|"No. I won't do it."|
|— Brambleclaw refusing to let Hawkfrost kill Firestar in Sunset, page 296|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty two of Sunset. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 22 (of 23)
- Page Numbers: 295-300
- Brambleclaw stares down at Firestar, unable to move. He knows that if he tightens the wire, his leader will lose all remaining lives. His amber gaze meets Firestar's emerald eyes, and there is a fierce question in that green stare. The look asks Brambleclaw whether or not he'll decide to kill him, and offers the tabby a choice. He recalls of each time his father and Firestar had confronted each other. Both cats hated what each stood for, or the plans for their Clans. However, and maybe even luckily, Firestar never needed to fight Tigerstar to the death. His bloodthirsty father had invited Scourge to the forest, who had killed him with a single slash.
- This time, Brambleclaw knows Tigerstar may win. The young deputy is fully aware of the spirit of him beside him, urging him to kill Firestar. His father calls him a fool, and orders him to kill the leader. Closing his eyes, Brambleclaw remembers the time at Fourtrees, when Scourge stood over Tigerstar, triumphant at the tabby's death. His father's blood had poured out onto the earth; Brambleclaw wonders if that's what Hawkfrost wants him to become. He murmurs, and Hawkfrost hisses at his brother, saying that he could avenge their father's death. The RiverClan tom tells the deputy that Firestar could have saved Tigerstar, but he just watched him lose all his lives.
- Brambleclaw stares at Hawkfrost, knowing that it isn't about revenge. He is aware that Tigerstar willingly placed himself on the path that led to his violent murder. Brambleclaw does want to lead ThunderClan, but not by killing his leader. He realizes now that his loyalty isn't just to his Clan, but to Firestar also. The ginger leader had accepted him, mentored him, and trusted him enough to make him deputy. Before, Brambleclaw thought loyalty to the Clan was more important than loyal to the leader. Now, he tells himself that Firestar is ThunderClan.
- Voice strong and steady, he says that he won't kill him. Remembering how Squirrelflight and Brook freed Berrykit from the fox trap, Brambleclaw springs forward. Landing beside Firestar, he begans to dig up the wooden stick, assuring his leader he'd get him out soon. A yowl of protests hits his ears; either from Hawkfrost or Tigerstar, but he isn't sure, before his half-brother slams into him. Hawkfrost holds Brambleclaw down, and calls him a coward. The dark tabby hisses that he'll kill Firestar, since Brambleclaw can't.
- The ThunderClan deputy thrusts Hawkfrost off, and while he lies winded, Brambeclaw grabs the stick with his teeth. His digging had loosened the stick before, and when he tugs, it comes free. And with that, Firestar draws in a gasp of air. A snarl makes Brambleclaw spin around, and he sees Hawkfrost jumping for him just in time. The sting of his half-brother's claws pierce his fur as the tabby tom leaps past. Brambleclaw whirls around, facing the RiverClan cat again. Hawkfrost's eyes flare with fire, and he calls him a traitor. The brown tom snarls at his kin, telling him that he is a traitor to everything he and Tigerstar planned. Brambleclaw retorts against Hawkfrost, declaring that he doesn't want to be like his father; Hawkfrost sneers at him, calling him a fool.
- The RiverClan warrior says that what he did was Tigerstar testing him. He tells him that if he really wanted power, he would've done anything to get it. Brambleclaw asks if it meant even killing Firestar. His half-brother mocks the deputy, because he is as weak as their father feared. Brambleclaw understands what he means: he knows too much, so now Hawkfrost can't allow him or Firestar to live. It had probably been part of their plan from the beginning. Brambleclaw steps closer to Hawkfrost, ordering him to return to RiverClan.
- The RiverClan warrior taunts Brambleclaw, calling him weak for caring more about kin than power. But Hawkfrost doesn't, and he flings himself at the deputy, knocking him down. His ice-blue eyes gleam close to Brambleclaw's, his claws digging into his fur, while the RiverClan cat tries to bite his throat. He struggles to escape, trying to rake Hawkfrost's underbelly, feeling as though death was a heartbeat away. In order to save himself, his Clan, and Firestar, he would be forced to kill his half-brother. He writhes around, and spots the stick laying on the ground. As Brambleclaw strains to reach the wooden stick, Hawkfrost makes a final lunge for the ThunderClan tom.
- Brambleclaw grasps the stick, twists his head, and the sharp end stabs right into the tom's throat. Hawkfrost stiffens, making a terrible gurgling noise, before falling onto Brambleclaw. Shocked, he struggles free, and lets go of the stick. It falls to the earth, leaving a ragged wound in Hawkfrost's throat, and blood splashes out. It gushes out faster and faster, then reaches the shoreline; Brambleclaw gasps his half-brother's name, and stammers that he didn't want this.
- To his amazement, the RiverClan warrior pushes himself to his paws, and staggers toward him. The ThunderClan warrior braces himself, unsure if Hawkfrost will attack, or plead for help. He hisses at Brambleclaw, mocking him and calling him names. Blood gushes out from the wound even more, like the effort of speaking caused this. He demands to know if the deputy thinks he's safe within his own Clan, because he didn't plan this alone. Brambleclaw steps forward, blood splashing around his paws, and wonders if Hawkfrost is accusing a ThunderClan warrior of leading Firestar to the trap. He questions what he means, but the fire in his ice-blue eyes is fading.
- He turns away, staggers a few paces from Brambleclaw, and collapses beside the lake. Waves ripple over Hawkfrost's body, and his scarlet blood clouds in the lake. The ThunderClan warrior gazes down at the RiverClan tom's body; he needed to know a lot more, but his half-brother is dead now. His kin's voice echoes softly within his ears: promising Brambleclaw that it wasn't over, as they shall meet again.
- Firestar lays on his side, his neck fur stained and bloody, but beckons his deputy to him. Despite his leader being weak, the dark ginger cat's gaze is unwavering. Brambleclaw tries to speak, but stops. He knows now that Firestar shouldn't trust him, as he had witnessed him struggling with the temptation kill him. To the tabby's astonishment, ThunderClan's leader praises him. He meows that his path was harder than others, and Firestar says that Brambleclaw is a worthy deputy.
- Firestar's voice quivers, and he lays his head on the ground once more. Brambleclaw stands still, staring down at him, but the reek of Hawkfrost's blood still stains his paws. He tells himself that he's won, but worries what Tigerstar will do now.
- Hawkfrost: Killed by Brambleclaw.
References and citations
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23|