What It Means To Be A Brother

AN: I don't own Brother Bear or any of the characters in this story.
Takes place right after the first movie. Enjoy.

Night was fast approaching. Most of the animals in the forest were going to sleep as the nocturnal ones were just getting up. As the many different creatures went somewhere safe for the night, a few of them noticed two bears, a cub and a young adult, coming out of a village of hunters. The two weren't running from it. In fact, the older one looked sad about leaving. As the bears looked back, they saw a few of the humans waving them good-bye.

"So long, Kenai!" one of the humans yelled to them. The older bear, Kenai, waved back at the hunter. "Don't forget that you're still my brother!" By this point, most the animals watching were getting confused so some decided to leave while others stayed around out of curiosity. As Kenai got one last good look at his brother and started walking along side the smaller bear, he started thinking.

The events that took place for Kenai within the past few days, and the impact that they had on his life, were a little too much to handle. It wasn't enough for him to have his brother sacrifice his life to make sure him and Denahi would live, get changed into the very thing he used to hate, or be hunted by his own brother. After all that was said and done, there was still the guilt he felt. Kenai knew that no matter what he did, the guilt would always be there with him; and no matter what he thought of, he couldn't think of much else that someone could do that was as bad as what he did.

Kenai looked down at the bear cub walking beside him. Koda had been through so much because of him. It pained Kenai to remember how Koda reacted when he told him the truth. The truth that he wasn't a bear, that his mom was gone, and that he was the one that killed her.

If he never would've met Koda, Kenai knew that he wouldn't feel the way he did now. He would probably be back in the village with Denahi, Tanana, and all his friends doing his best to move on with his life. But Kenai didn't want to have never met Koda. That cub was one of the most wonderful and amazing individuals he had ever met. Despite everything that happened, Koda stuck by his side, just like a brother. That was the one thing Kenai didn't understand about everything that had taken place.

"Koda," Kenai got the attention of the cub.

"Yeah, Kenai?" Koda had a smile on his face.

"I need to know something. Why," he took a deep breath. "Why did you come back for me?" Koda's smile fell when he realized what Kenai was talking about. Both bears stopped walking as Kenai continued. "After everything that I told you, and after everything I did, you still came to the mountain to find me. Why?"

Koda just sat there and looked away. It was obvious that he didn't want to talk about this.

"Koda, I need to know why."

"You called me your brother." Kenai just sat down next to Koda, waiting for him to explain. "Back at the Salmon Run, you said I was your brother."

"That's the reason?" Kenai had a feeling there was more to it. "That's the only reason why you went to find me? Because I said you're my brother?"

"No matter what happens, or what they do, brothers always stick together."

"But, Koda. What I did to you..."

"Do you remember everything we did as we were going to the Salmon Run?" Koda interrupted him. "I got to know a lot about you. Nothing about the hunter you told me you were at the Salmon Run was anything like the bear that I knew. After I calmed down and really thought about it, I realized that when you were..." He paused, getting emotional, and obviously not liking what he was about to say. "I realized that when you were h...hunting my mom, it wasn't really you. It was someone who was so heart-broken about his brother's death, that he had no idea what he was doing." Kenai took in every word Koda said to him. "I know you're not a bad person, or bear, Kenai. That's why I came back."

"If I'm not a bad person, then why do I feel like one?" Kenai put his head down, looking at the dirt that he felt like he was. He could feel tears building up in his eyes.

Koda went over and rubbed his head with Kenai's, tears building in his eyes as well. "My mom once told me that it can be nearly impossible to forgive yourself, but it's easy to forgive someone you really care for."

At these words, Kenai held his head up to look at his little brother. "Koda," there was a pause so Koda could look into Kenai's eyes, both their tears now flowing freely, "thank you." The two brother bears joined together in a big bear hug, neither one wanting to ever let the other go.

"Kenai," Koda spoke after minutes of silence, "I'm glad I found you. I'm glad you're my brother."

"Me too, Koda. You're the best little brother I could've ever asked for. I promise that no matter what happens, I will never leave you."

The cub looked up at the bear holding him. "You really mean that?"

"Yes. From now on, you're my brother, and brothers always stick together." They both just smiled and embraced each other even harder, tears still falling from their faces. The animals that were watching them still had no idea what was happening, but nonetheless felt touched at the display of brotherhood the two bears showed. The new brothers didn't know what would come in the future, but as long as they had each other, they didn't care.

The End