Many months had passed since that fateful battle. The Pride was thriving. The Outsiders had become settled in their new home, and some rouges had joined as well.

A single lioness walked alone through the misty Pride Lands that morning. Her gait was slowed by her injured leg and by old age, but she pushed on, determined.

Sarafina missed Zira, more than she could ever have guessed possible. Knowing that her oldest friend was gone forever had broken her heart. Vunja and Kuuma were the only ones who really understood, and only one was left. Kuuma had died peacefully in her sleep about a month ago. Vunja had a mate now, Kinga, and a son named Soma. There had been other painful reminders of the past along the way as well. Familiar names that she would rather forget had made themselves known, but that was all in the past now.

Simba and Nala were beginning to grow old. Simba was considering retiring soon, but Nala was trying to convince him to keep going, to push on through old age. Just like her mother. Kiara was expecting cubs, who would be born in a few months, and she wasn't the only one.

Sarafina was glad to see her Pride so happy, but since the death of Zira, she had felt strangely disconnected from it. She began thinking about her sons, Mheetu and Tojo, calling them that even though the latter was nor hers by blood. She wondered where they were and whether they were happy. She wondered too about Runju. Had he ever learned to be faithful. She hoped so. Everyone deserved happiness.

The elderly cripple finally reached her destination. The river was shrouded in mist, making it both mysterious and inviting. Sarafina dragged herself painfully into the water, her strength giving out as she fell into the water. The former rouge had fallen gravely I'll several days ago. This painful journey, which she had braved alone, had robbed her of all of her strength. She had known that she wasn't going to recover this time, and she had wanted to die here, the same place Dania and Zira had died.

Sarafina was lying in the shallow edge of the river, her head, lying on her paws, barely above the surface. The elderly lioness knew she didn't have much longer. She thought sadly of Mheetu and Tojo, of her sweet Nala, of the treacherous Runju. She thought of her mother and her father, of Vunja and Kuuma, of her lost friend Zira. The lioness thought reminiscently about Zira's lonely fall into hatred, and her own role in it. We are all part of the Circle of Life. She has lived through her part, and now I have finished mine. Farewell, Nala. Remember your old mother.

With that last thought, Sarafina felt her life slip away. A black wave crashed over her vision, and the gentle lioness knew no more.

Another circle had ended.

Yes, this is it. This is really the end this time.

I cannot tell you how weird it feels to actually have finished a project. I don't think I've ever finished an entire fanfiction before. This is cause for celebration! *goes for stash of Hershey Bars* But seriously, thanks for reading, and I hope you'll also read Coming to the Light, Kovu's Legacy, and The Wanderers, when I get around to them. For now, I'm going to get back to work on my long-neglected Warriors fanfics; namely, A Misty Flame and Fireheart's Betrayal. I'll also be working on Cinderette, if anyone reading this likes Les Miserables.

If you look here, you will find slight hints at what will happen in Kovu's Legacy, Coming to the Light, and The Wanderers. For clarification, Coming to the Light will show what happened from the time Zira died to when Kiara and Kovu have their cubs, and will mainly focus on Vitani and maybe Nala or someone else. Kovu's Legacy will follow the story of Kovu and Kiara's cubs. The Wanderers will remain a bit of a mystery for now, if you don't mind, but I've mentioned it before if you're willing to go back and look for it, and it's definitely TLK related.

Thanks again everyone.

Sarafina, Tojo, Mheetu, Zira, Nala, Simba, Kovu, Kiara © Disney

Kovu and Kiara's cubs, metioned cubs, Vunja, Kuuma, Kinga, Soma, Runju © Me