PRIDE

 

Cast of Characters (In Order of Appearance)
Kiara (a.k.a. Kaila) - Simba and Nala's daughter; almost 9 years old; cubnapped in first scene
Kovu - Kiara's friend, and later, hero; 9 years old
Zira - Kovu, Vitani, and Nuka's mother; Kiara's captor; a real meanie, if I may say so myself!
Vitani - Kovu's twin and Nuka's younger sister; Kiara's saddistic enemy, but not the "bad guy" forever
Nuka - Zira's dim-witted eldest son; 15 years old
Zazu - Kiara's friend; Simba's loyal secretary; a hornbill
Nala - Kiara's mother; Queen of the Pride Lands
Simba - Kiara's father; King of the Pride Lands
 

Continued from a scene in SP... Don't worry, the change is coming.

Scene 1: Alligator Attack
(Kiara and Kovu are standing on the edge of the creek, on the Pride Lands' side, looking down at a roaring pack of alligators trying in vain to climb up the steep cliff)
Kiara: (smiles; victoriously) I did it… I DID IT! (blows raspberry; laughs)
Kovu: Ha!
Kiara: Wow! Did you see the size of those teeth? They were going, "Rr-rr-rr-rr-rr!" (giggles) He just totally ate me up right there. And I jumped on his head! And I popped him so good… We make such a good team! And you… You were really brave!
Kovu: (proud grin) Yeah? You were pretty brave too. My name's Kovu.
Kiara: (giggles; flirting) I'm Kiara! (Zira runs out from the underbrush and grabs Kiara; turns her head to look at her captor, sees Zira, and screams; struggling to break free) DADDY! DADDY! (Zira runs off toward the outlands clutching Kiara tightly)
Kovu: Wha-? Mother, Stop it! (runs after her)
Kiara: (continues screaming) SOMEBODY, HELP! (winces; to Zira) Stop it! You're hurting me!
Zira: Hush!
(In the outlands, Vitani is tugging on a tree root, while Nuka is arguing with her about how he should have been the Chosen One. Zira stops in front of them and drops Kiara on the gray, dusty ground)
Vitani: Hi, Mother! Ooh, who's the newcomer? (takes a closer look, and is startled by what she finds) YOU CUBNAPPED THE PRINCESS?! Mother, what were ya thinkin'?
Zira: (puts down Kiara) Hush, Vitani! I took Kiara to use for bait. When Simba comes to retrieve his daughter… We'll be READY!
Kiara: (horrified) No!
Vitani: (chuckles) Ooh! Clever! (Kovu runs in from the Pride Lands, out of breath) Hmph. (makes a swipe at Kiara's nose, Kiara cries out, startled and humiliated. Vitani chuckles) Delicate as a flower, ain't she, Kovu? (innocently) Aw, she got dew on her eye, too. Look, Kovu. Sweet little dandelion Simba's-girl! Dainty Princess Dew. (chuckles)
Kiara: (angry and humiliated) They're called tears, Zira's-girl!
Vitani: I know that, bonehead. I ain't a stupid Pride Lander.
Kiara: (furious) What did you say?
Vitani: I said Pride Landers are stupid!
Kiara: (claws unsheathe) Any last words?
Vitani: Yeah, I got words. How's about, "I wish you and Simba was dead!"
Kiara: What did my father ever do to you, Outsider?
Vitani: He made us Outsiders, that's what!
Kiara: He didn't make you anything. He was just protecting our pride! You and your family would have destroyed everything. You brought it upon yourselves!
Vitani: (sweetly) Look, Mother, the little Pride Lander's in denial! (to Kiara; bitterly) Take a look around ya, Little Miss Spoiled Rotten! Y'ain't a princess no more.
Kiara: I am not spoiled rotten! All I want is to be treated the way I deserve–
Vitani: Ya deserve to be torn into so many pieces, even the vultures won't be able to find 'em! (Kiara gasps, offended)
Zira: Now, the rules. One: - Your name's Kaila now. (KIE lah) Two - Vitani's the princess here. (Vitani beams with pride) You're just nothing. Three - No running away. You're an Outsider now. Get used to it. Four - Call me "Mother," like your brothers, Kovu and Nuka, an' your sister Vitani. Five - I tell ya what's what. Obey me and these rules and maybe – just maybe – you'll live long enough to turn nine! Understand?
(Kiara, trembling and at a loss for words, runs to the outsiders' den and sobs inconsolably; Kovu gives Zira a look and runs after Kiara)
Kovu: Kaila, I –
Kiara: No! You know very well that is not my name!
Kovu: I'll get in trouble if I call ya Kiara. (pause) Look, I'm real sorry about all this, but it ain't my fault, 'kay? Can't we just try to be friends?
Kiara: I want to go HOME!!
Kovu: (sadly) I know ya do, I know.
Kiara: (after a long pause) She isn't even your mother, is she, Kovu? I mean, she's not mine, but she says I have to call her that… Still, I won't do it, and don't try to change my mind!
Kovu: Yeah, she's my mother. (defensively) An' I ain't tryin' to change nuthin'.
Kiara: I – I suppose I will need a friend, after all.
Kovu: (grins) Settled then. What's it like in the Pride Lands, anyway? It's gotta be wonderful if ya miss it so bad!
Kiara: (takes a deep breath; closes her eyes; in a weak, faraway voice) It's all green and blue and there are more animals there than you could count in a day. (smiles dreamily; louder) The earth is soft and cool, not hot and dry like it is out here. Everything is in bloom this time of year. Flowers and clover are everywhere! (opens her eyes and, seeing nothing of the kind, sighs sadly)
Kovu: (dreamily) Wish I could see all that.
Kiara: (surprised) Do you mean to tell me you've never seen clover before?
Kovu: Yeah, I saw all that once, but I was real young. It's way too long ago for me to remember. Been stuck out here I was two years old. (proudly) I'm nine now!
Kiara: (smiles) I'll be nine next week.
Kovu: Cool! Happy almost-birthday! (pause, smile widens) Hey, that means I ain't the youngest no more! Double cool! (both laugh)
Kiara: (smile fades; pause) Why must this happen to me, just in time for my birthday?
(Kovu sighs sadly; Kiara leaves the den; scene ends)

