Hello, people of FanFiction! I'm back, with my second story. It's different than my first one; I've decided to delay the sequel to that for a time. I hope you like it! Keep in mind that this is a prologue, not just a one-shot. Although, I did want it to be a one-shot, then I expanded upon it. Because I have ADHD and that's what I do. ;D

Chapter one: One life for another

(A.N. This happens around the time of the stampede scene.)

Scar sighed, casually gazing up into the mid-day sky. Sometimes life in the Pridelands could be such a bore. Ever since his nephew Simba was born, and he and his little girlfriend Nala had started stirring up trouble things always seemed a little hectic. But with Simba off exploring…Again… And Nala in the den with her mother, time seemed to drag on for hours. Scar groaned irritably. He slowly got up, hearing and feeling the sharp cracks of pain as he stretched.

Might as well go and see what Simba's doing… I can always get a good laugh out of toying with him. Scar mused, grinning as he remembered the 'incident' at the elephant graveyard. He sniffed the air, catching the scent of his small nephew from behind him, towards the gorge. Scar padded towards the gorge slowly, a peculiar feeling beginning in his gut.

Simba growled playfully, flattening himself on the ground, getting ready to pounce on the unsuspecting lizard in front of him. He let out a tiny roar of triumph as he successfully pinned his prey. Now if only I could do that to Nala… Suddenly, Simba became extremely self-aware. The gorge was silent, apart from the slight breeze whistling through small holes in the rocks above. Simba felt a rumble in the ground beneath him. At first he thought he was imagining it, but no! There it was again, even stronger this time! He looked up, and his jaw dropped in terror. An enormous herd of wildebeest was barreling down the gorge's wall, headed straight for HIM.

He began to run, as fast as his short legs could carry him. Never before had Simba believed that his various adventures could get him killed, but now that he was in more trouble than anyone else ever, Simba began to see what his dad was talking about when he said that most of his explorations were more than lethal for a cub of his age. The rumble grew louder, and Simba looked back at the rapidly advancing herd. Hooves flew around him, and Simba dodged and weaved as best he could, trying to avoid the deadly projectiles.

Simba spotted a bent tree a few yards away, and leapt with all his strength onto it. He was above the herd at least, but many a wildebeest barreled into the tree, nearly knocking him off. Simba felt hot tears stream down his face as he held on for dear life, hoping with all his might that he would make it out alive.

Scar felt a rumble in the ground beneath him as he walked, rattling several pebbles together.

That's peculiar… Is it time for the herd to migrate already? They're not supposed to move until the winter months.

The rumble seemed to be coming from the gorge. Scar gasped. Simba's down there!

He rushed towards a small outcropping, peering over the edge. He spotted his golden-furred nephew in the middle of the stampede, hanging onto a tree for dear life. His mind raced, the instinctual part of his brain wanting to rush down and save Simba, no matter the cost. But the logical part of his brain screamed at him, telling him to go find his brother Mufasa so he could do it being the stronger lion.

Scar wasn't one to listen to his instincts, having to survive mostly on his own at an early age because of his father's indifference toward him. He rushed towards Pride Rock, looking desperately for his brother. Scar nearly ran into Mufasa full blast, stopping at the last second, out of breath. Mufasa looked concerned, because he knew Taka, or Scar as he called himself these days, not to be a very athletic lion.

"Taka, what's wrong? You look terrible." Mufasa asked, rushing to his brother's side. Scar took huge gulps of air, trying to speak.

"Stampede…In the…Gorge…Simba's down…There…" He finally managed to choke out.

"WHAT? No…NO! Zazu, fly ahead, I can't lose my son!" Mufasa roared, sprinting towards the gorge.

Scar groggily got to his feet, and with a sudden burst of energy ran after his brother. When he finally reached the gorge again, Scar rushed to the same outcropping he was on before. He spotted Mufasa nimbly leaping through the wildebeest with his son cradled in his massive jaws. Mufasa had just enough time to place his son on a ledge before being swept away by the wildebeest. Scar heard his nephew's cry of terror as Mufasa disappeared beneath the churning tide of animals.

