Vikali - Ujinga, Jaburu, Mahubi
Kousho - Kimajo, Afnu
The lioness pads slowly through the newly united lands, investigating the half that until recently she and her pride had not visited. But she is distracted, her ears keep flicking back and she couldn't help but glance over her shoulder now and then... a certain male had been following her about for days now... it seems the only time she is given peace is when she goes out with the other lionesses for some business or other for the pride.
The lion gulps softly while his eyes remain trained on his target, keeping his body low in the grass and ducking down whenever Kimajo looks around. Of course, the hints of black mane around his face and along his neck makes hiding a lot more difficult. But... oh, it's so worth the risk. The first time he had laid eyes on King Msaada's sister, he had felt his legs go weak and had to go sit down by the river to calm down his breathing. He had thought her so beautiful, a graceful and glamorous being of light who could upset someone now more than a butterfly could defeat an elephant. His thoughts have not changed one bit. In fact, they have strengthened in these past few weeks, even dreaming about her in his sleep. Even if he wasn't there talking to her, he got such a thrill and it warmed him so deeply to just be near the lioness he fancies.
The lioness seems completely innocent of the male's interest in her, she knew he follows her around a lot but she hasn't figured out why yet. Her eyes scan the grasses around her, finally picking out the few patches of black fur and giving a gentle smile. She takes a step away, pretending not to have seen him, but then as if she has seen something up ahead she suddenly darts off to disappear in the savannah grass. She is playing with the male... if he could hide, so could she! And the huntress could do it better still.
Ujinga's ears slick back and he frowns. Once a lioness gets running, there's no way he could catch up with her... it doesn't stop him trying though. The adolescent lurches forward out of the clump of grass he was sheltering in and looks around, trying to catch sight of even just the tips of her silken ears. He doesn't want to waste time though so ploughs onwards, dipping his head down and heading off in the direction the pale brown lioness went.
Kimajo isn't far though, supressing a giggle at seeing the young lion trying to follow her when she has actually circled around behind him was cute. So she follows him now, staying close and using her skills as a huntress to remain hidden. All the while having reversed roles with him... let's see how HE likes being followed.
Where is she? He should be catching the sounds of a lioness chasing after her afternoon meal. So why's it so quiet? Ujinga lowers his head down to sniff at the grasses, trying to catch the scent of his 'prey'. But... that's strange. He can't smell her! Feeling most puzzled he turns around in a circle, nose low down to the ground until he catches fresh smells of the adult. She must have changed direction! With his head remaining close to the ground, muzzling pointing downwards so he can follow her trail easier, the male unknowingly starts walking back towards the huntress.
The young lioness steps in his path with a smile, tilting her head with a bit of a grin she waits for his nose to reach her paws before softly asking in a silky sweet voice, "Looking for something?... or someone?"
Sniff sniff, sniff sniff, snif- Ujinga blinks in surprise at a pair of beige paws, then as he takes in their scent and the lioness speaks, he straightens up in a flash. "kiMAJO!" he exclaims, his voice performing one of those unpredictable switches from high pitched to adult mid-word, bringing a strong flush to his face. Already embarrassed on two fronts, the prince stutters, "I- I was just- just out having a walk. It's- uh, such- such a nice day and all, don't you think?"
Kimajo blinked and leaned back a bit, looking surprised then her ears cant to the side and she can't help but giggle, covering mouth with a paw as she tries not to make the prince's embarrassment any worse, "Yes, of course it is a nice day, hee hee." a little titter does slip out but she makes up for it by stepping forward and gently brushing her muzzle through his budding mane. "Well if you're out for a walk young prince, would you mind if I escorted you? We can't have a prince walking without guards... it could be dangerous out here." She smiled and stepped back with a joking wink at the male.
