OK, I know y'all aren't gonna be happy about this, but this will be the last chapter for Son of Fearless Buzz. Might be my last TLK fic, too, but I'm not completely saying no. I might find something that'll inspire me to write more. In the meantime, thanks for all the great reviews and treats and keep your fingers crossed!
Pumbaa lead the colony through the Pride Lands the following morning. Timon was riding high on Pumbaa's head, looking out for any predators or missing mob members. Ma sat on Pumbaa's back, watching the clouds roll by.
"I can't wait to get back to the oasis and relax. My muscles got all tense from the hyenas attacking last night," a female meerkat said, rubbing her shoulders.
"I got you beat, sister," Timon said, putting his paws onto his lower back, and then a loud crack was heard.
"Timon, I told Simba we'd drop by Pride Rock on the way back. Is that OK?" Pumbaa looked up at Timon on top of his head.
"Sure! You guys don't mind if we make a quick stop, do ya?"
"Pride Rock? With the lions?" Pete asked nervously.
"Hey, they won't eat you if they know you're with us, the King's foster parents," Timon grinned and posed, looking so proud. Ma looked up at him, and shook her head.
"I have a lion for a grandson," she said. "And that's the closest I'll ever have to a grandchild, am I right, Timon?" She raised an eyebrow at her son, who gulped and blushed.
"Ma!" Pumbaa softly snickered. Timon glared down at Pumbaa, then went back to looking ahead. He noticed Pride Rock in view. "We're almost there." He then noticed the grass moving with no wind, and a brief glimpse of a lion's tail. He grinned. "OK, Pumbaa, stop right here. Simba's trying to scare us again." The group stopped.
"Are you sure it's Simba?" Pumbaa asked as Timon walked onto his snout and jumped down to the ground.
"Of course. He knows we're coming. Why wouldn't he try to try that trick on us again?" Timon walked forward through the grass, pushing the blades aside. "All right, Simba, I'm on to you. Come on out!" He pushed a few more blades to the side, and was greeted by the ugly stare of a male lion with a messy black mane. "Oh, pardon, I thought you were the king. I don't think we've met. I'm Timon. Have you seen King Simba?" The lion roared directly at Timon. Timon stared at the lion, and then released the blades of grass he had pushed aside. He turned around, took a deep breath, and then let out a scream.
Everyone stood to attention. "Timon!" Pumbaa gasped as he saw Timon run back towards him.
"Lion! Lion!" Timon climbed on top of Pumbaa's head and tugged on his ears. "Big! Ugly! Scary! Move it!"
"Didn't you say the lions won't hurt us if they knew who you were?" Uncle Max asked with a cocked eyebrow.
"Yeah, but this lion seemed really ticked when I mentioned I knew Simba!" The lion appeared, jumping up in front of Pumbaa. The meerkats screamed and got under Pumbaa's stomach. Ma clung onto Pumbaa's hair, and gulped. Pumbaa lowered his head in an aggressive manner.
"You're gonna be in big trouble with Simba when he finds out about this," Pumbaa grunted.
"You think I'm afraid of Simba? That's a laugh," the lion grinned, then laughed for good measure. He prepared himself to pounce on them, but then he looked over, screamed, and backed away as Simba came running into the scene with a roar, stopping in front of Pumbaa and the others. "S-S-Simba! How nice to see you again. I-I-I-I was just..."
"Leaving?" Simba growled, obviously big enough to eat him alive.
"Uh, yeah! That's right!"
"I want to make this perfectly clear, Nuka," Simba growled as he approached the younger lion, making him back away. "If I catch you in the Pride Lands again--"
"Oh, you won't! Uh, bye!" Nuka turned and ran away towards a darker, drier region. Simba softly growled, then he exhaled.
"Are you all right?" Simba turned to Pumbaa.
"We are now," Pumbaa said. The meerkats came out from underneath Pumbaa, letting out a few sighs of relief.
Timon wiped his forehead. "Thanks, Simba. Who was that guy?"
"His name is Nuka. He's part of a group of lions who were loyal to Scar... so loyal I had to banish them." Simba began to walk back towards Pride Rock. The group followed.
"I can't imagine any lions being loyal to someone so cruel," Ma said.
"Scar's words can corrupt a weak heart. So, I see you're feeling better, Timon."
Timon rubbed the back of his neck. "Emotionally, yeah. I came to terms with Dad's death. Physically, that's another story. Sorry about blowing up at you last night, Simba."
