Briarlight’s Heart is a fanfic currently being written by Turtlepaw. It’s about Briarlight helping Dovewing escape her toxic relationship with Bumblestripe, and the two she-cats eventually becoming mates.
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Briarlight sat beside the prey pile, eating a mouse.
She looked around. Her blue gaze finally settled on her brother, Bumblestripe, and his mate, Dovewing.
They were siting in the middle of the camp, sharing tongues.
Bumblestripe had his tail intertwined with Dovewing’s, and he was lovingly licking her ear.
Briarlight saw happiness in her brother’s eyes.
But, she noticed, Dovewing’s green eyes were... filled with sadness.
She looked at Briarlight with a hopeless look, and her eyes seemed to be pleading.
Briarlight didn’t know what to do.
She called out, “Bumblestripe?”
“Hmm?” her brother asked.
“Want to share this mouse with me? It’s a pretty big one.” the dark brown she-cat quickly meowed.
“Sure.” Bumblestripe said.
He purred, “See you later, Dovewing.”
Dovewing quickly walked away, and she gave Briarlight a thankful look.
Briarlight had never thought that Bumblestripe and Dovewing were quite like the other ThunderClan couples.
Whitewing and Birchfall loved each other a lot. You could just tell their love was immense, from the warm, loving way they said each other’s names, to the way they intertwined their tails as they shared prey.
Back when Firestar was alive, he and Sandstorm always spent time together, every day. No matter how busy Firestar was leading the Clan, he always found time to be with his mate, to go for a walk with her, or to share tongues.
But Bumblestripe and Dovewing didn’t act like that.
It was only Bumblestripe who ever seemed to act in the loving way that couples do, and it was always Dovewing who didn’t seem to want their love to even be a thing.
Could it be, Briarlight wondered, that Dovewing wasn’t even in love with Bumblestripe in the first place?
Briarlight looked up at Bumblestripe.
“Ready to share that mouse?” her brother purred.
Her stomach feeling funny thinking about how hopeless and sad Dovewing had looked, Briarlight said, “Actually, I’m not that hungry anymore.”
She started to drag herself away.
Oh, Dovewing, how can I help you? she thought.
That night, as Briarlight laid in her nest, she couldn’t sleep.
She could only think of Dovewing, and how unhappy she seemed.
“Jayfeather?” she mewed.
There was no response. The gray tabby medicine cat was fast asleep.
Briarlight wanted to get out of her nest and go outside, since she couldn’t sleep, but she didn’t want to worry Jayfeather if he woke up and couldn’t find her.
She sighed, and closed her eyes.
Moments later, she was dreaming...
Briarlight was in the clearing, watching Bumblestripe and Dovewing.
“We should have kits. Don’t you want to see the Clan grow strong?” Bumblestripe was saying.
“But I don’t want kits. Not right now.” Dovewing meowed.
“But I do! Please, Dovewing. Don’t you love me?”
“Of course, Bumblestripe.”
“So have kits with me. You’ll be such a good mother.”
It broke Briarlight’s heart to hear this conversation.
She tried to yowl out, “Dovewing! You don’t have to do this! Get away from Bumblestripe! He’s toxic, and emotionally abusing you!”
But she couldn’t. Her heart feeling like it would break, she let out a scream...
Briarlight woke up, her heart pounding.
“Briarlight? Are you alright?” Jayfeather was asking. “I heard you whimpering in your sleep.”
“Just a bad dream. Don’t worry about it.” Briarlight said.
“Well... if you say so. Listen, I’m going out to look for herbs with Leafpool. Will you be okay here on your own?” asked Jayfeather.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine. I’ll do my exercises.” Briarlight mewed.
Jayfeather left the den.
Briarlight started to do her exercises, but she was also thinking: My dream was reality. Bumblestripe IS pressuring Dovewing to have kits with him. I don’t care that Bumblestripe is my own brother- I am helping Dovewing get away from him, and that is final!
While Briarlight was doing her exercises, Dovewing came in.
“Hi, Briarlight.” she mewed.
“Hey, Dovewing. I’m just doing my exercises.” said Briarlight.
“Anyway I can help?” Dovewing asked.
Briarlight thought. Then she said, “Well, you could toss me a ball of moss, and I could balance in order to catch it. Jayfeather said it’s a good exercise for me.”
Dovewing mewed, “Alright!”
