fight with the aforementioned creatures, and when notes his tail had healed since Spire had put on a poultice. The dark brown tabby first wondered if Spire even knew what he was doing, since throughout Tigerheart's treatment of his wound Spire had been muttering constantly. Tigerheart wonders if Spire was possibly getting guidance from an unseen cat. He recalls that the guardian cats' herb stores were getting low, and knows that a recent chill in the night air might cause the frost to come sooner then expected.
- Tigerheart knows they need to drive the foxes away before leaf-bare hits, and even more so before they find a den and make a nest there. Tigerheart knows that as soon as the female fox was expecting young, the foxes would be fighting for their them making it impossible to win a battle for the land, and the guardian cats’ precious herb source could be lost within a moon. The tabby then assembles the cats in a circle, with the exception of Dovewing, who was sleeping in their nest. Tigerheart thinks to himself that he would teach the guardian cats how to fight.
- Tigerheart glances around the circle and sees Fierce hung back, curiosity flashing in her bright green gaze. Blaze watching excitedly beside Spire, and Tigerheart notices the healer’s gaze was drifting. Ant and Cinnamon shift their paws impatiently. Tigerheart knows that the two of them, at least, wanted to learn battle moves. Tigerheart recalls that Cobweb was still recovering from the fox wound on his back, and Boots had luckily confirmed that the wound was in Cobweb's benefit, as the wound had not damaged his spine. Tigerheart sees the long-furred gray tom watching from his nest, his eyes still dull with pain while Boots sat beside him. He glances around to see Rascal and Mittens, noting that the two were best known for their hunting skills, eyeing the deputy with interest. Dotty and Pipsqueak looked at him challengingly. Peanut informs Tigerheart that their herbs stores were low, and flickers her gaze from the tom to Dotty, and then back to Tigerheart, and says that if they need to fight for them, then they will, adding that cats' lives may depend on it. Dotty stares at the she-cat, and says that she won't even be doing the fighting considering she's a healer, adding that she barely hunts. Fierce steps forward, and Tigerheart feels his belly spark with hope. However, he feels it quickly diminish as Fierce assures Dotty that if she doesn't want to fight, then she doesn't have to.
- Tigerheart stares at Fierce, and angrily tells her that she should be encouraging them to fight. Fierce's eyes widen, asking why her. Tigerheart replies because she was the leader. Fierce flicks her tail, reminding Tigerheart that he seems to have forgotten they are not a Clan, and all are equal, and Tigerheart notices she spoke the word "Clan" as though the strangeness of warriors was beyond her understanding. Irritation prickles Tigerheart's pelt, and says if they want to keep their territory, then they need to start acting like a Clan. Dotty meows that they technically don't have territory, only shelter and take care of one another. Tigerheart asks her what was the land they gathered herbs on, once again emphasizing the word territory. Pipsqueak meows that it was just land. Tigerheart twitches his ears, asking if they didn't mind the foxes taking it. Pipsqueak snaps that of course they do, considering they need the herbs. Tigerheart raises his voice, claiming the guardian cats need to fight for their herbs. The dark tabby then looks to Fierce pleadingly, wondering why she wasn't supporting him. Fierce pads around Pipsqueak and Dotty, admitting Tigerheart had a point. She tells the guardian cats that they joined the community since they all needed help or shelter, and without herbs none of them would likely even be around, and owe it to future visitors to receive the same treatment they did. Pipsqueak tips his head thoughtfully, asking if Fierce intended them to fight, and Tigerheart feels his belly flutter with hope.
- Fierce glances into a shaft of sunlight, and tells the gathered cats that if they learn how to fight, then they can drive out the foxes, but tells them that if they don't want to learn, then that is their choice. Dotty narrows her eyes, and asks if Tigerheart will be teaching her how to fight. Fierce says of course, and it would be foolish to not learn from him since he seems to have a lot of useful knowledge. Tigerheart blinks at her gratefully, and Ant steps forward, claiming he wants to learn as well. Cinnamon joins in after Ant, and they are followed by Rascal and Mittens. Pipsqueak mews that there is no harm in learning it, and Dotty hastily adds that as long as Tigerheart doesn't start thinking that he is the leader. Pipsqueak reminds the dark tabby that they are all equals, and Tigerheart assures them he only wants to help. However, his mind drifts back to when Scorchfur and Snowbird practically begged him to lead them, and with the guardian cats, nobody wanted him to lead. Although he feels happy of not being weighed down with responsibility, like he was when he was the deputy back in ShadowClan. Tigerheart happily purrs that they should start. He pads over to the center and drops into a crouch, recalling it to be the first move his former mentor, Oakfur ever taught him. He tells them that it was the easiest move to learn.