Ujinga feels himself becoming more and more embarrassed by the second, a fact not helped by his heart deciding to leap up into his throat when he receives a nuzzle. Well, it makes him feel a little less embarrassed. His nerves are akin to stampeding buffalo, however. "Kimajo, I- I would love you to! I- I mean," he stumbles again as he clumsily tries to hide his excitement for her wanting to join him, "I would be honoured to have you as my escort." That wink of hers sent his nerves tripping again and to stop himself from oggling too much, suggests in a hurried voice, "How about we walk down to the river?"
The lioness looks towards the river then back at the young male and nods with a smile, "That sounds nice Ujinga... are you alright?" She has noticed the prince's discomfort but hasn't yet realized she is the cause of it.
She had nuzzled him! SHE had asked HIM if he would mind her joining him! Ujinga snaps his attention away from his thoughts a good several seconds after she has asked the question, looking back to her with another flush to his golden cheeks. "What? No, I'm fine. It's just a bit hot, Kimajo. Need to get out of the heat." He flashes her a tentative smile before changing direction to head towards the river, barely holding himself back from casting a look back every five seconds at the lioness.
Kimajo walks beside him and a little behind, she is King Msaada's sister but because she had never married a King herself, she remains only a princess and so her station is still just slightly behind Ujinga's, even though he is younger then her. So she walks a half step behind him as they make their way to the water, smiling at him curiously each time he looks back at her.
By the time the prince and princess reach the river, Ujinga's managed to get himself more worked up than before - something that may be seen by the slight skipping gait he has managed to pick up and the frequent swishes of his tail. But he doesn't lean down to drink just yet, for he stands up to his full height and turns around, waiting with a nervous smile for Kimajo to go first. It's only polite.
The lioness blinks at him when he stops and turns towards her, then she gets it and smiles with a little smirk and walks past him, flicking his shoulder with her tailtuft and bowing slightly, "Thank you crown prince... You're a real gentlecat." She pays him a compliment as she moves to the water's edge and lowering herself, she begins to lap at the cool water.
The lion's tail tuft bushes out and again he has problems with his words, managing out a small, "Th- thank you, Kimajo. You're- you're really kind." before thumping a paw subtly into the ground. Normally he is the life and spirit of things, chatting away, wrestling, and being an all-round fun male. But around Kimajo that all changes. He gets nervous, slightly clumsy, he stutters, and is so apprehensive of making a mistake in her presence that he ends up doing so. It had been so much easier when he was a cub... Ujinga flicks a glance behind him to make sure the female is busy drinking before raising a paw swiftly to his muzzle, giving it a firm lick, then using it to bring out his mane a bit more. Hopefully it works. Hopefully.
Kimajo takes her time drinking, then when her thirst is slackened she turns around and blinks, seeing his mane slightly puffed out a bit more she supresses a giggle and lightly noses his flank, murmuring, "Your turn prince. I love the way your mane lays today." She was gently paying him another complement, knowing that her brother often worried about how his looked and she had seen King Njaa also grooming his with great care and pride. It seems to her males took a great deal of interest in how their mantles looked and she wants to help the young male feel that his is coming in well.
Okay, keep calm Ujinga, keep calm. You're doing fi- The adolescent leaps a foot into the air when a soft nosepad brushes his flank, quickly turning around and almost smacking his head into Kimajo's. A whimper sounds within his mind. Today is going very very badly. "Th- thanks Kimajo... I- I think you look pr- pretty today too. I- er, pretty nice." Feeling quite miserabile with himself now, the pole opposite from a minute ago, he avoids her eyes and moves over to get himself a drink. He is silent while quenching his thirst, wondering how on earth his father ever got by if it is this awkward around females you like.
When he jumps she takes a step back and looked a little surprised herself, "Oh, apologies if I startled you prince!" She then smiles again and her ears per forward at his return complement, "Oh thank you your highness. That's so nice of you to say."
