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Nala laid on her back, trying to absorb the warmth of the sun from atop Pride Rock.
Her mom had told her before not to stare at the sun, but what else was there to do? Nala was completely and utterly bored.
She sighed as she rolled onto her side and looked at the lionesses gathered in a group, no doubt talking about the future of the Pride under Scar's ruling.
Zazu sat perched on Sarabi's shoulder, often interjecting when he could.
Nala sighed and looked around something - Anything! - to do. That's when she spotted the hyena cub from Scar's speech the previous night.
"What is she going to be scared of a cub now too?" Jeuri groaned. To try to ease his anger he nuzzled closer to Utii,trying to let the softness of her fur relax him ... it worked.
The hyena cub noticed Nala and made her way over. Nala gulped as she took a step back.. However she didn't have a ton of room to back up on.
"Hello! The cub greeted, joyfully. "I'm Tumaini!
"Oh uh ...h ... hi ... I'm ... uh .. Nala ..."
"Well, hey there Nala! Wanna play!?" She crouched down, wagging her tail, excitedly.
Nala looked at her with hesitation. "Uh .. sure .."
"Talk about rude." Jeuri spat. "She just wanted to play."
"And she's a cub for crying out loud!" Kidogo added.
"What's she gonna do? Nibble her to death?" Utii laughed. "Yeah, heck, she'd probably be smaller than that lioness!"
"I'm probably smaller than she was as a cub." Kidogo giggled.
Aiube and Hofu stayed silent.
"Hey, what's wrong?" Utii frowned.
Aiube looked up, a blank look on her face. "Tumaini was my mother's name ..."
This made Kovu and Kiara both remember the day they had met. It had been somewhat similar ... except both sides were kind of hostile towards each other at first.
"Who are you Pride Lander!?"
"My father said to never turn your back on an Outsider!"
However under her rough exterior during their meeting, on the inside Kiara was terrified. The words of were father and Zazu were still ringing through her head.
"And stay away from the Outlands"
"Nothing there but a bunch of backstabbing, murderous, Outsiders."
"Zazu's right, you can't turn your back on them ..."
"Really how come?"
"Nevermind ... just run along now ..."
"But dad I ..."
"You'll understand someday, go on ..."
"And stay on the path I've marked for you!"
(Luckily for Kiara, that meant his paw prints, not the marking techniques lions tended to do ...)
However instead the vagueness of her father and Zazu's words just piqued her interest even further.
She'd only been vaguely aware of The Outlands before then, not really paying them much mind in general.
She now knew she probably shouldn't have gone there, but she was glad she did. Not only did she learn the important lesson We are one, but she'd met Kovu.
She couldn't even fathom what life would be like without him.
Kovu felt similar.
Whenever he wanted to go off and play, Zira always sent Nuka to watch over him,
"But why!?" Nuka whined out.
"Kovu is Scar's heir!" Zira snapped. "We need to ensure his safety!"
"But why do I have to babysit!" Nuka protested.
"You're his brother!" Zira said. "You need to look out for him!"
"Scar didn't look after his brother ..." Nuka said, under his breath.
Zira swung her head around and snarled deeply. Nuka let out an anxious laugh before backing off submissively.
"You'll look after him and make sure he's safe, got it?" Zira said.
"Of course mother! Y ... yeah sure! No ... no problem!"
Kovu didn't like when Nuka babysat him. He was always annoyed, rolling his eyes, and complaining above having to keep an eye on Kovu. This day was no exception.
Nuka yawned as he laid down. "I need a nap ya little termite, don't run off, okay?"
Nuka laid his head on his paws and closed his eyes.
At first Kovu had listened to his brother and stayed around the same general area. However there was only so much he could do. There were only a few rocks to climb, and a couple branches to chew.
He sighed as he sat on top of one of the rocks and looked around. He heard a scuttling noise and looked around. He saw a small green lizard scurry by.
Kovu let out a low growl and pounced at the lizard. They managed to run off before Kovu could get them.
"Hey get back here!" Kovu laughed, following after them. He hadn't noticed he'd gone too far away from Nuka, he was too focused on catching the lizard.
Kovu leapt forward again, startling the lizard again, and making them run off in the other direction.
"Hey where are you!?" Kovu called. He looked around and noticed he was no longer with Nuka. Where am I?
And as he pondered this, Kiara literally bumped into him, causing a ripple effect.
They'd become friends, Zira had decided to use that to her advantage in retaking The Pride Lands, the plan falling through due to Kovu realizing how much he loved Kiara, and uniting the Prides.
But they both had a feeling this wouldn't have as happy as an ending as their friendship did.