The sun slowly rose above the barren wasteland, flooding the dried earth with its rays. The warm glow washed over every inch of the lands, gently waking its inhabitants. A figure leisurely emerged from the towering structure in the middle of the bare terrain. It was a lion. His auburn mane flowed majestically in the light breeze. His golden pelt was slightly ruffled and his eyes radiated strength.

But despite how well he looked, he was still recovering from the battle a few days prior. "And so are the Pridelands," he thought.

The lion sucked in a deep breath and exhaled slowly. It relaxed his aching muscles, but it was only a momentary pause; he still had a lot of work to do. He was glad he had friends like Timon and Pumbaa to help him, even though they were an odd pair. And Nala was also there to help too.

Nala. The sound of her name became a symphony of joy whenever he heard it. She was his best friend all his life. Even when he was still living in the jungle, he kept her close to his heart. But no matter how close he held her, it wasn't the same. He yearned to see her smiling face and to feel her warm touch. But to put it simply, he missed her. Every night in the jungle, he wished to see her face just one time. And after years of begging to the great kings, he finally got his wish. He still couldn't believe that Nala had found him. It was probably by chance, but a part of him suspected that fate had led her to him.

His thoughts began to drift to that night in the jungle. There weren't too many things to think about. The only thing he was focused on was Nala. He was attentive to her every word. At least, he thought he was. He couldn't remember much from the conversations they had. "She said something about the desert…I think." He wasn't sure if that was what they were talking about, or at least what she was talking about, but what he did know was that he enjoyed her company either way.

He continued to overlook the Pridelands and could see a few patches of grass already growing. Suddenly, his ears twitched in reaction to what sounded like a stone being knocked over. He turned around to see a creamy-tan lioness standing just outside the mouth of the den. A smile tugged at his lips. "Good morning Nala."

Slight guilt was adorned on Nala's face. "I'm sorry Simba. I didn't know you were out here."

Simba shook his head. "It's alright. I was just thinking about something."

Nala's eyes glowed with curiosity. "What?"

"You," he wanted to say, but he held his tongue. "Just…the Pridelands."

Her face seemed to drop in disappointment for a moment, but it was too faint for Simba to notice. She walked up next to him and looked out toward the dry earth. There were a few patches of grass already growing. "I can't believe how fast everything is growing again," she said in awe. "But I shouldn't really be surprised," she added.

"Why aren't you surprised? I mean, the Pridelands used to be a wasteland," he questioned. "It made the Elephant Graveyard look like an oasis."

"True, but now we have a better king."

Simba blushed slightly from her statement. "Thanks, but I don't feel like I'm the king."

Nala lifted an eyebrow in confusion. "Why not?"

"I-I don't know," he said, sounding slightly defeated. "It's just that something's…missing."

"Like what?"

Simba huffed and stared at his paws. "I don't know…"

Nala nuzzled him slightly; it provided instant comfort. A purr sounded from her throat, but just as quickly as it came, she separated from him awkwardly. "Sorry," she apologized meekly. Simba smiled weakly in response. A moment of silence passed before the sound of paws shuffling sounded in the air. "Well…I'm gonna go round up some of the lionesses for a hunt." Nala bid him farewell and retreated back inside the den.

(Simba could feel his heart beating fast. That was just the effect she had on him now. He shook it off and stared off into the sun which was still just rising. The empty feeling in his chest soon returned and he found himself sifting through everything he thought a king needed. "Pridelands, check. Herds, check. Majordomo…" The last thought caused him to groan inwardly. "Definitely check…What else?")

Simba sat there thinking of what else he had. Suddenly, another voice called out from behind him; it was one he knew very well. "Hey Mom," Simba greeted.

Sarabi nuzzled his son. After they parted, she asked, "So, what were you thinking about?" Simba responded by throwing his head back in frustration. Sarabi shot him a weird look. "What was that for?" Simba explained his problem to his mother, who just nodded. After a few minutes she finally spoke. "Well, I have no idea what you might be missing…" she said, much to Simba's disappointment. "But what I do know is this: what you're looking for might just be in front of you," she added. Sarabi walked away, leaving her son to his thoughts.

Simba stood there, trying to figure out how his mother's words could help him. Below him, the hunting party gathered with Nala in front. She caught his eye as they were getting ready. He smiled warmly at her. She caught his gaze and smiled back. As if on cue, his mother's words echoed inside his head. What you're looking for might just be in front of you. Simba's eyes widened in realization. "I need…a queen."

His head immediately snapped back in Nala's direction and noticed she was about to set out. "I need to ask her now…" he decided. Simba rushed down Pride Rock as the hunting party began to leave. "Wait!" he called out.

Nala stopped and turned around to see Simba sprinting towards her. Once he reached her, she asked, "Simba, what is it?"

Simba was out of breath from the short run. "I need…to ask you…something…"

A/N: And there's another oneshot. Took me ages to write because I wanted to have it perfect, or at least close to it. I ended up rushing it because I wanted to finish it, so yeah…

For the part in bolded parentheses ( ), that was the part where I mostly rushed it. The part directly after it was rewritten about three times. First I was going to have Nala help him realize what he was missing, then it switched over to Mufasa, and I finally decided on Sarabi. And you can probably tell the style of writing changed about midway. I stopped there a few days ago and continued it today, so it might not fit so well.

My next update for Trail of Broken Promises will take some time. I need to rewrite some parts in there as well. I'm also looking for a beta reader. For those of you who are interested, contact me.

And before you press that glorious button down there, let me tell you something. I appreciate all the comments saying, "I liked it" or something along the lines of that, but I want to know what parts you liked. I also want to know what parts you disliked. I'm aiming to improve and I'm asking you to help me.

The Rogue Lion