Zira sighed as she and her boyfriend quietly strolled alongside each other in a wide, open meadow. It was now late at night, and the silver sphere above them was illuminating itself over the cascading grasslands. The stars bordered the sky in a fashion that could only be seen perhaps, at most, twice in a lifetime: in a complete and perfect circle around their most brilliant sentinel that was the moon.
It was a deeply romantic setting actually. Unfortunately, Zira had not spoken that entire evening; there was something on her mind and it was the whole center of her attention at the present moment. It was as if her ability to speak was taken away and replaced with a new emotion she had barely experienced in her life: concern for others.
Zira's boyfriend raised an eyebrow at her; usually she dragged him into conversation the minute their eyes met but surprisingly, and suspiciously as well, her lips hadn't so much as twitched since the date began. It was then he grew distrustful; was it possible she was keeping her mouth shut in order to conceal a secret? If so, what was it?
A thought came to his mind: it could've been another male. That had to be it; she had suddenly lost interest in their date because she grew feelings for another lion. If that was the case, then he'd have to do something about it, painfully. But first, a little confession to verify his qualms was in order. He turned to his girlfriend.
"Something on your mind?" He asked half-heartedly. Zira merely sighed again.
"It's just…well…I can't stop thinking about, this friend of mine. I get the distinctive feeling there's something wrong with him, but he won't even talk to me about it. …Or anything at all for that matter." She replied. Her boyfriend only raised his eyebrow again; this didn't sound at all like his assumptions. And by the look on her face it was obvious she wasn't lying or cheating on him either, and had nothing else to hide. But this concern of hers really didn't make him uneasy; who this friend was or what was wrong with him he didn't care. All he cared about was…
"Oh, here's something I think might cheer you up." Zira looked in the same direction her boyfriend was looking, to see the same rock they had met at so long ago; but right now it seemed only yesterday. She smiled.
"I love you." She told him. The two nuzzled affectionately. Zira breathed contentedly as she rested her head against his; this was possibly the best thing that happened to her since her friendship with Taka. That's what she liked so much about her boyfriend; he reminded her she wasn't just an overly obsessed fan girl who knew she was crushing on her best friend and as well in denial about it, but she was also a great huntress with decent social skills and a sharp, albeit dedicated, personality.
"You know what?" She heard him say.
"Hmmm?" She looked up at him. He leaned against her.
"I've always found that spot…alluring. Like you." He grinned.
Zira smiled and fluttered her eyelids seductively…
That following morning…
A dark-maned lion grumbled as he irritably departed from the royal den, not bothering to see if he stepped on anyone on the way out; it was their own fault for sleeping on the path leading towards the exit anyway. Once reaching the outside of the cave he looked around for any leftovers from last night. His eyes met with four half-eaten carcasses and without so much as a second thought he draped all of them over his back and made his way to the desolate place known as the Elephant Graveyard.
"Just when I thought there wasn't a more depressing place than the Pridelands." He said to no one in particular. Why did he ever agree to that deal he made in the first place? It was exhausting every time he hunted down four kills and infuriating when he didn't catch enough. He could still hear that matriarch's command ringing in his head.
"Either come back with enough for all of 'em, or don't come back at all."
In his opinion, the female hyena's leadership skills were about as impressive as her grammar; like her daughter would be too. Remembering that female pup and her two little companions made him cogitate to no end as to why he made relations with them in the first place. But thanks to his former, weaker, self, their childish voices were forever embedded in his mind.
Shenzi, Banzai and Ed all stared in confusion at the lion who just spoke to them. Never call him Taka again? Why? He looked like Taka, he smelled like Taka, he talked… kind of like Taka. This didn't make any sense; if they were not to call him Taka then…what should they?
Upon closer inspection of the lion's outer image, they discerned a new expression on his face…it seemed a bit unpleasant and frightening to look at. This didn't seem at all like Taka; this thing, this nameless thing, whatever it was, seemed malicious, irate, full of odium. The three exchanged glances; something was definitely wrong here.
