Of Depression and Soulmates

Disclaimer: I do not own The Lion King, the Lion King 2, nor any of the characters. They are the property of Disney and whoever else made them.

Summery: When Kovu was a cub he was introduced to the king of the lions, Simba. Years later he is sent back to the Pridelands and forced to see him all over again. The only thing standing in his way is Kiara and Nala, but when they (Nala and Kiara) leave Simba for reasons only they know will Kovu get his chance?

Warning(s): Aging / de-aging items, language, slash, OOC, mentions of MPreg (no actual MPreg in the story), and possible spoilers for the first two Lion King movies.

Pairing: Main-Kovu / Simba Minor- Simba / Nala, Kovu / Kiara

A / N: I do not know how a lion's lifespan works and so I have just made them age like humans. Also, I have this thing where the top has to be older then the bottom so that was changed around for the sake of my sanity.

Kovu & Kiara - Five , Simba - Twenty-two

The first time Kovu ever met, or even laid eyes on, the king of the Pridelands he had been nothing more then a cub trying to stay alive. All he had ever heard his mother or the older lions of the Outlands say about the king was that he was cruel to his subjects, had banished them for no reason, that he was small and weak, and things that did not fit the description of what a king should be. So, when he laid eyes on this lean, strong, golden furred lion who glared at them for 'attacking' his cub, Kovu could not understand how his pack had ever thought he was anything other then gorgeous and powerful.

The cub had shivered as those reddish-brown eyes turned to regard him with calm indifference, but slowly softened the more they looked upon his 'scared' and shaking form. It was not that he was scared of the lion in front of him, no he was anything but scared, it was just that even as a cub he knew that Simba was meant to be his, even if he did not understand where the feelings were coming from.

Things seemed to blur together after those feelings attacked him because he was to busy trying to figure out what they were to actually do anything and the next thing he knew his mother was picking him up and walking away from Simba. He wanted to scream and cry and beg his mother to let him go with the king, but he knew that he would sooner be killed than accepted into the Pridelands, whether it was his fault or not.

Instead, he settled with watching the king for as long as he could and then when he got home, dreaming sweet dreams about running through the Pridelands with the king of the lions.

Kovu & Kiara - Sixteen, Simba - Thirty-eight

Years later, Kovu was a well oiled machine, ready to kill at a moment's notice or at a given word from his mother. He had long since forgotten about that fateful day so many years ago when he had met the lion that he knew was meant for him, long since forgotten about ever seeing Simba. His mother had trained him well and he no longer allowed his emotions to rule his judement, no longer seemed to have any emotions at that.

His task was simple, save the princess from whatever it was Vatani and Nuka did to the lands she was hunting on and gain the king's trust. Infiltrate the Pridelanders pack and then once he had the king alone, kill him, and take over the pack. It was simple, easy to remember.

As he stood starring at the king across the small space that separated them, all of that simple easy to remember plan seemed to evaporate. As he stared into those reddish-brown eyes he knew that he would never be able to kill this lion. It would be like killing a part of his own soul and just the thought of harming the older lion tugged at his chest and made him sick to his stomach. He was a bit surprised when Simba allowed him into the Pridelands so easily or as he put it 'withholding judgement' on him.

Life in the Pridelands was nothing like he had imagined they would be. He had thought that he would be able to spend time with Simba, thought that the king would want to get to know him so that he could pass some sort of judgement on him, yet he found that he was forced to spend an unusual amount of time with Kiara. She wanted him to teach her how to hunt and it did not take him long to figure out that she sucked...badly at it. He had spent hours telling her over and over again that her breathing was to loud, that her pouncing and noise making tipped everything within five hundred yards off that she was there and attacking. Nothing worked and he was getting fed up with it.

He stood and stretched, letting out a loud yawn, before starting to walk away, just as Kiara pounced. He quickly ducked his head and allowed her to fly over him before he started off towards the watering hole. He was thirsty and if he was lucky Simba would be there, he seemed to spend a lot of time there, yet when he got there he was surprised to see that both the king and queen were standing there, seeming to have a very quiet argument.

"It's none of your business Nala," Simba growled, not wanting anyone else around them to hear.