Scene 2: Coming To Check
(Kiara is sitting alone in a gray, sandy, open area when she looks upward and sees Zazu flying over the creek towards her)
Kiara: Zazu? Zazu!
Zazu: Young Mistress! Are you all right?
Kiara: I suppose so. But Zira took everything away from me; she says I'm not even Kiara anymore!
Vitani: (appears out of nowhere) So Kaila, how's it feel to be an outsider?
Kiara: How would I know, Tiny? I'm not one.
Vitani: I better not've heard ya call me Tiny, dumb Pride Lander!
Kiara: I'll call you Tiny if you call me Kaila.
Vitani: (scoffs) Well, that's your name!
Kiara: My name is Kiara, and there isn't a thing you can do about it!
Vitani: Wanna bet? (strikes Kiara, and the fight is on)
Kovu: (jumps in between them, snarling at Vitani) Watch it, sister…
Vitani: (steps back, disappointed) Aw, brother!
Kovu: From now on, Vitani, when ya mess with Kaila, ya mess with me. (pause; Zazu sighs, relieved) Now do us cool people a favor and beat it! (Vitani walks away, mumbling angrily to herself)
Kiara: Wow! You might have just saved my life!
Kovu: (proud grin) Aw, don't get all crazy 'bout it. An' I ain't always gonna be there by your side. Course, I'll help y'out whenever I can, but still, ya gotta learn to defend yourself. Half the day I'm busy with trainin'.
Kiara: Training? What for?
Kovu: (shrugs; casually) Hmm, war.
Zazu: (steps back; startled) War!?
Kovu: (cringes) Oops.
Kiara: (desperate to change the subject) Um– Kovu, this is Zazu. Zazu, Kovu.
Kovu: (grins) How ya doin'?
Zazu: (returns Kovu's smile, a little bit awkwardly) Well, thank you, I suppose, but… What's this about a war?
Kovu: Aw, Mother'll kill me if she finds out I tattle-told! I'm always gettin' myself into trouble! (to Kiara) Ya won't tell her, will ya? (Kiara shakes her head) That's a load off my mind!
Zazu: Well, that question aside, who's Kaila?
Kiara: I am. I mean, I'm supposed to be. That was one of the laws Zira gave me–
Kovu: (whispers; nervous) Mother!
Kiara: (explodes) No! (Kovu steps back, alarmed) I don't care about the rules! I will never call Zira "Mother!" I've had enough of these Outsider rules and this Outsider name and these backwards Outsider Outlands! Enough!! (out of breath) Oh!
Zazu: (startled) Uh… Pardon me, but what exactly were those rules?
Kovu: Well, she gotta call Zira "Mother" like th' rest of us cubs, an' she ain't a princess no more. Now she just plain Kaila. Course, she can't run away, neither.
Zira: (enters the scene; Zazu gasps; Kiara backs away, frightened) Kovu!
Kovu: (cringes) Whatever it is, I didn't do it!
Zira: You're late for trainin' again!
Kovu: Aw, nuts! Well, gotta go. See ya later… (whispers) Kiara. (Kiara smiles briefly)
Zira: (sharply) Kovu!
Kovu: (gasps) Bye! (runs to the den; Zira follows him)
Zazu: War training! Well, Young Mistress, you're certainly lucky that there is someone here willing to protect you.
Kiara: (inwardly furious) Protect me from his brat of a sister!
Zazu: Sister?
Kiara: Her name's Vitani. (pause; looks toward the den) What do you suppose they do in there all day, Zazu? (Zazu shrugs; pause) Zira said she's going to put me in her army, but never fight for her! I'll never be an outsider! Never! Oh, I want so much to go home, Zazu. I'm so afraid!
Zazu: Oh, Young Mistress, you'll get home, one way or another! You must believe! The Circle of Life can be a terribly bumpy ride at times.
Kiara: I'm quite positive I know that fact better than anyone now.
Zazu: You mustn't let it get you down.
Kiara: (crying) I want my mommy and daddy!
Zazu: Would you like me to tell them anything for you?
Kiara: Tell them not to come and get me, because I'm being used as "bait," and tell them I'm sorry for being so naïve and coming here when I shouldn't have. You know what they say, "Curiosity killed the cat." (moans, afraid)
Zazu: (gently) Now, Young Mistress, you just remember what I told you! Just do your very best to keep that chin up. That's how, someday, you'll see the golden rays of hope, and eventually freedom. Hmm?
Kiara: (looks toward her former home; smiles) Freedom… (nuzzles Zazu) Thank you, Zazu. You're the best friend anyone could ever have!
Zazu: (laughs, flattered) Well, I'm sure I won't be the only friend you'll have here. That boy, Kovu, seems like a nice young fellow. Despite that part about the war training…
Kiara: What am I to do all day? I know you're too busy to stay for much longer, but I'll be bored to tears... and lonesome.
Zazu: I'll be back tomorrow. But I'm afraid there isn't much I can do until then.
Kiara: For once, I wish you were wrong. (sighs; tries to smile) Very well. Good-bye, Zazu. Thank you for coming to check on me. (Zazu nods and soars off towards Pride Rock, Kiara calls after him) I'll come back home someday! (scene ends, Kiara's voice echoing into the dark clouds, through one of which Zazu has vanished)

