Vikali - Bayana
Kousho - Afnu
Afnu lies under a tree, it is warm today and the young lion is seeking greater comfort out of the sun, he is a little bigger now and not given to the combative outbursts he used to have when he was younger. His eyes are half lidded and he seems almost about to dose a bit, he and his cousin had completed their punishments for fighting but ever since he had given not just Ujinga a wide berth but every other member of the pride as well.
A short distance behind the troubled adolescent reclines one of the Queens of the Kupotea, Bayana, her tail swishing about in the pleasent breeze that sweeps her domain. Usually she frequents the river in this sort of temperature, bringing along her infantile son Umivu to play in the shallows while she rests in the shade, occasionally getting up to join in. But King Msaada is out playing with their cub today, and the lioness' mind is not on either of them. Over her time at the grasslands, she has been watching over Afnu affectionately from a distance, yet that distance has shrunk with time and instead something else has grown within her. Love. She climbs to her paws and after giving her pelt a shake to rid herself of grass, the lioness makes her way silently over towards the young male, smiling gently as she nears him. "Hello there, Afnu."
Afnu opens one eye as he is addressed, he looks around, not seeing anyone at first but it had been a female voice. Then he turns and looks behind him, opening both eyes now and see one of the Queens and it wasn't his Aunt Jaburu. He stands and bows his head to her in respect, "Hello Queen Bayana, how are you today?"
Bayana smiles genially when she is greeted with by the adolescent with such manners, then nods her head at him politely with a pleasent, "I am well, thank you Afnu. Though please do call me Bayana. And how are you today? I must say, I haven't seen you with the pride much, even at meal times. Is anything the matter?" Afnu shakes his head as he looks at her, "No... not really anyway Bayana. I've just been thinking a lot lately. I'm glad to hear you are doing good. Is it that noticable when I'm not around?"
"Yes, it is actually. Ujinga and Ngulozi don't look nearly as happy as they do when you're about, and Mahubi's started to keep to herself, the poor dear. Something must be troubling her... but anyhow, come take a walk with me and tell me what you've been thinking about." Bayana smiles at Afnu a second time before making an about turn and heading off in the opposite direction to the river, intending to take the lion to one of her favourite spots in the lands. Quiet, secluded, and a marvelous view.
Afnu rises with a nod and follows after the female, he seems to be pondering his mother's withdrawl and his cousin's behavior as well. "I've been thinking a lot of things Bayana, But mostly about myself and what... what I want to be when I become an adult. I've been watching Uncle Njaa and King Msaada from a distance. My... my father has been gone for a long time. I've been trying to figure out what it means to be a good adult... the differances between being a good male and a good female... what it means to be an adult in general... those sorts of things."
"Ah, those sort of things..." Queen Bayana muses as the two of them make their way across the hill, "Well for starters, a good adult is one who doesn't - or tries not to - upset his friends and family... a good male we shall have to have a sit down and think about... however, I can't help but wonder why you would want to be a good female." The golden-brown lioness grins over her shoulder with a playful flick of her tail, wanting to get him into a more cheerful mood.
Afnu smirks slightly as he nips at the tail flick, "Very funny Bayana, I said I was trying to figure out what made a good adult... that includes both genders. But I am also interested in understanding things. I may not be in line for kingship but I can at least be useful to my cousin Ujinga by not only supporting him in disputes or hunts but by also trying to be an advisor or diplomat for him... my father was not good at these things and according to Epsi's story it was in the end... his downfall."
Bayana's smile fades at mention of Nadhifu's demise and decides to halt in her tracks, then to resume her pace once the handsome male catches up to her. She gives him a comforting nuzzle and assures him, "I'm sure you won't be bad at either of those positions, Afnu. I just know you'll be a wonderful adult, in every aspect... ah, here we are." The two leonines reach the other side of the hill, a suprising distance, and are rewarded by a sight of the sprawling Kupotea grasslands, the herds, the trees, and the sun shining down on all. She soon spots a small den in the side of the hill with a rock jutting out just below it, creating a walkable surface... perfect. "Do you like the view?"