Ujinga finishes his drink and takes a deep breath before standing up properly, then shifting about on his paws so he can face his friend, using all his resolve to appear kindly rather than a lovestruck teenager. "You're nice yourself, Kimajo," he returns the compliment, giving her lithe form a quick glance over before adding, "And you know you don't have to call me that..." Wow! He managed to get out two whole sentences without screwing up! The lion takes some pride in this and straightens his form some more, bringing out a muzzle-long smile for the adult.
The lioness walks over and lightly bumps her side against his, "Oh? I thought it seemed fitting since you're a crown prince and I'm just a princess. You're going to be a King someday when your father steps down."
"You're not just a princess," he murmurs softly, nosing at her flank for a few brief moments before flicking his tail so it brushes against her muzzle affectionately, "You're a really nice lioness. You're good at hunting, friendly, great with the cubs... and just because you're a princess doesn't mean you won't be Queen."
Kimajo smiles and shakes her head, "Only if I end up marrying a King..." She blinks and turns to look at him for a moment... slowly putting two and two togther and getting four, "O-Oh... I'm so dense Ujinga. I didn't even realize..." She doesn't continue with her apology, instead she steps closer to him and gently places her neck against his, giving his nape a lick as she gives him a soft leonine hug. "I'm so flattered Ujinga... you're a very sweet lion..."
Ujinga's head falls slightly when she realises his feelings for her, though he doesn't seem to be jumping with joy, nor does he nuzzle into the female of his dreams. Instead he softly utters, "Th- thanks Kimajo..." but please don't cushion the blow... I- I know what you're going to say. I'm young enough to be your son. It would be wrong, it could- couldn't be." The adolescent bites his lip fairly hard now as he fears all his dreams will come to a catastrophic end.
Kimajo steps back and smiles at him gently, then reaches up and places a soft paw on his cheek, "Ujinga... I wasn't going to say any of those things, but I do think that before we talk about... what one day might be, you should give it some time... grow up a little more and learn from my brother and your father what it is to be a grown up male. You have mountains of time and I am flattered that you like me, but I think you need to focus on your lessons. Maybe talk to your mother and father about lionesses. Okay?" She does lean in and gently give him a little lick on the opposite cheek from where her paw rests, just a little kiss for a reward and she tells him so. As she steps back from him, "That was for being such a sweet young male... and so polite too." She turns away and starts walking back owards the pridal den, pausing to cast a parting look back at him and giving him a gentle smile before vanishing into the grass before her.
"I love you." Ujinga whispers as the princess disappears from sight, finding it difficult to believe what just happened happened. It was real, wasn't it? He raises a paw to touch the cheek where she had licked him and then sniffs it. Kimajo's scent... it had been real. The adolescent practically dances his way back to the river, then with a splash he jumps into it and has a good wallow around, though only in the shallows to be safe. Now, how long is it till he's grown up a little? A moon? Maybe two? He can't wait!
A few moments later along comes another male, it is cousin Afnu, the young male steps to the other edge of the stream and dips his head to drink, then blinks and lifts his head with a grin, "Heya Ujinga... whatcha doin'?"
"Maybe I should talk to mom first, learn the important stuff. Then ask dad about the really important stu-" Ujinga flicks a waterlogged ear towards the voice of his cousin in surprise, thinking he had been quite alone. "Oh, hey Afnu. I'm just floating about, y'know. Thought I could do with a wash. You?"
Afnu smirks and lay down on the bank, watching his cousin, "Oh not much myself, just running around seeing what there is to see. Thinking about pouncing somebody." "Pouncing somebody?" Ujinga repeats uneasily, all too aware what sort of mayhem his cousin could cause with those simple words. Pouncing him while he's in the river may end up with him swallowing a fair bit of water, but if he comes out onto land then he would only get pounced and have his wet coat smothered in dirt.