Scene 3: I'm Game!
(Kiara is sitting not so far away from the den, bored and doodling in the dry sand, when Kovu, along with the other Outsiders, emerges from the den. Kiara smiles excitedly)
Kiara: Kovu!
Kovu: Hiya! Y'okay?
Kiara: Yes, just bored to tears. (there is an awkward silence between the two, then a mischievous grin slowly widens on Kiara's face, and she tags Kovu) You're it! (backs away, ready to run; then, when Kovu doesn't move, tags him again) Tag, you're it! (giggles, then stops, bewildered by Kovu's perplexed expression; walks back over to him, disappointed) Hello? (points to Kovu's head) Are you in there?
Kovu: (scoffs; makes a face) What're ya doin'?
Kiara: (sarcastically) It's called fun!
Kovu: Fun? What's that?
Kiara: Oh, come on Kovu, you're not going to tell me you don't know what fun is, are you? (silence; ears droop) But if I have no one to play with, I'm going to have a horrid time here–
Kovu: "Horrid?" (laughs) Where'd you learn to talk, anywho?
Kiara: From my mommy and daddy. Who taught you to speak, (mocking) "anywho?"
Kovu: Mother taught me. (sarcastically) Who else?
Kiara: What about your daddy?
Kovu: (seriously) Ain't got a daddy. Never have, never will.
Kiara: What do you mean? You have to have a father!
Kovu: (looks away) Maybe so, but I ain't never met him. Died or sumthin'. 'Fore I was born. I don't wanna talk 'bout that. 'Sides, ya still never told me what play is…
Kiara: Well, you run, and I try to tag you, and then I chase after you. (pause; expectantly) It's a lot more fun when you're actually playing. (awkwardly, Kovu tags Kiara on her shoulder; Kiara dashes away, giggling; Kovu shrugs and chases her; Kiara shouts over her shoulder) You've just begun a whole new lifestyle, Kovu, and you're going to love it, too! (both laugh, scene ends)