- Soon the guardian cats are practicing moves on one another, and Tigerheart remembers to when he was training his niece, Sleekpaw in the forests of ShadowClan, going over battle moves with her, and feels his heart break as he remembers that she was one of the apprentices who rebelled against Rowanstar. Tigerheart jerks his head back to the present, and tells himself that the cats he is teaching are fighting foxes, not other cats. Tigerheart looks toward Dovewing, and feels gratitude that her only concern was for their unborn kits. Fierce interrupts Tigerheart, and says she thinks they've learned enough, and should come up with a plan. Dovewing overhears Fierce's comment, and asks if it was a plan to deal with the foxes. Fierce nods, and Tigerheart reminds her that they need to fight together, and remembers their skirmish on the slope, noting the fighting cats fought bravely, but were uncoordinated. He turns to the cats, and tells them basic battle strategies. He tells them to distract the fox if they see a Clanmate in trouble, and upon seeing their confused looks, he corrects himself, telling them that if they see their friend in trouble, to distract the fox. Tigerheart then wonders if the guardian cats even saw themselves as friends, or just cats they slept beside. Dovewing pads out of her nest, and tells everyone that she has a plan to stop them, and sits down heavily beside Tigerheart, and her mate sees that she is clearly tired. Dovewing explains that if the patrol can take up positions around the slope, one cat can be used as bait. Tigerheart, shocked, repeats her last word. Dovewing assures him that it was only to make the foxes think there was no threat, and suggests using herself as bait, gesturing to her swollen belly. Before Tigerheart can say anything, Fierce shouts denial, and Dotty asks how she could put her unborn kits in danger. Ant adds that Dovewing is too fat to run away. Tigerheart sternly tells his mate that she is not allowed anywhere near the herb patch. Dovewing objects that she wants to help, and she'll worry about him if she's not there. Spire steps forward, and offers to take her place. He tells the guardian cats that he is small and skinny, and he looks harmless and half crazy most of the time. Fierce attempts to say that he doesn't look crazy, but Spire cuts her off, and tells her that he knows his thoughts wander from time to time and he seems lost, but that he is no fool. He says that the foxes need to go, and the herb patch is important, adding that he is fast on his paws and trusts everyone to protect him. The guardian cats nod solemnly. Fierce asks Spire if he sure, telling the black tom that he needs to keep his mind on what he is doing. Spire promises the she-cat that he will.
- Tigerheart asks Spire if he will concentrate, and Spire confirms, but Tigerheart is not entirely positive about Spire's claim. Spire says that he knows Tigerheart believes he is a featherbrain, but there is more to him then he knows, and they even might be friends one day. Tigerheart blinks at him, and wonders if he would even be around long enough consider the guardian cats as friends. The thought of leaving causes the dark tabby to feel uneasy, knowing he liked the simplicity of the group, and no grudges and the only responsibility being to care for the weak. Blaze runs up to Spire, and squeaks that he is so brave, and adds that he wants to come since a fox would never suspect a kit. Spire touches his muzzle to Blaze's head, and says that he appreciates his offer, but he needs to stay in the nest and make sure to keep everyone else distracted. Spire flashes Tigerheart a knowing look, and Tigerheart thinks that Spire may not be as crazy as he thinks, as the skinny black tom knew how to keep Blaze distracted. Blaze puffs out his chest and says he can do that. The young kit runs over to Dovewing, and cheerfully tells the queen that with him around, she won't even think of Tigerheart. Fierce mutters that she won't need to, since with a bit more training, they could fight off the foxes. Rascal narrows his eyes thoughtfully, and asks how they'll be able to keep them away. Mittens agrees with him, adding that they don't want to fight them off every time they need a herb. The guardian cats look at Tigerheart, and the former deputy recalls to when Oakfur taught him how to stop foxes. Tigerheart explains that his mentor taught him that if you plug up a fox's den, they never come back since foxes are too lazy to make the same den twice. Fierce circles the cats, and says that they should get back to training, since the sooner they drive away the foxes, the better.
- More Coming Soon
References and Citations
|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|