She took a small bit of moss from Briarlight’s nest, and carefully rolled it into a ball.
The gray she-cat tossed it to her, her green eyes gleaming.
Briarlight lifted herself up, catching the ball right between her paws.
“Good job!” purred Dovewing.
Briarlight’s eyes shone. She really liked Dovewing! She was actually really kindhearted and sweet!
Dovewing then lowered her gaze. “I have to go. I told Bumblestripe I’d go for a walk with him.”
“You don’t sound happy about it.” meowed Briarlight.
Dovewing confessed, “I’m not. I know Bumblestripe loves me, though. Shouldn’t I be grateful for that?”
“Not if he pressures you to have his kits!” Briarlight said.
Dovewing sighed. “But there’s nothing I can do. The only reason I ever said yes to being his mate is because I just wanted him to stop asking me.”
“You aren’t happy with him, are you?” mewed Briarlight.
“No. I never was.” Dovewing admitted.
“You aren’t required to be in a toxic relationship, Dovewing. If a cat makes you feel bad, you don’t have to be with them. If a cat pressures you to have kits, and won’t listen when you say no, THEY are the bad cat. THEY are the one in the wrong.” Briarlight said.
Dovewing intertwined her tail with Briarlight’s.
“You’re right. Bumblestripe only makes me feel stressed and terrible. I’m going to tell him I don’t want to be mates anymore. I’ve wanted to do this for a while, but I never had the courage.”
“You have the courage of a lion! You can do this!” Briarlight assured her friend.
“Will you be by my side when I do this?” Dovewing asked.
“Of course I will.” promised Briarlight.
Dovewing and Briarlight exited the den. Briarlight’s heart pounded. She was afraid of what Bumblestripe would do when Dovewing told him she didn’t want to be with him!
Would he yell at her? Would he do something even worse than what he was doing right now, which was pressuring her to have his kits?
Briarlight spotted Bumblestripe. He was sitting by the warriors den.
Dovewing hesitated, but Briarlight gave her an encouraging nod.
“You can do this,” she said.
Dovewing nodded back, and she approached Bumblestripe.
“Dovewing!” Bumblestripe said, purring. He was about to touch noses with her when Dovewing took a step back.
“Stop it, will you?” she snarled.
“What are you talking about?” asked Bumblestripe.
“I don’t want to be your mate! I never did! But you kept pressuring me until I felt like I had to say yes!” Dovewing’s green eyes blazed with fury, and her pale gray fur bristled.
“But isn’t it a wonderful thing to be loved? I could make you so happy, Dovewing, if you just gave me a chance!” insisted Bumblestripe.
Briarlight wondered what would happen next. At this point, the entire camp was watching Dovewing and Bumblestripe, and everyone’s eyes were wide.
Dovewing meowed, “I’ve already told you- several times, in fact- that I don’t want kits. It’s not just your choice, Bumblestripe! Even if I wanted to be with you, having kits should be OUR choice, not YOURS ALONE!”
“But you’d be a wonderful mother! Don’t you even care about how I feel? I love you!” Bumblestripe yowled.
Dovewing said, “If you truly loved me, then you wouldn’t force me to be with you. You wouldn’t force me to do anything I didn’t want to. You’re abusive, Bumblestripe. And our relationship? It’s over.”
With that, she walked away, leaving her now former mate looking furious.
“You’ll regret this! I’ll make sure you do!” mewed Bumblestripe.
Dovewing didn’t answer. She just walked to Briarlight.
“I’m so proud of you!” Briarlight meowed, licking Dovewing on the head.
“I feel so much better. It was scary standing up to Bumblestripe, but I know I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t.” Dovewing said.
Briarlight mewed, “I’ll be here for you if Bumblestripe tries to do anything else.”
“Thank you.” Dovewing purred softly.
Briarlight thought, I’m so glad that my friend has finally escaped from her toxic relationship! Finally, she can be happy...
A few days went by. Bumblestripe continued to give Dovewing cold glares, and he refused to talk to her, even if they were on patrol together.
Briarlight was doing her best to comfort Dovewing, who was unhappy.
The two she-cats were sharing a rabbit together.
“I know it’s for the best that I broke up with Bumblestripe,” Dovewing mewed, “but I still feel guilty. I know I did the right thing, but...”
Briarlight licked her friend’s ear. “Everything will be alright.” she assured her.
