Firestar hadn't been feeling very well for the last few days. Her paws were heavy and dull, she wasn't ever hungry, and, when she did eat, it just came back up. She could feel herself losing weight, it was so easy for other cats to just... shove her out of the way. It wasn't good to feel like this surrounded by so many other cats.
What if she got one of them sick?
She should really be speaking with the other leaders, about WaveClan, or what they're going to do with this storm, but instead, she was sitting in a dark corner, away from the other cats, and trying not to think about the mouse she just ate. She sighs, shaking her head but only feeling a wave of dizziness. Why was she so sickly all of a sudden? Surely she didn't have what Dawnstar had. The thought makes fear tickle down her spine.
Firestar looks up at the familiar voice, her hackles rising, before relaxing, seeing it was her deputy, Whiteadder.
"Are you feeling okay, Firestar? Do you want me to fetch Desertmouse?"
"N-no, I'm fine, just.. tired. Desertmouse has enough on her paws." She mews, her ears flicking over to the tom. "What about you? You seem... worried."
She watches him frown, seemingly unconvinced by her words. And it doesn't seem he's going to let this go, either. He wraps his tail around her's. "Desertmouse can spare a few moments to check up on you, Firestar. I'll go get her right now, so you can rest, stay right here." The tom moves to leave, their entwined tails slowly breaking off.
"No, no, Whiteadder, it's fine-just..." Strange enough, she felt irritation prickle in her fur. She's never felt irritated at Whiteadder, and now she feels as if him being here was making her angry.
She tries a fake, sickly smile. "I'm fine, okay? Believe me."
Whiteadder's frown deepened at her's words. "Firestar, you don't look fine, sound fine... you aren't even acting fine." He says, a sternness seeping into his voice as if Firestar had suddenly went from his best friend to his kit, which only makes her angrier.
"You need to rest while I go get Desertpaw, okay? I'll be right back."
She finally rises to her paws, despite the wave of nausea that follows, and fluffs her fur in an attempt to look intimidating.
"Do not treat me like a kit." She hisses. "I
am the leader here, and you do not have the right to disrespect me in this way! Unless
you want to get your ears clawed off!
Whiteadder flinches at her threat, and backs away, grief clouding his eyes. She watches hurt flicker across his face, before he turns away.
"I-I... okay, okay, fine, I won't interfere..." He murmurs quietly, scurrying off hurriedly. She watches him slow for a moment, turning back to look at her, before quickly turning back and hurrying into the crowd of cats.
As soon as he leaves, sadness fills the leader's , and she makes a meek whimpering noise, shutting her eyes tightly.
"No.." She gives a small hiccup, trying to shake the feeling of nausea, dizziness, and... dread? She blinks, feeling tears well in her eyes.
Why was she acting this way? She never felt this... wound up. Like she was just waiting to snap. She hunches in on herself, as if trying to hide inside of herself.
She wasn't ready for any of this. The clans leaving, becoming leader...
"Well, I think I know why you're feeling so under the weather." Desertmouse chuckled, sitting up from feeling Firestar's belly.
Firestar's ears burn nervously. "What? W-what is it?"
"You're expecting kits, maybe a big litter, too. That's why you've been grumpy and nauseous. You should expect a change in mood, strange cravings, and lots of achy paws. Also, your scent will turn more... milky, I suppose, so if you need to tell someone, tell them quickly before they figure it out themselves. In fact, I can already smell a bit of milk on you."
Time seemed to freeze for Firestar.
Kits? How? What did she do?
Her ears lower guiltily, and she gives Desertmouse a simple nod before standing and exiting the makeshift den.
The news made her feel sick to her stomach, but... different than how she was feeling before. As if there were rocks in her belly.
Then again, if she did have kits, isn't that really the case?
She shakes her paws out nervously, before raising her head and scanning for the familiar white tom. She spots him in the rain, overlooking a cliff and looking up at the stars. She quietly walks over to him, sitting down and looking up with him, not saying a word. He doesn't say anything, shifting over so that she could sit with him, and just keeping his eyes trained on the stars.