Then, they suddenly realized there was something different about their friend, and it was right in front of their faces…and on his. There, over his eye, was a freshly-given, extremely painful-looking mark. It was still trickling a small line of blood down the side of his face, but he didn't seem to either care or notice; all he did was stare at them, with his one and only intact eye, which gaze was cold as stone at midnight.
Now at this point the trio was becoming a bit scared; Ed hid behind Banzai who stayed near Shenzi, both increasingly growing wary. And the lion that was once "Taka" kept staring at them immensely. Finally, after a stiff, silent moment, Shenzi was the first to speak up.
"…Uh, h-hey, where'dja get… that?" She asked, timidly gesturing to the fresh wound. The lion blinked, before spitefully grinning in response, showing the blood stains on his teeth; Shenzi and Banzai trembled as they wondered how that could've gotten there.
Ed meanwhile had caught a whiff of their friend's scent, and it was strong and fresh; nearby. Then his eyes distended more than usual when he realized where it was coming from: the lion's own mouth. Now the pup was more puzzled than frightened. But upon taking notice of the cheek under the injured eye and re-acknowledging the blood still trickling down, he presupposed what had happened: Taka been trying to clean the red substance off but had long given up upon seeing his fruitless efforts. There was evidence to support this as Ed, who knew his tongue marks more than anybody, could still see the faint imprints of the lion's tongue on the cheek below his eye.
"Do you like it?" The nameless lion asked all of a sudden, nearly causing the pups to jump out of their skins.
"Uh…uh…" Shenzi stammered.
"What is it?" Banzai interrupted, slightly putting himself between the lion and his female friend. The lion grinned once more before replying,
"Think of it as, an improvement."
By this time Shenzi could feel Ed, who had shifted behind her when Banzai moved, shaking in fear.
"Th-that's kinda nasty. I-I think my momma can make it better-" Shenzi was cut off when the large feline's mouth curled back in a snarl.
"Don't bother! I've already tried licking the blood away; I'll bet it won't stop until evening." The hyena pups cringed at his voice. Seeing this, the thing paused when it realized it had spoken too sharply at them. It cleared its throat to regain composure.
"Pardon, I'm a bit irritable after have receiving this nonconforming gash." The trio all tilted their heads in confusion; the thing sighed in an annoyed tone at their simplicity of vocabulary.
"I meant I'm in a bad mood due to this unusual wound."
"Unusual?" Shenzi pondered.
"Yeah it looks just like all the other battle scars I've seen." Banzai stated. This time the lion's eyes narrowed and his mouth turned down into a scowl.
"It wasn't from a battle." He growled.
Once more the trio exchanged glances; that was a pretty ugly scratch, if it wasn't from some sort of brawl, where else could he have gotten it? …Unless…
If they had remembered correctly, Taka did say he and his father were going on a hunt today. And that the two of them were to search the grasslands while spending some quality time together…alone.
But if that was the case, then how did their friend get his injury? His father in a rage? No, it couldn't have been Ahadi: the king left a lot of marks on his youngest son, but never once did he cause any bloodshed; too much blatant evidence.
Could it have been an accident? Such as a trip or a miss at prey? Yes that must've been it; Taka had a hunting accident and it left him with that unsightly wound.
Now the trio were more pitiful than fearful; his first chance of hunting with his father, to make himself appear worthy of the title "Son of Ahadi", and harm comes to him in front of the king's very own eyes. He must've been humiliated. And Taka was so happy about it too…
The trio exchanged sympathetic glances, before looking at their friend again. Once more, Shenzi was first to speak up.
"Aw, didjou have a huntin' aksuhdent?" Shenzi asked.
"What?" The lion asked, trying his best to keep his annoyance hidden; whenever she spoke in that accent of hers she was almost as incomprehensible as Ed. And he couldn't help his tone from being a slight growl, which thankfully none of them noticed.
"She said 'Did you have a huntin' accident?'" Banzai translated, apparently now interpreting for her as well as Ed too. Taka stared at them, before letting a slight, toothless grin come across his face.
