A gray tabby tom crouched over a young gray she-cat, her flank rising up and down as she panted painfully.
The toms sighless eyes narrowed as he looked down at her. "Dovewing, Ive seen other queens give birth, and believe me, your making it harder then it is."
Dovewing glared at the Medicine Cat. "For Starclans sake, Jayfeather!" she snapped between breaths. "Your not a she-cat. How would you know?"
Jayfeather flicked his ears and Dovewing rolled her eyes. "Oh, yes, you would know." She snorted. Jayfeather had the power of the stars in his paws. He could enter dreams, and read minds, even feel a cats pain.
It had been only two moons ago when the great battle had happened. The Dark Foret made an attack, planning to destroy the clans. But Dovewings sister, Ivypool, had spied there, risking her life every night, and was able to warn the clans of the Dark warriors arrival.
The Clans had won the battle, but it had cost them Ferncloud, Hollyleaf,Mousefur, and Thunderclans beloved leader, Firestar.
Dovewing gasped, then let out a cry as a strange painful shudder rippled down her flank. Jayfeather immediately leaned closer, resting a paw on her belly.
Dovewing saw her mate, Bumblestripe race into the den, haulting beside Jayfeather. "Is she okay?" He demanded, looking at Jayfeather. "Is it time?"
Jayfeather nodded to the young striped tom. "Yes, now give me space." He gave Bumblestripe a shove.
Dovewing flicked her tail in annoyance, only to let out another cry. Her stomach rippled, and from the corner of her eye she spotted a silver shape tumble out of her.
Jayfeather hurried over to the kit, Bumblestripe at his heels. "Nip the sack." Jayfeather ordered. Bumblestripe hesitated, slowly bending down.
Jayfeather let out a snort. "If your going to take forever, ill do it." He quickly nipped the sack open, allowing the kit to gulp its first breath. "Its a she-cat." He announced to Dovewing.
Dovewing felt a wave of happiness spread through her from ears to tail tip. But suddenly her stomach rippled again, and soon a tiny golden brown bundle rolled out. Dovewing let out a small gasp. "Oh no..."
Jayfeather glanced at Dovewing while Bumblestripe nipped the sack and began to lick him. "Its a tom." Bumblestripe meowed. Jayfeather blinked. "Whats wrong?"
Dovewing blinked uneasily. "I err, I thought he wasnt breathing."
Jayfeather blinked. "He's fine."
Bumblestripe picked up the first kit and placed it beside Dovewings belly before bringing the tom over. He nuzzled Dovewings head lovingly. "I love them." He whispered.
Dovewing purred uneasily. "I know. So do i."
Bumblestripe looked at the suckling kits. "What should we name them?"
Dovewing looked down affectionately at the two kits. She pointed with her tail at the gray she-cat. "That one... Hollykit." She decided.
Bumblestripe nodded slowly. "After Hollyleaf?"
Dovewing nodded. "Its the least i can do. She was a fine cat. And she saved Ivypool."
Bumblestripe purred softly, eyes flicking slowly over the golden brown tabby kit. "And him?"
Dovewing hesitated before meowing. "Oakkit."
Bumblestripe nodded, smiling. "Hollykit and Oakkit."
Dovewing purred, licking Oakkits head. "They are beautiful."
"Oh, come on Jayfeather. Ill be fine!"
Dovewing was arguing with the Medicine cat. She needed to go to this gathering!
"Your nursing two young kits!" Jayfeather snapped, pacing around the den. "Your not leaving."
"Cinderheart and Squirrelflight can watch Oakkit and Hollykit." Protested Dovewing. Cinderheart had given birth to Lionblazes kits a few moons before her, and Squirrelflight gave birth to Bramblestars.
"We'll watch them." Put in Squirrelflight, blinking with confusion at Dovewing. "But why do you want to go so bad?" She meowed while her two kits, Redkit and Adderkit bounced around.
Dovewing blinked. "Because... Blackstars been wanting that strip of territory lately. I want to see what happens." She lied.
Cinderheart blinked. "Thornclaw or Bumblestripe could tell you."
Dovewing flexed her claws with frustration. "I want to see for myself." She turned to Jayfeather, who had managed to sit quietly. "Please, Jayfeather." She pleaded.
Jayfeather sighed. "I suppose saying no wont do any good." He turned, padding away.
"Dovewing!" Squeaked Oakkit, bouncing around Dovewings paws. "Can we go too?"
"No." Dovewing meowed gently, eyes glowing with affection. "You need to be an apprentice before you go to gatherings."
Hollykit trotted over to Oakkit, standing on her hind paws and meowing clearly. "I name you Oakpaw!"
Oakkit turned to Dovewing. "There, im an apprentice!"
Dovewing let out a purr of amusement.
"Im afraid its not that easy." Purred Bramblestar, padding into the den.
"Bramblestar!" Yowled Redkit, the dark ginger tom leaping onto his fathers shoulders happily.
Squirrelflight purred, getting to her paws and nuzzling her mate. "Are you sure i shouldnt go?" She fretted. "If all the other Deputies are there..."
"It'll be fine." Bramblestar promised, licking her ear. "Remember, Lionblaze is filling in until Redkit and Adderkit are apprentices." He gently let Redkit down from his shoulders and flicked his tail. "Lets go. Onestar might be in a bad mood tonight. We should be on time before we ruffle his fur."
Dovewing padded after him. "Ill be back later! You'd better be asleep then." She called back to her kits.
"We will!" Oakkit and Holltkit purred.
Dovewing sighed. Thank Starclan she could go. At this gathering, there was something she had to do. Something that couldnt wait. Because she knew her mentors mother had made a mistake, and it would have made a huge difference if she had told Crowfeather.