Firestar is sure he is thinking about his family, and feels a pang of sympathy for him. She and Whiteadder needed to stick together, they didn't have much left, and here she was, starting petty arguments with him.
"I much prefer the stars in Canyonclan..." She hears him murmur, and she flicks her ear up, looking up to see the stars. She gives a breathy chuckle.
"It is much prettier."
How would she go about this? 'sorry about being a foxheart, but I have kits, so, all good?'
Firestar shakes her head... what would he say? He'd be worried, sure, but...
"I-I need to tell you something." She mews quietly, moving her gaze from the stars to her paws.
How... what if.. what if he rejects her? What if he ignores and avoids her, like when she became deputy?
She feels tears well in her eyes at the thought, and, as she tried to keep her sadness in, a small sob bursts out of her mouth.
Immediately, Whiteadder nuzzles closer, letting her press her face into his fur. "Firestar, whats the matter? Are you hurt? Sick?"
Despite the fact that he was doing this before, which is what made her so frustrated, she couldn't help but feel... warm at his words. She loved that he cares so much about her, like she was the only thing that mattered to him. Then again, that really is the case, now.
Firestar hiccups, trying to control her emotions.
Why was she losing control of her emotions so easily? What was-
Oh, she forgot.
She shakes her head into his fur. "I-it's impo-portant." She mews, her voice cracking. "I-I... we-" She couldn't find a way to word it. Her nuzzling turns more into her hiding her face in his fur.
"We-we're... having k-kits, Whiteadder." She murmurs, her voice muffled by his fur. She sniffles, trying as hard as she could to press her ears into her skull in embarrassment.
She didn't realize that his fur muffled her words, and cringes when he sighs. "I-I'm sorry... I didn't mean to make you feel like a kit... I just... I can't stand the thought of you getting hurt or sick... I... I failed to protect you, after all..." he mumbled, gazing in shame at her scars.
She shakes her head into his fur, before pulling her head away. "You've protected me just fine, Whiteadder. I-I love you so much, y-you shouldn't put yourself down like that, it m-makes me sad." She feels her head beginning to slowly move towards his fur, yearning to hide herself in shame, but she forces herself to keep his orange gaze.
"I'm sorry... the last thing I ever want to make you feel is sadness..." He whispers.
"And... I-I didn't-- you didn't hear me." She murmurs. "We're h-having kits, Whiteadder, and-and it's not a joke, I pro-promise."
She watches his face intently, searching for a sign of anger or fear. Instead, it goes blank. "Kits?" He gasps. His face soon bursts into joy, and he begins laughing.
Firestar's gaze turns puzzled, and she blinks confusedly. "W-what? She cries. "What, what is it?!" She feels as if he were... what, mocking her somehow? "This is supposed to be serious, mousebrain!" She cries, though she can't help but giggle as well. "Why can't you be serious with me, for once?!" Her small giggles turn into actual laughter, and she moves forward, pressing her nose to his.
"Serious? I am being serious!" He wheezes through his giggles, which showed no signs of stopping. Almost as soon as her nose touched his, he shot back so that he could lick her nose, grinning broadly. As his giggles die down, he presses his forehead to her's. "That explains all that yelling and crying." he chuckled teasingly. "You always find the best ways to cheer me up... you're going to make a wonderful mother..."
He brushes a paw against her cheek, and she leans into it, closing her eyes serenely. For the first time in days, she feels... peaceful.
She opens her eyes, seeing him still staring at her with... adoration. He'd be the best father. Thinking about kits used to fill her with dread, but... now she felt like she could bear it. She had a clan she's been taking care of, how could taking care of kits be any different?
Just then, another thought crosses her mind.
"Whiteadder, what if the camps are destroyed? What if we have to go back to CanyonClan w-with no territory, and just..." Her voice turns to a whisper. "...what if the kits don't make it?" she murmurs, hiccupping. "What if-- what if there are no herbs... what if I.."
