[Scarletflame pads into camp, carrying Snakekit. Her eyes are narrowed, a not so pleased look on her face as she comes to a halt just inside the barrier. Scorchpelt looks up hopefully from where he was pacing in the clearing.]
Scorchpelt: “Oh, good, you’re back. I think one of the queens has picked up a cough, and you seem to be out of… (trails off) what's this?”
[Scarletflame carefully sets Snakekit down.]
Scarletflame: (Evenly) "This is Snakekit. He's my son. *Pause* (Bitterly) His father has-- disowned him-- leaving me to take full responsibility."
[Scorchpelt gazes down at the kit for a few moments.]
Scorchpelt: “Come with me.”
[He turns, whisking his tail towards the entrance. The clan stares on, murmuring to one another as the two leave. Scorchpelt sits, facing her. Scarletflame sets Snakekit down, curling her tail over him.]
Scorchpelt: “Tell me.”
Scarletflame: "Shortly after I was given my full medicine cat name I was out collecting herbs by the Burrowclan border. I met a tom-- he made some remarks. He had me convinced that our relationship was fine and if our clans ever found out we would run away together and become rogues. (Tightly) I believed him. (Angrily) A few moons later I found out I was expecting. I knew I was breaking the warrior code and I was going to leave silently without the clan ever suspecting anything. (Bitterly) But when I told him…”
Scorchpelt: (Skeptically) “You seem willing to tell the true story, but you must know the penalty for this. Why? Why not lie?”
Scarletflame: "I wanted the clan to know how I'd been wronged. (Angry, confident) I wanted the clan to know I was being punished while the father goes freely about his life. His clan doesn't even know what he did. (Bravely) Punish me in whatever way you see fit. I know I cannot raise this kit if I am to resume my medicine cat duties, but I am willing to give him up.”
[Scorchpelt rises to his paws, stepping forward to sniff the kit.]
Scorchpelt: “You don’t care for this kit? At all?”
Scarletflame: (Retorts) "What mother doesn't care about her own kit? As I said, I am willing to give him up for the sake of my clan. I am not proud of this kit, but I do hope that Fernclan will make use of him."
[Snakekit squirms, letting out a tiny hiss.]
Scorchpelt: *Snorts* "Fiery. [He straightens, returning his gaze to Scarletflame.] You know the customs. You won't be allowed to be a medicine cat with a kit, so either give him up or move into the queens' den and forfeit any chance of being a medicine cat again. (Coldly) You already know what I think. *Pause* I'll discuss this will Needlestar. For now, take the kit back to the nursery and stay with him.”
[They both head back to camp. Scorchpelt pads into Needlestar’s den, but reemerges a moment later.]
Scorchpelt: “He’s sick and in no condition to make decisions. *Sighs* Scarletflame... you know what the punishment is for this. You’ll have to be stripped of your medicine cat duties. Whether or not you keep the kit is ultimately up to you.”
Scalretflame: [Eyes narrow] (Unhappily) "And what rank will I be then? Who will treat Needlestar and the rest of the clan?"
Scorchpelt: “I’m sorry, but this is what must be done. You will be a queen and a warrior, like the others in the clan. As for the medicine cat, we will decide soon.”
[Scarletflame’s gaze narrows angrily.]
Scarletflame: (Tensely) "Very well.”
[She stalks off towards the Nursery with Snakekit in her jaws, setting him down roughly in one of the empty nests. She then sits next to him, staring at the wall of the Nursery angrily. Scorchpelt pads into the nursery, his gaze sympathetic.]
Scorchpelt: “Scarletflame… *sighs* I don’t like this any more than you do. It must be done, or the customs will continue to be broken. If it helps, we will raise him thinking you have been a warrior. He will never know.”
Scarletflame: (Darkly, not looking at him) "The customs will continue to be broken either way, for the kit's father has gotten away with this and will continue to get away with it as he breaks the customs of his clan. I am no warrior, I am a medicine cat. It is my job to care about the safety and well being of my clanmates. (Voice rising in agony) How can I battle and watch my clanmates fall wounded and do nothing?!"
Scorchpelt: (Growls) “He won’t get away with this. I’ll make sure his clan knows exactly what he did.” (His voice softens) “You were a wonderful medicine cat. I know you don’t believe me now, but I really am trying to do what’s best for the clan. You’ll be a great warrior. We’ll have you trained, don’t worry.”