Disclaimer: I do not own the Lion King or any of the canon characters in this story (Max or Kavie, but I did make up her name), Disney does. I do own all characters I made up.
(Author's Note: this story is my second try at a multiple-chapter LK fanifc. I do reference events happening in this story in my other one, Timon & Pumbaa: Times of Change, but you don't have to read it to understand this one.)
Deep within a labyrinth of tunnels inhabited by a colony of meerkats, a small cry announced the arrival of the colony's newest member.
The small meerkat cried as his mother brought him close, trying to soothe him.
Just as she was getting him calmed down, another meerkat entered. A male coming to check on his mate, and their new son.
"Ann? Is everything alright?" he asked, he looked a little shaken.
The female smiled, looking happy but tired. "Yes, everything is fine. He's fine, I'm fine, I'm just sorry you weren't here."
"Well, the truth is I don't think I could've handled watching. I know you might have needed help but I was afraid I would have passed out."
"Well, are you ok now?" she asked.
"Yeah, I passed out outside, so I should be ok." he answered jokingly.
Ann laughed softly, then looked back down to the little one now curled up with her. "So Mel, what do you think of him?"
Mel put a loving paw on his mate and looked down at his son. After a moment the only thing he could say was, "He's got a big nose."
"Don't make jokes, Mel!"
Ann gave him a look. "Come on, be serious for a minute. Let's name this guy. What do you think of "Brandon"?
"It's a boy?"
"Sorry, sorry. I don't know. Where did you come up with "Brandon"?" Mel asked.
"I don't know, I just thought of it."
"Oh." Mel said, now looking his son over. "Nah, he doesn't look like a "Brandon". Can we name him "Buzz"? Please?"
"After the so-called "Fearless Buzz?"
"Yeah. Wait, what do you mean "so-called"? He was great!"
Ann gave an exasperated sigh. "Mel, I know he was your father but I just don't know what makes him so great."
"Are you kidding!?" Mel yelled. "He was the only one of us to stand up to those hyenas! He saw a future in which we meerkats didn't live in fear of hyenas, or any other predators! Our son would be privileged to be named after such a meerkat, even if he wasn't my father."
"And if he's so great, why isn't he here to see his grandchild, Mr.?" Ann asked, knowing the answer.
Mel deflated at this. "Because after he stood up to the hyenas...they ate him."
"Exactly. He wasn't brilliant, he was just dumb."
"Hey, don't say that about my dad! Half the colony reveres him as a hero."
"Yes," Ann agreed. "However, the other half thinks of him as an idiot."
"Yeah, but they are wrong!"
Ann closed her eyes and looked down angrily, looking like she was trying to calm herself down by biting her tongue.
"Alright, alright. I don't want to have this discussion again, preferably not around Brandon."
"We're not naming him Brandon!"
Just when they were about to go back onto the naming subject, two more meerkats entered. They were both older females, Mel's mother Tanya, and Ruth, the matriarch and leader of the colony.
Tanya looked down with joy at her son's little family. "Oh, Mel. He's so adorable, just like you when you were first born! I'm so proud, you're father would have been too!"
Ann, however, looked past Tanya to Ruth. She welcomed her nervously. "Um, hello, Ruth. I'm very sorry, I know only you or your children are allowed to have babies but.."
Ruth interrupted her, a good-natured smile gracing her weary face. "No, no. Don't apologize Ann. I know you're still adjusting to your new home here, but when I became matriarch I decided I would abolish that old rule. I wouldn't want to deprive anyone the joy of parenthood, especially not the son of the Fearless Buzz."
Ann rolled her eyes (thankfully no one noticed) but stayed silent, relieved that she was able to keep her baby.
"Oh, he is simply precious." Ruth said as she too gazed at the sleeping baby meerkat. "I was just telling my daughter Clea that she and her mate better get a move on. We need some little ones in our family again, preferably a female, but never mind. What have you named him?"
"Yes yes! What's his name?" Tanya chimed in.
Mel answered for them. "We haven't actually agreed on a name for him yet. Mom, Ms. Ruth, do you have any ideas?"
"Did you try "Brandon"?" Tanya said.
"yes, Mother." Mel said, giving his own exasperated sigh.
"What about "Maximus"?" said Ruth.
They all looked over at the matriarch. "You could always just call him "Max"." she said when she saw their puzzled expressions.
Mel and Ann looked at each other, then both looked down at their son.
"Hmm, Maximus, Max, I like it." said Ann.
Mel took a bit longer, but he agreed. "You know what? Me too. It fits him. Somehow."
As if he had heard his name, little Max smiled in his sleep as everyone continued to watch him.
They all talked quietly for a long while, and once Ruth and Tanya had reluctantly left the tiny family settled in for sleep.
As the three of them drifted off, little Max in the middle, Mel suddenly opened his eyes.
"Do you think he needs a brother?" he asked his mate.
Ann sleepily sat up and looked at him. "What?"
"Do you think we should have another one to give him a brother?"
She sounded groggy and disgruntled as she answered. "Why are you thinking about this now?"
"I don't know. I just...I never had a brother. I always wanted one, I thought maybe we could..."
"Mel, Honey, I just had a baby. I don't plan on doing that again for a while." Then she turned over so she was not facing him and closed her eyes.