"Hakuna Matata." The group stopped at the bottom of Pride Rock. Simba looked up at it.
"Is Nala coming out?" Pumbaa asked.
"She's resting... Timon, Pumbaa, I have a favor to ask," Simba said, looking serious. It made Timon and Pumbaa look concerned.
"What is it?" Timon asked. "Is something wrong?"
"Not in so many words. I want you and Pumbaa to stay here in the Pride Lands for a while."
"Aww, Simba, do you miss us that much?" Pumbaa smiled.
"I'm touched," Timon grinned.
"Well, yes, but that's not the real reason. You've seen the threat of an Outsider, and Nuka is the weakest. You don't know the trouble a lioness could unleash. They'll try to come into the Pride Lands, and with Nala's condition, the difficulty of keeping the family line intact increases."
"Nala's condition? What's wrong with her? Is she sick?" Pumbaa asked.
"No, but she won't be feeling like herself for another month or two. She's expecting." Ma looked at Simba, then she smiled.
"Expecting what, a package?" Timon blinked.
"Take-out?" Pumbaa asked.
"No," Simba said with a laugh.
"Expecting! Oh, Simba, I'm so happy for you!" Ma said, putting her paws together cheerfully.
"Wha?" Timon and Pumbaa looked at her.
Timon tried thinking, and then his face revealed that he saw the connection. "Simba. Are you telling us that Nala's... oh, what's that word?"
"Gestating?" Pumbaa asked Timon.
"Hey, watch your language."
"It's not a dirty word, Timon."
"Well, if it isn't, then it should be. OK, lemme find a simpler way of putting it then. Is Nala with... cub?" Simba smiled, and nodded.
"You're gonna be a father?" Pumbaa asked. Again, Simba nodded. Timon stared blankly at Simba for a few moments. Timon then leaped from Pumbaa's head over to Simba's front leg and hugged it.
"I'm gonna be a grandfather!" Ma jumped off Pumbaa's back as he went over to Simba to give him a hug.
"Closest I'm going to have to great-grandchildren are lions," she said to herself.
"So, you want us to stay here and keep an eye on your cub and make sure he doesn't cross paths with the Outsiders, right?" Pumbaa asked.
"Right," Simba nodded.
Timon made some motions with his paws, "So... we're gonna be babysitters?"
"Basically, yes. So, will you stay for a while?" Timon was about to open his mouth, but then he stopped. He turned to Ma and walked over to her.
"Ma, you don't mind staying at the oasis alone with everyone else, would you? I mean, Simba's... and I..." Timon couldn't find the right words to say, but he stopped when Ma put her fingers on Timon's lips.
"Stay. I'll come visit you, you'll come visit me... this time, I'll know where you are." Timon smiled, and then hugged her.
"Aww..." Pumbaa and a few meerkats said. Timon blushed, cleared his throat, and unwrapped his arms from his mother.
"So, when's the big day, Simba? Do we need to boil some water?" Timon said in a deep voice.
Simba chuckled, "No. Two months at the most."
"Then we'll head back now. Would you mind sending someone to get us when it's closer to a week? You know, I'd like to spend some more time with my family before I won't see them on a regular basis for a while." Simba nodded, then ascended up to Pride Rock.
"I still can't believe it, Timon," Pumbaa said as he watched Simba disappear. Pumbaa turned and started walking away. Timon walked next to him. The rest of the colony walked ahead of Pumbaa... for obvious reasons.
"Our Simba... a father. I feel old now," Timon said.
"Isn't that just your muscles being sore?"
"Yes, but he's gonna be an actual father before me. I'm suddenly depressed."
"Oh, Timon, don't start that depressed issue again. Buzz never taught you how to be a father, but you did a pretty good job with Simba, right?" Ma said as she walked up next to Timon.
"Well, yeah, but..."
"Sweetie, I know one day you'll find a sweet meerkat, settle down, and have pups of your own. You'll make a fine father one day... just like Dad. He wasn't so sure about himself when you were on the way, but he did a pretty good job, didn't he?"
"Yeah. Wait a sec. Dad wasn't confident about being a father?" Timon looked surprised.
"Are you kidding? He was a nervous wreck! But when he looked down at your sweet little face, he just... knew."
Timon looked up at the sky. "He just knew." Timon stayed silent in thought the rest of the way to the oasis, awaiting the day he and Pumbaa would be called back to the Pride Lands to help raise the next generation.