Slowly, Afnu rises to his paws with a grin on his face and a troublemaking glint in his eyes. "Yeah... pouncing somebody." Ujinga gives reddish male a warning glance and cautions him, "Cousin, I know what enters your mind when you get that look in your eyes... if you get me dirty, I'm telling mom." Always a good card to play, the do-it-and-I-get-mom-to-kick-your-butt card. Whether it would do any good is another matter. As it is, he paddles up and away from Afnu just to be safe.
Afnu doesn't wait for his cousin to get away from him, he leaps into the water and begin to paddle after him, "Oh you're always saying that. "I'm gonna go tell mammy on you!" Can't you stop being a little baby?"
"Hey, I'm not a baby Afnu! Your'e always picking me, can't you go just stick your head in a termite mound?" Ujinga writhes about in the water and kicks out with a hindpaw, splashing some what in the red lion's face as he diverts course towards the shore. In the water, there's no question that he would end up hurt... a great irony considered that the sharp and painful things are on land.
Afnu wipes his face with a paw and laughs, "Oh chill out cous, I only pick on ya cause I like you and I wanna play. It's not like I hate you and enjoy making you miserable... well... maybe I like to make you whine a little." He grins as he continues the chase, "Was that Kimajo I saw walking away a bit ago?"
Ujinga clambers out onto dry land and shakes his body from side to side, shaking most of the water from his fur while he makes a quick hasty steps away from the river. That cousin of his may decide to splash him in return. Whine indeed... he never whines! He is Prince Ujinga! Princes never whine, or complain, or moan. He stiffens when Afnu mentions the lioness of his dreams and lets out a tight-lipped, "Yeah, it was Kimajo."
Afnu sighs at the reluctance of his cousin to play with him and climbs out on the opposette bank and begins grooming himself dry, "She's pretty cute isn't she cous? I'm glad we untied the prides, now there are more lionesses to hunt, and to look at." He smiles as he adds the last part giving his cousin a wink.
Ujinga stands there like a statue, rigid as a tree before the naggling of a wet foreleg reminds him that he should be drying off. He sits back on his rump and stretches himself into the right position, though when it comes to licking he almost gags when the other adolescent talks about Kimajo's looks. "Cute? I- I hadn't noticed... anyhow, don't be gross Afnu. Kim's old enough to be your mom."
Afnu laughs softly, "That doesn't matter... she's still a young lioness. It's not like she's all wrinkled up and ancient. And don't tell me you haven't noticed either." He points a paw at his cousin accusingly, "Besides nearly all the lionesses are older then us."
"Yeah, you're right." Ujinga emits with some unease in his voice, which he soon tries to get rid of by spending some time grooming his front legs with utmost care. After he's finished with the first, a smirk comes to his muzzle and he points an accusatory paw at Afnu before chuckling out, "I hope you aren't saying you've got the hots for Mahubi, cous."
Afnu blinks and blushes, "Wh- What!?" He looks at the ground and scuffles his paws in the dirt, "Y- Yeah well you're the one who thought of it first so maybe you're looking at Jaburu with a funny feeling under your tail!" He flings the same accusation back at his cousin with a smirk and a laugh.
That shuts Ujinga right up, his ear tips blushing furiously. "Oh- oh yeah? Well I- I think you're just trying to- trying to... just shut up!" he ends up half-shouting, growing irritable when he is unable to think up a witty reply. "Mom fancier!" Afnu grins mockingly... maybe getting a little angry himself and digs at his cousin a little more, "Why don't you come over here and make me? And it takes one to know one... I bet you lay there at night and think... oh such naughty things..."
"I do not! You're a big fat liar!" Ujinga finally loses his temper and charges towards the slightly smaller male, a growl on his lips as he gets closer to Afnu before it escalates into a mini-roar when he rears up and swipes at his cousin. Claws sheathed, of course.
Afnu wasn't expecting his cousin to hit him claws or not, and he barly gets to his paw before it connects, but he's angry too now and retaliates with a hit of his own, swinging a paw at his slightly bigger cousin's cheek and shouting, "You started it! You big idiot!" Ujinga is so thrilled that he actually managed to land a blow that he doesn't realise the adolescent is making an attack of his own until the paw hits him hard on the cheek, knocking him face-first to the ground. "Ugh... mommy lover... bet you have wet dreams about Mahubi!" the prince growls out, finding it difficult to leap to his paws at this moment.
