In His Shoes
Making The Fit
by Fuuko no Miko aka Kenumi
This is a rewrite. I just finished the official In His Shoes part 3 this morning and….my wonderful 5 year old deleted it permanently.
My apologies it took so long. But here goes.
I own nothing of the Thundercats or any of its characters. That honor belongs to Ted Wolff, Warner Bros, etcetera, etcetera.
The words that escaped Panthro's lips hit the lion much like the lightning that struck his brother earlier in the day.
"He has escaped."
If he was still dazed when he opened the door, he was completely awake now.
He's coming for me.
That thought didn't worry him as much as the alternative.
What if he came for the Cheetara? Or the children?
"General I want you to secure the princes, and the queen. Make sure they are heavily guarded." he ordered, "I will meet you in the war room."
Panthro nodded and quickly took off for the direction of the princes quarters.
"What's going on?" Cheetara was up now, getting dressed. She had sensed the urgency in his movements.
"Tygra's alive." he hurriedly put on his suit of armor. "He's escaped."
Cheetara gasped momentarily. This was rapidly replaced by determination in her features. "I will hunt him down with you."
"It's too dangerous!" Lion-O warned her as he watched her ditch she queenly outfit for her cleric uniform.
"You forget I was a warrior before I was queen." she winked at him. "Since when did you ever stop me from battle? Besides, you're going to need someone fast enough to catch your fugitive."
Knowing that arguing with her was pointless, he simply agreed as he placed the sword of Omens into its holster.
In the war room Panthro had laid out a map of the kingdom. Bengali had joined them as well.
"When we first captured him, his hideout was here." he pointed to a series of caves at the foot of the mountain west of the palace. "It was filled with ammunition and medical supplies. We've since sealed it off. He has no other living allies that we are aware of so we suspect that's where he's headed. I've already sent out a party led by WilyKat in that direction."
"Who else is aware of his escape?" Lion-O asked as he studied the map.
"Just Bengali and me." Panthro replied. "Our prisoner had taken down the other three guards who were there."
"I apologize for not being able to contain him, your highness." Bengali said, "I did manage to wound his leg. Hopefully that would slow him down."
Lion-O glanced at the younger tiger. From his injuries he could tell that he put up a big fight trying to stop Tygra. How his brother managed to do it after all that he had been through today surprised him.
Perhaps this world's Tygra was more similar to his brother than he thought. He never gave up. He would fight to the death.
"Knowing him, he wouldn't try to mount a counterattack half-assed." Lion-O commented. "I think we should send more scouts in other directions."
"I'll get right to it." Bengali acknowledged and took off once he got the approval from his superiors.
"We should head west." Lion-O concluded. "Make sure word doesn't go out, General." he spoke to Panthro. "The last thing we need is the whole kingdom panicking."
The panther agreed. "I'll get the Thundertank ready."
Lion-O and Cheetara made for the children's bedroom, making sure that they were well-guarded and protected. After then, they met up with Panthro and loaded unto the Thundertank. Cheetara went on foot, trying to detect Tygra's blood-tinged footprints in the mud.
"We were getting him ready for burial." Panthro relayed to Lion-O as he drove the tank as stealthily as he could through the thick, dark forest that surrounded the kingdom. "The guards were preparing to burn his body, just so none of his possible henchmen could get to it. It was then that he bolted awake and started attacking."
"I thought the lightning would've killed him." Lion-O commented.
"I thought so too." said Panthro. "My guess is that he didn't get it full force. You were wearing a metal suit of armor when he was on top of you and its very possible it conducted some of the lightning to the ground instead of just electrocuting him. It may just have paralyzed him temporarily." he cussed before continuing. "Damn cat has more than nine lives."
Lion-O shook his head, almost laughing at that remark. He knew of the many assassination attempts Tygra had been through and he had lived through all of them.
"He's got to run out of luck some time." Panthro snarled before putting the brakes on the tank. Cheetara was several feet ahead of them and had motioned them to halt.
