THE LION KING 4:  THE NEXT HEIR

 

Intro:

            This is the continuation of my series of fan fiction stories.  Simba, Nala, Kiara, Kovu, Zazu, Vitani, and Rafiki are all copyrighted to Disney.  If you have any questions, comments, advice, feedback, whatever then feel free to send me an email at the6silent6one6@yahoo.com

 

Royal Family Tree (simplified):

                                                                        Mohatu

                                                                              |

                                    Igunoi + Frehda          Ahadi + Uru

                                                |                                         |

                                                |                       ---------------------------

                                                |                       |                 |                 |

Sarafina + Xygolapo       Sarabi      +     Mufasa         Scar + Zira    Veni + Trapa

               |                                         |                                   |                      |

               |                                --------------           ---------------------          |

               |                                |                 |           |                           |         |

            Nala           +          Simba        Kimba  Nuka                    Vitani Mopa

                               |               

                        ------------        Phantooh + Kura

                        |              |                         |

                    Kopa       Kiara       +      Kovu

                                                     |

                                           -------------------------

                                          |                                 |

                                      Giza + Imara             Epesi

                                               |

                        ------------------------------------------------

                        |             |             |                   |              |

                   Varcia     Miki       Pem       Tohanuro   Fewahara

 

Day 1:  The Aftermath

Hour 1:  Dawn

Hour 2:  Noon

Hour 3:  Dusk

 

Hour 1:  Dawn

 

            It was a dark and gloomy day in the Pride Lands.  In just a matter of hours Kovu, Nala, Giza and Imara had all lost their lives by the paws of another member of the royal family.  All of the animals had gathered at Pride Rock’s base that dawn to mourn the loss of their great rulers.  As the sun rose the sky began to shimmer a vast array of warm colors creating a great amount of hues for the same three colors.  Although there happened to be an overabundance of bugs on this particular day it paled in comparison to the great tragedy that occurred the previous night.

 

            “Ah yes,” began Rafiki who was comforting Simba and Kiara, “although de body heals quickly, de mind does not, eh.”

Simba sighed deeply, “It hurts all over; I, I just can’t believe what happened.  Why?  Why did things have to turn out this way?  I lost my mate, my son-in-law, and both of my grandchildren.  I don’t think that I’ll ever feel better.”

“Me neither.” Cried Kiara, “They’re gone and they’re never coming back, NEVER!!!  Why, my own son, why did he do this?”

Rafiki sighed, “I’m afraid that we’ll never know de answer to dat question.”

“But, I want to know, I NEED to know.  He caused all of us this suffering, doesn’t he even care!!!  Kovu became good…” Kiara began weeping now, “Why couldn’t Epesi?”

 

            “I hate him.” Hissed a Pridelander.  “I really hate him!”

“But dear, hate is such a strong word-”

“I HATE HIM!!!” the lioness hissed back at her mother.  “I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to-”

“It’s okay.” The lioness was nuzzled by her mother, “I know you didn’t mean to be angry with me.”

“It’s just that… he ruined everything.  I mean, what’s going to happen to us now?  Where do we go from here?  The only male left is Simba, but he’s ten years old; he’s too feeble to control a whole pride.”

“Things will work out.”
“How?  How will things work out?”

“I just don’t know Varcia, I just don’t know…”

“Then how can you say that they will?”

“Because I can feel it.  Listen, dear, there are some things that you just know.  You can’t explain it but you know that you’re right.  You just feel it.  Don’t worry, everything will be fine.”

“I don’t believe you.” And, with that, Varcia walked out.

 

            “You two are aware that business won’t take a day off, right?” it was Zazu’s son, Barua; he was speaking to Simba and Kiara.

“Yes Barua, we know.” Simba sighed, “I’ll take care of everything today.”

“No dad, look at you.  You’re ten years old already.  I don’t want you hurting yourself out there.”

“I’m fine.” Simba said.

“Dad.  You looked after me once, now let me look out for you.  Rest, I’ll take care of the official business today.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m positive.”