"Yes, it is. If you are pining after some othe lion then I want to know. I don't want you to be with me just because of our daughter," the lioness snarled.

Simba let out a loud roar of aggravation, one that scared even Nala, and glared at her."It is none of your business what goes on in my head. If I want you to know then I will tell you and if I want to leave you for another else then I. Will. Do. So." he exclaimed before turning his back on her and walking away.

What he had not expected was for the lioness to be so angry that she would try and attack him when his back was turned. He had just enough time to turn and watch golden tan fur and dark brown fur collide in mid-air before they both landed in the water. The sounds of a fight between two lions could be heard across the Pridelands as Kovu fought the queen for attacking Simba. He was a bit shocked that the king had allowed the fight to continue, instead of stepping in and putting a stop on it. He tried to back away from Nala once he had stopped her from hurting the golden furred, red maned lion, but she would not allow it.

The lioness fought tooth and nail, biting deeply into his shoulder and back and scratching at his face. It was not until she had completely knocked him into the water did Simba step in with a growl from deep within his throat. The female lion looked over at Simba, lips pulled back in a snarl, before ignoring his command and turning back to Kovu, who was bleeding badly from bites and scratches scattered over his body.

"Nala!" Simba commanded,"Back down!"

Still snarling, Nala shot a glare over her shoulder at Simba.

"He's the one isn't he!" she snapped, pressing a paw to his throat.

"Nala, now is not the time to be talking about this," Simba tried to calm her down, but the lioness would not have any of it.

"Isn't he!" she shouted, pressing harder on his throat and cutting off his oxygen. He struggled to get away, but it seemed that when the lioness got angry she got a lot stronger.

Simba locked eyes with him and Kovu could see something directed only at him in those eyes before they hardened and reddish-brown glared at Nala."No, Nala. He's not the one. Now get off of him before I make you."

The queen seemed to understand that she had finally went to far and backed away from Kovu, allowing him to get the breaths that he had been robbed of for the past couple of moments. He stood on shaky legs and looked at Simba with confusion but the older lion just shook his head and walked off.

Later that night with Rafiki

The baboon sat in his tree, working on another drawing of lions. He was currently working on one of Kovu and another lion with golden fur, who he believed was going to be Kiara (after all those two would make a good couple). He remembered the spirits telling him to get Simba and Nala together, or at least he thought that was what they were trying to tell him since they had kept forcing things to fall until he did so. When the king and queen were younger he had always felt that they had a more sibling bond then a mate bond, but they now lived together happily. Unless you were one of the unfortunate ones who came across them when they argued and knew that they were in fact very unhappy.

He sighed as he put the finishing touches on Kovu's mane and was just about to walk away and leave it when a forceful wind turned him back towards the picture. Leaves and dust and dirt circled around the golden furred lion before flying behind him and knocking something from the tree. It landed forcefully on his head and fell open, revealing a red liquidy substance. Frowning, Rafiki bent down and scooped up some of the red liquid and created a mane around the golden lion. His head tilted to the side as he took in what the spirits seemed to be telling him.

"Simba and Nala were not supposed to be together," he whispered,"Simba was supposed to be with Kovu."

Shaking his head, he looked up at and sky and pointed a finger."You are crazy Mufasa. You have been up there for to long."

A strong wind almost blew him from the tree and he grabbed ahold of it screaming."Alright, alright. I will see if I can get them together, but it will not be easy. Nala is very protective of her mate and would fight to the death to keep him."

With those words the baboon set about coming up with ways to get Nala and Kiara to leave and get the two lions together.

"Daddy," Kiara whispered as she approached the leaner lion,"Daddy, why are you and momma always fighting?"

Simba sighed and turned his head to stare at his daughter, she would have been the only good thing to come out of mating with Nala had it not been for the fact that she was just like the other damn lioness. Always sticking her nose in other people's business, assuming that she had rights to a lion that did not even want her. Damn, he wished that he had never mated with Nala. Sure, he would have been alone, but he would have been happier and now his soulmate was in his pride and there was no way that he could approach him because he was so much older and he was mated to a bitch.