"Yes, the best hunting accident that could've ever happened to me." He replied. The pups were confused on what he meant by "best", since all hunting accidents seemed to be bad.
"Was your dad mad?" Banzai lightly asked. The second heir to priderock scowled.
"I wouldn't know: he wasn't even there."
Now the trio were completely confused; not there? Did Ahadi really despise the idea of spending time with his youngest son that much? So strongly that he could've ditched him on the day of the hunt?
They were about to ask him more, but their attention was suddenly rerouted to something else when their ears picked up a familiar noise…the growling of a hungry stomach; three hungry stomachs to be exact. In all this episode of confusion and trepidation, the trio had completely forgotten that this was the day the prince was supposed to bring them food. Ignoring their constant perplexity of this situation, the pups enlivened themselves and shifted their gaze to their friend.
"Didja bring us any food, Taka?" They all asked in unison.
"DON'T call me TAKA!" He snarled; glaring at them with hate. All three immediately recoiled and crouched down as far as they could.
After realizing what he had just said, the lion put a paw to his chin for a moment: well, now that he was out and Taka was gone for good, what undertakings should he carry out earliest? After a moment in thought, he concluded that the appropriate thing to do first-off, was create an identity for himself; if he wanted to be more respected, as well as feared, than his spineless counterpart was he'd need something much more striking than "Taka's bad side".
It was then some of the blood from his eye found its way into his nose; he snorted to get it out. Annoying, ghastly wound! …But just then, an idea came to him; this lesion of his was bound to leave quite the nasty mark, no doubt it would be the first thing others would look at upon acknowledging his presence. And, if it were to be with him for the rest of his life, why not create a namesake out of this…scar?
Scar…yes, that had the perfectly chilling ring to it. What's more, unless the being had an IQ as low (perhaps lower) than Ed's, he wouldn't get annoying questions as to why he had picked such a name; all they had to do was take a good look at his eye. Which, he had a feeling, wouldn't be hard for most to do.
And weren't these three pups lucky? They'd be the first to be informed. And he'd be sure they'd remember this little event for the rest of their lives as well; he'd speak in such a vaporous tone the words would be a stain unable to be washed from their memories. With a cold smile he looked down at the young hyenas.
"Don't call me Taka anymore." He said in a calmer tone. The trio brought their heads up from the ground as they peeled their eyes open; a bit more relaxed, though still cautious, at his voice's more restful tenor.
"Call me…Scar." He finished once he saw he now that their full attention.
"…Scar." They repeated; as if in a trance. With a final malicious grin, he turned around to exit the graveyard: there were others at priderock who also needed to be informed of this. The trio stared as he left, before Shenzi suddenly shook herself out of it and sprinted behind him.
"Hey!" Scar emotionlessly looked back at her. At his uncomforting gaze, Shenzi stared a bit coyly.
"Uh…what about our food?" She asked.
"'Fraid I'll have to catch you tomorrow." He replied, and once more started to leave…before looking back at the pups with a hint of interest.
"By the way," he began, "how are your survival skills coming along?"
Shenzi looked back at Banzai and Ed, who merely shrugged.
"All of us? …Ok I guess." She replied. Scar evilly grinned.
"Perfect." He stated, before continuing on his way.
After a moment, Banzai and Ed trudged up to Shenzi and sat on opposite sides of her; all three of them stared at the shadowy, baleful figure that was once Taka, now this…"Scar" person, depart from their home. What had just happened? Was it real; or were they just suffering from the effects of heat exposure? No, this moment was genuine, and it occurred right before them.
What kept them pondering more than anything though was, what exactly was wrong with Taka? Why did he want to be called "Scar" from now on? Who was Scar anyway? How did he come to be? And why did it seem like he hated everything his eyes perceived?
Would this being subsist with them from now on? Was this life henceforth? Maybe…
…Or, maybe this wasn't how it would always be; maybe Taka was just in pain from the awful wound he'd received, it did look pretty bad. Maybe with luck, he'd be back to himself the next time they saw him.
One can only hope though, one can only hope…
Well, since it was over for now, the trio focused their attention on each other; Banzai looked at Ed.