Dovewing purred, and gently licked Briarlight’s head. “You’re such a good friend. Thank you.”
Briarlight’s heart beat quickly, and she felt warm all over... but also happy.
What is this feeling? I think I might have had this feeling for a while now... oh, I’m so confused! she thought.
“Briarlight? Are you okay?” asked Dovewing.
Briarlight realized she hadn’t spoken for several moments, and quickly said, “I’m fine! I was just thinking!”
Dovewing mewed, “Good. I was a little worried.”
“I’m still alive, no need to worry.” Briarlight playfully joked, her blue eyes gleaming with mischief.
Dovewing gently teased, “What am I going to do with you?” Then she affectionately mewed, “You crazy fuzzball.”
Briarlight intertwined her tail with Dovewing’s, dark brown against pale gray.
She closed her eyes, and began to purr. A moment later, she heard Dovewing start to purr as well.
She wished they could stay like this forever...
After Briarlight was done sharing prey with Dovewing, she went back to the medicine cat den.
Jayfeather was in there, talking to Ivypool, who seemed to have a thorn in her paw. Jayfeather was pulling it out.
“No need to pull so hard!” protested Ivypool, wincing a little.
“I’m sorry, would you rather have that thorn in your paw forever? Because I can arrange that,” Jayfeather sarcastically replied.
Briarlight let out a purr. Jayfeather could be sarcastic and grumpy, but he did have a kind side, and he was one of her best friends.
Ivypool rolled her blue eyes. Jayfeather finished pulling the thorn out, and told Ivypool, “Be careful with that paw for a few days, and it’ll be fine.”
Ivypool nodded. Then, noticing Briarlight, she mewed, “Oh, hi, Briarlight.”
“Hey, Ivypool.” meowed Briarlight, dragging herself into her nest.
Ivypool left the den. Briarlight wondered what to do now.
Jayfeather started to sort herbs. “Do you want to help?” he asked Briarlight.
“I actually think I’m going to take a nap.” Briarlight said.
Jayfeather nodded. Briarlight closed her blue eyes.
But she couldn’t sleep. She couldn’t stop thinking about Dovewing. Her beautiful green eyes. Her soft gray fur. The affection in her voice when she said Briarlight’s name...
She purred, feeling happy.
“You seem happy today,” Jayfeather commented.
“I’m just happy to be friends with Dovewing,” Briarlight explained.
Jayfeather’s blind blue eyes softened. “I’m glad that you’re happy.” he mewed.
Her heart beating quickly as she thought of Dovewing, Briarlight meowed, “So am I.”
The next morning, Briarlight was doing her exercises when Dovewing came into the den.
“Hi, Briarlight. Hi, Jayfeather.” she meowed.
“Are you hurt in any way?” Jayfeather asked.
“No, I’m just here to visit Briarlight.” Dovewing responded.
“Alright. I’ll leave you to it.” Jayfeather left the den, his striped tail twitching.
Dovewing pushed an acorn toward Briarlight. “I found this on a patrol. It’s the exact same shade as your fur!”
“Ooh, that’s cool.” Briarlight mewed. “Thank you.” She tucked the acorn in a corner of the medicine cat den where it would be sorted safely.
“I’m glad you like it. It reminded me of you.” Dovewing mewed, gazing into Briarlight’s eyes.
Briarlight purred. She asked, “I see you’re feeling better about... everything that’s been happening.”
Dovewing nodded. “Yeah, I’m feeling way better about breaking up with Bumblestripe. But you know something?”
“What?” asked Briarlight.
Dovewing mewed, “I... I just need to thank you, Briarlight. You were the one who encouraged me to end my relationship with Bumblestripe. You were the one who comforted me when I was feeling guilty after the breakup. And I think you’re a wonderful friend.”
Briarlight felt a wave of emotion wash over her.
“Dovewing, I’m touched.” she finally mewed.
Dovewing purred, shuffling her paws. “I’d better get going. I told Whitewing I’d share some prey with her.”
“I’ll see you later,” Briarlight meowed.
Dovewing said, “Bye!” She exited the den, after gazing at Briarlight one last time.
Shortly after Dovewing left, Jayfeather entered the den, holding a bundle of herbs in his mouth.
“What’d Dovewing want to talk about?” he asked, setting the herbs down.
“Well, she gave me an acorn she found on patrol. It’s the same color brown as my fur. And she thanked me for helping her get away from Bumblestripe.” Briarlight replied.
