Jay x Briar by Echoheart

Echoheart shares why they ship Jayfeather and Briarlight.

Artist unknown

Hi everyone! In this article I’m going to talk about why I ship Jayfeather and Briarlight 😛
This is just my own opinion by the way so you can disagree with me.

First of all, they’re two of my favourite characters in Warriors. Second of all, they are so cute together. Even though their personalities are so different (Jayfeather is grumpy and easily annoyed, Briarlight is cheerful and optimistic), they’re chemistry works together really well and they kind of balance each other out.
When Briarlight got paralyzed, Jayfeather let her stay in the medicine cats’ den and become his assistant (where they spent a lot of time together). Clan cats tend to look down on those with disabilities (like Longtail or Brightheart), because they can’t hunt or fight as well as the rest. But Jayfeather was one of Briarlight’s biggest allies and gave her something useful to do. He also helped her with her exercises and just cared about her so much! Whenever Briarlight was sick or injured, Jayfeather would constantly check to see if she was okay, which shows the side of Jayfeather that we don’t see very often :3 Both of them constantly supported each other through the books, and I loved reading their scenes together.

Anyway, here’s what you guys said about this ship. There are some who think of them as good friends but don’t ship:

Turtlepaw:
I don’t ship it. I always saw them more as just two good friends- maybe even best friends- but I’ve never interpreted their relationship in a romantic way.

Foxi:
Meh
i can see why ppl like it but- i never really like them as a ship- more like friends, someone Jayfeather actually tolerates 😛

Flamecloud:
I prefer them as friends.

Ghostpaw:
I don’t ship them two romantically. I just find them two to be very close friends. So I only ship them as in friendship.

Bluebellsponge:
I think at most Briar had a crush??? i don’t remember though but i don’t ship

For these I just wanna say that it’s because they’re such close friends and have such a positive impact on each other that I actually ship them. If you actually look at their scenes though, you can’t say that Jayfeather didn’t have affection toward Briarlight at all. He actually really cared about her.
Right?
…Right?
Anyway.

There are those that ship:
Frogpaw/storm:
I didn’t ship them until River of Fire! The way Jayfeather reacted to Briarlight’s death made me start shipping them!

Mountainpaw:
I personally ship them! I think it’s really sweet how Jayfeather refused to give up on Briarlight, and I also love how kind and gentle he was towards her unlike other patients. I love how he comforted her, and even thought of adding honey or mouse blood to her herbs so it wouldn’t be so hard to eat. I really enjoy their interactions, especially the one where Jayfeather comforts her and where he tells her to yowl out her lungs during her exercises, her Clanmates won’t mind 😛

Coyotepaw:
I ADORE Jay X Briar!

Mossi:
Yes. my favourite ship.

And then…there are…one’s I’m not going to talk about.

Drizzlepaw/drop:
It’s fine, but I’m no fan. I don’t ship Jay with anyone. I mean- he belongs with the stick but u know what I mean.

Faithpaw:
No, Jayfeather belongs with Stick.

So now I’m just going to list a bunch of cute moments of them to show what I mean!

Briarlight’s breath rasped as she began to go through her strengthening exercises with her mother. Suddenly she stopped, and Jayfeather heard her flop down in her nest. “This is too much work!”
Jayfeather tensed. Briarlight had never given up before. “Come on,” he urged. “It’ll make you feel better.”
“It’s all too much work,” Briarlight wailed. “Exercises morning and night. Dragging myself to the fresh-kill pile as if it were a mountain away. I can’t even breathe or lie comfortably, let alone hunt or play with my littermates!”
Fear was flashing from Millie’s pelt. “But think how much you have to be grateful for,” she meowed as brightly as she could. “You can still share tongues with your littermates and enjoy a tasty mouse. And the whole Clan admires you.” Jayfeather could sense the she-cat desperately searching for more reasons for Briarlight to be happy and grateful.
He padded forward and touched Millie’s shoulder with his muzzle. “Why don’t you see if you can catch her something really tasty?” he suggested.
“I’ll mix up some fresh herbs.” He turned to Briarlight. “You’ve been working hard. A day’s rest will do you good.”
As Millie left the den, Jayfeather began to rub Briarlight’s chest, hoping to stimulate her breathing.
“Your mother would gladly suffer your injuries for you,” he murmured.
“That’s dumb,” Briarlight rasped. “Why would any cat want to be like this?”
“It’s just how mothers think.” His thoughts flashed to Leafpool. Would she have taken his blindness to spare him?
“Careful!” Briarlight’s mew brought him back. “I smoothed that fur down earlier and now you’re rubbing it the wrong way.”
“Sorry.” Jayfeather felt a glimmer of relief at hearing her old spark.
“Washing myself is about all I can do these days,” she went on. “You don’t have to mess it up.”
Jayfeather purred and smoothed her fur back down with his tongue.
The brambles rustled.
“Jayfeather?”
Dustpelt was standing in the entrance. “Firestar’s called a meeting of the senior warriors,” he meowed. “He wants you there too.”
Jayfeather hesitated. Who was going to watch Briarlight?
“I’ll be okay.” The young warrior guessed what he was thinking. “In fact, I’ll enjoy the peace.”
“Are you sure?”
“Positive.”
“Okay.”
(Fading Echoes, chapter 21)

Even when Briarlight wanted to give up, Jayfeather didn’t! He just tried to comfort her and stay with her which I think is really sweet.

