Nightlife in the Pridelands

Chapter One:

The sky over pride rock glowed a magnificent orange color as the sun's final rays began to disappear over the horizon. For most of the Pridelands' animals, the day was coming to a close. But for one particular lion, the day was just beginning. Kion stretched out his front legs as he awoke from his slumber. He yawned, extending his claws momentarily before quickly retracting them. After morning patrol, the rest of the Lion Guard had gone off to enjoy their free time. Feeling particularly tired, Kion had opted to head back to the lair and take a cat nap. Which is where he was now. Looking toward the lair's vine-covered entrance, Kion could see rays of deep orange sunlight peaking in between the greenery. He sighed as he got to his feet, realizing he had slept much longer than he had intended to.

Kion made his way to the watering hole in the center of the lair. Stretching out the rest of his sleepy body as he did so. He lowered his head to the water and lazily took a few laps, quenching his thirst. Not entirely sure what to do with himself, he decided it would be best to catch up with his friends. His search didn't last long, however. Kion found his friends waiting for him just outside of the lair. As he approached them, Fuli smiled and gave a slight giggle.

"Good morning, sleepy head" She said teasingly.

"Uh, good morning" Kion replied feeling slightly embarrassed. Looking at his friends, Kion could tell they were all exhausted. Even Bunga seemed to lack his usual perkiness.

"So I'm guessing you're all off to bed now?" Kion asked.

"Yeah" Bunga answered, flopping down on the ground and rolling over on his face. "I'm so tired".

Fuli rolled her eyes at Bunga, then looked at Kion.

"We had a bit of a long day". She said through a heavy sigh. "Janja and his clan attacked the zebras".

"What?!" Kion said, ears perking up.

Fuli nodded.

"Knowing the zebras, they panicked and ran" Fuli said stomping her feet up and down quickly to demonstrate the zebras go-to response to any perceived threat. "Janja tried to drive them into the adult zebras into a ditch so he could pick off the little ones. He almost got away with it"

Kion looked upset.

"I'm so sorry I wasn't there to help" He said looking ashamed. "You could have woken me up".

Beshte smiled at his friend.

"Don't worry about it Kion" He said sincerely.

"Hakuna Matata, Kion" Bunga added, still lying face down on the ground "Janja is no match for the Lion Guard".

Kion giggled, agreeing wholeheartedly. Janja's schemes, while clever, generally overlooked some pretty major details. Nobody said anything for a while. By now, the sun had fully set and the moon lit the Pridelands' with a dim blue glow, casting shadows on the five friends.

"Well" Ono said breaking the silence. "I think we'd better get to bed now".

Nodding in agreement, Fuli, Beshte and Bunga followed Ono into the lair.

"You guys go ahead" Kion said heading in the opposite direction. "I don't think I can go back to sleep just yet".

Fuli paused in the entrance to the lair.

"Are you sure you'll be alright by yourself?" She asked sounding genuinely concerned for her friend.

Kion shot her a shy smile.

"I'll be fine" He said reassuringly.

Fuli thought for a moment.

"You know what? I'm not all that tired either". She said approaching Kion. "We can hang out for a bit".

Kion looked surprised.

"Are you sure, Fuli?" He asked softly, "You should try and get some sleep.''

Fuli smiled and nuzzled her friend affectionately.

"I'm sure" she said looking into Kion's eyes.

Kion felt quite flustered, but quickly regained his composure.

"Come on" said Fuli, leading him away from the lair "Let's take a walk. The Pridelands are far more active at night than you might think".

Kion smiled and began to walk beside Fuli. He had to admit he felt a bit awkward after Fuli nuzzled him. Not that he considered it a romantic gesture, but he did find it to be a strange and out of character for Fuli, who was usually quite independent and valued personal space. In the midst of his confusion, he knew one thing for sure. Tonight was going to be fun.