“Nice.” Jayfeather commented.
“She’s just so kind and sweet. I love spending time with her.” Briarlight meowed.
“I think someone has a crush.” Jayfeather muttered.
Briarlight’s blue eyes widened. “What? I- I absolutely do not have a crush!”
“Briarlight, you talk about Dovewing literally all the time, and you’re constantly spending time with her.” Jayfeather pointed out.
“We’re just friends!” Briarlight argued.
“Okay, okay. I’ll see you in a bit- Leafpool and I are going for a walk with Squirrelflight.” Jayfeather said.
“Bye.” Briarlight mewed.
After Jayfeather left, Briarlight’s heart started pounding. What if I DO have a crush on Dovewing? I mean, she’s just so kind and smart and nice... but would she like me back? Who would want to be mates with a crippled cat? Dovewing deserves a better mate. I think I DO have a bit of a crush on her... but there’s really nothing I can do, she thought.
She sighed. I guess I’d better just forget about my feelings. Push them aside. Because if I ever tried to follow my heart, I know that I’d end up heartbroken...
Briarlight glanced at the acorn Dovewing had given her, buried in a corner of the medicine cat den. If only her feelings for Dovewing were as easy to bury...
Briarlight tried to avoid Dovewing the next couple of days. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to talk to her- she really did- but separating herself from Dovewing was for the best.
If she wasn’t around Dovewing, she wouldn’t be tempted to act upon the feelings she had for her...
She sadly gazed at the acorn Dovewing had given her. Maybe it would be best to get rid of it, since she was trying to avoid thinking about her crush on Dovewing, but she couldn’t bring herself to part with it.
Jayfeather entered the den, holding a bundle of herbs in his mouth. After setting them down, he asked Briarlight, “Are you alright, Briarlight?” His blind, blue eyes were full of concern.
“I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be?” Briarlight asked, though in reality she felt extremely upset.
“Briarlight, I know you well. And I know that you’re upset about something. You haven’t been acting like yourself for the last several days, and I’m worried about you.” Jayfeather mewed.
Briarlight confessed, “I guess I have been feeling upset for the last couple of days. I have a problem that I don’t know how to solve, and it’s really stressing me out.”
Jayfeather gently asked, “Do you want to talk about it?”
Briarlight nodded, then remembered that Jayfeather couldn’t see her, and meowed, “Yes. I could use some advice.”
“Alright.” Jayfeather meowed.
“Um, remember a little while ago when you asked if I had a crush on Dovewing, and I kinda freaked out?” Briarlight asked.
“I remember.” Jayfeather said.
“The truth is... I think I do have a crush on Dovewing. I’ve actually been feeling this way for a while now, but I didn’t really realize I had a crush on her until recently.
“I really want to tell Dovewing how I feel about her. But I’m afraid. I’m scared that she won’t like me back... and I’m worried that she won’t want to be mates with a crippled cat.” Briarlight admitted.
“Briarlight,” Jayfeather murmured, “I can’t tell you whenever you should tell Dovewing how you feel. Only you can decide that. But I know one thing: Whatever you choose to do, I’m certain that Dovewing will support you, no matter what.”
Briarlight pondered Jayfeather’s words for a few moments.
“I think I’m going to tell Dovewing how I feel.” she mewed. She felt a little nervous, but also excited to find out if her crush returned her feelings.
“Good luck,” Jayfeather meowed, licking Briarlight’s head.
As Briarlight dragged herself out of the den, she thought to herself, I hope I’m not about to make a huge mistake...
Exiting the medicine cat den, Briarlight spotted Dovewing sitting by the High Ledge, talking to Whitewing.
“Hey, Dovewing,” she called.
“Oh, hi, Briarlight!” mewed Dovewing.
“Hello,” said Whitewing, her green eyes- her eyes resembled Dovewing’s eyes, Briarlight noticed- twinkling in a friendly manner.
“Dovewing, I was wondering if I could talk to you alone for a moment?” Briarlight meowed.
“Of course. I’ll talk to you later, Whitewing.” Dovewing touched noses with her mother, then started padding toward Briarlight.
Whitewing started heading for the prey pile, where her mate, Birchfall, was eating a mouse.
Dovewing glanced at Briarlight. “What did you want to talk to me about?” she asked.