Afnu purrs at the nuzzle and seems grateful as he looks at her, "Thank you Bayana..." He pauses at the view and smiles widely, "Oh... that's very beautiful. A very impressive view Bayana, thank you for bringing me here."
Bayana turns her head to admire the adolescent as she lets her tail flop across his briefly, then with a smile draws it along his back while she begins to descend towards the rock-based den, calling over her shoulders, "The view's much better from down here, Afnu, you can see for miles and in much more detail." Ah, 'tis the season to flirt with 'im tra-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. Without waiting to see if he has followed her, she clambers down onto the jutting stone to find it just the perfect size for the two of them, proceeding to sit upon her haunches in a regal fashion and stare outwards across her lands.
Afnu hesitates for a bit then shrugs, not quite seeing how the view could be better 'down' anywhere but he decides he wouldn't know unless he joined her. So he follows the lioness after thinking about it for a moment and takes a place seated next to her, looking out over the lands, "Hmmm..." Bayana's gaze inevitably slides from the magnificant view to the magnificant male - in her eyes - and lets her tail flop across his once more. Go in subtle, always the way... or so that's what she will do until her strengthening hormones get the better of her. "It's lovely here, isn't it?" He nods and inhales deeply, "Yes it is really... It's incredible."
Moments later, a warm tongue descends upon Afnu's cheek fur, then scrapes across it in a leonine kiss. Bayana smiles softly at the male, not returning her gaze to the view but prefering to focus it on his budding mane and sparkling blue eyes. He blinks and turns, scooting a little bit away from the female and rubbing his cheek in surprise, "Bayana... w-what are you doing?" the young male stutters, seeming more then a little nervous and confused.
"I'm showing my affection for you, Afnu. Surely you must have noticed it by now? Even if your eyes were not overly sharp, you must have considered why I take such special care of you." Bayana rises an eyebrow mildly and suggests, "I thought you wanted to know what it is to be a good male." Afnu blinks and only looks more confused, "I-I do but... what does a lioness kissing me have to do with that?" He rubs his forehead a little, trying to figure out what is going on, "And... what did I do to earn your affection? I have never noticed you taking much interest in me before today..."
"That's because today was the best day for it," she rumbles softly, still looking at the male with those loving eyes of hers, "My son is off playing today which leaves me free and quite alone... apart from you. It's hard to express your love for someone when surrounded by others, let alone inform the one you desire so in such a situation. Afnu blinks and stammers a bit, "Y-Y-You love me? But aren't you mated already? And I'm not even an adult yet..."
Bayana's expression becomes one of mixed pity and sadness as she raises a forepaw to place it softly on the adolescent's cheek. "Yes, Afnu. And you are correct on all three fronts. I... Msaada is not in love with me. Not truly in love. He favours Kipazi over me, has granted her with two cubs and likes to give her extra attention. I've seen him with her and they're happy together... I want to be happy with you, Afnu, regardless if you aren't even an adult."
Afnu slowly turns his head in her paw and gently strokes his tongue along her paw pad, "Isn't Msaada your brother? I... I like you too Bayana, I know I'm young and I don't... I don't really know how to make a lioness happy, I'm willing to learn if your willing to teach me."
"Kimajo is his sister," she corrects the male with a tender look on her face when he caresses the soft parts of her paw, "Msaada isn't related to me in any way, my dear. But do believe me, I shall show you how to make both of us very happy... and afterwards, we can watch the sun fall across the lands." Bayana replaces her forepaw upon the ground and rises up onto them, leaning forward to give Afnu a nuzzle before she turns around and flicks her tail once more across his back, heading into the privacy of the small den in the side of the hill.
Afnu glances out at the savannah and his uncertainty rises inside him, causing him for just a moment to consider tearing across the lands to hide somewhere from his own insecurities. But then he turns and silently follows the older lioness into the den, sniffing after her softly, "Alright Bayana... teach me then how to love you..."