"It's nothing," he replied before turning to once more look out over the Pridelands.

"It's got to be something," Kiara argued,"Momma is in there crying and ranting about how you don't love her and how you won't tell her who the lion is that you do love and that she hates you and..." the lioness trailed off with a growl.

How could this lion she called father treat her mother like this? The only thing she had done for years was love him and here he was pining after some other piece of shit. Just who did this lion think he was and why could he not be happy with her mother like she was happy with Kovu? Speaking of her to-be mate, where was he? She looked around and was a bit surprised that he was nowhere to be seen. Normally he was either following after her or hiding someplace not to far away watching the king. It was odd that he was nowhere. Her attention was pulled back to Simba as he stood and stretched before walking away...much like how Kovu acted when he was getting up.

Now that she thought about it, her father and Kovu did a lot of things similar or liked the same things or disliked the same things...it was almost like they were made for each other because she could be telling Kovu something and he would have the same reaction that her father had had. Red eyes widened as all of these thoughts finished and she turned and quickly ran to her mother, tears and sadness and anger reflecting in her eyes as she told her mother her thoughts and the answer to the question they had both been asking.

That night, once all of the other lions had went to sleep, Nala and Kiara disappeared. They left and ran as far as they could and never looked back on what they had left behind at Pride Rock.

When Simba awoke the next morning he was a bit surprised to find that he was not 'cuddled' up to Nala nor Kiara and began to worry when he could not find them anywhere. Their scent still covered everything, but the strongest scent led away from Pride Rock and he followed it as far as he dared and was saddened to find that it completely left his territory. His mate and daughter had run off and left him behind. After that Simba seemed to fall into a depression and the lioness of the pack began to worry about their king. He hardly ever ate and he began to lose weight. The only thing he wanted to do was lay around and sleep or stare into the horizon as if waiting for his mate and cub to come back, but as the days turned to weeks and weeks to months it became obvious that they were not coming back.

The lionesses picked up the slack of food and hunted for themselves and when there was danger Kovu would step in and protect a pack that was not his own. He became a member of the Pridelanders and when, a number of months after Simba's fall into depression, the Outlanders attacked Kovu stood up as the leader of the pack. He fought against his mother and protected the Pridelanders and Simba, though the older lion was not at the fight. He almost lost his life protecting Sarabi from Zira and after that the other lions unofficially named him king. The only way he would become the official king was if he fought Simba and he would never take that title from the older lion.

Rafiki watched all of this from afar and saw the downward spiral that Simba had sunk into and it worried him to think that the lion would not survive. He knew, as did Sarabi and Simba himself, that Kovu was meant to be with him, that he was never meant to be with Nala and have a cub with her, but he had done it because it did not look like he was going to meet his own destined mate. Now though, the chance was right in front of him, but there was no way for him to grab the chance because he was depressed about being left behind as his family went on.

Sighing, the baboon made his way to his tree and began to work on a concoction that the past kings had once tried to get him to make. It took him a number of days to get it made and time was precious now that the king was slowly fading away. Sarabi had come to him only two days before and begged him to give her advice on how to help her only cub. She had told him that the king could hardly ever stay awake for long and he barely ate anything at all now. According to the ex-queen, you could now see the lion king's ribs and he was nothing but skin and bones.

He let out a cry of happiness when he finished the potion and hurried to the king's side.

His breathing was slow and he seemed to be dreaming of something not particularly good if the cries of 'no' and 'papa' and 'help' were any indication. His small body was wracked with shivers because he could not hold body heat when he had no extra fat on him. The lionesses were cuddled up to him as Kovu stood guard outside for the most part, acting as king until the true king could return. The dark furred lion cast another glance over his shoulder as the paw around his heart squeezed when Simba let out another desparate cry for help. How he wished to be able to help his mate and protect him from the horrors of his past, but that was not possible.

Kovu was pulled out of his thoughts by Rafiki appearing with half a shell of something in his hand. The baboon entered the cave with nothing more then a small nod of the head and quickly shooed the lionesses out. Many of them tried to protest because it was their king's life at stake, but they were cut off by Sarabi stepping forward and ordering them out.