Scene 4: The Next Morning
(It is the dawn of Kiara's second day in the Outlands. Kiara wanders out of the den and yawns. Kovu scampers out after her, grinning playfully)
Kovu: (flirting) G'mornin', Pretty! How'dya sleep?
Kiara: Not well at all, naturally.
Kovu: (disappointed) Sorry to hear that.
Kiara: How did you sleep?
Kovu: Hmm, pretty good. What's wrong? You look upset.
Kiara: (upset) Oh, I'm just used to waking up beside my mommy and daddy instead of a den full of people who want to kill them!
Kovu: (anxious) Jeepers… must be like torture…
Kiara: (shouts) It is torture! (realizes how angry she sounds) Oh, I - I'm sorry… I just… (bursts into tears; desperately) Oh, Kovu! This can't be real! This just has to all be a horrid nightmare! (sobs; )
Vitani: (walks slowly out of the den, chuckling; Kiara gasps) Well, well, well… miss ex-princess Kaila. Why don't we play a little game? Let's pretend like I'm a nice kitty… and you're my scratching-post!
(Vitani jumps at Kiara, but Kovu swipes her hard. Another battle has begun; Kiara watches helplessly. After a moment of fighting, Kovu strikes Vitani, making her fall on her back. Before she can get to her feet, Kovu pounces at her, pinning her legs to the dusty ground)
Kovu: Ha!
Vitani: Lemme up, ya dumbhead!
Kovu: Not till ya promise to leave Kiara alone!
Vitani: Why should I? She's just a Pri–
Kovu: (swipes at her face) PROMISE!
Vitani: (angrily) Fine, I promise! (reluctantly, Kovu lets Vitani up. Vitani runs off, shouting over her shoulder) NOT!
Kovu: (snarls angrily after her, then turns to Kiara) Hey, Kiara, I'm real sorry. I shoulda known a promise from her weren't worth nuthin'…
Kiara: It's not your fault. That little brat Tiny has it coming to her. She'd do anything to hurt me. But you know what the worst part is? You're the only one here who wouldn't do the same.
Kovu: (eyes brighten as Zazu flies in) No, I ain't!
Kiara: (turns around; cheered up a bit) Oh, hello, Zazu!
Zazu: Good morning, you two! I hope you slept well.
Kovu: Uh-huh.
Kiara: (yawns) Excuse me.
Zazu: I suppose that answers my question well enough.
Kiara: (embarrassed smile) Hmm.
Kovu: Hey, how's everyone in them prosperous Pride Lands?
Zazu: Oh, they're fine. They miss Kiara a lot, but otherwise…
Kiara: I miss them, too.
Kovu: (dreamily) Wonder what it's like to be a Pride Lander…
Kiara: You were, once, remember?
Kovu: No, I don't. I was still a kitten.
Kiara: At least you weren't born an outsider.
Kovu: (grins) True, very true. (seriously) I just don't 'member nuthin', that's all. Must be real pretty, huh? I know for a fact I wouldn't miss this place one bitty little bit 'f I left! It's like a jail cell! Hmph!
Kiara: I agree, whole-heartedly! Already, I can't stand it here, and I've only been here for two days. Kovu's been here for seven years!
Zazu: I know.
Kiara: You do?
Zazu: Yes. The Outsiders left seven years ago. So–
Kovu: (angrily) Left?! We were banished! Ya just-
Kiara: Kovu, keep all that to yourself, if you don't mind!
Kovu: (irked) I do, too, mind! To him, it's as if we done moved here to take a permanent vacation! (shouting) If we had a choice… (points to the Pride Lands) …they'd be the Outsiders!
Kiara: (quickly losing her patience) KOVU!
Kovu: What?!
(Kiara scoffs, aggravated; runs to the den; Zazu gives Kovu a look and then flies off; Kovu sits down, bewildered by the sudden silence; scene ends)

Scene 5: Breakfast?
Kiara: Kovu?
Kovu: Yeah?
Kiara: When's breakfast?
Kovu: (confused) Wha?
Kiara: (patiently) I said, "When's breakfast?"
Kovu: What's breakfast?
Kiara: Oh, not this again.
Kovu: (stifles a chuckle) You Pride Landers sure got weird names for things, don'tcha?
Kiara: (makes a face; pause) Breakfast is the morning meal.
Kovu: Morning meal? As in, more than one?
Kiara: (nervous) You're kidding. It's bad enough as it is. Tell me you're kidding…
Kovu: Look, Kiara… (Kiara looks away) This probably seems like poverty or sumthin' to you, but for me, it's… well… it's all I know. (Kiara looks back at Kovu) Ya got all those memories of your mommy and daddy an' their beautiful kingdom, an' the proud feelin' of knowin' that, someday, it'll be half yours. Me, well, nuthin's mine. I remember when I was real young, like four or five or sumthin', I'd sit right over yonder, lookin' out past that creek. Just sat there lookin' at them Pride Lands, dreamin' an' wishin'. Dreamin' what it'd be like if I was one o' them lucky folks who lived there. (sighs) Wishin' I didn't hafta go hungry so young.
Kiara: I'm sorry you had to go through all that.
Kovu: Well, I ain't had much of a choice, did I? Ya take what ya can get out here. Ain't much, but it's sumthin'.
Kiara: How much is "something?"
Kovu: A meal a day on the good days.
Kiara: (warily) What about the bad days?
Kovu: They ain't so often. But no matter what happens, I'll be there to help y'along. It's gonna be tough, all right, but I know you'll make it through. (looks deep into Kiara's eyes as the first seeds of romance begin to sprout in the Outlands' desert-like soil) I'll always be there for ya.
Kiara: (nuzzles Kovu; Kovu gasps, then smiles warmly) Thank you, Kovu. That means a lot to me.
Kovu: (laughs; sighs) You're welcome. (scene ends)