"His tracks stop here." she commented, kneeling on one leg and examining the footprints. "I suspect he may have taken to the trees."
The trio started looking around at the trees. That it was just a few hours after sunset didn't help. The clouds that had hovered around this morning persisted, making the sky look black and ominous. Claps of thunder from afar threatened of another impending storm.
"He doesn't have his whip with him, does he?" Lion-O inquired, knowing that if his brother rendered himself invisible it was going to be close to impossible to find him.
"We confiscated it when he was captured." the panther replied. "Can he turn invisible without it?"
Nobody seemed to know the answer. For all the time they had known him Tygra had always used his whip to disappear.
"I'll go up the trees." Cheetara suggested. "Why don't you guys split up and look for him on the ground?"
They split and mutually agreed to meet up back at the Thundertank in half an hour. They all took flare signals to call for help if needed. Lion-O would've preferred to be with his wife but she reminded him that that would slow down their search.
"Will you stop being a worry wart?" she kissed him briefly before she leaped up a tree. "I can take care of myself."
"He's extremely dangerous." he warned her. "You know him well."
"Exactly." she winked at him before disappearing into some branches. Lion-O sighed. Much as he was confident that his wife was an able warrior, he knew Tygra was adrenalized from his rage.
Hell hath no fury like a tiger scorned.
He decided to prowl as quietly as he could, his ears tuned in for any unusual sounds. The forest was dark and the floor was muddy from the rainstorm today. Much as he tried to be quiet his footsteps made an annoying squeak against the mud. This certainly wasn't helping if he wanted to be stealthy.
He turned when he heard a snap behind him. Lion-O drew the sword of Omens in a flash, only to be disappointed at the sight of an oversized toad.
A sudden flare lit up the night sky. Exploding as it did. Lion-O identified the source of the signal, seemingly coming from Panthro's direction. He took off towards it, cussing as he slipped several times on the muddy forest floor. When he got to the location of the flare, there was nothing there.
No Cheetara either.
LIon-O looked around him, trying to pick up any noise. Cheetara would have been here too, and given that she was faster than he was, he suspected she had arrived here before he did once that flare went off.
He saw some tracks in the mud, some of which he recognized as the panther's sizable feet. They stopped at one point and were gone once they crossed beneath a tall tree. Lion-O looked up to see if there was anything there.
He noticed a piece of brown fabric caught on a bush not far from where Panthro's tracks disappeared. He recognized it as part of Cheetara's uniform.
She was here.
Where are they?
How an injured tiger can take down two able bodied warriors was beyond the lion's comprehension. Did Tygra have an accomplice? Did he have powers Lion-O wasn't aware of? Maybe he picked up some tricks while he served in Mumm-Ra's army?
Maybe this world's Tygra was more cunning and powerful than they give him credit for.
The eye of Thundera suddenly turned aglow.
A shift in the air caused Lion-O's ears to perk up. He moved at the last second, narrowly avoided an attack. Tygra reappeared across him. His wounds more numerous now, and some of them actively bleeding.
"I'm surprised you avoided that one." he laughed, "But then again after the thousandth time, you probably should be able to."
"Give it up, Tygra." the lion ordered. "You're too injured to carry on fighting like this."
The tiger raised a brow, his trademark smirk appearing on his features, "Since when did you give a flying fig about my well being, Lion-Ho?" he prowled around the king slowly. "The only thing you ever cared about was your selfish little ass."
Lion-O's eyes narrowed. He knew Tygra was referring to the other Lion-O whose place he took. He isn't completely aware of the severity of their conflict but it must be quite grave from what the tiger was implying.
"Why do you hate me so much Tygra?" he finally challenged. He had drawn the sword of Omens, putting it defensively between them as he protected himself from his brother. "Whatever did I do to you to make you feel this way?"
Tygra's glare could've dropped Lion-O dead on the spot should looks be able to kill. "You can not be seriously asking me that question!" he all but screamed. The fury seemed to burn in his eyes more brightly now.
The lion wasn't quite prepared for what happened next.
