"Just a Bad Dream"

By: Ceci1

Setting: During The Lion King 1 ½ in the jungle right before young Simba wakes up Timon for about the millionth time, and confesses he's had a bad dream (remember that part?). A one-shot short story; hope you all like it, and even if you don't, please review!

Timon and Pumbaa were sleeping peacefully in the comfort of a bed of soft jungle grass built atop huge, thick tree roots. Pumbaa's round belly rose and fell steadily as he breathed, as did Timon, who was curled up into a ball on his best friend's stomach. He snored in time with Pumbaa's steady breathing.

However, a little ways off underneath another jungle tree lay a restless young Simba. It was clear to any creature that passed by him that night that the poor cub was experiencing discomfort. Not only was Simba tossing and turning, he had also begun trembling ever so slightly. But the cub would never know if anyone witnessed him sleeping that night, for he was in another world, one which he never dreamt he could or would ever go back to—the Pride lands, his true home.

The cub looked around and gasped as both painful and joyfully memories flooded back to him, and his eyes became moist with tears. Although while living in the jungle he had vowed never to go back to the Pride lands by living the Hakuna Matata lifestyle, one part of him longed to just up and leave the jungle paradise his new friends had so graciously introduced him to after saving his life. But now none of that mattered, because he really was home!

He gazed at the sights before him; everything was just as he remembered it—clear blue skies above him, endless tall grass below him, abundant food sources around him...yes it seemed everything was perfect again, except, where was—

"Simba!" a high-pitched female's voice cried out.

Simba froze at the sound of it. Could it really be who he thought it was? He slowly turned around, afraid of being wrong, but the sight before him made his red-orange eyes widen with excitement.

"Nala!" he cried happily, upon seeing her face.

"Simba!" she yelled, as she bounded towards him and pounced on him. The two cubs rolled around, laughing like old times. It felt so good to be there on the smooth, familiar, comforting surface of Pride Rock again, playing with his best friend. It wasn't until now that he realized he felt very close to her, for to him, this was reality—not a dream, not sub- consciousness. Her voice, her bright green eyes, her soft fur, everything about her made him happy, a lump formed in his throat as he remembered how much he missed her.

"I miss you, Nala," he choked, tears brimming on the edge of his eyes. "You're my best friend," he added, with a sniff.

Nala smiled sympathetically at him, "Don't cry, Simba," she spoke softly, and she affectionately licked his tears away, as another voice spoke.

"Then why don't you come home, Simba?" a soft, husky female voice spoke.

Simba gasped and found himself in his mother's arms, getting a bath like he used to months ago, in the same spot behind Pride Rock the day he and Nala went to the Elephant Graveyard.

"Mom!" Simba burst into tears, not giving a second thought to the grooming he was receiving. Ever since he had begun living with Timon and Pumbaa, he relished the freedom of being able to bathe himself or rather not bathe at all, but lately whenever he would go to bed after a long day of Hakuna Matata lifestyle, he began to long for a warm, soothing bath from his mother so he could drift off to sleep in her paws like he did when he was very little.

Suddenly, everyone he knew from his pride began to materialize around him, each member smiling and greeting him.

"Hi, Simba!" one lioness cub named Kina shouted.

"Hey Simba!" another cub named Endu called out.

"Simba!" squealed a younger cub, named Neeyka.

"Prince Simba! Young master where have you been? We've been looking all over for you!" scolded a familiar, annoying voice, as Zazu landed in-front of Simba.

As much as he hated to admit it, Simba had never been happier to see Zazu in his entire cub hood than at that moment. "Zazu," he chuckled and smiled.

Then the most unbelievable, miraculous thing happened. "Simba," Mufasa's deep, powerful voice echoed around him, as his powerful form appeared in the entrance of the cave.

Time stopped at that moment, as Simba stood frozen before the sight of his late-father.

The great king smiled down at his beloved cub, "Welcome home, son," he said warmly.

"DAD!" Simba roared a surprisingly strong, happy cub roar and zoomed straight towards his father. The small cub pounced on the mighty lion and the two rolled onto the floor of Pride Rock, laughing, as they were finally once again reunited.

Tears once again sprung to Simba's eyes. "Dad, I thought you were gone forever! I was so scared when you—

"Ah, shh my son, everything's alright now, Simba. I'm here now, and I'll always been here, just like I promised. I've been with you all along, because I love you, Simba," Mufasa let tears fall from his deep brown eyes as well as he embraced his beloved son, and let him sob into his bushy mane.