Scene 6: Moment of Truth
(That night, while Kovu is asleep in the den, various voices call out to him, echoing in his dreams and overlapping)
Young Simba: We'll always be together, right, Dad?
Mufasa: The Great Kings of the Past look down on us from those stars.
Banzai: (sarcastically) What are we supposed to do, Scar? Kill Mufasa?
Scar: (harshly) Long live the king!
Pumbaa: (slowly) Ha-ku-na… Ma-ta-ta! (quickly) It means "No worries!"
Nala: We've really needed you at home.
Simba: Everything you've ever told me is a lie!
Mufasa: The Circle of Life… Remember… Remember… REMEMBER!!!
(Kovu wakes up with a start. It is dawn. He dashes out of the den to find Vitani tormenting Kiara yet again)
Vitani: (singing; tauntingly) A teardrop, a dewdrop, a good-for-nuthin' dewdrop, a dandelion Daddy's-girl! (chuckles, spoken as Kiara tries to escape Vitani's incessant torture) Aw, where ya goin', Pride-Lander girl? Sweet little dandelion, ain't ya? Ain't ya?
Kovu: (enraged) ONE MORE WORD AN' I'LL TEAR YA TO SHREDS, WAR-LOVER! (Vitani gasps) NOW GIT! (Vitani runs in to the den, surprised and )
Kiara: Kovu…?
Kovu: Y'okay there, Kiara-girl?
Kiara: I'm fine but… what's going on?
Kovu: It's a miracle… I can't explain.
Kiara: (smiles) You're a miracle, Kovu. (Kovu looks away; Kiara's smile fades) What's wrong?
Kovu: Aw, nuthin'.
Kiara: Whatever it is, Kovu, your secret's safe with me. We're friends, aren't we?
Kovu: Friends… Right…
Kiara: (warily) Aren't we?
Kovu: Course we are… Well, if that's all we are. (eyes widen; quickly) I mean–
Kiara: (beams) You're not trying to say… what I think you're trying to say… are you?
Kovu: W-well, I just… Well, sumthin' big happened last night, and… we gone through a lot together, and… W-well… (Kiara kisses Kovu; Kovu gasps) J-jeepers! (kisses Kiara; Zira enters the scene)
Zira: Kovu! (Kovu gasps) What on Earth do ya think you're doin'! (Kovu is scared stiff; doesn't answer) Well? An answer, if you please!
Kiara: Leave him alone!
Zira: Mind your business, Kaila!
Kiara: My name is Kiara!
Zira: (poised to strike) Disobey me, you little– (Kiara cringes; Kovu scratches Zira's paw, furious; Zira turns to Kovu; bitterly) That was stupid.
Kovu: (snarls) You're a big liar, ya liar.
Zira: Lie? Me? Ain't never lied about nuthin'.
Kovu: LIAR! Simba's innocent!
Zira: (scoffs) Ha!
Kovu: That's darn right, he is. An' that dumbhead, Scar, he weren't nuthin' but a stupid murderer, an' I'm glad he's dead! He made us Outsiders, not Simba.
Zira: (snarls) I'll show you, Traitor!
(Zira strikes Kovu; Kovu screams; Kiara runs over to him; Zira strikes her. after a short pause, Zira leaves. Kiara stumbles to her feet as Zazu flies in)
Zazu: (gasps) Good Gracious! Young Mistress, what happened?
Kiara: (trembling) Sh-she hit me! (sobbing) She hit me, Zazu! Zira hit me!
Zazu: (furious) Zira!
Kiara: (gasps) Oh! (turns and runs over to Kovu, who is struggling to his feet) Kovu! (nuzzles Kovu)
Kovu: If it's any consolation to ya, Princess, y'ain't the only one who's scared no more. (shudders; then finally notices Zazu standing close by, worried; weakly) Oh, hi, Zazu.
Zazu: What's happened here?
Kiara: Kovu kissed me, and Zira got mad, and–
Zazu: (excitedly) Kissed? Kiara's first kiss? (Kiara smiles)
Kovu: (thinks for a moment; discouraged) Hold on. I ain't s'posta be doin' this.
Kiara: What do you mean? Doing what?
Kovu: I'm s'posta love Tiny.
Kiara: (taken aback) What?
Kovu: Don't get me wrong, Kiara-girl. I hate that war-lover! But I… (ashamed) I gotta marry her. (brokenhearted, Kiara sits down, sighs, and shakes her head) I really don't want to, but that's why she's a princess. 'Cause she gotta marry me, and I'm the Chosen One. Scar chose me to– (realizes just what he's been chosen to do: kill Simba and take over the Pride Lands; shakes his head in disbelief) No… NO!
Kiara: Kovu, what's going on?
Kovu: I don't believe it.
Kiara: What?
Kovu: Scar chose me to follow in his pawprints. That means I gotta… (ashamed, quietly) They're gonna make me kill Simba. (shouts) NO! I WON'T DO IT! (crying) I won't do it! (runs off, humiliated)
Kiara: Oh, good gracious!
Zazu: (mumbling) Well! That didn't go so well, did it?
Kiara: (dazed) He was chosen to kill my daddy? He wouldn't dare do a horrible thing like that! He wouldn't dare! (struggles not to cry)
Zazu: (quietly to himself) How will I ever explain all this? (scene ends)

Scene 7: An Outsider Among The Outsiders
(Kovu is still running and sobbing with all his might; Zira finds him and grabs him before he can escape)
Zira: Oh, no, you ain't skippin' trainin' today. (grabs Kovu; heads for the den)
Kovu: (struggling; yelling) Let go of me, ya dumb, crazy Outsider! (grunts) Let go!
(In the back of the den, the Outsiders are gathered together, waiting impatiently for Kovu and Zira's arrival. Soon, Zira returns with a wiggling, screaming Kovu in her jaws and throws him against the den's stone wall. Kovu grunts and slowly stands up, too hurt to be angry; Outsiders ad lib, "What's she done that for?" "What'd he do to her?" "What's goin' on?" etc.)
Kovu: Ow… Ow…
Zira: Hush! Don't let me hear your voice for the whole rest of the day, understand?
Kovu: (weakly) No, Mother. (a few Outsiders gasp, others murmur to each other) No, I don't understand. I don't understand why you hate Simba. He ain't done nuthin'.
Vitani: (warily) Kovu, what's got into ya?
Kovu: What's gotten into me? (points at Zira) What's gotten into her?!
Vitani: What?!
Kovu: He's innocent! Simba's innocent! Scar's the murderer. We been lied to, Vitani.
Vitani: (snarls; screaming) TRAITOR! (attacks Kovu; Kovu cries out and runs from the den, sobbing; Vitani calls after him; bitterly) Outsiders don't cry, Traitor!
Nuka: (glares after Kovu) See? I toldja I shoulda been the Chosen One.
Zira and Vitani: (annoyed) Nuka!
Nuka: (scoffs; to Vitani; teasing) Any objections, your honor? (Vitani scoffs and rolls her eyes; scene ends)