Tygra pulled out his whip, took a crack and disappeared within the blink of an eye.
"I did everything I could to be worthy of the title of prince." he heard Tygra speak loudly. "I had to silence all the naysayers out there that I was nothing but a charity act for Father. I had to prove time and again that I was fit to be the monarch of Thundera but you…" his voice lowered a hair but was no less furious. "You goofed off. You did what you wanted whenever you wanted. Shirking off responsibility for your stupid little whims, and yet no one…no one dared question the blood heir to the crown. Nobody!"
Lion-O winced when the whip cracked and slit his upper arm. He turned to where it came from. He watched the mud sink as Tygra's footsteps made their mark on them. He smiled a little. Invisibility isn't going to be completely a hindrance now.
But then the tracks stopped.
He felt another slice of pain as the whip's tip sliced across the back of his neck. He turned towards the direction, still holding the sword of Omens in front of him.
From what he deduced Tygra had jumped up a tree branch and attacked from there.
The air then became still.
One second. Two. Three.
The lion then felt something wrap around the handle of the sword. It didn't take a breath to figure out what the tiger was trying to do. Holding on to the sword with all his strength, Lion-O tugged mightily, yanking as hard as he could. He felt a give and suddenly Tygra reappeared once he lost hold of his whip. He fell off a tree branch and landed feet first on the ground. Lion-O quickly disentangled the whip from the sword of Omens and put it on his holster. He wasn't going to let his brother turn invisible on him again.
"That should have been mine too." Tygra growled as he slowly got on his feet referring to the sword of Omens. His many injuries obviously kept him from moving as well as liked. "I don't understand why a sword would choose some idiot like you to wield it." His trademark smirk crossed his features once more. "Then again…maybe it wants to protect the weak and stupid, for which you are the perfect candidate for."
Tygra took to the air to attack him. Lion-O swung the sword of Omens to deflect it but at the last second had mud thrown in his face. He felt Tygra kick his hand that held the sword, dropping it. He wiped the mud off of his eyes and tried to see where the sword had fallen.
The tiger knelt a few feet away from him. Apparently he did get hit before he was able to kick the sword from Lion-O's grip as a fresh wound began bleeding on his ankle. Tygra was breathing hard. He didn't know how many more injuries he can take. He was strong but he was not immortal.
Lion-O took the opportunity to charge. He tackled the tiger to the ground. He heard a loud whoosh as his armored chest hit his brother, as though emptying the air out of his lungs. Tygra fell back, weakened by his already grave injuries. That didn't prevent him from talking however. Lion-O was on top of him, his grip tight on his brother's arms.
"And her…" Tygra managed to spew out as he coughed out some blood. Lion-O didn't have to ask who it was his brother was referring to. "I loved her Lion-O." and as he spoke about the woman in question, Lion-O saw the hatred building up in his brother's eyes yet again. "I loved her with all my heart and soul. I could have lived without the kingdom and the sword of Omens, but not without her. You knew it….and you just had to have her too, didn't you? You selfish prick."
The lion didn't have an idea of how Cheetara and him had come to be in this world, and he wasn't about to ask.
"You never loved her, not like I did! She was nothing but a trophy to you! Just another prize to rub in your brother's face!" he accused.
The lion's eyes narrowed. "What do you know about my feelings for her, Tygra?" he snarled under his breath. "If you truly cared about her then you wouldn't be hurting her with all the crimes you've committed."
That seemed to fuel Tygra's anger more as he struggled to free himself from Lion-O with no success.
"What do you think you're going to gain by killing me, Tygra?" Lion-O counterattacked. "Assume the throne? Make her love you?"
Tygra said nothing but the fire in his eyes continued to burn.
"You're already third earth's most wanted, even more so if you kill me." Lion-O narrowed the distance between their faces. "How long are you going to keep running from the law, Tygra? You can't keep running forever. One day it's going to catch up with you."
Lion-O wasn't sure if he was getting to his brother but he wasn't going to stop trying.