Briarlight lowered her blue gaze, suddenly feeling terrified. Her heart pounded. I was a fool to think I could ever do this... she thought.
“Oh, it’s nothing.” she managed to stammer out.
Dovewing’s green gaze was serious as she mewed, “Briarlight, please tell me what’s going on. You’ve been acting weird for the last several days, and I’m worried about you.”
Briarlight took a deep breath. She could do this.
“Dovewing, we’ve grown pretty close lately. And I consider you to be my best friend,” she admitted.
“You’re my best friend, too. You’ve done so much for me... you helped me escape Bumblestripe, and you’ve always been there for me.” Dovewing responded.
“But...” Briarlight continued.
Dovewing cocked her head. “But what?” she asked.
“I like you... more as just a friend. I’m in love with you, Dovewing. Will you be my mate?” Briarlight asked.
Dovewing’s eyes widened in surprise. For a heartbeat, Briarlight was worried that her friend wasn’t going to return her romantic feelings.
But then Dovewing purred, “Oh, Briarlight! I’ve been feeling that way, too!”
Licking Briarlight’s ear, she happily mewed, “Of course I’ll be your mate.”
Happiness filled Briarlight’s heart to the brim. Dovewing was her mate! But then she realized something.
“Wait, is ThunderClan alright with two she-cats being mates with each other? I mean, has that ever happened before? What if some cats think it’s wrong?” she meowed, a worried look in her blue eyes.
“Well... not everybody thinks it’s wrong.” Dovewing mewed.
Briarlight cocked her head. “Really?” she asked.
“Yes. Earlier when I was talking to Whitewing, I was asking for advice about my feelings for you. She told me that she doesn’t think two she-cats or two toms being in love is wrong at all. Also, we aren’t the only two she-cats in love in ThunderClan,” mewed Dovewing.
Briarlight blinked in surprise. She’d never once considered that there were other cats like her out there... other she-cats who only likes other she-cats romantically.
“Ivypool told me that she’s mates with Blossomfall. And I’m pretty sure that Hollyleaf and Cinderheart were mates when Hollyleaf was alive, because at one point I overheard Hollyleaf talking to her about how much she loved her.” Dovewing explained.
Briarlight’s eyes gleamed with happiness. “I’m not alone! We’re not alone!”
Maybe there was a chance her love for Dovewing could be accepted by the Clan, after all.
Three days had past since Dovewing and Briarlight had become mates.
Not many cats knew- Whitewing knew, because Dovewing had told her, and Jayfeather knew, because Briarlight had told him, but nobody else knew yet.
Briarlight was extremely happy to be Dovewing’s mate, but she couldn’t help but worry a little.
Would she and Dovewing get in trouble for being mates? And what about Ivypool and Blossomfall? Would they get in trouble, too?
Terrible scenarios swirled through Briarlight’s mind. Scenarios like being banished because of who she loved. It was an awful thought- something she didn’t want to think about- but she couldn’t stop herself.
She decided to go talk to Dovewing about her concerns.
Dragging herself to the fresh-kill pile, where Dovewing was eating a thrush, she asked, “Dovewing?”
“Briarlight?” Noticing her mate’s worried expression, she quietly asked, “What’s wrong, love?”
“I love you, Dovewing, and I’m glad we’re in a relationship. But at the same time, I’m terrified. I know that Whitewing and Jayfeather accept us. And I’m assuming that Ivypool and Blossomfall will accept us, too, since they’re also two she-cats who are mates. But I have no idea what the rest of the Clan thinks of two cats who are both she-cats or both toms being mates. For all we know, they could think it’s forbidden by StarClan. And if it is... if we got caught...” Briarlight stopped talking, realizing that she was trembling out of control.
Dovewing gave her a reassuring lick. “Forbidden or not, I love you, and that will never change. Even if our love is ‘wrong’- and that’s a big if- I don’t care. Because it’s not wrong to love. I just know it’s not.”
“I know it’s not wrong to love. But other cats could think it is. And that’s what I’m worried about.” Briarlight said.
Dovewing was silent for a moment. Then she asked, “Would... you ever consider telling the Clan that we’re mates?”
Briarlight thought for a moment. Then she answered, “Maybe. To see if my fears are valid. But maybe we should be mates for a little longer. Just to make sure this is what we both really want.”
“That’s a good idea,” Dovewing agreed. “That way, we don’t have to make a big deal about being mates, then realize two days later we really just want to be friends, and nothing more.”