Scene 8: Outsiders Don't Cry
Kiara: What is it? What have they done to you?
Kovu: (between sobs) They … she…
Kiara: (nuzzles Kovu; gently) It's alright, Kovu. It's okay to cry.
Kovu: No, it ain't. Outsiders don't cry.
Kiara: You're not an Outsider.
Kovu: (sniffles) What do you mean? Course I am. I was banished with the rest of my pride–
Kiara: If my father knew you at all, Kovu, you wouldn't be an Outsider. (smiles warmly) I know you, though, and I am his daughter, aren't I? That has to count for something!
Kovu: I'm an outsider, all right. If not from your pride, from mine. (stifles another sob) Kiara-girl, I need ya so bad! My own family hates me! I need somebody to love me. I need somebody to love.
Kiara: (nuzzles Kovu) I love you.
Kovu: But we're s'posta be enemies. I'm s'posta follow in Scar's pawprints, 'member? I'm s'posta kill your daddy. How could ya possibly still love me, knowin' all that? I love ya, very much, an' I would never let anybody hurt ya, or your family, but I don't see why ya trust me anymore. I just… (sobs)
Kiara: I trust you because I love you. Sometimes people do things just because it's the right thing to do. Love is always right. I do love you. And you love me. You've more than proven it. (scene ends)

Scene 9: The Strength of Love
(It is evening, Kiara's sixth night in the Outlands. Kiara and Kovu are walking together, when Kiara's gaze shifts from her paws beneath her to her homeland. She sighs sadly and sits down)
Kovu: Kiara-girl, come on. Don't be so down.
Kiara: I can't help it. I miss my family. I mean, I'm glad I have you, but, still… I need my family back. (closes her eyes) I want... I want to go home. (opens her eyes, and they shine with determination and unshed tears; runs towards the nearby log bridge; shouts over her shoulder) I'll miss you, Kovu!
Kovu: (runs after Kiara) No, K-Kiara, wait up! Wh-where're ya goin'?
Kiara: I can't wait anymore, Kovu. I'm going back!
Kovu: No! She'll kill ya!
Kiara: I have to go!
Kovu: No!
Zira: (runs in, stops before Kiara) I'm always watching you, Kaila. Every second of your stupid little life, I'm watching your every move. You can't escape my grasp!
(Zira holds Kiara by her tail and scratches her across her back; Kiara squirms and whimpers; Zira's brutal claws have left a deep, visible wound on Kiara's back)
Kiara: (trembling; crying) No! I need my mommy and daddy! I need my life back, the way it was before.
Zira: This is your life, Kaila! Enjoy it while ya can, 'cause it's about to end.
Kovu: (runs to Kiara's side; stops between the two feuding enemies) Just stay away from her!
Vitani: (runs in) Don't worry, Mother. I'll take care o' him. (to Kovu) So, would ya rather be sliced or diced, Traitor?
Kovu: Nobody slices or dices me! I'd rather be a traitor to outsiders than a prince to murderers!
Vitani: Murderers, huh? I'll murder ya, all right!
Kiara: Kovu!
(Vitani leaps at Kovu; Kovu jumps out of the way just in time; Vitani lands flat on her face and snarls, frustrated and disappointed; Kiara, seeing that her boyfriend is safe, attempts to sneak off to the creek; Zira glares at her)
Zira: Don't try that with me, scoundrel!
Kiara: I'm not a–
(Zira swipes Kiara extra hard; Kiara falls to the ground and doesn't move)
Kovu: NO-O! (runs to Kiara's side; nuzzles her; crying) Kiara! (eyes narrow; turns to face Zira; furious) YOU!
Zira: (checks her paw to make sure she didn't break a nail; coolly) Yeah, sure, Kovu. Me.
Vitani: Just remember what'll happen if ya lay a paw on her–
Kovu: Beat it, Vitani!
Vitani: Well, I ain't gonna jus' stand around here an' let ya–
Kovu: BEAT IT!
Vitani: (leaves; mumbling) Hmph. Can't get a word in! Dumb, stupid Pride Lander!
Kovu: (turns back to Zira) Now… getting back to you.
Zira: I don't get it. Why do ya waste your time defendin' that worthless low-life Kaila? She ain't worth the trouble! Let her die, for all I care.
(Kovu screams and charges at Zira; leaps up to scratch her face, or maybe put a chip in her other ear; Zira hits him in midair; he lands near Kiara; and seeing his lovely girlfriend lying there, motionless, once again gives him strength along with his rage; stands up and snarls weakly)
Zira: What is it with ya? Why ya doin' this to y'self… or more importantly, to me?
Kovu: Ya done gone senseless.
Zira: (scoffs) Where'd ya get all these dumb ideas? From Kaila?
Kovu: That's Princess Kiara to you! An' I ain't got nuthin' from nobody, so you can just lemme be, Outsider!
Zira: (gesturing towards Kiara; coolly) I'll kill her right now, with you here watchin' me!
Kovu: You monster…
Zira: (rolls her eyes) Ya so darn borin'. (eyes glow red with sudden fiery anticipation) Ya know, I can be your worst nightmare…
(Zira grins; short pause; throws Kovu; Kovu lands on his side in a mud puddle and groans)
An Outsider: (calling) Dinner!
Zira: (turns to leave; glares at Kovu) Y'ain't worth my time. (leaves)
Kovu: (trembling as angry tears flow down his muddy cheeks) I gotta get outta here! I gotta break free… (tries to stand up, but his right front leg is broken; winces) It ain't fair. It just ain't fair. Ow! (desperately) It's okay to cry. It's okay. (sobs; remembers where he'd heard that before; eyes widen as he realizes Kiara is still lying there; lifts his head; weakly) Kiara…
(Kovu struggles to his feet, wincing; limps over to Kiara, who is lying nearby, motionless; nuzzles her; tenderly slips Kiara onto his back; slowly; painfully crosses the bordering creek; scene ends)