"Hey Ed, wanna wrestle?" Ed animatedly nodded and sprang forward; slamming his companion's back into the dirt. Banzai shook his head before impishly smirking, showing his rows of teeth which were impressive for a pup his size, and reached up with his mouth and snagged Ed playfully by the neck scruff. With ease, he threw the male off. Ed rolled a bit from the impact, but shook it off and raced towards his friend while Banzai did the same. Shenzi merely rolled her eyes at the site of them; what was it about fighting that was so amusing to males?
Unaware to any of the three, a certain lion had paused on his way to watch them fight; Banzai and Ed's skills were ones to be reckoned with. Who knows what they could do upon reaching adulthood? And with Shenzi's wit on their side, the sky was the limit.
Now, if one were to perhaps ally with the likes of them, they could most likely make some advantages in the world. Even more so if he knew how to use them…
But without a second though, the lion continued his way to priderock.
End of flashback…
Oh yes, that was right: even not much to look at now, those three would come in handy one day. And despite the fact his fondness of hyenas was not so…fond anymore, he knew deep in the profundity of his newly reformed…what you would call…a heart, Shenzi, Banzai and Ed would all be of very good use. One day…
But upon evoking his return to priderock that night, his family and the other members of priderock took his demand for a new name as he had expected; too busy horrifically staring at his eye to even listen. Eventually though he managed to get his mother and brother to focus enough to implant the idea of what he wanted to do in their heads. At first, neither thought it was a very admirable idea; like the hyena pups, they assumed he was only acting like this because of the excruciating-looking slash mark.
But after a moment of "Scar's" insisting, they reluctantly submitted to his idea, and had called forth the king to make it official. It was obvious upon seeing the wound his youngest son had received he was trying his very best to keep himself from roaring with laughter, particularly when he brought forth his request. After a deep breath and a quick composition of himself, Ahadi raised his paw towards the second prince's direction and proclaimed from now on he would forever be known as "Scar."
Some had asked why he wanted such a change in name, in which Scar merely gestured to the gash that was just starting to heal. Mufasa, who had come to him after most of the crowd was gone, said he could always go back to being Taka whenever he wished; at which, his brother snarled at him, causing Ahadi to become enraged.
Taka would've been terrified, but Scar did not back down; he glared at the lion who had constantly hurt him in the past and broke a promise that Taka had held so sacredly. So surprised at his youngest son's reaction, Ahadi merely grumbled as he walked to the back of the den. Scar heartlessly smirked; although this was just the beginning of what he would accomplish.
Then suddenly, a noise to his left brought him out of his thoughts. It took him a quick moment to realize his present surroundings and without even so much as glancing in the direction that the sound had came from, he heaved a breath in annoyance, before taking one step to the right just as something rushed by. When Scar looked down he was not surprised to see three small figures rubbing their heads in pain.
"No fair." Shenzi pouted as she looked up at him.
"Yeah, you peeked." Banzai complained. Ed seemed to be making a protest of his own, but the lion couldn't understand nor did he care about what the young male was trying to say.
"Didja bring any food?" Shenzi asked. Wordlessly, Scar dumped the four carcasses he'd been carrying on the ground in front of them. Instantly the trio dug in. In the middle of their chewing though, Shenzi happened to look up and saw Scar already making his way out of the graveyard. Quickly swallowing, she scrambled past the carcasses and towards the dark lion.
"Hey, ain't ya gonna stay?" She asked.
"I have business to take care of, elsewhere." He replied without so much as glancing back at her. The six year-old future matriarch raised an eyebrow at the departing lion, but shrugged and eagerly ran back to join her friends as some other hungry pups ran in to join too.
After what seemed either too long or not long enough, he couldn't tell for he was so focused on his own detestation, Scar had finally reached priderock. Near the bottom, he saw Zira nuzzling her boyfriend, who appeared distant for some cause. But his attention was quickly diverted from the pair when he heard excited, shrill cries emitting from the royal den; which caught the couple's attention as well.
