Before And Beyond The Beginning

By Breech Loader

Breech: Yeah, I know it's been a while… I'm trying to finish off some of my old fics… But this chapter contains an adaptation of the Reprise of "Be Prepared", and something of a prelude to "The Madness Of King Scar". Keep in mind Scar's not actually crazy… yet.

Chapter Nineteen: The Reprise That Never Was

When Banzai woke up it was still night. He was lying next to Shenzi, they were in a cave in the Pride Lands, with Ed snoozing at the entrance, and oh… oh.. he could just smell a bright new future for all of them.

He nuzzled Shenzi's cheek without waking her and headed out of the cave, with Ed waking as he passed by and following him as usual. He could see the lionesses looking at him with disgust, and he stretched slowly, crunching out his spine, "Good evenin'… ladies," he told them.

"Good evening, Banzai," Zira gave him a look of distain, then turned away.

Banzai gave her a smirk, remembering the past, "Hey Zira?" she turned to look at him, "How's the ear?" he asked mockingly.

"Much better, thankyou," Zira told him with a sneer, "How's your father?"

"Ooooh…" several hyenas whispered. They knew how sore Banzai got about that. Banzai was crouching with a growl, and Ed whined at his brother, concerned at the anger bubbling inside of him.

"Ladies, gentlemen…" Scar's oily voice was all that stopped Banzai from leaping, "Just yesterday I told everybody that this is a new age of peace and prosperity for lion and hyena. Zira, my dear, all past petty grievances with the hyenas must be put aside."

"Yeah, because lionesses killin' my dad is such a 'petty grievance'," Banzai growled.

"I don't care!" Scar snarled at Banzai, who cowered, "These foolish arguments will be put aside for as long as I am king!"

Sarafina coughed, "For what it's worth, Scar, some of us do have legitimate reasons to dislike each other. I'm seriously worried about-"

"She killed my dad!" Banzai interrupted, "Are you just gonna let that go, Scar?" Scar gave him a nasty look, "I mean, your majesty?"

"And hyenas have repeatedly tried to kill Nala!" Sarafina pointed out, holding Nala safely to her.

"I DON'T CARE!" Scar roared, "Let me make this absolutely clear…" he chuckled.

"it's time you were all introduced to you're ruler's executive staff…" He beckoned Shenzi closer to sit beside him, and she grinned at them all, stepping up gracefully, "Perhaps not the kind you've been used to, but certainly game for a laugh…"

Shenzi laughed at the expressions on the faces of the Lionesses. They looked both horrified and scared, as if they were finally realising that they weren't the ones in charge any more, "We'd like to assure you no fooling,
Red meat is no longer our scene…
And if now and then we're seen drooling,
It's only an ancestors gene…"

She cackled as more and more of her people strutted forward once again from the shadows. They outnumbered the Lionesses ten to one.

Scar nodded, "So prepare for a glorious future!
Be prepared for the pride's golden age!"

Banzai grinned sideways at Afisa and Ed, "It's like any other who murdered a broth-"

Afisa smacked him on the nose, "If we don't spread rumours he'll feed us and room us!"

From her seat next to Scar, Shenzi shouted down at the lionesses gleefully, "With friends in high places now we hold the aces!"

Scar nodded, looking down at the lionesses mockingly, "So don't try and rattle my cage!"

Shenzi stood up, "Oh, imagine if anyone dared!"

Scar laughed, his eyes wild, "Be prepared!"

All the hyenas joined in as one, "Oh, imagine if anyone dared!"

To Shenzi's shock he grabbed her around the waist and pulled her close, "Be prepared!"

He burst into laughter again, this time sounding more like a hyena than a lion, which was seriously unnerving.

Shenzi looked at Scar, feeling uncomfortable. He had grabbed her and pulled her close as if they were buddies; partners-in-crime. Which they were, but being so uninvited it felt like a serious invasion of her personal space. She detached herself from Scar carefully, keeping a dignified expression on her face as she brushed herself down, "There's just one other thing, Scar," she spoke clearly enough to be heard by anybody, "The past is in the past… for now. What I'm concerned with is the safety of my Clan in the future. I can't keep them safe if the lionesses start picking fights. What are you going to do about it?"

"Me?" Scar looked surprised.

"Yes, you. You're in charge, your majesty, what are you going to do about it?"

"I see…" There was a pause, but then Scar nodded, chuckling, "I make this decree," he shouted, "If any lionesses or hyenas start fighting, they'll be answering directly to me! I will not have these stupid arguments tearing us apart!"

A wave of silence flowed over the lionesses; pure shock. Sarabi managed to speak, "Scar, you can't be serious-"

"You heard the King!" Shenzi shouted to the hyenas, "If Lionesses and Hyenas start fighting, I'm gonna be very upset! So I don't want to see any of that? Understand?" She grinned at them.

