The Lion King Fan Fiction ❯ The Lion King 4 Dawn of A New Era ❯ Chapter 6

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

As Vitani headed back to Pride Rock, she caught the attention of the animals. They murmured amongst each other as she passed by.

"What's she doing?"

"Is that a hyena?"

"Where's she taking her?"

"Are they headed to Pride Rock?"

"Why is that hyena here?"

Aiube frowned, and hid her face in Vitani's neck. "Are they talking about me?"

Vitani frowned as she looked back at the gossiping animals.

"I think so …" She sighed, her voice low.

"Oh." Aiube frowned, and buried her face even deeper into Vitani's fur.

"Why don't I tell you another story to keep your mind off it?" Vitani asked.

"Okay!" She sounded excited about the idea.

"Anything specific?"

Aiube thought for a second. "... What happened when you got hurt … in The Outlands I mean."

Vitani sighed a bit. "It didn't go as smooth as it does here …"

Kovu crawled on the ground, his eyes set on Vitani who was perched on a rock. A small, playful snarl escaped his lips as he pounced at her from behind, and tried to pin her down.

"Hey!" Vitani laughed, managing to pin him instead. "You thought you could sneak up on me, huh!?"

Kovu laughed and pawed at her face. "Well, I did sneak up on you."

"But I'm the one who won." She laughed.

"That's what you think!" Kovu teased, pushing her off.

Vitani stumbled back, hitting her head on another rock.

"Vitani!" Kovu panicked and ran over to her. "Vitani, are you okay!?"

She let out a groan of pain as she looked up at Kovu, her eyelids half were small patches of blood nearby.

His breathing increased, as he looked around in a panic. "Nuka!"

There was a loud groan as their older brother trudged over. "What is it you little termite!?"

"Vitani's hurt!" Kovu whined.

Nuka narrowed his eyes in suspicion. "What do you mean Vitani's hurt?"

"She … she … she's bleeding!" Kovu whimpered out.

Nuka rolled his eyes. "It's probably not that bad you baby."

Vitani tilted her head and could only see a large blur of brown getting closer. "Nuka?"

Nuka's eyes widened. "Oh … oh! Vitani!" He panicked as his paws started to pool in her blood. "M … Mother! Mother!"

"Stop … yelling …" Vitani groaned, moving her paws to her ears.

"Mother! Mother!" Nuka yelled again, stepping out of the blood. "Mother!"

Kovu went over to Vitani and put his paw on her back. "Vitani, are you okay?"

Vitani let out a small groan, turning to face him.

"What is it Nuka!?' Zira snarled in annoyance.

"Mother, Vitani is …"

Vitani couldn't make out words anymore as her vision started to fade. She could hear Zira and Nuka's frantic conversation, and Kovu still talking to her.

The last thing she saw before passing out, was someone rushing over to her.

Vitani woke up, still groggy, to her head being groomed. She nuzzled into the lion's chest, relaxing her wound was cleaned.

She let out a goan on accident, which was met with a soft nuzzle and purr. Her vision was still blurred and her ears ringing.

Vitani wanted to look at her mother and tried to turn her head towards her. The lion put their paw on her back softly, and forced her to stay still.

Vitani snuggled deeper into the lion's front legs and tried to relax. She stayed like this for a while, drifting in and out of consciousness.

Finally her ears stopped ringing, and her vision cleared up. She slowly turned her head again. "Mother?"

This was met with a deep laugh. "I'm not mom."

"Oh, Nuka?" Vitani asked, groggily.

"Yeah, ya little termite, it's me." Nuka said, although his voice remained gentle.

"Thanks .." Vitani mumbled out, feeling suddenly a bit bashful.

"Don't worry about it, termite." He said, before grooming her fur more. "Are you feeling better?"

"A bit yeah … Where's mom anyway?"

Nuka let out a groan of disgust and rolled his eyes. "Training Kovu."

"Oh … "Vitani frowned and snuggled deeper into Nuka's paws. "That's all she seems to do anymore …"

"I know." Nuka groaned. "It's always Kovu this, Kovu that! I'm sick of it!"