It wasn't long afterward, that Scar saw Sarafina racing out of the den. She seemed eager for some reason. Quickly shifting her gaze left and right, her stare locked on Zira upon seeing the familiar lioness and wasting no time she sprinted in her direction.
"Zira! Zira!" She called. The 17 year-old female lion turned her gaze to her excited friend and raised an eyebrow at her eagerness.
"What?" She asked. In response, Sarafina whispered in her ear. Scar and Zira's boyfriend raised their brows in equal confusion; there was a pause…before Zira gasped as her friend stop whispering…and both squealed in delight.
"Are you sure?!" Zira asked.
"Yes! It's all over the Pridelands! All the lionesses are telling everybody! …Where's Scar? He should hear about this!" Sarafina exclaimed. At which, Scar loudly cleared his throat, catching the attention of all three of them.
"Oh! Um, Scar…you need to come to the den." Sarafina stated; looking as though she was hiding something, but strangely (unlike the others who knew him as Taka before becoming awkward with him after he became Scar), it didn't seem like uncomfortable emotions.
"…You're family," she went on, "you should hear about this personally."
"About what personally?" He asked half-heartedly. He cast a glance over to Zira, who was smiling at him profoundly, and upon looking over Sarafina once more, it was clear there was something very eventful commencing. Finally he sighed.
"Fine, escort me." He rolled his eyes. Sarafina chuckled before motioning him to follow her, and both lions walked up to the den.
A few minutes later…
Inside, Scar could see quite a commotion going on; everybody was up in chatter about…something apparently. Of course sometimes it was hard to tell; these eager-to-gossip lionesses talked about anything as long as it was something to impede silence. Sarafina pushed her way past the crowd in order for her and him to pass.
"Excuse me. Pardon me." She repeatedly said each time she had to make room for them. As he followed her, Scar had suddenly realized this was the first time he had seen Sarafina all by herself: without Nala. But it wasn't until they had reached the middle of the crowd, that the whole pride was circled around, that he understood why: Sarabi, who was beside Mufasa, had the young lioness cuddled in her paws, and was lovingly stroking her fur with her tongue. The small cub mewled in response. The lions looked at her amorously.
Soon though all this happiness and affection had gotten to the last heir of priderock and Scar grimaced.
"And just what is it you all are so happy about?" He demanded.
The entire den fell silent. Soon all eyes were on the strange-looking male with the atrocious scar on his features. There was some whispering amongst them; some wondering where he had gotten it, some explaining how, and others who could not even recognize him because of it. That seemed the most difficult to explain: how sweet, kind Taka had become strange, frightening Scar. But there were exceptions to the awkward staring, such as his fan club, formerly the Taka-lovers now renamed the Scar-lovers, Sarafina, Sarabi, and Mufasa, who were all sympathetic. Speaking of the royal couple, the soon-to-be king and queen smiled at him, before Sarabi gave Nala back to Sarafina and both stood up and looked at the dark-maned lion.
"You tell him." Sarabi beamed. Mufasa seemed a bit…coy for some reason but nonetheless happily looked at his brother.
"Tell me what?" Scar demanded once more.
"Well, Scar," Mufasa began, "you remember the rules of who claims priderock if the king's time ends?" That he did; since that extravagant moment yesterday, Scar had often focused himself on the fact that if something were to happen to his brother, he would be king. It was the only thing that kept him sane…and it did wonders to help him sleep that night as well; as it would do so every other moment of his life. At the question, Scar half-heartedly nodded in response.
"Well then, I think you'll know what happens when you find out-"
"We're having a cub." Sarabi finished. Instantly the life was brought back into the cave, even more than it had been before Scar had entered. There were "aww's" and giggles and constant praise for the happy, now expectant, couple. Sarabi and Mufasa nuzzled before looking over at Sarafina and young Nala cozily in her mouth. Seeing this, she offered both of them a second chance to hold her; after all they'd need all the practice they could get. Sarabi graciously, and delicately, accepted and cuddled the lioness cub once more…before gesturing for Mufasa to take her.