“How about we wait a moon?” suggested Briarlight. “That should be enough time to make sure we both want to be in a relationship together. Then maybe we can start telling a few more cats- cats we think will accept us, like Ivypool, Blossomfall, and Cinderheart- then slowly work our way up to telling the whole Clan.”
“Alright,” mewed Dovewing.
At least I know one thing: whether the Clan accepts our love or not, I’ll always have Dovewing by my side, Briarlight thought happily.
An entire moon passed. Thankfully, the rest of the Clan didn’t seem to notice Briarlight and Dovewing’s feelings for each other.
Briarlight and Dovewing were sitting by the fresh-kill pile, sharing a plump pigeon. They were discussing telling the Clan about their relationship.
“I think that we should, especially since now we’re both certain that this is what we really want- to be mates.” Dovewing explained.
“I agree, but we have to keep in mind that the Clan might not accept us. What would happen then? What if we were banished?” Briarlight asked.
“I don’t know. But we’ll never know the truth unless we tell the Clan.” Dovewing pointed out.
“I have an idea. How about we ask Bramblestar to call a Clan meeting? That way, we can tell the entire Clan at the same time.” Briarlight suggested.
“That’s a good idea. How about today, we tell Ivypool, Blossomfall, and Cinderheart about our relationship, and tomorrow, we tell everyone else?” meowed Dovewing.
“Alright. I think Ivypool and Blossomfall are on patrol right now, but we can tell them when they come back.” said Briarlight.
Dovewing took another bite of the pigeon, then answered, “Alright.”
Briarlight wasn’t sure how Ivypool and Blossomfall would react to her relationship with Dovewing, but hopefully they’d be accepting.
At least she’d always have Dovewing by her side, no matter what happened.
Just then, Ivypool and Blossomfall walked into the camp, joined by Squirrelflight and Thornclaw- they were back from their patrol.
Ivypool and Blossomfall were walking very close together, their fur brushing the slightest bit. Now that Briarlight was paying close attention, it was easy to see that Blossomfall and Ivypool were more than just friends- their tails were intertwined, and they just generally seemed closer than friends.
“Hey, Blossomfall, Ivypool, could Dovewing and I talk to you for a moment?” Briarlight asked.
“Sure.” Ivypool sat down beside Dovewing, and Blossomfall selected two mice, and gave one to Ivypool.
“What did you want to talk to us about?” Blossomfall asked.
“Briarlight and I have a secret,” Dovewing began.
“We’re mates. Dovewing told me that you two were mates, so we figured you’d accept us. We’re planning on telling Cinderheart later, and the entire Clan tomorrow.” explained Briarlight.
Ivypool’s blue eyes were shining. “I’m really proud of you two!”
“Ivypool,” Blossomfall asked, “if Dovewing and Briarlight are going to share their love with the Clans, should we share our relationship, too?”
Ivypool nodded. “I’m tired of hiding our love.” She gently nuzzled the top of Blossomfall’s head, adding, “We can do this together.”
Briarlight exchanged a happy glance with Dovewing.
Maybe they really could do this!
“Are you ready?” Dovewing asked Briarlight. “Cinderheart’s by the Highledge, if we’re going to tell her about our relationship, now is a good time.”
Briarlight nodded, her blue eyes shining with courage. “I’m ready. Let’s do this.”
The two exited the medicine cat den, and approached Cinderheart.
“Cinderheart, hi,” mewed Dovewing.
“Hi Dovewing, hi Briarlight. What’s going on?” Cinderheart said.
“Is it alright if we talk alone in the medicine cat den for a moment?” Briarlight asked.
Cinderheart looked mildly confused, but nodded.
Once all three she-cats were inside the medicine cat den, Cinderheart murmured, “Alright. What’s happening?”
“We have something to tell you,” began Briarlight.
“Everyone in the Clan will know by tomorrow, but until then, please don’t tell anybody.” added Dovewing.
“Your secret is safe with me,” Cinderheart promised.
“Briarlight is my mate,” explained Dovewing.
“Jayfeather, Whitewing, Ivypool, and Blossomfall know, and tomorrow we’re planning on telling the entire Clan. We’ve kept it secret for a while because we didn’t know if two she-cats or two toms were allowed to be mates with each other.” Briarlight meowed.
