Author's notes: Well all you Kong lovers, I'm going to be trying something wild and crazy here. As far as I can tell, no one's done a King Kong crossover fic yet, so I decided to go for broke and do one with-please don't laugh at me-the Lion King. Essentially, the plot is that while Jack is rescuing Ann from Kong's lair, they suddenly and unaccountably-although they might learn much later that a certain magic baboon's mistake might've caused it-end up in the Lion King universe for the movie's most important events, including that fateful up in these dramatic happenings, all Jack and Ann can do is continue to protect each other and survive, as well as make some very unexpected friends along the way. And Driscoll and Darrow aren't the only ones who are "switched" from one universe to another...
I also have a confession to make. This is the first fanfic I've ever written that involves human romance. I've already watched the DVD several times, so I think I have more or less a good grasp on the relationship between Ann and Jack, as well as where it could go after the movie ended. But again, this is uncharted territory, and I don't mind advice from reviewers if they seem OOC in any way, shape, or form at all.
Well, enough of my babbling. Here's The Once and Future King !
"...and behold, there were very many bones in the open valley, and they were very dry." Ezekeiel 37:2
"Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones shake." Job 4:14
"Why not go on to thinking that there have been mysterious transportations of human beings?" Charles Fort, Lo!, 1931.
Fearfully, Ann looked down at him with her blue eyes, probably terrified of the huge fall she could take if something went wrong while they shinnied down the thick vine.
"Come on!" Jack shouted at her urgently, for there was no time for hesitation now.
In one fluid motion, Ann then slipped down and wrapped herself around Jack's shoulders, and he strained, tightening his grip as his muscular, battered body took her weight. Above them and seen choppily in his field of vision, the huge gorilla roared in rage and shock as the satanic hairless bat-wolf things ripped and bit at him, dancing as he did the same to them in turn.
As he climbed down the vine, Ann clutching his form for all she was worth, Jack couldn't help but fleetingly feel a peculiar sense of gratitude towards the bat-wolf beasts and that they'd gone for the ape when they did. If they hadn't, the beast would almost certainly have crushed him like a rat under his fists by now, and all his tenacious, relentless efforts to get Ann off this hellish island would've meant nothing.
But what was good for the goose was good for the gander, and now four or five of the bat-wolves, jagged teeth agape, dived down and went for him and Ann as they dangled helplessly on the vine. Crying out in staccato, gasping exclamations of fear, Ann held on even tighter as Jack, maintaining his death grip on the vine, whirled and frenziedly kicked out at the hideous flyers attempting to set to work on them with tooth and claw.
Then, in a horrifying and chilling instant, Jack felt the thick vine move upward several feet like a rope being yanked. And that was exactly what was happening. He wasn't surprised at all to see that somehow, the huge ape had routed most of those bat-wolf things, and was looking down at him and Ann.
The look of primal rage and absolute hate in those umber eyes made Jack Driscoll's flesh creep, and the playwright could only gape in helpless terror as one of those leathery hands jerked the vine again, bringing him and Ann all the more closer.
It is said that people who are about to die a violent death often reach a state where suddenly, the terror more or less goes onto the back burner so to speak, and they feel both resigned and perfectly lucid. Jack had always dismissed that paradox as being pure hogwash, but as he watched the elephantine gorilla tense his muscles for another pull of the vine, he was surprised by the force and truth with which it hit him.
It's one of those ultimate quirks of fate, just like the ones you've enjoyed putting down on paper so many times before, isn't it? You cheated death half a dozen times over the past 24 hours, and you'd be dead now if those bat-things hadn't attacked-but Fate just wanted to delay the moment and mess with your head! HA HA!
Ann was yelling over his shoulder now, and the bat-wolf flyers were flapping their wings like tents in a windstorm while the colossal fisherman reeled his prize in. In seconds, the furious ape would seize him in his iron grip, either crushing him like a can or ripping him with those ivory fangs. However he finishes me off, Jack grimly thought, I'm telling Ann I love her as I go.
But he didn't have to.
A set of jagged ivory teeth came at them from his right, and the obscene, foul-smelling bat-wolf reared up, obviously intending to bite either Jack or worse Ann, in the neck. A real possibility of escape, an idea so crazy that it just might work, exploded into the writer's mind then, and he grabbed the flyer's huge scythe of a wing-claw, every tendon taut as he transferred both his weight and Ann's to this unconventional plane.
And then…there was a huge flash of green-tan light which seemed to infuse them, a feeling of floating, and just as suddenly, with Ann still hanging on for dear life, Jack Driscoll found himself only six feet above the ground. He crashed to his sore, scabbed knees, gasping at the starburst of pain even as Ann let go of him and got to her feet. "What just happened there?" he silently asked himself in astonishment. As he forced himself to stand up in turn, he heard Ann give a slight gasp and whipped around, expecting to see either her ape abductor or another bat-wolf rushing at the two of them.
