Dark clouds loomed over the Pridelands; the grazing herds had found shelter under trees or warmth with each other as the rain pelted down on them. At Pride rock the weather was only damping the mood that was set over the Pride, who was all gathered outside the cave where inside lay Simba and Nala. The ex king and queen had fallen ill and with their old age was fading fast.
Outside, the lionesses surrounded the cave in a semi circle. In between them were Kovu and Kiara with Aida and Fumo sitting beside both of them, while Aida was seeking comfort from her father, Fumo was comforting his mother, Huru and a pregnant Bora was sitting not far from them. Bora who was one month pregnant had her head tucked under her head into mate's mane as they all awaited the news.
Erevu stood at Bora's paws and was patting her paw with his hands. A black, white and brown Spur-winged Plover bird was sitting at the paws of Kiara and Kovu, Tami her name was, and she had taken over for Zazu when he had retired a year earlier.
All the mournful whispering that was passing through the Pride went silent as Rafiki came out of the cave. The old mandrill too was on his last legs but seemed to be so stubborn, but along side him was a younger mandrill who the pride knew he was training to take his place, leaning on his stick he looked at the awaiting faces of the Pride. Sighing, he shook his head sadly and hung it low.
Dead silence washed over the Pride as they all lowered their heads, they knew what he was saying even without words. Despite the rain that poured, the tears from the pride could not be hidden with the passing of Simba and Nala.
Kovu stood and after rubbing his head against his daughters and mates, turned and walked through the lionesses to the peek of Pride rock.
Thunder clashed and lightning flashed as a roar echoed through the Pridelands, which was soon followed by the mournful roars of the rest Pride. As Kiara went to stand beside her mate, Aida and Fumo sat down beside Bora and Huru. "I can't believe they're actually gone…" Bora whispered as Huru rubbed his head against hers, "I know," he whispered back to her.
With a nudge of his head, he led her away from the Pride and the cave where the previous King and Queen lay and to the main cave. Waiting until Bora was laying down he lay down beside her and placed his head on top of hers. The two lay there listening to the mournful roars that echoed outside; the roars lasted well into the morning as the rain started to slow to a stop. But the clouds never parted to let any sun shine down on the Savannah for a good number of days.
On the fifth day since Simba and Nala's passing, the sun finally fought its way through and shinned down on the Pridelands once more. Stepping outside the main cave, Bora stretched and walked down the ramp from Pride rock and headed toward the watering hole for her morning drink. Reaching the watering hole, she bent her head down and drank her fill. Sitting back she placed her paws on her slightly swollen stomach. Sighing, she looked up at the sky, a sad smile tugging at her lips, "I wish you could be here mother…"
Snap. Ears flickering, Bora turned her head in the direction of the sound, a low growl escaped her throat before the head a young lioness popped out from the tall grass. "Etana…you scared me for a second" sitting back she watched the young lioness walk over and sit down in front of her.
Etana who was almost an exact duplicate of her mother, smiled at her while she spoke, "I'm apologize Bora. But Huru was wondering where you had slipped off to and sent me to find you" she said as she rolled a stone around in front of her with her paws.
Bora sighed and shook her head, "Ever since I became pregnant that lion has become worried that something might happen. I can handle being out on my own I have before"
Etana laughed, "Well Aunt Kiara did say he was taking after Simba in the category of being over protective" she said as she and Bora started on back toward Pride rock. "Huru would have come and found you but since Simba's death it reminded Uncle Kovu how much time he will have left and once again started Huru on his King training. I pity him"
Bora smiled, and arriving at Pride rock, she headed up the ramp, nodding her head goodbye to Etana who headed off to gather with the hunting party, while Bora herself walked over to a large flat rock and climbed up onto it and stretched as she yawned. Much was silent still around the Pride since the deaths but life was continuing on. She watched as the Hunting party now led by Kiara, left for the days hunt, she wanted to go with them but knowing she was now carrying the next generation of heirs inside her she wouldn't be able to hunt until the cubs were able to be left alone with at Pride rock.
"Hey you realize that is attached to me!" a cry was heard. Chuckling she turned her head to watch as Fumo padded out of the main cave with the latest cubs that had been born weeks before trailing behind him, one young male cub had a hold of the young Princes tail and was being scooted along on his behind as Fumo walked.
Spotting Bora, Fumo gave her a desperate look. Jumping up, she stepped down from where she was perched and strolled over, lifting the cub by the back of his neck he let go of Fumo's tail before she gently placed him back down. "I guess you were left in charge of cub-sitting?" Bora asked looking back at the young male.
Fumo nodded, "Yes…" he groaned. Smiling, she nudged him in the nose, "You run along I'll watch them," she said.