Grief filled Cinderheart’s blue eyes. “Hollyleaf was my mate when she was alive. We agreed to tell the Clan someday, but she’s gone now... I wish I’d been brave enough to share our relationship, but...” Cinderheart trailed off, lowering her head.
Dovewing touched noses with Cinderheart. “I’m sure you made Hollyleaf very, very happy, and that she was grateful for your time together as mates.”
“I’m sure she’s watching over you right now, from StarClan.” Briarlight mewed.
Cinderheart softly purred. “Thank you.”
She exited the den, calling to somebody, “Sure, I can join the patrol!”
“So tomorrow is the big day,” Dovewing murmured after a moment’s silence.
“Yeah. Do you think the Clan will be accepting? I mean, everyone we’ve told has been supportive.” said Briarlight.
“I hope so.” Dovewing licked Briarlight’s head before continuing, “But no matter what anybody else thinks, I love you.”
Briarlight purred. She was both nervous and excited for what tomorrow would bring.
She’d just have to wait and see what would happen.
The next morning, Dovewing and Briarlight approached Bramblestar.
“Bramblestar, is it alright if Dovewing and I make an announcement? We have something we want to share with the Clan,” mewed Briarlight politely.
Bramblestar looked a little surprised, but nodded. “Very well. I’ll call a Clan meeting, and you two can share your news.”
“Thank you, Bramblestar. This means a lot.” said Dovewing.
Bramblestar twitched his tail in reply, and then called, “Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather by the Highledge for a Clan meeting!”
Cats gathered. Briarlight saw Ivypool, Blossomfall, and Cinderheart all standing next to each other, perhaps for support.
“Dovewing and Briarlight have something to share with us. You two may speak,” meowed Bramblestar, nodding towards the two she-cats.
Dovewing said, “Briarlight and I are mates. We’ve kept our relationship secret, because we weren’t sure if two she-cats or two toms being mates was against the warrior code or not.”
Briarlight explained, “I don’t think that our relationship is wrong in anyway. Love is love, no matter what. And I know some cats who agree.” She nodded towards Blossomfall, Ivypool, and Cinderheart.
Cinderheart spoke first. “Hollyleaf was my mate when she was alive. I’m still a bit sad that we were never openly together, but at least I can never honest about our relationship now.”
“Blossomfall and I have been mates for a few moons now.” Ivypool said.
“After Dovewing and Briarlight told us that they were mates, we felt happy knowing that there were cats like us. She-cats who love she-cats.” Blossomfall mewed.
“Well, I don’t see anything wrong with your relationship, Dovewing and Briarlight. And yours, Blossomfall and Ivypool. And this applies to any tom in ThunderClan who is mates with another tom, and any she-cat who is mates with another she-cat. Your love isn’t forbidden by the warrior code.” Bramblestar meowed.
Lionblaze and Toadstep exchanged a glance.
“Toadstep is my mate. I feel relieved knowing that ThunderClan accepts our love.” Lionblaze said.
“So do I. We don’t have to hide anymore,” Toadstep purred.
One by one, cats who felt like they’d had to hide who they loved stepped forward, no longer feeling like they had to hide who they were.
Graystripe, who had briefly been mates with Firestar when the orange tom had been alive.
Squirrelflight, who, on her journey to the sun-drown place, developed a crush on both Tawnypelt and Feathertail.
Hazeltail, who had always loved Honeyfern when she was alive.
As cats kept coming forward, Briarlight felt happier and happier.
We aren’t alone! she thought happily.
Dovewing and Briarlight had been mates for many moons now.
Foxleap had offered to be a surrogate father for them, and Briarlight and Dovewing had happily agreed.
Their kits were named Birchkit, Petalkit, and Poolkit.
Birchkit was named after Birchfall. She was an orange tabby she-cat with green eyes. She was quiet and serious, but could also be extremely affectionate with her siblings and parents.
Petalkit was named after Blossomfall. He was a blue-gray tom with green eyes. He was extroverted and talkative, and wanted to be a medicine cat more than anything else.
Poolkit was named after Ivypool. He was a black tom with green eyes. He was extremely curious about everything. Why could birds fly, but not cats? How come cats fell in love? What exactly was a Twoleg? Those were only a fraction of the questions Poolkit had asked.
Briarlight and Dovewing grew happier together with every day that passed by.
They were so glad that all those moons ago, they’d become mates- because it had truly been the right decision.