Just a random lil' one-shot. This story shows Scar's good side. I like to think that he, too, has a lot of wisdom to share, but no one will listen. Hey, even the devil feels regret sometimes!

Nala was crying. Her tears dripped down her small cheeks, which she swiped at with her little paws.

Why, Simba? she asked the image of the brownish-gold cub in her mind. Why did you have to die?

The question sent more hot tears spilling down her cheeks. Out loud, she said, "Simba, I'm re-e-eally sorry about the time I tied your tail in a knot, and I'm sorry that I called you stuck-up once, and I'm sorry you never got to see the birthday present I was saving for next month..." She paused and hiccuped. "I miss you."

Ever since King Scar had announced Mufasa and Simba's death, Nala had retreated into misery. She wouldn't eat or drink or smile. Although her mother begged, Nala let herself waste away.

After all, she thought bitterly, there's no reason to keep living. She sniffled and carefully sketched a picture of Simba's face in the tear-softened earth.

"Simba, Simba, Simba, Simba..." she whispered, the name slipping out of her mouth like the shadow of a tear.

She drew herself, a small and sad figure next to Simba's smiling likeness. A dozen memories came flooding to her. She saw herself climbing a tree and getting stuck while Simba waved up at her. She remembered how they used to chase Zazu and try to pounce on him. Most of all, she remembered how much fun they had wrestling with each other. A few more tears rolled down her cheeks.

So lost was she in her own small world of memories that she did not hear the slender male lion approaching her. She didn't even notice when he sat right next to her.

"You draw?" he said.

Nala looked up, then quickly bowed her head. She hated even looking at King Scar because Simba had been his nephew, and he reminded her of all the stories Simba had told about his uncle's isolated way of living. Which reminded her even more about Simba.

"I guess," she whispered.

He didn't say anything for a while, and Nala thought she might have offended him until he spoke again.

"You are sad."

She merely nodded.

"I suppose I miss Simba, too."

"Yeah," she mumbled.

Scar settled down next to her. "When I was young, one of my best friends died, too."

Nala looked up. "Really?"

"Really. He was a very nice hyena cub, but one day, he wandered into the Pride Lands. He saw a very dangerous snake, and got too close..." The older lion fell silent.

"Oh, no." Nala had once seen a warthog get bitten by a snake. It had died in almost five minutes. She shuddered. "Poor guy."

"He was much like Simba," Scar said quietly. "Very active and bold. Headstrong, too."

Nala thought for a moment. If Scar, the King, had seen three close people die, and had been able to move on, surely she could, too. But the past hurt too much.

"I miss Simba," she said.

"Ah, yes, you will always miss Simba," Scar said. "But you have reminders of him everywhere, don't you?"

Too many, Nala thought. Out loud, she said, "I don't want reminders."

"But they are still there," the king said. "You can't run from the past, little one. You can either kill it or-" he smiled- "learn from it."

"Learn what?" Nala asked.

"To stay away from rattlesnakes," Scar answered, making Nala smile.

"Or," he continued, "It will teach you that nothing, not even death, can separate you and Simba."

Nala looked up at the sky, which was dark and dotted with stars. The thought that Simba was up there, watching over her, made her heart lighter.

"Naaa-laaa," called a faraway voice.

"Oh! Coming, Mom!" Nala called back. She started to bound away, then stopped. She turned back and smiled at the king with all her heart in her face. "Thank you," she said.

Scar returned the smile. "You're welcome," he said. "And remember, this is our little secret."

From up in a tree, Rafiki smiled, too. "Ah, the gift of wisdom," he sighed. "Travels like seeds on de wind, don't you tink, Mufasa?"

The stars twinkled in reply.