"But you're pregnant if something were to happen Huru would kill me!" he ran a claw across his neck and groaned, "I'm too young to die!" he cried dramatically with the back of his paw against his head where his still growing mane was coming in.
Bora rolled her eyes, and gave him a shove with her paw sending him down to the ground with a thud. "I'm only a month pregnant, I can handle with watching a bunch of cubs not to mention I need the practice for when my own are born" waving her paw, she shooed him off before she took the cubs down the ramp to a small glade area beside Pride rock and laid down watching them as they played tag. Her eyes seem to glaze over as she watched them, remembering back no more then three years ago at the Sumali Pride, she remembered the last time she saw the cubs there, and over the past three years she hadn't heard from them much to her own relief.
"OW!" hearing one of the cubs cry, Bora got to her paws and walked over to a young lioness that had tripped and hit her leg. Lifting the cub in her mouth she walked over to the shade and lay back down with the cub on her paws and licked its paw. "Thank you, Princess Bora!" the cub smiled up at her, returning the smile she licked the cubs ears and laid the cub besides her watching as it curled up against her stomach. "Rest for a while little one before you go play again," Bora instructed as the cub nodded. Laying her head down on her paws, the white lioness turned her attention back to the other cubs watching them all carefully.
The cubs continued their game but before long they spotted Huru walking toward them, "Prince Huru!" they shouted and ran over to him. The Crown prince greeted them each with a nudge to the head with his own then made his way over to his pregnant mate and rubbed his head against hers and licked her scarred cheek. "Where's Fumo I thought he was in charge of the cubs?"
"He was but I suggested watching them while he went off on his own"
"What? But Bora it was his job he needs responsibility! And you're pregnant what if something happened to you while you were running after these cubs?" Huru scoffed and looked around to see if he could see his little brother anywhere, prepared to find him and give him a piece of his mind. He had told him to make sure Bora didn't strain herself and yet here he finds her taking over the job that was given to the young prince in the first place.
Bora shook her head smiling all the while, "Huru do you remember when we were Fumo's age? You didn't want to get stuck with cub-sitting either and stop worrying about me I'll be just fine!" standing she licked his cheek and looked down at the cubs. "You all run along I hear the Hunting party returning" she said nudging them on the rears with her nose.
When they were gone, she turned her head back to Huru, "Would you please stop acting so protective of me. Nothing is going to happen to me or the cubs Huru" she tried reassuring him.
Sighing, Huru looked at her, "I'm protective because of what happened three years ago. What if they try and come back here? They scarred you…I don't think they'll be too afraid to scar or kill our cubs?" he said worriedly his eyes wandering to the scars that marred his mates face and the ear she was missing a piece of. Though she was scarred she was still the most beautiful lioness in his eyes.
Rubbing her head against his she purred to calm him, "Do not worry my mate nothing will happen to our cubs!" she said as she smiled and walking around him, she curled her tail around his as she headed toward where the hunting party was. Huru grinned and shook his head following after her.
When they arrived the cubs were eating their fill of the antelope that was caught before the Pride would get their fill. Ripping off a large chunk, Huru carried it over to Bora where he and she ate their own fill, Bora eating more then Huru finishing the rest that he didn't eat. But she swore he didn't eat all of it, saying he was full just to make sure she ate more.
When they were done the two of them retreated down Pride rock to one of the smaller caves nearby where they often went to be alone. Lying along side his mate, Huru nuzzled her stomach smiling, "Never thought I'd be happy to have cubs"
"Yes, weren't you are the one saying you'd feel old when you have cubs to raise?" Bora laughed at the embarrassed look that overcame her mates face. Licking his cheek as he laid down beside her, she tucked her head under his laying her head down on his paws and closed her eyes to sleep off her meal.
Huru waited until Bora had fallen asleep, then slowly he stood so he wouldn't wake her. Slipping past her and out of the cave he walked to where Kovu and Fumo was waiting for him, together they headed off from Pride rock to do some daily patrols. Huru had started them when he and Bora had returned two years ago and was soon joined by his father and brother. The patrol consisted of early morning and just before evening like during the day Tami herself was in control of the Reports on the lands.
"Father! Huru come quick!" Fumo called from where he was patrolling. The two dark lions ran quickly to him and all three looked down at the strange indent in the ground. "What is it?"
"It looks like a some…strange paw print…"
"I've never seen any paw or hoof print like that before!"
Lowering his head, Kovu surveyed the strange indent, "Doesn't even look like it belongs to any animal I have ever seen" the three royal lions shared a look. Before they looked down at the strange long thin foot print that was before them.