Full Summary: What if it wasn't Timon and Pumbaa that found Simba in the desert, but lioness from another pride, raising him along side her own cub. Growing up, he finds himself beginning to feel unknown feelings toward another, but when Nala shows up, looking for help, will he return to pride rock to face his past or will he stay at his new home and forget his past completely?
The sun blazed down over the harsh dry desert, dust and tumbleweed blew in whatever little wind there was. There was very little sign of life, save the insects that crawled along the ground and mice that scurried too and from their hiding holes looking for anything to salvage for food. In the sky, a flock of Lappet-face vultures circled the area, scanning the desert floor for any sign of food to scavenge from.
Dust kicked up from beneath the paws of a young brownish-gold lion cub, his fur was covered in the dust and dirt from the desert, and tangled in his fur was tiny thorns from the patch of briars he had fallen into, when he had escaped the hyenas that had given chase to him. His paws ached and the pads of his paws were scratched and bleeding from the roughness of the ground and sharp tiny rocks he stepped on.
Raising his head, Prince Simba stared up at the blue sky above, nothing but blue, there was no sign of any cloud in sight, the only thing there was beside the scorching sun was the vultures that flew over head, casting a slight bit of shade from their shadows whenever they passed over him. But not even that was enough to help too himself down.
He had been running for three days, or at least that's how much he counted before he lost track, taking his eyes off the sky he looked around him. There was nothing but dust and sand covered ground for miles around, no water or food, he was already thirsty and starving and knew if he kept on walking he would die on his paws before he found anything. At times he considered going back home and facing his mother and pride, but then he would think of how they would react when they found out, his Father, their King had died to save him.
Tears welled up in his eyes, rolling down his cheeks and fell to the ground where it dried upon contact. Laying down he placed his paws over his face, images of his fathers dead body filled his mind, and curling up in a tight ball he cried himself to sleep right there on the ground, as the heat and constant walking finally got to him.
The vultures and mice were not all that were wondering the desert for food that afternoon, driven from the Jungle, a small hunting party of the Rasheda Pride was scavenging for food having followed a small group of warthogs from Jungles edge and edge of their territory.
In the lead, was Queen Leta, a small frame pale golden lioness with a light brown underbelly and paws, let her dark brown eyes look over the barren wasteland before them, searching for any sign of where their prey had gone. Lifting her eyes to the sky when the shadow of a vulture flew overhead she looked toward the direction it was flying. Her eyes landed on a flock of vultures circling in the sky.
Turning toward the others she spoke, "Follow those birds they must be where our prey has gone too" with a roar, the Hunting party took down the hill they stood on and raced toward the vultures.
The roar echoed through the barren land, the vultures looked up from their prey at the sound of the approaching predators. Squawking they took to the sky, they flew at the approaching Hunting party, squawking loudly and pecking at them to keep them away from their prey.
The lionesses swiped at them with their paws, knocking many to the ground and crushing them with their paws. When the rest flew off, Leta watched them go when a call behind her made her turn.
"My Queen! I believe we were mistaken about the whereabouts of our prey…it wasn't them the damn things wanted!"
The Queen set her eyes upon the small thing lying on the ground, 'That looks like a cub' brow furrowed with worry Leta along with the hunting party slowly approached and with her paw, Leta rolled the cub over. The lionesses gasped. "The poor thing, he must have gotten lost out here!" one whispered to Leta's right.
"Is he dead?" asked another.
Leta bent her head down close to the cubs mouth, she sighed in relief when she noticed he was still breathing. "No, he's alive, but if he stays out here for much longer he will surely die. We shall take him back, King Mansa will decide his fate from there!" the queen rolled the cub over with her paw once more and picked him up by the scruff, turning the hunting party took off toward their home without hesitation to get the cub into some shade.
The hunting party walked through the trees, to a grove deep within the Jungle, approaching the waterfall that fell into the pond in the middle of the grove, Leta placed the cub down just as a large dark golden brown, gray mane lion walked from behind the falls to greet the returning hunting party and find out what they had brought back from their hunt. Surprise appeared in his eyes at the sight of the cub lying at his mate's paws, "Leta what have you brought home this time?"
Leta bowed her head to her mate and King, "We came across him in the desert Mansa…if we didn't take him he would have died out there!"
"As it should be. He is not one of us," King Mansa growled looking down at the cub with a snarling expression.
"He is a lion nonetheless Mansa! And a cub for crying out loud! I wasn't about to let him die out there!" Leta snapped pushing her nose up against her mates, so she was staring at him eye to eye.
"And who do you expect to look after him? Us?" Mansa scowled, he had a son of his own to raise to one day lead the pride he did not need another male to one day challenge his son for right of King.
"My sister had a daughter a month ago, she is about this cubs age, I shall give him to her to raise" Leta stated calmly, determination in her eyes; she wasn't going to back down from this argument. She would be damned to let a cub die just because her mate didn't want an outsider lion to one day challenge their own son.
Mansa growled and scuffed, "Very well, she may look after him. But he is to be kept in line!"
Leta smiled at her mate and licked his nose, "Thank you, my love." Bending her head down she picked up the sleeping cub once more and padded around to one of the caves near the waterfall, and she walked inside she placed the cub back down at her paws.
A tanned lioness lifted her head from where she was presently bathing a brown she-cub in her paws; she smiled softly at her sister. "Hello Leta how was today's hunt?" she asked getting to her paws letting her daughter run toward her aunt.
"Sadly we lost the Warthogs we were following, but we came across…" Leta was interrupted when her young niece spoke up.
"Auntie who's this?"
Leta looked down at the light brown cub at her paws, which stared up at her aunt with dark blue eyes. It was at that moment Zakia took notice of the cub lying at her sister's paws; she gasped and looked toward her sister. "Leta?"
"This is who we found out in the desert Zakia. I have come to ask if you may look after him." Leta asked, "Mansa will not allow me too and you're the only other lioness with a cub at the moment to keep this one company."
Zakia looked down at the young cub, she examined him with her eyes, he was thin from not eating, and through he was asleep his tongue hanged outside his mouth, a sign that told her he must also be thirsty. From the looks of him, he hadn't had anything to eat or drink in days and looked like he been through some rough times judging by the condition of his fur. Her heart ached for this cub; he looked to be far too young to have been wondering on his own. Where was his parents? She wondered. "Leta I don't…"
"Please Mama? He can be my new friend!"
Zakia looked down at her daughter who was staring up at her with wide teary eyes, "Zuri…"
"Pleeeeease!" Zuri whined, "I never have anyone to play with!" Of course she had her cousin but her uncle was always so busy training him to be King.
Zakia sighed and smiled down at her daughter, "I can never win with you can I Zuri?" she nuzzled her cub making her giggle then turned her attention to her sister. "Alright Leta, I shall look after him."
Leta let out a sigh of relief, "Thank you, sister" she rubbed her head against the other lioness' before she heard Mansa calling for her. Bidding farewell, and promising to come see the cub when he woke she padded out of the cave.
Picking the cub up, Zakia carried him to the back of the cave with her daughter following after her. Placing the cub down she laid her body around him, and after giving him another look over she began to clean his fur until his coat was cleaned of all the dirt that had gotten into it, and she also carefully took the thorns out one by one. 'This poor thing must have been through a lot' she thought.
With Zuri curling up in her paws, the young lioness stayed awake watching over the new cub in hopes that he may wake shortly. Licking the top of his head she whispered "Don't worry little one, you are safe now."