Turtlefin snuggled closer to Reedtuft's warm, tufty fur.
The sight of the ghostly blue she-cat haunted him.
It reminded him of the stories Dawnbridge had used to tell him about her mother.
But that didn't matter now. Reedtuft was all that mattered.
* * *
Sky stepped up. "I promise."
Riverstar ducked his head. "Then it is done. You are now Skypelt."
Sheentail cheered louder than anyone.
* * *
Shimmerpaw sighed in relief as Turtlefin landed on his paws, not his shoulder. She already used too many herbs this Leaf-bare.
She looked at the sky and reckoned that it would be two moons until Newleaf.
"Come on," she meowed to Turtlefin.
A lot had happened since Sheentail had arrived with Skypelt and Turtlefin was a mate to an expectant mother.
Turtlefin had been keeping watch for Reedtuft's kitting in the nursery. Anyways, he liked spending time with his younger brothers, sisters, and Startail's kits.
Dewkit was special. She was from Startail's litter, and loved Turtlefin like a father, since hers had died. She was always asking clever questions, keen to learn.
"When are your kits coming?" Dewkit squeaked that morning.
Turtlefin purred. "Due in a moon,"
Dewkit cocked her head. "Which due? My dew, or the other due?"
Turtlefin purred harder. "The other due," he confirmed.
"Well," Dewkit trilled. "She kinda does look in pain."
Turtlefin didn't bother looking back at Reedtuft. "Lavenderfur said she would probably kit sooner rather than later," he meowed nonchalantly.
A moan sounded from behind him.
"Reedtuft!" Turtlefin yelped.
Dewkit turned back to Turtlefin with a smug look on her face.
Reedtuft smiled up at Turtlefin. "The kits. They're here." She breathed. "Get Lavenderfur."
Lavenderfur rushed in before he could open his mouth. She had raspberry and burnet clamped in her jaws.
"I think there's one or two in there," she mewed, dropping the herbs.
"Alright, Dewkit," Turtlefin started. "Go find Dawnbridge,"
Dewkit looked up at him. "But I wanna see!" She complained. She looked up earnestly. "I'll just watch!"
Turtlefin sighed as he caught Reedtuft's eyes. "Sure," he mewed. "But stay next to me."
"Actually," Lavenderfur got up. "She can fetch some soaked moss for Reedtuft."
Dewkit brushed out her tail. "Yes!"
She dashed away.
Turtlefin sought out a stick and brought it back to Reedtuft.
Lavenderfur accepted it warmly. "Bite on it when the pain comes," she instructed to Reedtuft.
Turtlefin stared as a kitten slid into the nest. Instinctively, he bent down and nipped the membrane sac.
avenderfur pressed a paw to Reedtuft's flank. "Congratulations, you two," she purred. "You have a son."
Turtlefin nosed it. "Thank you, StarClan, for this kit."
A playful look passed across Reedtuft's face. "I put in some work too," she mewed jokingly. "Just so you know."
"Salvekit," Turtlefin echoed. "A name for a light tan tom-kit."
Reedtuft nodded at Salvekit. "You're beautiful," she cooed at her kit, who was already suckling.
Turtlefin rested his tail on his only son's back.
He could feel that he was special.