Scene 10: Homeward Found
(It is near midnight. Kovu is still on his journey, a fair distance from Pride Rock, when Nala comes out of the den for a late drink at the waterhole, nearby; Kovu, in the dim moonlight, and in his fatigue, doesn't see her; Nala doesn't see Kovu, either, because he is hidden amid the underbrush. After a silent moment, a twig snaps; Kovu screams in pain and lifts his broken leg; gives an exhausted wail)
Nala: (lifts her head from the waterhole; hopeful yet concerned) Kiara? (there is silence; Nala sighs, disappointed. After a short while, Kovu emerges from the tall, thick grass, Kiara on his back; Nala gasps) Kiara! Oh…
Kovu: Ow! (winces, then continues walking; to himself) Come on, Kovu. Don't be selfish. Love will make ya strong… (turns his head to look at Kiara) Oh, Kiara-girl, please be okay! (trips; whimpers; fighting back his tears) No! Don't... Outsiders don't cry!
Nala: (overwhelmed, quietly) Oh!
Kovu: (angry; but still weak from exhausted) Outsiders? I ain't an outsider! Outsiders are those dumbheads that called me traitor! They'll kill me if I go back there–- (stops; gasps; eyes widen with fear) Oh, no! I almost forgot about that law… SIMBA'LL KILL ME! (trembling) Why this gotta happen to me? I'm just a cub! I'm too scared!
Nala: (unable to remain silent any longer) No one's going to kill you, Kovu!
Kovu: (gasps; backs away) Wha–? Who're you?
Nala: (quickly) I'm sorry. I didn't mean to frighten you.
Kovu: (stands tall; proud grin) Frightened? Me? Aw, I ain't scared o' nuthin'! (Nala laughs kindly; Kovu's smile fades) Hey, whatcha laughin' at? I ain't a 'fraidy-cub! Who d'ya think y'are, anyway?
Nala: (playfully) I think I'm Nala.
Kovu: (alarmed) Nala? Queen Nala?
Nala: Yes. Why have you come here so late at night? You must be exhausted!
Kovu: (yawns) Gosh, I almost forgot about that.
Nala: What happened?
Kovu: Hmm?
Nala: What happened to you and Kiara?
Kovu: Mother happened. (Nala gets a confused look on her face) Kiara tried to run away, an' Vitani held me off. So Mother hurt Kiara, me not bein' able to protect her. But she gonna be okay. She will!
Nala: (gently) I know. In the meantime, what happened to you?
Kovu: Well, I went over to Kiara to try to comfort her, cause she done got hit real hard. What Mother goes an' does is she says she's my worst nightmare, cause I'm wishing this is just an awful dream, an' she grins like she's the sweetest little thing – that good-for-nuthin' little termite – an' she knocks me to the ground just like that! Think she done broke my leg. Head hurts, too.
Nala: Oh, my goodness!
Kovu: (sighs) Yeah, mine, too.
Nala: You're a very brave boy, to do all you did for my daughter.
Kovu: (surprised) Ain't nobody ever said sumthin' nice like that 'bout me before, 'cept for Kiara.
Nala: (surprised) Really? No one?
Kovu: Ain't nobody ever cared. All Mother cares about is gettin' revenge of an innocent guy. An' Vitani an' Nuka, well, they're just plain zombies. They do whatever Mother tells 'em to. Vitani – that's my sister – she done tried to kill me! Twice! They're all crazy dumbheads, an' Kiara thinks so, too, but she's way too nice to say so.
Nala: (gently) Why don't you come along with me? I'll take Kiara. Come on.
(Nala takes Kiara from Kovu's back; they head to Pride Rock for the night; scene ends)