"I love you, too, Simba," a low, malevolent voice spoke.

Simba inhaled sharply and whirled around to see his uncle standing beside him. "Uncle Scar," Simba jumped, startled, which caused Mufasa to roll over the edge of Pride Rock! Simba hadn't realized how far to the edge they had rolled.

"DAD!" Simba screamed horrified once again. It couldn't happen again.

The Lion King hung onto the ledge with his giant, powerful claws for dear life, struggling to pull himself back up.

Simba wasn't going to let his father die this time, there was no way. "Dad, hold on I'll save you!" Simba roared a determined cub roar, as he dug his small claws into his father's huge paws. "Hold on, Dad!" he grunted as he pulled backwards with all his strength until his claws slipped, and he flung backwards onto the hard surface of Pride Rock. His head and back now hurt, but he took a deep breath, got to his paws, and raced toward his father again, only to be stopped short by none other than Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed.

Simba let out a yell and backed up.

"Well, well, well look who's back, guys!" Shenzi cackled.

"It's the runt of a future king who STEPPED OUT OF HIS KINGDOM!" Banzai snarled the last part in Simba's face.

"Ooh haha-ooh!" Ed's teeth chattered as he nodded his head crazily up and down.

"Oh yeah, he did give me this SCAR!" Shenzi snapped at the cub and pointed to the three red claw marks on her cheek.

In response, Simba narrowed his eyes, puffed out his chest, and arched his back as the fur on it began to rise, furious. He snarled back, "Get out of my way, I gotta save my Dad!" he roared and ran past them, tragically, just in time to see his Dad slip off Pride Rock and fall to his death below.

"NOOOOOOOOO!" Simba screamed. "NO NOT AGAIN!" he roared hysterical.

Just then his eyes shot open and he found himself staring at the starry night sky, panting furiously, and covered in sweat. He stood up, remembering he was sleeping under a tree, padded around to the back of it, and went. He was too shook up from the reality of his dream to worry about night critters, so he decided to get a drink of water by himself to cool down.

As he finished drinking, young Simba stared at his reflection, and a memory from his past returned; it was short, but it was clear as day in his memory:

"The waterhole! What's so great about the waterhole?" Nala demanded, upset at Simba's idea of a "really cool place."

Not wanting Nala to ruin his plan, Simba grinned to his mother, and quickly turned to Nala and whispered to her through clenched teeth, "I'll show you when we get there!"

Nala caught his drift and simply replied, "Oh."

Who would've thought him and Nala's last adventure together would happen the day before his father's death and his exile? It was almost kind of ironic, actually, as if someone had planned for it to happen that way. As if someone had allowed him one last day of fun before totally destroying his life.

"How ironic," Simba muttered to his reflection. The golden brown cub staring back up at him gave a huge sigh as Simba did. "Maybe talking to Timon will help me get some sleep finally," he gave a small smile to his reflection before turning and heading towards Timon and Pumbaa's bed.

The lion cub took a breath upon approaching the duo and whispered, "Timon." No answer.

"Timon!" he whispered sharper and louder.

"TIMON," Simba said in a normal voice.

The slender meerkat jerked awake at the sound of the young lion's voice, and groaned at the sight of Simba sitting a few feet before him. Timon's head was now pounding, as this was the third time that night, for how many weeks in a row that the cub had joined them that he had woken him up.

"What have you got against the concept of a good night's sleep?" he demanded groggily.

Simba's nightmare came rushing back to him, and he looked down, hurt. "Actually, I had a bad dream," he said glumly.

By now Pumbaa had awoke and heard the whole thing. His heart went out to the sweet, innocent lion cub right then.

"Aww, why don't you sleep with us tonight?" he suggested, and made room for Simba to join them.

For the first time that sleepless night, Simba's face lit up, and he immediately bounded over to his new friends' bed. He hopped onto Pumbaa's belly, leaving room for Timon of course, who curled up once again, content.

Simba got comfy and lay down on Pumbaa's stomach. Smiling, he placed paw over Timon affectionately, feeling comforted and safe in the company of his new friends.

"Good night," Timon said.

"Good night," Simba replied.

"Dream of bedbugs tonight," Pumbaa finished.

The three friends gave a big sigh and they all drifted off into a peaceful slumber.