Afnu growls right back, leaping on his cousin and swating him repeatedly, "You're the mommy lover! I bet you paw off to her while the lionesses are out hunting!" Ujinga roars again and raises his forelegs to block the facial swats, prefering to avoid ending up with a load of scratches on his face, though through his anger he throws another insult out at Afnu, "I bet you paw your mother when she's asleep, then mate her when you get all excited!"
Afnu growls and keeps hitting his cousin, not using his claws, it's more an expression of his anger then an actual attempt to hurt the other male, "Y- Yeah? Oh yeah? I bet you mate your mother and try to get her pregnant! Just shut up Ujinga! You're so stupid!"
Ujinga swings his paw to block one of his cousin's, but misses and has several land on him before he has a chance to react, trying not to let any tears show - for while Afnu is not using his claws, the comments and swipes still hurt an awful lot. "I'm not stupid, you're stupid!" he shouts back defensively before kicking out with a hindleg into Afnu's stomach.
Afnu gasps suddenly as his stomach is kicked and he stumbles backward, holding it with a forepaw and gagging, then gasping for breath again having had the wind knocked out of him. There are tears in his own eyes as well, he opens his mouth to say something to his cousin but he hasn't yet caught his breath enough to reply.
Instead of rushing up to attack the winded feline, Ujinga remains on the ground with tears in his eyes and his lungs forcing out hard breaths, his mane all askew now. "Afnu, NEVER say anything like that again!" he orders his younger cousin, wishing he could be an adult like his father and not cry over little things like a dispute.
Afnu inhales raggedly as he looks hurt and his voice cracks slightly as he replies to his cousin with a simply statement, "You started it... I just wanted to play with you, you're my cousin Ujinga... I just wanted to play. Not fight with you." The smaller male turns away then and starts to limp off, his stomach hurting a bit from the kick, his own budding mane in a messy tangle.
The adolescent continues to frown at Afnu, raising a paw to wipe away a few of his tears before he stands up and tries to head off after the lion with an, "Afnu-" before a dark brown paw descends on his tail. From behind one of the larger rocks nearby the water, Mahubi reveals herself in front of the reddish-hued male with a frown. The boys' mothers had witnessed the entire scene.
Afnu doesn't pay any heed to his cousin now, he sniffs as he walks through the grass and tries to halt the flow of tears from his eyes, it was frustrating. Weren't males never suppose to cry after they got past cubhood? But even though he kept saying this to himself, the tears wouldn't obey and cease. His Dad never had cried... Uncle Njaa never cried. He really did love his cousin and he had not meant to fight with the older adolescent, Ujinga's words hurt... he figured his probably had as well... could they make up? He didn't know, not right now so soon after the fight that was for sure.
"Afnu." utters his mother in a low tone that shows her displeasure with him, a frown on her face to match. Over by the water's edge, the queen glares down at her son with a look that would send the bravest animal running. "'I bet you paw your mother when she's asleep.' 'Bet you have wet dreams about Mahubi.' 'Mommy lover.' As the queen, I am disgusted at your behaviour. As your mother... I am disappointed. I thought you had grown up more than that."
Afnu stops and his face falls further, he turns slowly with his head down submissively as he slowly pads back to what he knows is about to be perhaps the most trouble he has gotten into in his young life, not only has he been fighting with his cousin, they have said some really awful things to each other. For a moment he hopes the two females had not heard... but then his ears catch Jaburu's words to her son and he knows they had heard everything... and his head sunk even lower. He felt slightly sick to his stomach as he glanced at his own mother's face.
