I don't own the characters or anything but the story. Sorry for the super long delay between chapter but things have been crazy with everything going on. I hope all my reader are safe from the coronavirus and if not that you get better soon. Enjoy the chapter, tell me what you think and hopefully I can the next one out a little sooner.
Kerchak trudged through the forest as always at the front of his family while hardly paying attention to the light drizzle of rain that was falling down around them. The rain didn't really bother him that much but he found himself searching the group looking for his mate and child. When he spotted them he couldn't help but note how Tarzan was pressed rather close to Kala and was shivering slightly from the cool rain.
He wanted to check on his son, but he was trying not to show Tarzan any special treatment that might cause the clan to resent him more than they already did. He forced himself to face forward and continue walking resolving to only do something if the rain got any worse. To Kerchak relief as they continued walking the rain eventually stopped and when he turned around a little while later to check on how his family was doing he saw that Tarzan was no longer right up to his mother.
In fact he and Terk were conversating while trailing a little behind the group, though not far enough that Kerchak was overly concerned. He turned around once more, but only made in few steps when he heard a low but alarming sound. He paused and made a gesture for the rest of group to stop moving as he listened intently. He then heard the quiet snap of branches followed by a soft growl that was coming from behind him.
He turn swiftly and saw the leopard Sabor burst into view and, to his horror, headed directly towards Tarzan and Terk who were still a little out from the rest of the group. With a growl he launched himself towards the large cat refusing to lose another child to the predator. His son saw the leopard coming towards him and he Terk began racing away from the leopard.
Kerchak felt his heart drop as he saw Sabor leap at Tarzan only for the boy to dodge out of the way. He reached them then and launched his body between his son and the leopard using his bulk to slam the cat away. He kept his gaze on the big cat, but in corner of his eye he saw to his relief his son and niece climb up the trees with their mothers and the rest of the clan.
With the children now out of harms way he focused his full attention on Sabor as the leopard started to prow toward him. The leopard lunged towards him and Kerchak move out of the way before twisting back around to bring one of his large fist down on the cats flank hard.
Sabor yowled as loudly in pain before managing to twist away and jump away from Kerchak. After circling Kerchak for a second managing to swipe her claws across his shoulder the large gorilla was able to throw her off.
There was a cry of "Dad!" which Kerchak had to force himself to ignore so he wouldn't get distracted while also shaking off the pain radiating from his shoulder. For a little while the two attempted to attack each other with neither of them getting a strong hit in.
Kerchak growled in frustration as he launched himself at himself at the cat causing Sabor to go slamming in to a tree hard. The leopard got up once again but, was clearly now quite injured as she struggles slightly to stay on her feet. She sent a glare towards Kerchak but instead of attempting to attack again she turned and hightailed it into the forest.
Kerchak just rested there for second feeling tired and in pain before he felt a small body almost slam into him and a larger but more gentle body press against him. Kerchak wrapped his arms around his mate and child as Kala nuzzled him gently and Tarzan snuggled deep into his fur.
Kerchak clunged to his family reveling in the fact that this time he not failed, this time he had protected his family. They sat there for a little longer before the rest of the clan interrupted wanting to check to see that their leader was okay.
After reassuring everyone and allowing Kala to check his wounded arm to make sure it wasn't too bad, Kerchak got the clan moving again. He knew they wouldn't be able to make it to where he planned for them to nest originally with his injured arm but he wanted to move at least a little away even if it was unlikely the leopard would attack again.
Kala and Tarzan stayed close to him as they walked instead of with the other mothers and children and Kerchak felt a spark of happiness having them nearby. It thankfully didn't take to long to find a place that was reasonably sheltered Kerchak called to the rest of the family to settle down for the night.
A couple of the older male gorillas offer to do his normal rounds of checking on the rest of group and while a he was a little reluctant Kerchak agreed knowing he should get as much rest as possible if he was going to recover to full strength.
He instead focused on helping Kala the best he could making their nest for the night. Once done it took them a minute to settle as to try to find best position for all of them that wouldn't aggravate Kerchak's injury. Despite being exhausted and injured Kerchak found it very difficult to fall asleep.
His mind kept returning the time he failed, when he had been to late to protect his family. He had managed to defend Tarzan from the same predator that had taken his first child but he couldn't get rid of thought that he could've once again been to late.
He unconsciously pulled his son closer as though about how he could have very easily lost him today and how much that thought hurt. He didn't think he could do it. To go through the loss of not one but two children was unbearable and he was determined to never let that happen. He would protect family this time no matter what.