She was curled in her nest, their three kits huddled against her belly. She lifted her head as Crookedstar called her name. “You came.”
He crouched beside the nest, brushing her cheek with his muzzle. “Brambleberry wouldn’t let me in before now. But I’ve been outside all the time.”
“Has it been long?” Willowbreeze’s eyes were streaming. Her muzzle was damp. She coughed weakly, making her whole body shudder.
“No,” Crookedstar whispered. “Not long.”
Willowbreeze gazed into his eyes. “I’m sorry.”
He tipped his head on one side. “Why?”
“For leaving you to raise our daughters.”
“You’re not going anywhere!” Crookedstar pressed his cheek hard against hers. “I won’t let you leave me.”
“You’ll be a wonderful father.” A purr rumbled in her throat, making her cough again. This time she struggled to get her breath. “I’m so happy Hailstar brought me back from WindClan. I’ve loved being with you and with RiverClan.”
“Don’t talk like that!” Crookedstar fought to keep the panic from his mew. The kits were lifting their heads, turning their muzzles toward him, straining to open their eyes. “You can’t leave the kits. They need you.” I need you.
“Oh, my precious love.” Willowbreeze brushed her muzzle along his twisted jaw. “Be brave for me, please.”
“You’re going to be fine!”
“Help me name our daughters.”
Numbness crept beneath Crookedstar’s pelt, deadening his heart, slowing his thoughts. Willowbreeze was right. Their daughters needed names. He reached a paw into the nest and touched the darkest gray kit. “Minnowkit,” he murmured. He already knew what it would be. He’d planned their names days ago as he paced the clearing.
“Minnowkit,” Willowbreeze echoed with a wheeze.
“And Willowkit.” Crookedstar stroked the smoky black kit. “I want her to have your name.”
Willowkit mewled and caught hold of his paw, churning her hind legs against his pad. Purring, he shook her off gently and touched the palest of the three.
“And this is Silverkit.”
“Silverkit.” Willowbreeze relaxed against him, her cheek resting on his. “They are lovely names.” Her breathing eased. Curling herself around her kits, she rested her nose on her paws and closed her eyes.
Crookedstar buried his muzzle in her pelt. “You rest now, my lovely.” He slid into the nest and wrapped himself around her. “I’ll keep you warm.” He closed his eyes and breathed in her soft scent.
“Crookedstar?” The den rustled as Brambleberry crept in. She leaned into the nest and touched his pelt. “I heard the names you gave your kits. They’re beautiful.”
He lifted his head. How long have I been here?
Brambleberry’s mew was no more than a breath. “I’m so sorry. Willowbreeze has gone.”
Remake of: [link] Scene from the Warriors book Crookedstar's Promise, possibly the saddest.
Exert (C) Erin Hunter, Crookedstar's Promise Art (C) Scarwolf11
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More