But it wasn't the case, and Jack's green eyes widened in amazement as he heard Ann say, "What is this place Jack?" There were steam vents and fumaroles scattered all around. There were hard, cracked, angular slabs and crags of granite and basalt, almost like the ones in-and the memory made Jack badly want to puke and start screaming repeatedly at the same time-the terrible insect pit.
It was dark, foreboding, misty and muggy-he couldn't see more than 20 yards in front of his face. But that was nothing when compared to the enormous skulls, shoulder bones, ribcages, pelvises, and other massive skeletons strewn piecemeal about them. They'd somehow, someway, ended up in Ezekiel's valley of bones.
"I couldn't even begin to tell you," Jack replied in confusion as his exhausted eyes swept over the deceased giants. His mind flashed back to how just fifteen or twenty minutes ago-was it truly that short of a time? It felt like months-he'd been picking his way among the pathetic bones of the huge ape's kin, and wondered if they'd somehow ended up on another part of the island's mountains. Exactly how or what could do that without causing them major bodily harm was something beyond the capabilities of what remained of his brain to figure out.
If so, the beast could be here sooner rather then later to have another try at killing him off, and he immediately clasped an arm around Ann's shoulders, his only explanation a hurried, "But we might not be as far away from danger as we should," while he whipped his head back and forth for any sign the ape was close.
But even as Jack said it, he realized that none of the skeletons resembled what he'd seen in the caves. It also occurred to him that some of the remains still had hide or mummified flesh and tendon attached, and the ape bones hadn't had anything like that on them. If they did, Jack hadn't noticed it.
An instant later, comprehension dawned on him. He had seen bones and skulls like these many times before-but not on Skull Island. Rather, he'd clapped eyes on them in the American Museum of Natural History. These were all elephant bones.
"Ann," Jack said, "I think we're in an-"
"Elephant graveyard," Ann softly replied, starting to tremble a bit.
With frightened eyes, she whirled around to look into his own, than buried her head against his shoulder, sobbing and shaking in evident fear. Drawing her close to him and embracing Ann back, Jack tenderly reassured her, comfortingly saying, "It's okay Ann, it's all right. I don't know where we are and how we got here either, but I'll always do my damnedest to keep you safe. Until my last drop of blood is shed, if need be," he added, fixing her welling eyes with his.
Stepping back slightly and raising her face up to the writer's as she wiped her tears away with her slender, graceful hand, Ann responded, "I know you will Jack. I'm not scared about what might happen to me. I'm scared about what might have already happened to us."
"Already happened? What could you possibly mean by that?" he quizzically asked. "All I know is that I'm alive, and you especially are alive, and nothing else matters right now. We'll find a way to get back to the Venture," Jack gently added. "I promise you that we will. Besides, Englehorn wouldn't ever leave us to die here-wherever 'here' is," he wryly said.
Ann didn't seem to be listening to him, or at least only halfheartedly. She looked instead like she was mentally wrestling with a teasing, groping reality that was too abominable to be true. Then, although tense as a bowstring, she turned and asked him with amazing calmness, "Jack, you told me on the ship that you've always enjoyed reading classic literature. How much of those works have you read?"
"Quite a large fraction of them," Jack answered, even as his eyebrows lowered in puzzlement. "Reading and writing are things that go hand in hand after all."
Strange question, he thought. And certainly a strange situation to ask it in. But she must just desperately want to focus her mind on something normal for a change. I certainly don't blame her.
"Then have you read Dante's Divine Comedy by any chance?" saying this in a hushed voice.
"Yes, I have. I've certainly always found it to be a very interesting and thought-provoking book myself," he responded. "Why do you ask?"
"Well then, I take it you've read his description of what Limbo is like then," Ann dispassionately stated. "You know, a place where there is no pain or suffering experienced, but the sun is always obscured by clouds and the mood is bleak and depressing, with nothing beautiful to look at."
"Of course. You summed it up nicely by the way." Wary suspicion struck him. "Wait a moment-" Jack asked, "what are you implying Ann?" He had a sneaking, mounting suspicion that his dame was climbing to a conclusion that he didn't think she should touch.
The blue eyes filled with tears, raw and desperate, as Ann half shrieked, half sobbed out, "We are in Limbo right now Jack!" As if it was a terrible litany that she'd been forced to spout under torture, she babbled on, "I don't know whether it was Kong, those horrible bat things, or maybe we just fell, but we've both been killed. We're dead!"
He wanted to tell her that it was not so, that they were still breathing after all and their hearts still beat, but before he could fling the words from his mouth, Ann sat down in terror, saying in a giantesses' despairing groan, "Oh my God Jack, you and I are both DEAD!"
And as if sadistically reveling in her despair, something passing by in the white cloak of fog, almost at the limits of their hearing yet uncomfortably close, dementedly cackled and hooted in answer.
Oooh, who or what could that noise belong to? I need to mention here that I have a whole lot of classwork to attend to in this second half of my semester, so I unfortunately may not have another chapter up for quite a while. And again, please review and tell me if they run true!