At first, he was unsure, but with Sarafina's approval and Sarabi's insistence, he eventually put the young cub between his forepaws. Almost immediately she warmed up to him and seemed quite comfortable in that position; Sarabi smiled and her husband and Sarafina glowed; not only because her cub had gotten so much loving attention, but also because she knew Sarabi and Mufasa's cub would receive that same amount of affection as well. And soon they would know exactly how it felt to be so proud of your own child, and that was one of the best feelings in the world.
But, as fast as the verve had returned to the pride, was as fast as it had been drained from a certain lion's being: a cub? They were having a cub? That could only mean one thing-
"Can you believe it Scar? You're going to be an uncle!" Sarafina happily exclaimed.
Well yes that, and-
"He'll take over after your reign." Scar said without emotion; a blank stare on his face.
Mufasa happily nodded at the crowd was thrown into festivity once more. But after only a short moment, something else caught the attention of the pride.
No, not the fact that the cub could turn out to be just like the well-beloved pridelanders Mufasa and Sarabi.
Not the fact that soon afterwards Mufasa and Sarabi announced that if it was male, he and Nala were to be wedded.
And no, not that it was possible Zazu could be majordomo to this new line of royalty as well as he was to Mufasa.
The only thing the pride found amusing from that moment: was that Scar must've been so excited about being an uncle, he fainted.
Raziya sighed in fatigue and blinked her eyes open at a voice calling her name. Open fully bringing them into focus, she saw Banzai…with a full animal haunch in his mouth. Instantly she jolted upward.
"Where did you get that?" She asked, nearly stunned.
"Scar brought it." He replied.
"Yeah; Taka gave 'imself a new name. Now c'mon, eat." He told her, shoving the meal in the direction of his mother, but she refused and shoved it back.
"No; that food's meant for you pups. Us adults still need to get our own food." She replied as she got to her feet.
"No but's. Your mother's a big girl; she can take care of herself. Now take this back to where you found it, and go on and play with your friends." She finished as she gave him the haunch and nudged him out of the den.
"None of the pups are even eatin' anymore. Now they're out playin' with their moms and dads." He stated…before his eyes widened at the last word; as did his mother's, before a stern look came upon her face and with a determined appearance she made her way towards the exit as well, saying only one word:
"But mom-" Banzai started as he quickly followed.
"No." Raziya stood firm, not even glancing at her son.
"Please?" He begged.
"Extra pretty please?"
"Extra pretty please with a meaty haunch on top?"
"I already told you to take it back. Now I'm not saying anything Banzai." She firmly told him, before continuing on her way. …It wasn't until after a few steps though, that she felt something tugging her by the tail; looking behind her, she saw her son trying to hold her back. His teeth persisted to stop her from walking as he shifted his body weight opposite the direction she was going in.
Raziya rolled her eyes as she blew a strand of her bangs out of her eyes with a sigh, before casually gripping Banzai in her mouth.
"Let go." Her muffled voice commanded.
"Mm-mmm!" Came his own stubborn reply.
"Let go." She told him once more.
"Mmph!" He protested. Without batting an eyelash, Raziya jerked her son from her tail and set him on the ground; no visible evidence that his teeth had been hurt or some of her fur had been uprooted.
"Now go play." She said, before turning around again.
"Aw mom!" Banzai whined.
"Can't ya just tell me one thing about my dad?" He pleaded. Raziya stopped in her tracks; would it really be that damaging to tell him only a small, simple fact? If anything, it could actually help. Then again, if she did tell him, she risked a non-stop series of more questions, and there was no telling where that could go. Raziya obviously had a lot of things to say about Banzai's father, but deciding to keep it to a minimum for his sake, she decided on something that wouldn't raise such an uproar, but would still keep him satisfied.
Begrudgingly, she looked back at Banzai. As her eyes met with her son's, she could tell he obviously needed to know something. And at this age, she knew there couldn't possibly be anything better to tell him. With a soft, motherly voice, she replied:
"He looked just like you."
And without another word she departed, and Banzai was left speechless. But still, for the moment, he was fulfilled of what he wanted to know. But he did have more things to ask about his dad. There would always be things to ask.
