"Maplekit! Rainkit! Shadekit!" scolded Rowanflight as she padded slowly after the kits, who were playfighting in the strong heat of day, rolling underneath warriors paws, knocking the fresh-kill pile; generally making a mess, and causing a lot of inconvenience.
Shadekit turned his head curiously, and upon recognising his mother's short tortoiseshell pelt, promptly looked away again. He hissed a warning to his siblings, and the fight stopped almost immediately- the kits' pelts torn and muddy- and the kits blinking innocently upwards.
That is, except Maplekit, who, upon the beginning of the fight, had padded off calmly to sit further towards the thick gorse tunnel, her tail wrapped around her paws. She was brightly making a conversation with Thistlefur, one of the senior warriors.
Rainkit smirked at her. "Goody-goody." he spat, although, if Maplekit had heard him, she showed no sign of it. "Kittypet." he snarled. This got Maplekit's attention- and she leapt to her paws, her golden pelt bristling, and her amber eyes flaring.
"What did you just call me?" she hissed, moving lightly across the ground, every muscle of her body taut with anger, and her voice had a certain tone of contempt to it. Rainkit, however, did not flinch; instead he gave his chest fur a lick, as if ignoring her.
"What did you just call me?" repeated Maplekit, her face pushed up to less than an inch from Rainkit's face, and a blazing fire beginning to ignite in her eyes- their noses touching.
"I called you a kittypet." retorted Rainkit sarcastically. "Are you deaf? I'll enjoy telling our mother she has a deaf kit."
"Rainkit!" warned Rowanflight. Rainkit had evidently failed to notice the prescence of their mother, and shut up. "Don't call Maplekit that. Say sorry."
"Sorry." mumbled Rainkit, but it was all too clear in Rainkit's expression that he didn't actually mean it.
The dawn light filtered through ThunderClan's trees as Maplekit ran through the forest, her eyes stinging with hot tears, her vision blurred. For once warmth gave her no comfort as she smelt the RiverClan border. She wrinkled her nose, but then breathed in, because with any luck, this was the Clan she would make home; she had learnt from the "Rainkit episode" that there was no place for her in ThunderClan.
"Maplekit!" The screech resounded through the trees, and with a jolt Maplekit recognised Rowanflight's voice. A faint scent came to her, carried by the trees. Maplekit was almost six moons old, and if she knew Saltstar, she wouldn't refuse the promise of a new apprentice. So, it was now or never. Slowly, but with no reluctance, she padded over the border, and hid in the shelter of a nearby bush.
The churning waters of the river were within sight, and Maplekit's belly lurched as she visualised being swept away like a piece of prey. RiverClan scent hit the roof of her mouth like a hammer- and it was fresh. Instead of the usual feeling of dread, her heart leapt.
"And who are you, my little friend?" It was Amberflame, a RiverClan warrior, accompanied by Rainrhythm, who had hung back.
"M-Maplekit." stammered Maplekit, her eyes huge with fear.
"What Clan are you from?" Amberflame's voice softened slightly; she didn't like frightening kits.
"Hm..." Amberflame purred. "Rainrhythm!"
Rainrhythm dashed over, her eyes wide, then narrowed them when she saw Maplekit.
"ThunderClan." she confirmed.
"I couldn't tell... she smelt of damp ferns." Amberflame flashed a grateful smile at Rainrhythm. "Why are you here?" she asked Maplekit.
"My brother Rainkit called me a kittypet." Maplekit explained.
"Aww..." Amberflame looked sad. "Shall we?"
"We shall." agreed Rainrhythm.
Maplekit's eyes widened as she saw the RiverClan camp. Saltstar padded over to her and smiled, removing all sense of fear from Maplekit, even somewhat comforting her. The overpowering scent still stung her nose, but Maplekit sighed.
"Why are you here?" asked Saltstar, not unkindly.
"T-ThunderClan don't want me. My brother called me a kittypet." Maplekit stammered, slightly frightened.
"Robinfeather!" called Saltstar. A mouse brown she-cat emerged from the shade of the nursery.