“I don’t know why she has to fuss over me so much,” Briarlight huffed as soon as she was gone.
“Don’t you?” Jayfeather didn’t wait for a reply. He leaned forward and sniffed her breath. It was clean and fresh. No sign of infection. He laid a paw on her chest. “Breathe in as deeply as you can.” Her breath was deep and clear.
“So, no appetite, eh?” He sensed stubbornness stiffening her pelt and felt the fierce ache of hunger in her belly.
“No.”
“Liar.”
“What?”
Jayfeather felt surprise flash from the young cat. “You might be able to fool Millie, but not me. Do you really think it’s fair to make her worry just because you’ve gotten it into your head that you don’t deserve food because you can’t hunt?”
“What are you talking about?” Embarrassment glowed hotly from the young warrior.
Jayfeather softened his tone. “I know you think you’re being fair.” He settled down beside her nest. “But it’s not that simple.”
Briarlight turned her head away. “I don’t hunt. I shouldn’t eat.”
“Daisy doesn’t hunt,” Jayfeather pointed out. “Should she starve?”
“She looks after the kits!” Briarlight grunted.
“What about when you keep them amused by playing moss-ball with them while Daisy rests?”
“Any cat could do that.”
“What about Purdy and Mousefur, then?” Jayfeather pressed. “They don’t hunt.”
“They’re old; they’ve hunted enough for the Clan.”
“But they can’t hunt anymore. Why don’t we let them die now?”
Shock pulsed from the young cat. “We couldn’t! They’re part of the Clan. It’s our duty to look after them.” Her nest rustled beneath her paws.
“Besides, the Clan wouldn’t be the same without them.”
Jayfeather left a small silence for her to hear her own words. Then he mewed, “Do you think the Clan would be the same without you?”
She didn’t answer.
“The Clan brings you fresh-kill because they think you deserve it, and because looking after their Clanmates is what makes them warriors. They are proud to help you.”
“I just wish there was something I could do to help them back.” Emotion choked Briarlight’s mew.
“Okay.” Jayfeather sat up. “Come on. Out of that nest.”
Fur brushed twigs as Briarlight hauled herself out.
“If helping look after Molekit and Cherrykit isn’t enough work for you, there’s plenty you can do here.” He swept his tail around the medicine den. “I like to keep balls of moss piled beside the pool so that I can soak them if I need water for washing wounds or quenching the thirst of a sick cat.
Brightheart usually brings me fresh moss every few days. From now on it’s your job to check it for splinters or thorns, then divide it into balls and stack it by the pool.”
“Okay.” Jayfeather felt Briarlight’s spirits lifting. “What else?”
“Keep the den floor clean,” he ordered. “We have just about every cat in the Clan coming and going at the moment. My herbs seem to get everywhere. Sweep out any dirt and paw up all stray leaves and pile them next to my store.”
(Night Whispers, chapter 14)

“I’m fine,” Jayfeather said aloud.
“No, you’re not fine,” Briarlight insisted. “You’re as wet as a drowned mouse, and asleep on your paws. Come over here and let me clean you up.” When Jayfeather didn’t reply, she added with a hint of mischief in her voice, “I promise I won’t nag you about where you’ve been.”
Too weary to argue, Jayfeather padded over to Briarlight’s nest and flopped down beside her. A moment later he felt the rough lap of her tongue, stroking rhythmically over his shoulder. For a moment he felt embarrassed that she was the one looking after him, but the young cat’s licks were so soothing that he dozed off, wondering if his mother had ever licked him like this. (Sign of the Moon, chapter 4)

Jayfeather replied with a grunt. Briarlight was another of his problems. He couldn’t forget what Lionblaze had told him when he returned to the mountains: how Briarlight was so frustrated by being confined to the hollow, trapped by her damaged hindlegs, that she’d persuaded her brother Bumblestripe to carry her into the forest to look for herbs. (The Forgotten Warrior, chapter 1)

Aww, Jayfeather just cared too much about Briarlight, that’s all.

Still reluctant, Jayfeather had done as his brother asked. He had to admit that Briarlight was easy to teach. She had been stuck in the medicine cat’s den for so long that she had already picked up a lot. She’s actually useful, he mused. Her paws are neat and quick when she sorts the herbs, and she’s good at soaking wilted leaves in the pool without letting them fall to pieces. (The Forgotten Warrior, chapter 1)

It’s not easy to get Jayfeather to say that you’re useful! I mean look at how he treated Alderheart at first.