Rafiki approached the shivering and shaking form of Simba and shook his head in despair. He could only hope that what he was about to do made things a little better, if not then they would surely lose him before the end of the week. He sat in front of the lion and pried his mouth open before pouring the sewer smelling, gray-ish purple liquid down his throat and then holding his mouth shut so that he could not spit it out.

Simba's body jerked as he tried to open his mouth, but Rafiki held it shut. The lion let out a whimper before his body started convulsing. The baboon watched in worry as Simba's body shrunk just a tiny bit and his mane shortened just a tad before he was still. His breathing evened out and he stopped shaking. Smiling to himself he stepped outside, only to be greeted by a very worried Kovu and Sarabi.

"He is fine," the baboon assured before proceeding to tell the members of the pride that their king would not be about seventeen years of age and then holding out another half of a shell filled with a sewer smelling, gray-ish green colored potion. He forced Kovu to drink it and watched as the lion grew just a bit more, now being bigger then Simba, and his mane grew about an inch more. Kovu was now eighteen and his mate was a year younger then himself, why Rafiki felt the need to age him two years no one will probably understand, but what else would you expect from a crazy money?

Simba woke with a yawn and stretched a bit before looking around. Reddish brown eyes blinked in confusion at seeing no one there and for a moment he was confused about what he was doing and why it felt like he had not eaten in months, but then his memories returned and he let out a cry of sorrow before collapsing in a heap of golden fur. Not seconds after he hit the ground he was surrounded by a warmth that seeped into his skin and bones and a familiar scent filled the area."Kovu," he whispered with a sigh of contentness.

"Simba," the older lion muttered before licking it gently.

The red maned lion giggled and pulled away before looking down at the...bigger lion. The king frowned and if he had arms they would have been crossed over his chest."What did that damn monkey do?" he hissed.

Confused at the sudden change in attitude Kovu stood again, and towered over Simba by about an inch, before explaining what Rafiki had done. Once he had finished Simba turned and shot out of the cave and to the baboon's tree.

"RAFIKI!" Simba screamed once he was under the tree. The baboon in question stuck his head out from the tree and grinned happily at Simba.

"Ah, you are awake and very much alive," he cried as he swung down and hugged the seventeen year old.

"You turned me back into a teenager," Simba hissed, eyes shooting daggers,"and made Kovu drink something to make him two years older. What are you planning?"

The baboon laughed a bit before hopping back up in his tree and leaving Simba with a reason to want to kill that damn monkey.

When he arrived back at Pride Rock, Simba was pounced on by most of his lionesses, who greeted him happily and with kisses and hugs. They quickly parted to allow Kovu through when the older lion growled, unhappy that his mate had rushed off like that. The dark maned lion stopped in front of Simba and looked down at him with a calculating look in his eyes before leaning forward and hugging him and giving him a light kiss on the cheek.

"Don't run away like that," he whispered,"you had me worried."

Snorting, Simba stepped back and shook his head."There was no reason to be worried and plus I was worried about what Rafiki might have done."

Narrowing his eyes, Kovu locked eyes with his mate."What might Rafiki have done?"

Giving his mate a sly grin, Simba walked by the older, taller lion, flicking him in the nose with his tail as he went."Wouldn't you like to know," he shot over his shoulder before giving his mate a look and entering the cave.

(This has been edited because I have no idea what to write for it)

The two lions panted, trying to get their breaths as they lay in the after glow of their deeds. Simba was cuddled up next to his mate, the way Nala should have cuddled with him, and was placing tiny nips and kisses on Kovu's neck. Their eyes were heavy and they could not hold them open and the last thing they had time to do before falling into the blissful abyss of sleep was whisper 'I love you' to each other.

The two did not see the little blue light that appeared over Simba's stomach nor the grinning Mufasa in the sky as his son slept with his true mate.

The next morning Simba awoke feeling as if he were going to be sick. He bolted away from his mate and out of the cave and had just enough time to get to the edge of the rock before he lost the food he had eaten the night before. Kovu quickly fetched Rafiki and the monkey was quick to tell Simba that he was pregnant, but that is a story for another time.