Ashfur waited, his heart pounding loudly in his ears, for Scourge's reply to his confession. As the heartbeats stretched out, disappointment swelled within him. He turned, sadness consuming him. He knew it was too good to be true. With a heavy sigh, he turned and padded out of the den. "Please don't leave me!" Scourge wailed from behind him, fear clear in his voice.
Was it fear of being caught or fear of losing him? Ashfur wondered. But he knew he could never just be friends with Scourge. It would tear him to pieces. He turned his head and looked at Scourge - so small against the largeness of the den. "I'm sorry." Ashfur murmured, before sprinting away.
He stopped when he reached the WindClan border. He sat by the stream, threw back his head and let out yowl straight from his heart. It contained all his anguish, loss, and complete and utter sadness. He yowled until all feeling was gone from him. He yowled until his voice went hoarse and refused to work.
He trudged back to camp at sunrise, after patrolling the WindClan border as an excuse. His heart was heavy as he slowly padded into camp, forcing himself to lift his head. Brambleclaw was with Mousefur, Brakenfur and Spiderleg, who were about to go out on dawn patrol. "I checked the WindClan border, it's all safe." Ashfur reported, nodding to the other cats.
He noticed the surprise in the tom's eyes but ignored it as he padded sleepily to the warriors' den. He curled up in his nest and ignored everything and everyone else around him.
*.*.*.*.*.*.*3 moons later*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*
Ashfur didn't know what it was like to feel anymore. He put on a face for his clanmates, but inside, he was dead. He tried to love Squirrelflight, he really did. But she wasn't Scourge. In fact, he was sort of relieved when she chose Brambleclaw. He acted hurt so his clanmates wouldn't get suspicious, but that was all he had felt since.... Scourge. Even thinking his name hurt. He shook the thought away. He was at a gathering, for StarClan's sake! He listened in to hear them dismiss the clans. Sighing, he padded away and joined ThunderClan as they crossed the treebridge. His fur prickled with a chilly wind as he hopped off of the treebridge. When the last cat had leapt off, Firestar gathered them together with a flick of his tail and bounded off. Ashfur ran at the bacl of the Clan, not feeling in the mood to socialise with anyone.
A loud hiss sounded from ahead and everyone stopped, forming a circle around something he couldn't see. "Scourge!" Firestar hissed hatefully.
Ashfur's heart lurched. Hisses of hatred rose from his clan as he joined them. He spotted Scourge, crouched down against the snow ground, fur bushed out in fur. Ashfur could see each one of his ribs, and sorrow coursed through him. Squirrelflight stepped forward menacingly, her paw raised and claws outsheathed. "No!" The screech tore from Ashfur's throat.
He leapt over his clanmates heads and landed on top of Scourge. His head just brushed his belly fur. He lowered his head and snarled wildly, fur bushed out in anger and claws unsheathed. He was prepared to fight his clanmates to the death if he had to, protecting Scourge was the only thing that mattered - even if Scourge didn't love him.
Squirrelflight stumbled back, sheathing her claws. "Ashfur! What is the meaning of this?" Firestar asked, puzzled.
"I will not allow you to hurt Scourge!" Ashfur snarled, feeling Scourge relaxed under him. Ashfur bent his head and briefly rested it on top of Scourge's letting a comforting purr roll through him. He didn't want Scourge to worry, Ashfur wouldn't ever let anyone hurt him. Then he lifted his head and glared at his clanmates, daring them to try and attack him. Firestar tilted his head to the side. "Why? This is Scourge, leader of BloodClan, he tried to destroy the forest! And yet, you protect him?" Firestar was geniunily puzzled.
"BloodClan is no more! The scattered when they thought Scourge had died! And I won't let anyone hurt him because.... because I love him!" He declared, not flinching from the gasps of his clanmates.
Firestar raised his tail for silence, and glanced up at the sky. It was clear, not a cloud in sight. "StarClan approves, and I cannot go against love." He murmured quietly to himself. "Very well, we will take Scouge back to our camp and I will consult my senior warriors and the elders."
Ashfur let out a breath of relief and thanked Firestar silently. Firestar gave him a short nodded and signalled for them to move on.
Ashfur stayed crouched defensivly on top of Scourge until all of his clanmates were gone. Then he stepped off and Scourge stood, eyes shining as he shook the snow out of his fur. Scourge rubbed his face along Ashfur's. "You saved my life," he whispered, licking Ashfur's shoulder before meeting Ashfur's blue gaze. "I love you, Ashfur. I would die to protect you. Please forgive me, I want to be your mate, forever!"
Scourge's ice blue eyes shone with love and Ashfur felt himself being sucked in. "Of course I fogive you! Your, my mate, mouse-brain!" Ashfur purred for the first time in three moons, his heart swelling with love.
His tail twined with Scourge's as they walked back to the ThunderClan camp, fur brushing, together in love, forever.