To silence her worries, he gives her cheek a swift lick. "Don't worry about it, it'll be okay...Desertmouse and Hawkbreeze will make sure nothing happens to you, or the kits..." He purrs soothingly. Firestar didn't see the doubt in his eyes as they sat in silence, the two stewing in their own negative emotions.
Whiteadder suddenly hugs her tighter. "Whatever happens, just promise me you wont hold it in, okay? I'm here for you, no matter how little your thought or how overwhelming your emotions, okay?"
Firestar suddenly feels a flare of anger. "I-I know that!" She snaps, her tail lashing. "I-I just..."
She feels him flinch, and her face almost shatters when she realizes she yelled at him again.
"Oh, no, no, I-I'm sorry, I'm s-sorry..." She whimpers, hiding her face in his fur. "I-I ca-can't do this, I'm n-not ready to be leader, I'm go-gonna screw up, I-I-I know it... I-I'll be a bad le-leader and a b-bad mother, t-too..."
The tom relaxes, brushing a paw against her ear. "Shh, don't say that..." He murmurs, wrapping his tail around hers and nuzzling her forehead. "You don't have to worry, Firestar. You're a great leader. You're brave when you need to be, and soft and kind in all the moments between. You'll take great care of the clan and our kits... I'm ready for a family, Firestar, I-I didn't know that until now but... I am. If you have any doubts, just know that when the time comes, I know you'll be ready, too. The entire clan will pitch in to help you and our kits, I know they will, so please...don't worry."
She feels a smile grace her features. He always said something to calm her down, he was the best ma-
"Are we mates, now...?" In her mind, they were mates now, but... she didn't want to just assume and have her hopes shattered.
"Do we really need to discuss that? We may not have said it, but I'm
fairly certain we became mates a while back ago." She feels him push away from her, and looks up questioningly, meeting his eyes.
Orange to orange. Sunset to dying embers.
"Firestar, the savior of my heart, the love of my life, the dream that never ends... will you do me the greatest honor and officially become my mate?"
Firestar feels her face heat up, all the way to the tips of her ears, and a bright smile etches its way onto her face. Though her cheeks were still wet from her saddened tears, she feels as if she could cry again, but this time, from joy. In fact, she does feel tears well in her eyes.
She giggles excitedly, closing her eyes tightly as she laughed and smiled, and she feels the tightness of her eyes squeeze the tears out of her eyes. Her happy giggles turn into small, happy sobs, and she feels like she can't speak, her throat was too tight. She simply nods, before rushing closer to Whiteadder once again, this time licking his face and just trying to find anywhere on his face that she could reach.
She knew she was the only cat that he really, truly cared about. The same goes for him, too, he was one of the only cats that even mattered to her anymore. She continues licking at his face, hearing more choked, happy sobs escape her maw. She still couldn't find any words in her throat nor her mind, she just tried to convey as much as she could to Whiteadder, in this moment, how much she truly loved him.
He chokes out a laugh, moving back and wiping her tears with his paws. "I'll take that as a 'yes?'" He mews, amused. She nods once again, nuzzling into his neck and feeling the deep purrs in his chest.
"You're my everything, Firestar." he murmured, his eyes glowing with love. "Our kits will only make me love you more..."
She nuzzles under his chin, giving it a lick with finality. "I-I love you too, Whiteadder." She squeaks, her voice cracking and hoarse from crying. "I-I don't know h-how to tell you how much I l-love you, it's just..."
Her brow furrows in an attempt to describe her love. She sees him looking down at her in amusement, and almost cuffs him over the ear playfully, before an example pops into her mind.
"My love for you is like StarClan." She mews honestly, giving a small grin. "Everlasting. Forever."
Whiteadder smiles softly, licking her nose. "I don't mean to make this a competition, but my love for you can outlast even StarClan itself."