“Okay then.  Barua, take Kiara with you.”
“Yes sir.” Barua obediently responded.

 

            “You don’t understand!!!” Vitani yelled.  “I’ve lost my entire family!!!  How would you feel if you lost your son?!!!”

Ouilee sighed, “He’s not my son.  In fact, I don’t have anybody left but him.  Don’t tell me that I don’t know how you feel.  But trust me, things will only get worse if you try and get revenge.”

“But he must suffer for what he did.”
“You’ll only make a bad situation worse.  It’s for the best if we just let him be; we don’t want him or that lioness coming back here and wiping out everybody.  Just, please, for the sake of the Pride Lands, please don’t go and get revenge.  It won’t make him come back.”
“But he’s my
brother!!!  I don’t care if it is only by adoption, we’re related dammit!  I can’t just let anybody get away with murdering him.  I’m leaving, and you can’t stop me.”

“Maybe not… but my son can.”
“What?”
“Mopa, guard the exit.”

Mopa stood guard at the entrance to Pride Rock’s den, snarling at Vitani.

“I’m not scared of him.”  Vitani walked up to Mopa but he sank his claws into the dirt and started growling, viciously.
“I will not let you leave.” Mopa said.

“Don’t make me have to hurt you.” Vitani warned.

“Don’t make me have to hurt you.” Mopa warned back.

“Enough!!!” Simba roared.  “Nobody’s going anywhere, and that’s final.  Understand, Vitani?”

“Yes sir.” Vitani said obediently.

“Good; I’ve got a plan, but I can’t tell it to anybody.  Kiara is the only one so far who knows, but she’s out contemplating whether or not it’s a good idea.”
“I thought that she was out doing errands.” A lioness said.

“She can do both.  Now, let’s just sit here and wait for her decision, okay?”

“Fine.” Came many voices throughout the den.

 

            “I just don’t know if I should...” Kiara was thinking to herself as she walked alongside Barua.  He was speaking to her but she wasn’t paying attention, she was lost in her thoughts.  “I mean, what will they think when they discover the truth.  Will they hate me?  Will they even believe me?  I don’t know if I should tell them or not.  Please, I need an answer, any answer.”  Kiara started weighing the options in her head.  “That’s it!” she shouted aloud.

“Er… what?” Barua asked.

“I’ve got the answer, it must be done for the good of all of us.”

“Madam, what are you talking about.”
“Err, nothing; it’s nothing.  Don’t worry about it.”

“Okay, but you see, we need to do something about the buffalo.  They’re getting antsy again because the baboons are bathing in their water.  As if that’s not enough, what about those…”  Kiara stopped listening and thought about how she’d deliver the news.

 

Hour 2:  Noon

 

            The lionesses were returning to Pride Rock after their hunt.

“How did it go this time?” Simba asked Vitani.

“It went much better than usual.  We got five antelope.”
“Five!  Wow, you guys are amazing.”

“We just got lucky today.” Vitani turned towards the lionesses, “Alright ladies, bring ‘em in.”

Behind Vitani there were five lionesses carrying antelope carcasses.  They walked in a single-file line, each one grinning with pleasure at the feast that they were about to have.

 

            Once everybody got inside of the cave they began munching away at their food.  Kiara still hadn’t returned with Barua so there was some saved for her.  After eating their lunch the lionesses took their afternoon naps, despite the daily pleas from their cubs to play with them.

 

            “Ugh, why do I have to settle every little dispute around here?”  Kiara groaned.  “Why can’t these animals just take care of everything themselves?  I mean, why do I have to decide whose turn it is to watch the young ones anyway?”

“Well-”

“You know as well as I do that those kinds of problems can be settled amongst themselves.  I don’t need to intervene.”

“But, madam, have you ever considered that maybe they’re not capable of deciding those kinds of things.  Without a neutral party to decide what’s what there would be tons of fighting and chaos.  I’ve heard the stories of what things were like under Scar’s regime; he didn’t care about those little disputes and the land plunged into oblivion.  They need you to help them with these kinds of problems.”