But would there be answers?
As the pride calmed down and began to settle in for the night, Sarafina brought Nala to a nice comfortable place in the den; she settled the small cub in her paws and soon watched her drift to sleep. She smiled; Nala looked so peaceful as her small body gradually moved up and down with every breath inhaled.
Looking across from her, she could see Scar, still out like a light near his brother and Sarabi. She giggled; she certainly expected him to react to the news in a lot of ways, but much like Taka had, he always managed to surprise her. Fainting just seemed to come out-of-the-blue.
Sighing tiredly, she was about to rest her head next to her cub's…before she felt something faintly brush against her on the left side. Looking over, she was happily surprised to see a certain lioness friend of hers.
"Naiona." She greeted. (A/N N-eye-oh-nuh) The lioness turned her head upon hearing her name called. And once she saw Sarafina, she gave her a soft smile.
"Hello. Enjoying the evening?" Naiona asked. Naiona was a dear friend of Sarafina's, dating back to when they were cubs. Whenever Sarabi wasn't around she was; and there was always fun to be had when they were together.
"Well I've had two surprises; Mufasa and Sarabi's cub, and Scar's fainting." Both lionesses chuckled.
"I think we were all a bit taken aback by that. So how're you? You must be quite excited about the betrothal; I never would've anticipated that a prince would be my future in-law." The lioness stated.
"Well I'll try to contain myself. How's Inala?" She smiled, taking notice of the cub, similar to Nala's size, resting in her friend's forepaws.
"She's fine." Naiona replied. This lioness adored Sarafina; the two were practically like sisters in their younger years. In fact, when they were teenagers and discussing what it would be like to be mothers, they even helped each other come up with names for their cubs. The two were so close, they even came to make a pact to each other; whoever would have cubs first, would have to name it after the name of the cub their friend had picked for their own.
Of course when they reached adulthood Sarafina no longer took this seriously. However upon finding out she was pregnant, despite the fact that the father had died in an accident, Naiona was completely elated. And since she was still so fond of Sarafina, she took the liberty of honoring the pact and naming her cub after her friend's. Sarafina named her cub "Nala", so Naiona named her cub "Inala"; just as they had agreed. Inala was similar to Nala in appearance, but with a slightly darker tan of fur, and bright green eyes instead of blue.
Sarafina and Naiona had a feeling Nala and Inala would grow to be fast friends. And after a moment of chatting Naiona glanced out of the mouth of the den and noticed the sun going down.
"Oh, look at that," she beamed, "remember when we used to watch sunsets like that when we were cubs?"
"I remember." Sarafina replied, before looking down at the lioness cubs, and giving them each a small lick on the head.
"Maybe when they get older they'll look at sunsets too."
"As I recall," Naiona began with a mischievous glint in her eye, "cubs do more than just look at sunsets."
"Oh I remember." Sarafina replied, looking just as impish.
"I remember they chased flamingoes too." She added.
"You're the one who brought it up." Naiona stated.
"You're the one who ran up ahead." Sarafina playfully shot back. Naiona smiled before looking at their cubs again.
"Who knows what they could get into though." She said.
"Like chasing flamingoes." Sarafina said.
"Or jumping animals at the water hole."
"Or hassling the majordomo."
"Or pouncing on the majordomo…"
Both lionesses thought up many ridiculous ideas, and eventually, it brought them into stomach-aching laughter.
"Or breaking a bunch of animals into song!" Sarafina chuckled.
"Or making friends with a hyena!" Naiona added.
"Can you think of anything even more absurd?" She asked.
"Yes," Sarafina replied, "wanting to go in the Elephant Graveyard."
"Or actually wondering into the Elephant Graveyard." Naiona giggled, at which Sarafina laughed.
"Yes. Imagine my cub, going into the elephant graveyard."
Both lionesses just laughed again…until some other pridelanders got a bit…irritated.
"Hey, quiet down you two!" Came an annoyed voice.
"Yeah, catch up on the old days in daylight hours!" Came another. Both friends blushed.