He could hear Briarlight moving around in her nest, and picked up a stifled gasp of pain. “Are you okay?” he asked sharply.
“Yes, I’m fine,” Briarlight replied. “I’m just a little stiff.”
Jayfeather heaved himself out of his nest and padded over to her. Since I’m awake, I might as well do something useful, he decided, settling down beside Briarlight and starting to massage her wasted muscles.
“Thanks, Jayfeather.” Briarlight let out a long sigh. “That feels better.” A moment later, she added, “Do you think Ivypool and Dovewing will be okay?”
“I’m sure they will,” Jayfeather meowed, crushing down his own misgivings. “They’ve probably just gone out for a night hunt.”
Soon Briarlight drifted back into sleep, soothed by Jayfeather’s reassurance and the rhythmic rubbing from his paws. (The Forgotten Warrior, chapter 14)

Jayfeather growled softly. “I’ve been banned, remember?”
Briarlight scooped up her vole and took a bite. “Since when would that stop you?” she asked with her mouth full. (The Last Hope, chapter 2)

Jayfeather was shielding Briarlight, stretched over her as mud and stones fell from the cliff top. (Darkest Night, chapter 17)

(Awww!)

And of course…the death scene 🙁

Alderheart went on to wake Jayfeather and gave him the same terrible news. For a few heartbeats Jayfeather sat frozen, as if he hadn’t taken in what Alderheart was telling him.
“She’s dying, Jayfeather,” Alderheart repeated.
“Nonsense. I won’t allow her to die,” Jayfeather snapped.
Rising to his paws, he blundered to the back of the den. So clumsy . . . , Alderheart thought, reflecting how ordinarily no cat would even think that Jayfeather was blind, his movements were so neat. He knows we’re losing her, even if he won’t admit it.(…)Soon he realized that Jayfeather had followed him out and was crouching beside him, his breath coming in short, shallow gasps. “This is my fault,” he snarled. “I must have given her the sickness when I went into the nursery to deliver Ivypool’s kits. I should never have gone near her.”
His guilt and regret struck Alderheart like a massive claw, driving him a little way out of his own sorrow. “It’s not your fault,” he meowed firmly. “Ivypool and her kits might have died without a medicine cat to help. Besides, you could just as well say that Leafpool and I were responsible. We shouldn’t have left you as the only medicine cat in camp.”
Jayfeather turned his head toward him with an intense blind stare. “We all thought Ivypool had a few more days to go,” he admitted. “But that doesn’t change the fact that Briarlight got the sickness from me. And I couldn’t help her,” he added. “No cat could help her. Oh, StarClan, what good are we?”
“You did your best,” Alderheart told him, beginning to recover in his need to comfort Jayfeather. “You gave her seasons of life with the routines and the exercises you worked out for her.”
He half expected Jayfeather to snap at him, but to his surprise his Clanmate gave a grunt of agreement. “I wish I could have healed her,” he meowed.(…)As they sat down again, Jayfeather rose to his paws. “She never gave up,” he began. “She never—” His voice choked, and he couldn’t go on. (River of Fire, chapter 16)

That’s all for now! Hope you enjoyed this article 🙂
-Echoheart

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30 comments

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  • Anyone else feel like the 3 in <3 looks more like a moustache than a smile?
    Anyway great article Echo!

  • Great article!
    I do not ship Jayfeather (or Briarlight) with anyone myself, but if I had to pick a ship I would definitely choose Jay x Briar! They are too cute together <3

  • They rank in one of my top ten ships first place though will always belong to Bristle X Root

  • Rustkit/spark the Mapleshade lover❤️‍🔥🍁🕶💖 (tribe name: Rust that makes Sparks on Stone) who is weirdly proud of her terrible copy of her Purrsona. says:

    Great article!

  • 🌊✨💖 Streampaw is impatiently waiting for summer! Feather x Crow forever! 🌊✨💖 (Streampaw/lark, she/her) says:

    Amazing article, Echo! I love all these moments and you described why you ship Jay x Briar really well! I ship them too – my favorite non-canon ship tied with Cinder x Little and Moth x Pool!

  • i dont ship them, but i can see the appeal! i personally cant see jayfeather in a romantic relationship with anyone but if i had to decide on a SHE-CAT for him i’d pick briarlight. their relationship is super cute two besties (i made she-cat big because i prefer tom ships w him over jaybriar lol)

  • 🏳️‍🌈~Lemonpaw Is Trying To Conquer The Purrs! (~)Yewlie(~) (~)Yewell(~) (~)Limo(~) (~)Lemo(~)#StandWithUkraine! Go LGBTQ+! Yewpaw/leaf or Lemonpaw~I NEED A MENTOR!!! Click my name to help Ukraine!🇺🇦 says:

    I’ve read so many fanfics about Jay/Briar and LOVE their ship! This was an amazing article!

  • Amazing article Echo! I can’t even believe it! I came in to check just in time for your article! This must be fate! I really ship Jay X Briar but I think Jay X Stick is better :p /j They are soooo cute together! Awesome article! Love you Echo! <333 :DD

  • "She has only one horn in this so it looks like someone has impaled her with a stick" (Doc, Plaguepaw/doctor) (She-cat) says:

    Amazing article Echo!!

    I definitely ship them. The dying scene is so sad.