“Well, I guess you have a point there…”
“See ma’am, there is a reason behind you solving these problems.”

“It’s just, I shouldn’t be doing this kind of thing at this point in my life.  But, even if I do tell them I’ll have to be queen for a couple more years.”

“Tell who, what, ma’am?”

Kiara sighed deeply, “I have to tell my grandcubs of their heritage.”

“Grandcubs?  What do you mean; I thought that your cubs never had any cubs of their own.”

“Well, Giza had to give hers up for adoption.  You see, she was too young to raise cubs when she had them, and, well, she had five.  It would’ve been hard enough for her to take care of one of them, let alone five.  There just wasn’t any other choice; it needed to be done.  But when they discover that they’re royalty; maybe they’ll hate me for not telling them sooner… but it needs to be done now.  I’m sure that they’re “parents” know this.”

 

            “Varcia, Miki, Pem, would you three come in here please?”

“What is it now mom?” whined Pem; a lioness cub of a tannish hue with gleaming green eyes.

“Yeah mom, what is it?” cried another lioness cub of a reddish hue with sparkling blue eyes.

The third cub, Miki, one of a very light brown with bright blue eyes, approached without a word.

“There’s something that I need to tell you three.  But, I don’t quite know how to say it.  It’s something very important, but it doesn’t just involve you three; it also involves Tohanuro and Fewahara.”
“What do those two have to do with it?” snarled Varcia.

“Be nice!” commanded Lushatra, the mother of the three cubs.  “You five are all connected in the great ‘Circle of Life’.”

“So!” yelled Pem, “That doesn’t mean that we have to like them.”

Lushatra sighed, “You three don’t seem to understand.  No, how could you understand?  There’s no way that you could’ve possibly known.”

“Known what?” asked Miki with a sense of curiosity.

“Well,” began Lushatra, “Why don’t we invite them over here so that I can tell all of you at once.”

“Wait, why are they involved?” asked Pem.

“Just… you’ll find out, okay?”

“But I want to know now.” Whined Pem.

“Oh hush.  You can wait a few more minutes.”

 

            Kiara arrived at Pride Rock’s den just as all five cubs were sat down by Lushatra.  She rushed over to her before she could get a word out.  She whispered to Lushatra, “Are you telling them the truth?”

“Yes, I am.” Lushatra replied.

“Do you need any help telling them?”

“Well, it might help if you stuck around.”

“Okay, I’ll stay right here.”

“Thanks.”

Lushatra cleared her throat which was followed by a lengthy silence.  This silence was broken by Pem, “Well… what is it?”

“Well, you see, there was an incident about a year ago involving all of you.”
“What?” asked Fewahara.

“Hold on, I’ll get to that; first, however, I need you five to promise me that you won’t get mad.  It wasn’t your guys’ fault that any of this happened, okay?”

“What happened, what did we do?” asked Tohanuro, the only male of the cubs; he has crimson red eyes and orangish-yellow fur.

“You didn’t do anything…” Lushatra turned away and gave a deep sigh of sorrow.  “It was your mother.”
“You mean mothers, right mom?”

“No Miki, I mean mother.  Also, please don’t call me mom anymore.”

“What, why?”

Lushatra sighed once more and a tear slid down her face, “…because I’m not your mother.”

“WHAT?!!!” Exclaimed Miki, Varcia, and Pem.

“And you two, Fewahara and Tohanuro, your mother is not who you think she is either.”

“What?” cried the two cubs.

“Then, who is our mother?” cried Varcia.

“Yeah, and who’s ours.” cried Tohanuro.

“You five all have the same mother.  You were split up at birth between your ‘mother’ and I.”

“So, we’re all related?” asked Miki.

“That’s correct.  It was a difficult situation, and your real mother and father weren’t ready for cubs yet.  It truly took a toll on them to let you guys go, knowing that they could never raise you or tell you that they loved you.  They had to watch two older lionesses do it for them.  They had to watch us raise you, separately, and they knew that they could never reach out to you.”