Mufasa leapt from the gorge, landing a few feet below Scar and clawing his way onto a makeshift hold.

"Taka, help me!" He shouted, trying to be heard over the rushing beasts below him. Scar tried to pull his brother up, but it was no use. There just wasn't enough room for two lions to stay on the small ledge.

"Mufasa there isn't enough room! I can't pull you up!" Scar shouted back, cringing slightly as his brother slid another few feet down the wall.

"Then leave me! Take Simba, and raise him as your own! Please brother!" Mufasa pleaded, staring up at his brother. Scar shook his head and grinned sadly.

"No, Mufasa, you're the king. You can't die; the pride would be devastated… I on the other hand, I'm just an outcast. I'm expendable…"

Mufasa's eyes widened. "No, Taka! There must be a way!"

Scar closed his eyes, sighing softly. "I'm sorry, mother…" He whispered.

With a roar of effort Scar managed to pull his brother up onto the ledge, at the same time leaping off himself. Scar's feelings raced through his mind. First he was afraid of his demise, then angry at himself for doing something so stupid, and then Scar just felt the vertigo taking over. But most peculiar of all, Scar felt an overwhelming sense of peace. He felt relieved; he had saved his brother and after all, mother always said that family should come first.

He roared in pain as he hit the ground, then blackness enveloped him and his thoughts ceased.

When the stampede was over, Mufasa rushed down to the floor of the gorge desperately searching for his brother.

"TAKA!" He called. Mufasa knew that Scar was dead, but a small part of his brain told him to keep searching, told him somehow his brother was still alive, and all was well.

When the dust settled Mufasa could make out a scrawny form underneath the same tree Simba had been clutching onto a few minutes before. He rushed over, and found out that the still form was indeed his brother. Mufasa felt like he'd been punched in the gut. He let loose an anguished roar, descending into sobs over the corpse of his brother. Through his grief he heard Simba approach from behind him.

"Dad? Why are you crying? What happened to Uncle Scar? Why's he lying there? …Dad?"

Mufasa sighed, saddened that his innocent son had to experience the death of a family member at such a young age.

"Son… Your uncle… He's dead, Simba. He's not getting up." Mufasa whispered to his son, feeling new tears flow down his face. Simba's ears dropped and he looked devastated.

"No, he can't be dead! This is all some kind of joke, right?" Simba butted his head against Scar's muzzle desperately. "Uncle Scar, wake up! Come on, you can't be dead!" Simba was crying too now. Mufasa pulled his son away from the body and hugged him tightly.

"It's all my fault! If I hadn't gone exploring today, h-he'd still be a-alive!" Simba sobbed into his father's mane. Mufasa shook his head.

"No… Son, it wasn't your fault." Mufasa sniffed the air, narrowing his eyes. "Do you smell that? Hyena… They caused this…" He felt rage boil up within him.

I'LL KILL EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM! He thought madly, images of him ripping hyenas in half sprang to the forefront of his mind, feeding his rage. He shook his head again.

No, I can't let anger cloud my judgment... Mother taught me that… It's not good for a king.

"We have to go back to Pride Rock Simba; we have to tell the others what happened… And I have to have a talk with a certain group of my subjects." Mufasa said, practically growling the last part.

Simba nodded, too shocked to argue.

"I'll send some lionesses to retrieve Taka's body… He deserves a hero's burial." Mufasa mumbled to himself.

Simba slowly walked away, ears drooped and sniffling slightly.

Mufasa took one last longing glance at his brother's body before turning back to follow his son.

When they delivered the bad news, the entire pride was in tears. Especially Sarafina, who had considered Scar a longtime friend since their childhood, and who also used to have a crush on him, before Ahadi, Scar's father, forbid him from visiting her. Sarabi also took the news hard, sharing in her mate's pain. Nala did her best to comfort Simba, who continued to think it was his fault that his uncle was dead.

But the Circle of Life must continue, and eventually the pride overcame their grief and moved on…

So, tell me what you liked/didn't. What problems you saw, maybe even how I can fix them! :D Writing tips are always appreciated, thanks! Overall though, how'd you guys like it?