After all that drama, I think it's about time for some tragedy-free father, father, son, and two legged great-uncle type bonding!
Also, not to open this chapter on a sad note, but this installment marks the conclusion of this little saga. I hope that everyone enjoys the family feels!
Timon was a little more than happy to say goodbye to the ancient, insane monkey that had insisted on teaching his kid about all the vegetables that grew wild right out of the ground.
Like that was important. Ask him, it was better to just never touch the stuff, but... if his kid was gonna act like an omnivore and put green leafy things in his mouth, he couldn't actually say anything against the lesson.
What he could say something about, and loudly, was the annoying mandrill inviting himself to stay the night 'with' them.
Turns out his idea of sleeping over was making camp up in some dumb tree, so Timon actually had less of a problem with it than he'd been expecting.
The fact that Rafiki the 'shaman' considered himself some sort of vegetarian only made his stay less annoying, because he didn't try and eat any of their grubs, and by the time they bedded down for the night, he'd all but forgotten about the freeloader.
Good thing too.
Although, Timon admitted inside the privacy of his own head, that weird song the tree dweller sang late into the night was almost... soothing. That was the only thing about the visit he wasn't going to hold against the furry freak going forward.
Aside from... the whole... saving Chi Chi from a really bad case of indigestion thing. Part. That part was good by him.
In fact: Timon might even try his hand at forgiving Rafiki for being insufferable and stealing he and Pumbaa's first kid from them for it. Someday.
At least Simba was having fun in the Pride Lands. Letting the lionesses mold him into a King. After the slovenly mess he'd grown into with Pumbaa and him out in the jungle for parents. Parents whose only life model happened to be Hakuna Matata.
Turns out, didn't always work out quite so well for Kings and Queens.
Yeah, Timon thought, grinning in glee as he watched the crazy monkey swing himself on the lower branches of the trees away from their home, he was gonna do his best to someday find it in his heart to forgive Rafiki. For the unforgivable act of convincing Simba to leave them before the three of them were ready for such a separation.
If his heart ever managed to reach that stage of maturity though, it would only be possible for the healing effects of the unexplained, unexplainable miracle that was Pumbaa and his darling baby. A baby who would obviously someday have Pumbaa's stature and already had Timon's charming wit.
As Rafiki disappeared in the far off green canopy of their beautiful home, Timon turned to the large warthog still waving a strangely cheerful goodbye, then to the small one on his other side waving a wave full of anticipation over the monkey's promised return, and realized he was truly happy. Now that the freeloader was gone. Hehe.
Feeling touchy-feely, the meerkat reached out a hand that Pumbaa seemed to interpret correctly on instinct, bending to let the meerkat wrap an arm over his neck. Which made Timon smile with genuine amusement. Which was interrupted by another warm body snuggling up against his other side. Tiny, affectionate snorts reminding Timon that the two of them were once again not alone in their little slice of heaven.
Partial thanks to Rafiki- Double thanks to Rafiki, Timon had an adorable, healthy head wriggling it's way under his arm and a mighty and sudden need to say something mushy about the whole situation. So he did.
"Well, looks like we're just one big, happy, grub eatin' family now."
He felt his entire body rumble, sandwiched as he was between two giggling warthogs, and decided this was exactly how he wanted to remember his family for the rest of his life.
Happy, healthy, and his.
Welp, there we go: One Big Happy Family!
Also, because I haven't mentioned it before, the picture of all the characters that's been the cover photo for the story this whole time is a pic of Timon, Pumbaa, Chi Chi, and Rafiki that I crocheted myself! Just a fun fact! :D
Hope everyone has a great holiday season and helps keep the Timon and Pumbaa love alive!