“But, I thought that raising cubs was the work of the pride.” said Fewahara.

“It is, but there is one exception…”

“Royalty…” said Miki with a sense of awe.

“Wait, wait, wait, so our mom is Kiara?”

“Close, but no.  Your mother was Giza.”
“Giza?!!!  She was only three when she died.”
“So, she was two when she had us then.” Said Pem.

“Yes, she was very young.”
“Then, King Imara was our father?”

“Yep.”

“So, our real mom and dad are dead.” Miki said morbidly.

“Yes, I’m afraid so.  That’s why we have to tell you guys this, you are the only young ones with royal blood inside of you.”

“But, why couldn’t we have known otherwise?” Miki cried.

“It’s because, it would’ve caused too many problems.” Kiara started, “We needed to avoid causing any unnecessary uprisings and such.  You must understand, we didn’t want to keep this from you, but we had to, or else complications would’ve occurred.”

 

            The cubs just stood there in shock.  Their worlds had been shattered, simultaneously, and they were left with their thoughts.  None of them asked questions, what they had been told was enough to take in already.  Not only were they not the rightful cubs of their supposed moms, but their real parents were dead; and they could never make up for that lost time, the opportunity was never even placed in their paws.  The cubs refused to play that day; they felt lost in a web of lies, they didn’t know who to believe, what to think, who was right, who was wrong, why they had just heard about this now, and they were clueless as to what was going on.  They were taken out of their comfort zones and placed into something dark and scary, something beyond animal comprehension, something unknown, and they didn’t know how to get through it.  Life as they knew it, had just been turned inside-out, upside-down, and all around reversed; they never looked at anything the same way again.

 

Hour 3:  Dusk

 

            The cubs had spent all day thinking about what they had been told that afternoon.  It was like they had been reborn; they discovered that their whole lives had been nothing but a giant lie.  This night seemed darker than usual to them, the sky seemed to stretch on endlessly, enveloping the land in eternal darkness that not even the stars could penetrate.  To the cubs it seemed as if the sun would never rise, instead their lands would be left in perpetual darkness.

 

            There was something deep down inside of the five cubs telling them that they were all related to each other, despite the fact that none of them felt it on the outside.  However, here they were, walking around with each other and enjoying the company; even though just a few hours ago they would never be seen within twenty yards of each other.  Before they were two separate clans, a part of two different lives; but now, now they were all connected to each other, they were brought together after a year of being separated, they were where they belonged; and yet, they weren’t where they belonged.  Their parents weren’t alive any longer, and they had never been taught the basics of being royalty.  They couldn’t look at anybody else in the pride the same way again, they had gone from being equals to being subjects.  All of those lionesses, save for Kiara, were born to serve them; it was a weird feeling.  Instead of being the subservient ones they were now the ones in charge of everything.  This land was in the mercy of their paws, and they didn’t know what to do with it.  They were clueless as to how to take care of a whole kingdom, there’s so much to do and everyday was one giant mesh of chore after chore after chore.

 

            “So…” began Fewahara, “How are we supposed to do this?”
“How should I know?” replied Miki.  “This morning, the three of us didn’t even like you two.  And now we find out that we’re brother and sisters.  It’s too much, I don’t know anything anymore!”
“Neither do I.” said Pem.

“Come on, come on, we’ll figure this all out.  We just need time.” Varcia said.

“Time?  Time?!!!  This is our kingdom!!!  If we don’t do something soon then everything will end!!!” Miki frantically yelled.

“Calm down.” Said Tohanuro, “It’s not our kingdom yet.  Right now Ki- I mean, grandma is taking care of everything.  We don’t have anything to worry about for awhile.”
“How can you be so calm at a time like this?!!!” Miki yelled once more.