There was a pause from the hyenas, then a slow rolling of snickers as the exact words sank in. The Matriarch had a rather sly expression on her face, "Yes, Matriarch Shenzi," they all chorused.

Banzai stepped forward to Sarafina with a grin, "You know what that means, lady?" he asked her, "I can hurt you, but you can't hurt me…" he looked down at Nala, who looked as shocked as any of the other lionesses, "Later, short-snack."

Sarafina looked at him with an open mouth, and growled.

Shenzi smirked as the crowds began to clear, but then she saw Sarabi. THe queen was still sobbing. Despite being a major player in the part of the death of Mufasa and Simba, she couldn't help but feel a twinge of sympathy. Sarabi had lost everything and she was going to lose much more.

She walked up behind the queen, "I'm sorry for your losses, Queen Sarabi," she murmured softly.

Sarabi looked at her, surprised at her gesture. She hadn't thought that hyenas had any feelings at all, especially not Shenzi, the notoriously ruthless Matriarch of the Graveyard Clan, "Thankyou for your kindness, Matriarch," she whispered.

"Shenzi, walk with me," Scar interrupted them before they could start conversation.

"Of course."

Shenzi followed Scar around the back of Pride Rock. Scar was silent for a few moments before he spoke again, "As an experienced ruler, you could make quite the mentor. A powerful Hyena Queen."

"Well, I wouldn't call myself experienced. And I'd rather use the word Matriarch," Shenzi grinned at the compliment, but she didn't like the word 'queen'. It just wasn't accurate for a hyena, "I look out for my people, and you look out for yours. My mother gave me a lot of training. I suppose your father was concentrating more on Mufasa-"

"NEVER say that name!" Scar pinned her to the wall by her neck, "Not even you, Shenzi, will say that name in my presence. I am the king!"

He was far, far too close to her for comfort, his sharp teeth in her face, "Understood," she sighed in relief as he put her down again, "The 'M' word is totally off-limits..." she swallowed, "But Scar, what made you ever want to be king? It's hard work, being in charge."

"How hard can it be, to tell people what needs doing? I became king for the same reason you wanted to be queen, my dear. The power."

Shenzi wrinkled her nose at the word 'queen' being used again, "No, I became the Matriarch to honor my mother's memory. Just like she did with my grandmother. That's how it's always been among the Graveyard Clan. That's how we make sure the strongest and smartest are in charge. Tradition is important."

"Hmm…" Scar chuckled, "But you are adored…"

"Adored? Oh, I certainly wouldn't use that word. A ruler can never truly be-"

"Tell me how I can be adored!" Scar advanced on her, "How can I be adored?!"

"Well…" Shenzi swallowed, "My mother once told me…"

"A Matriarch is here to serve,
Provide the next hors d'oeuvres!
t's both a blessing and a curse,
Things couldn't be better; they couldn't be worse!"

She turned away and gazed up at the setting moon.

"A Matriarch's not meant to rule,
She's just a slave to every fool!
Not here to be adored,
No, not to be adored!"

Scar laughed, as if all that had she said was ridiculous, "I understand what you mean, Shenzi. After all, everything you have is thanks to my benevolence," he moved closer to the Matriarch, and she cast him a doubtful look as he leant towards her.

"Together we are twice as strong,
What could possibly go wrong?
And if you do all that I say,
I promise it will go your way!"

Shenzi raised a doubtful eyebrow, but Scar completely ignored it and backed her up against the wall, putting a single claw under her chin almost affectionately as she pressed away from him, uncomfortable, "And even if you are a hyena…"

"When I look in your eyes I see…
Something as beautiful as me!
Like you I'll be adored!
One day soon I'll be adored!"

"Er… Scar?" she asked him, worried, "Are you… feeling okay?"

"I am perfectly fine. Your advice has been noted, Shenzi. You may leave," he dismissed her casually, as if nothing had happened. Normally Scar's charm was flattering but today it was just… ugh. Creepy. Shenzi was all too happy to get away from him

She met Banzai, Ed and Afisa as she hurried back to the caves that they were starting to settle down in.

"Somethin' wrong, Boss?" Banzai asked, seeing her disturbed expression.

"Oh, it's probably nothing," Shenzi shook her head to clear it of the unpleasant feeling of Scar creeping up to her, "Come on. Without us, those lazy lionesses are never going to get up to hunt. They hunt during the day, we stick to the evening and night, right? And Afisa?"

"Yes, Boss?"

"Gather up a hunting party. It's time we reminded these people of where we really stand in the food chain," she nudged Banzai's cheek, "For once we don't have to rush it."

Breech: The second set of verses are set to the score of "The Madness Of King Scar", but like I said, he's not crazy just yet. And it's always pronounced 'horderves' so it totally rhymes. There's a reason Scar is one of the creepiest villains. He like, oozes so much of it. Creepiness, I mean. Like greasy oil.