"Mom, I... I didn't mean to say it, I was just angry and I-" "What sort of impression do you think you're going to make to King Msaada and his lionesses, scrapping like a pair of jackals? What do you think Kimajo would think?" Ujinga's face falls and his muzzle actually droops open in shock, gazing at his mother with a hurt expression before asking, "How do you know about me liking-" "Ujinga, you've known me for long enough to know that I have eyes so keen an eagle would be jealous. I've seen you following her about with that hopeful expression on your face, that glimmer in your eyes." Mahubi waits for her son to reach her before she launches into her rant, ears slicked back to show how very unamused she is. "Afnu, what on EARTH do you think you were doing? 'You're the mommy lover.' 'I bet you paw off to her.' 'I bet you mate your mother and try to get her pregnant.'"
Afnu for his part is already feeling low and when his mother tears into him verbally, he sits down and his ears lie flat against his head, eyes downcast. As any youth might, he tries to pass the buck. At first. "Mom... H-He started it...I was just talking with him and trying to play and he was the one who started insulting me. Then I insulted him back and he charged me. I didn't want to fight."
"You are both to blame for this, Afnu, don't you dare try to shift it all to your cousin. You're in enough trouble as it is. But I am so FRUSTRATED that you still haven't learn to control your temper. Every few suns you're getting into trouble. Do you even want to impress one of Msaada's lionesses? I know that hopeful look you get in when one of them says something nice to you. But since it seems you can't play like a proper adolescent, you'll just have to spend the next seven suns by my side at all times. You won't be allowed to talk to the other lions or your friends, and if they try and talk to you then I'll have to explain that you were a naughty cub and that you're being punished."
Mahubi isn't joking. Normally an even-tempered and kindly lioness, her anger has been roused by her son's continued disobedience. "As loathe as I am to resort to physical violence, I may well have to spank you for this. I've tried everything else, but it just doesn't seem to get through to you." Meanwhile, Ujinga is in tears now, all composture and semblance of a prince gone as he cries akin to a juvenile who has awoke from nightmares. "Mom, please don't tell her! Please! I'm really sorry, I only meant it as a joke, but he took it wrong and started being mean to me! Mom, I'll do anything! Just please don't tell Kimajo!"
Afnu looks at his paws as his mother berates and questiones him. He sullenly answers her question before making an apology, "I dun care if I impress 'em..." His ears are laid back into his small mane and he skuffles his paws in the dirt before muttering, "I didn't mean to fight, I just can't take insults like the ones Ujinga was using..."
"I know the difference between an insult and a joke, son." Mahubi informs the male as she leans down, then whispers quiet enough so Ujinga couldn't hear them, "And you started the insults. That doesn't put your cousin in any better standing, though..." The lioness rises up to her normal height once more and declares to the adolescent, "Afnu, you will eat last at the pride kills and remain by my side at all times for a week. I am very disappointed in you." before then turning to head back up the hill to where most of the pride basks in the warm sun, her tail and head lowered. Maybe Afnu is too like his father... Nadhifu was always getting into scraps as an adolescent. And a juvenile. And an adult...
Queen Jaburu stares down at the weeping mass of golden fur for a good several moments before stepping forward and placing a soft lick on his head. "I won't tell Kimajo, Ujinga... but I can't believe you'd fall to such low insults. Like Afnu, you will only eat after the rest of the pride has eaten for two weeks." The smaller leonine blinks through his tears, a flawed logic of his mother's brought to mind. "But- but Afnu only has to for one-" "Afnu is not the future king. Kings can't act in such a way as you did, Ujinga. Come along." With that, the grievous mother follows off after her pride sister, wondering just who he had learnt such filth from.
Afnu rises to pad after his mother, still looking properly scolded, his head low and his tail also low and unmoving as he trots behind her. He looks at no one and true to his word doesn't even spare a glance towards the other lionesses of the pride, seeming not to care what they think. he instead merely lies down, refusing to look up as he begins to groom his tousled mane back into some semblence of order.