|"We're going to save you. I can't lose you. Not after all we've been through. There's so much left for us to do together. Our future is beside the lake. We always knew that. I won't let that future be snatched away from us now."|
|— Dovewing to Tigerheart in Tigerheart's Shadow, pages 390|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter thirty four of Tigerheart's Shadow. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 34 (of 35)
- Page Numbers: 387-396
- Blazing pain drags Tigerheart into consciousness as agony sears through his chest and seems to reach through his body to the tip of each hair on his body. He wants to hide in sleep but pain forces awake and he reluctantly opens his eyes. He lies on his side with his paws stretching in front of him and he realizes night is swallowing the forest. Dovewing sees Tigerheart awake and relief throbs in her mew. Tigerheart feels her muzzle sink into his neck and he groans at the weight of it.
- Dovewing jerks away from him, asking Tigerheart if he can move. Fighting pain, Tigerheart rolls onto his paws and forces himself up and the world spins as he fights for breath. Stones seem to grip his chest while rats knaw inside his belly as he collapses. Rippletail thrusts his muzzle close and asks fearfully if his legs are broken. Cinnamon ducks closer and begins to run her trembling paws over his pelt, wanting to see if his legs are broken or not.
- To Tigerheart, their voices sound distant, but through the fog of pain, Tigerheart becomes aware of Cloverfoot, Sparrowtail, Ant, Blaze, Hollowkit, Spirekit, Pouncekit, and Berryheart all are clustering beside him. Lightkit, Shadowkit and Pouncekit stand beside Dovewing, fear glittering in their eyes. Cinnamon sits back on her haunches saying she can't feel any broken bones. The she-cat then lowers her voice so Tigerheart has to strain to hear, saying that there is swelling in the belly. Dovewing quietly asks what that means, panic in her voice.
- Cinnamon's gaze darkens as she answers that it means something is broken on the inside. Dovewing trembles, asking if Cinnamon can do anything. She murmurs that she can give him thyme for the shock. Dovewing stares at her, asking if she learned anything else while she was with the guardian cats. Cinnamon stares back helplessly and Dovewing's eyes flash with frustration as she turns to Blaze, saying that he worked with Spiresight so he should know something.
- Blaze blinks at her nervously, saying they never had to treat an injury like Tigerheart's. Cloverfoot catches Tigerheart's eye, saying he is probably just badly shaken and needs to rest. Tigerheart hears the lie in her mew, and he realizes he is going to die. He tries to focus on Dovewing, fear flickering beyond pain as he silently begs her to not let the kits see him die. Dovewing nudges Shadowkit forward and stares desperately at the young tom-kit asking if he can treat him, as he shares dreams with StarClan and they can tell him what to do.
- Shadowkit blinks at his mother then looks at his father in panic, whimpering that he doesn't know what to do. Cinnamon eyes Dovewing sternly and wraps her tail around Shadowkit, asking how a kit so young could fix Tigerheart. Dovewing's eyes mist with grief and says that someone has to help him. She looks at the stars and says that this can't be happening. Tigerheart struggles to speak as he has little amount of breath left.
- Tigerheart silently apologizes and for a moment, grief clouds the pain that scorches from his belly to his chest. He knows he is breaking Dovewing and his kits' hearts and he tries to meet their gazes. Berryheart's breath bathes his muzzle as she tells him that he saved Hollowkit and she doesn't know how to thank him. For a moment, Tigerheart remembers how light Hollowkit was and then how the owl's talons had dug into him and the ground had spiraled away. He closes his eyes, wishing the memories and the pain would go away by seeking the refuge of sleep.
- Dovewing shakes him and when he opens his eyes he sees Dovewing glaring at him. She orders that he mustn't sleep. Determination has replaced the grief as she announces they will take Tigerheart to the medicine cat. Rippletail gasps in shock, asking how they will do it. Dovewing ignores him and glares at Shadowkit, asking how far the lake is.
- Shadowkit flinches away, saying he doesn't know, but they still have the Twolegplace and the water then the moor. Cloverfoot reminds Dovewing that Tigerheart said no more than a two days' walk. Dovewing still glares at Shadowkit and snaps at him, asking if that is how it looked in his dream. Pouncekit darts to her brother's side, defiantly saying to not scare him and that he will help if he can. Dovewing shifts his paws and takes a deep, slow breath before apologizing to her son.
- Tigerheart could hear she was forcing herself to be calm but her shape blurred in front of him and the frozen forest seemed to whisper to him. He can smell the frost and imagines it creeping across the grass to him than stealing over his body, drawing out every last drop of warmth from him. Tiredness pulls him deeper into the earth. Dovewing's muzzle is beside him as she whispers to stay awake, her voice soft. She says that they will save him as she can't lose him after all they've been through. She knows there is so much for them to do together and their home is beside the lake.
- Her gaze fixes on his and she asks if he wants to live. Tigerheart shudders and says yes. She straightens, saying that he will have to walk and they have to leave now since they are going to the lake. Sparrowtail's eyes widen and he exclaims that Tigerheart can't walk that far. Cloverfoot steps forward, saying he can if the other cats help him. Dovewing looks around her eyes half pleading, half demanding as she states it's his last chance. Tigerheart feels a rush of emotion for his mate, and forces himself up, fighting against the painful wail that rises up in his throat.
- Rippletail and Sparrowtail support him as he stands, and the toms lift Tigerheart so his paws barely skim the ground. His pain is blinding, and the brown tom sees it like a tunnel of agony, but at the end will be the lake. The tabby tom feels earth passing beneath his paws, the brush of pelts, then sees dawn, light sweeping the land. Tigerheart half expects the sun to take away his pain, but it stays, obscuring his thoughts and vision.
- More Coming Soon
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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