Vitani grimaced and held her ears again. She still had a splitting headache and her brother's complaining wasn't helping much. "Don't worry Nuka, it'll be worth it when we're back in The Pride Lands …"

Nuka reponses through his teeth, "It better …"

Vitani made it just outside the den of Pride Rock.

Her guard hurried over to check on their leader.

"I see you found the hyena." Tazama said, frowning a bit.

"Yeah, what's with that look?" Vitani asked.

"Well uh … we just uh …" Tazama trailed off.

"... Didn't expect you to bring her here …" Kasi finished.

Vitani tilted her head. "Why not? She's hurt and needs somewhere to rest."

The rest of the guard looked at each other, unsure what to say.

"Sweetheart …" Tazama said, taking a step forward. "This pride is kind of … biased towards hyenas, aren't they?"

Vitani looked even more confused. "That was a long time ago …. You know, before the whole we are one thing?"

The lionesses still looked unsure.

"All right .. if you say so .." Tazama said, giving Vitani a loving lick on the cheek.

Vitani gave her a soft nuzzle before heading inside the den, and setting Aiube down gently.

Nala, Kiara, and Kovu went over curiously, as Vitani's guard watched from the cave entrance.

"Is that …" Kovu trailed off.

"A hyena?" Nala asked, in shock.

"I found her near the west border. She's injured and needs a place to rest." Vitani explained.

Kiara stepped forward. "She's more than welcome to.."

"No." Nala said firmly.

Kiara looked back at her. "Mom, what are you …"

"No!" She said, this time a bit louder.

Aiube whimpered as she scooted herself closer to Vitani.

"Mom, she's hurt!" Kiara said.

"And?" Nala challenged.

Kiara wasn't sure what to say,and stumbled out the starts of a few unfinished sentences. Kovu stepped in and looked at Nala straight in the eyes, his voice just as intense as hers was, "She has every right to be here ... we don't banish anyone from our pride anymore …"

Nala let out a low growl. "You don't understand what the hyenas put us through! Either of you!"

Kovu got more irritated, "And you don't understand what Simba put us through!"

"Don't you dare talk about Simba like that!" She roared.

"Why not? Because you can't acknowledge he had faults as the king?" Kovu asked. "That's how my mo…. Zira thought of Scar. As a flawless ruler … and look where that got her …"

Nala roared more.

"Please , stop fighting!" Kiara begged, getting between them.

Nala looked surprised. "Did you hear what he said about your father!?"

"Yes." Kiara said, her tone turning serious. "And he's right …. Mom … we have to put the past behind us …"

Nala snarled deeply. "I can't believe my own daughter would …"

"We are one." Kiara said sternly, still standing her ground.

Nala exhaled deeply through her nose. "I know, I know …"

Kiara sighed and took a step towards her. "Mom, I'm sorry … I know I'll never understand what you went through or what Scar's reign was like, but …. We really want a better future for this pride, one where everyone can be accepted."

Nala sighed again. "I know sweetheart, and that's a good thing … but might take me awhile to get used to …" She looked over at Aiube, who folded her ears back sadly. "... all this …"

Aiube whined and hid her face in her paws.

VItani took a step forward. "She's not one of Scar's hyenas. She left her old territory to avoid battling with another cackle, and now she's hurt and needs protection." She looked back at the lionesses still gathered by the entrance of the den. "... and The Guard will do that."

Aiube smiled and managed to relax a bit.

The guard looked at each other, still unsure, but nodded in agreement and followed Vitani over to the hyena.

Nala sighed. "I'm sorry … this is just gonna take time for me to get used too …"

Kovu and Kiara frowned and followed her out of the den.

"Hey, do you need anything?" Vitani asked her, gently.

Aiube's eyes suddenly widened. "Crap!"

"What is it?" Vitani asked.

"My cackle!" She panicked. "They're still in The Outlands! They're probably worried sick about me!"

Vitani frowned. "If you want I can bring them here for you."

Aiube's eyes lit up. "Would you!? Oh thank you so much!"

"Hey, no problem." Vitani said with a soft smirk. "It's my job to help Pride Land animals."

Pride Land animals? Aiube thought in confusion. Am I one of them now? Is it that easy?

Feeling a warm, comforting feeling pass over her, as she relaxed and fell asleep.