Scene 11: The Best Morning
(It is morning. The scene begins inside Pride Rock. Simba nuzzles Kiara; Kiara awakens, but her eyes remain closed)
Kiara: (weakly) Kovu?
Simba: (smiles) Not this time.
Kiara: (eyes open; gasps; overjoyed) DADDY! (stands up; nuzzles her father)
Kovu: (waking up suddenly) Wha– (groans)
Simba: (to Kiara) Are you alright?
Kiara: I've never felt better!
Kovu: (eyes half-open; weakly) Am I late again?
Simba: It's alright, Kovu. You can go back to sleep.
Kovu: (yawns) Okay. (falls asleep)
Kiara: (worried) He's alright, isn't he? Isn't he?
Simba: Of course, honey. He just needs sleep. The poor boy has been up on his feet all night… carrying you home.
Kiara: (gasps; feeling in-debt now more than ever) What?
Simba: Let's go see if we can find your mother, and then it will be about time for breakfast.
Kiara: (eagerly) Breakfast?
Simba: Sure. Are you hungry?
Kiara: (laughs) You have no idea!
Simba: (playfully) Well, then, we'd better get going! (Kiara runs ahead; Simba follows her)

Scene 12: What Hate Does…
(It is early evening. Kiara and Kovu are lying on their backs, stargazing, near the foot of Pride Rock)
Kovu: Wow… It's real pretty tonight, ain't it?
Kiara: Oh, it's beautiful. I don't know how I'll ever thank you for all you've done for me. You saved my life, kept my spirits up for what seemed like a year, and took me home. What can I do for you?
Kovu: Love me, Kiara. All I want is love. Been missin' it all my life. I could be mistaken, but I think I deserve it.
Kiara: (nuzzles Kovu) Oh, you do, Kovu. You do. (there is a rustling sound in the grass)
Kovu: (gasps) What was that?
Kiara: (smiles; shakes her head) Probably just the wind. (a twig snaps)
Kovu: That ain't the wind, Kiara-girl…
Vitani: (emerges from the grass; anxious) Hey, guys…
Kiara: (furious) You! (runs over to Vitani; strikes at her)
Vitani: (quietly) Okay. I deserved that.
Kovu: Why are you here? To torture Kiara some more?
Vitani: (ashamed) I don't wanna hurt nobody, Kovu. I just came to say I'm sorry.
Kovu: (scoffs) You? Sorry?
Vitani: I had the Dream, Kovu. I know now. I was so wrong. But I've changed, really I have! I ain't the same Vitani no more. Please, ya gotta believe me!
Kiara: Why should I? After all you've done, Tiny, why should I have myself trust your little tall tales? You're just like your mother.
Vitani: Please... don't say that. I'm tellin' ya I've changed!
Kiara: It's a touch late for that.
Vitani: But I just–
Kovu: Ya wanna claw sandwich? (to Kiara) Come on, Kiara. She ain't worth our time. (turns to leave; Kiara follows, glaring back at Vitani)
Vitani: (crying; desperately) Kovu! (Kovu scoffs, shakes his head, and continues walking; suddenly, Vitani gets an idea; her eyes light up) Kovu, look at the stars. The Great Kings of the past look down on us from those stars. (Kovu stops, his eyes wide with disbelief)
Kiara: Kovu…?
Vitani: (stronger voice) So whenever you feel alone, just remember, those kings will always be there to guide you…
Kovu and Vitani: …And so will I.
Kovu: I don't believe it… Vitani?
Vitani: Believe it. It's the truth. (to Kiara) I'm real sorry, Kiara. I am.
Kiara: How could you?
Kovu: Kiara…
Kiara: (bitterly) All right. Now it's my turn to quote. How about, "Let's play a little game, Kaila. Let's pretend I'm a nice little kitty, and you're my scratching post! Sweet little dandelion, ain'tcha?" How's that for forgiveness? Does that ring a bell? Huh?
Kovu: Kiara, no!
Kiara: Did she ever stop when I said "no"?
Vitani: (sobbing) Kiara!
Kiara: Hmph! (runs into Pride Rock)
Vitani: (sniffles) I don't blame her. That's what hate does to people.
Kovu: Just… just give her some time. She's been through a lot lately. We all have. Give her some time to cool down, okay?
Vitani: (shakes her head) I gotta go home. Gotta go back to the life an' destiny of an Outsider. I am an Outsider. I belong there. But I'll never forget. (turns to leave; stops; runs back to Kovu; nuzzles him for the last time) I'll miss you, Kovu.
Kovu: No! I'll get her to trust ya! Just, please, Vitani, don't go. You're my sister!
Vitani: I'm an Outsider. I'll be an Outsider for the rest of my life. And we may be family, but we're still enemies. Our prides are at war. (crying) And I can't change that. Good-bye, Kovu. Maybe... maybe I'll see you again someday. (pause; Vitani runs off, sobbing)
Kovu: Vitani! (though his tears, he watches her leave him forever)

~~ THE END ~~