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Clawstar instantly obliged, sitting down next to his mate and pressing gently on her heaving stomach.
Meanwhile, Glasseye was shifting through his storage. It was leafbare, and herbs were scarce. Eventually, with the help of Clawstar's violent "encouragement," he picked out a sorry amount of borage, raspberry, and juniper.
"Make her eat this, while she's still biting the stick," the medicine cat ordered, chewing the three herbs up into a creamy paste. Clawstar took the paste, rubbing it on the inside of Nightflower's mouth with unusual, gentle care. With a shudder, the queen swallowed the herbs, only to immediately start to moan again. A small, brown tabby kit slipped out, followed by an alarmingly large pool of blood.
"Foxdung!" Glasseye swore, pushing the crumpled kit to its father. "Lick. I have to find thyme."
The tabby tom crouched down, licking the kits' smooth, damp fur, while the medicine cat turned around to the herb storage. A small amount of thyme remained. He picked up the last few remains of the green leaves, once again chewing the bitter herbs into a poultice. Clawstar, knowing what to do now, snatched the paste away and rubbed it in Nightflower's mouth. The dark queen swallowed, convulsed, and released a white kitten.
Glasseye passed the kit to Clawstar, who began to lick once more. After making sure the leader was doing it correctly, he pressed his gray paws on Nightflower's stomach. "One more!" He yowled in excitement. "You can do it!"
The queen was panting, her tongue sticking out from the exertion. With one last, desperate yowl, she squeezed out a tiny kit. A small, quarter-moon shaped marking was on her forehead, and her paws were a snowwhite- just like her mother's. A small twitch of her white-tipped tail told them she wasn't in StarClan- yet.
"This is the runt," Glasseye explained, gently taking it to her father. "You must take care of it more than the others."
Clawstar nodded, and gave the small kitten long, soft strokes. Looking up for a moment, he gasped as his mate was laying in a pool of blood, the crimson liquid contrasting with her dark fur.
"Nightflower!" He choked, running toward her.
His mate looked up at him, her blue eyes already sparkling with the marks of StarClan. "T-the tabby will be Shardkit, the white sh-she-kit shall be Wh-Whitekit, and the black one will be…" she dropped her head to the ground, the dull look in her eyes invading her gaze rapidly. "Good-bye, Clawstar…" she gave one last breath. Her legs twitched in sickening positions; her mouth half open, as if she had one last thing to say.
Then she was still.
Moving slowly, as if he didn't want to face the grim truth, the tom known as her mate moved slowly to her nose, sniffing it. Then he lifted his head and roared. "Nightflower!" In a rage, he turned to Glasseye. "You said she would be okay. You said she would survive!"
The smaller tom looked up at his leader, his one good eye dialated. He had never /said/ Nightflower would survive, but he knew if he said that out loud that would be suicide. "I'm- s-sorry, Clawstar…"
"You disgust me," the larger cat snarled, flicking his claws across one of Glasseye's ear, ripping it in half. "Now get out of my sight before I decide to mangle you more!"
Glasseye didn't hesitate. He ran out of the nursery, out into the open space.
Meanwhile, the muscular tom was sitting by Nightflower's still body, his shoudlers heaving with sobs. Slowly, he turned to the unnamed kit.
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