“Who said that I was calm?  I’m definitely not calm.  I’m so nervous that I can’t think straight.  I just don’t let it show is all.  I’m definitely not calm; I’m afraid that I’ll mess everything up, I’m afraid that I’ll be a terrible king, I’m afraid that everybody will end up hating me, and mostly, I’m afraid of growing up now.  As soon as we’re older one of us is going to be in charge of everything.  What if it’s me?  I don’t think that I can handle being in charge of a whole kingdom.”
“You’ll have a mate.” Said Varcia, comfortingly.

“That’s not good enough.  As the male everybody will look to me for guidance.  I’ll be the one making the decisions, I’ll be the one solving all of the problems, I’ll be the one out and about all day, and most of all, I’ll be the one who has to give everybody cubs; I don’t know how to do that yet, but it sounds like a lot of work.”

“So, you’re saying that your mate will do absolutely nothing?” Fewahara said with a hint of disgust in her voice.

“No, no, I mean, I’ll be the one doing all of the work.  She’s just there to back me up.”

“I’m sure that she can take care of things also.”
“That’s not the point… everybody’s going to expect me to do everything.  I don’t want to let anybody down, I could mess up and it would ruin everything.  It would be all my fault.”

“I’m sure that you’ll do fine.” Said Varcia, “Besides, what if you’re not the one who’s chosen.”

“No offense, but, get real.  I’m the only male besides great-grandpa in this entire pride; I have to be the chosen one, it’s the only thing that makes sense.”

Fewahara gave her brother a sisterly nuzzle, “I know, I know, we all know.” The other three cubs nodded their heads in agreement, “…But, I’m sure that you’ll do just fine.  Don’t worry about it; if you worry, then things will only get worse.”

“I can’t help but worry.  If anything happens then it’ll all be my fault.”

“When Uncle Epesi killed our mom did mom and dad have anything to do with that?”

“That has nothing to do with-”

“Answer the question.”
“No, mom and dad had nothing to do with it.”

“And what about when he killed the others?”
Tohanuro sighed, “No, he had nothing to do with that either, but-”

“No buts.  Don’t you see, accidents happen.”

“But what if what happens when I’m in control isn’t an accident.”

“I hate this!” Miki suddenly cried out.  “Our lives used to be fun; we’d go outside and play all day long.  Now we’re sitting here fighting and hating our futures.  What’s wrong with all of you; let’s stop worrying about this and have some fun.  We’re only cubs once, right?  Let’s enjoy it while we can, before responsibility kicks in.”

“You make it sound so easy.” Tohanuro said.

“But she’s right.” Said a voice from behind the cubs, causing them to jump in surprise.
“Oh, hi grandma.” Pem said.

“So, I see that you’ve gotten used to calling me grandma.” Kiara said with a smile.

“Barely.” Miki said.

Kiara laughed, “It’s not as hard as you think it is.  Sure there’s a lot of responsibility, but think about it:  they need you to lead them to greatness.  Without a ruler things would certainly fall apart.  Besides, if you don’t think that you’re doing a good enough job then you could always get one of your sisters to cover for you, right?”

“Well… I guess you’re right.” Tohanuro said, still uncertain.

“Grandma,” Fewahara chimed in, “What was wrong with Uncle Epesi?”

Kiara bit her lip and sighed, “…We don’t really know.  The only explanation that any of us can think of is that lioness that he hung around with.  She made him do those things; and it’s because of a dispute between her pride and ours that happened years ago.”

“What happened?”

“That’s a story for another day.”
“Aww, come on, tell us now!” Pem demanded.

“Sorry, but it’s really long and you might fall asleep before I get a chance to finish.”
“No we won’t.” said Tohanuro, certain of himself.

“No, no, I can’t; it’s too late and your mothe-everybody’s worried about you.”

The cubs hung their heads low, they knew that she meant to say their mothers; but they all knew that those two lionesses weren’t their real mother.

“Come on, let’s all go home for the evening.” Kiara said as she started to lead the cubs home.  However, they knew that tomorrow would be the beginning of a new chapter of their lives.