"And even if you do manage to kill me, Cheetara will carry on without me. Raise our sons until they are fit to take my place."
The lion felt Tygra struggle less, his breathing becoming more labored. He appeared to be getting pale.
The life seemed to be draining out of his brother slowly.
"Tygra…" Lion-O immediately got off the tiger. He pulled him up against a tree. It was then that the lion saw a gash on Tygra's lower chest that he didn't see beforehand. It had started to bleed.
Tygra had appeared to be getting weaker. He could barely keep his eyes open. He opened his mouth to speak, and coughed up a chunk of blood with it.
His words sliced through Lion-O worse than any sword could. He knew those words weren't exactly meant for him but for the Lion-O of this world, but it was no less potent than if it did come from the Tygra he did know.
Lion-O held the tiger's upper arms to pull him up to his level. Tygra was fading fast. He shook him a little to wake him up. When he managed to open his eyes, the lion met his vacant stare with his own, "For whatever I have wronged you with, brother…I apologize."
Tygra closed his eyes.
For a minute Lion-O had panicked. Tygra looked dead. It wasn't until he noted the shallow chest rise did he realize that his brother was still alive. Barely. Clinging on to life with a thread.
"Step aside, your highness."
Panthro's booming voice startled the lion. He turned to see the panther slowly getting on his feet. He had a laser gun pointed at Tygra while he struggled to pull a dart from his side. Lion-O recognized it as weapon used in the earlier days where you can shoot someone with a poisoned blow dart to temporarily paralyze them. That explained how Tygra was able to subdue the panther in his injured state.
"No." Lion-O defended. "He's injured enough as it is, General."
The panther's eyes widened at the lion's defense of his brother. "My king I know you probably feel bad since he is your brother but this criminal…" Panthro winced as he finally pulled the tip of the dart off of himself, "This traitor does not deserve to live."
"There is no redemption for this hell-bound soul." Tygra managed to speak despite his weakened state. "Just get it over with, General." He beckoned to Panthro, struggling to sit up straight. "Don't let the king soil his hands with me." The look he shot Lion-O was not filled with the same hatred he had seen earlier.
Lion-O's gaze met with the tiger's. And for the first time since they crossed paths, this time they weren't filled with anger.
"Death…but not surrender. Never…surrender." Tygra mouthed off as Panthro took aim. He turned to Lion-O and in a barely audible whisper he said, "Apology accepted….brother."
But Panthro had already pulled the trigger.
Lion-O moved to block the beam. The laser burned through the upper chest of his armor creating a hole.
The compartment it had hit was not empty.
The transference ball was there.
Arachnor had not taken it back.
Lion-O felt a mild burn as the laser hit his shoulder, but the majority of the hit was absorbed by the ball. It fell out of the hole in his armor.
It glowed red and started to heat up.
It took but seconds.
The next thing he knew, Lion-O and Panthro were both swept aside. They were thrown against some bushes by what they later identified was Cheetara who herself had woken up from losing consciousness. The ball exploded, sending a million shards of light in different directions. The explosion lasted for less than a minute and had left a gaping six foot hole in the ground where it had shattered.
After the debris cleared, all three Thundercats gathered at the area where the ball had broken. There was nary a piece of it left.
Nor were there any traces of the tiger, save for remnants of his armor, a small pool of blood and bits of his fur.
The trio examined the debris, searching for anything that may have left over.
"Do you think he's dead?" Cheetara asked as she picked up the snake logo that Tygra had once proudly wore on his armor. It was blood-tinged and broken.
"If that explosion didn't kill him, his injuries will." Panthro replied. "He's not long for this world."
Lion-O said nothing and picked up an old blow dart. He figured this was the one Tygra had used to shoot Panthro and Cheetara and rendering them temporarily unconscious. It was old and had an inscription on it.
For Tygra. I know this isn't much but it may come in handy someday. I made it myself. Take care, from Cheetara.
The irony of it was a bitter pill to swallow. He placed it in his pocket and kept silent. He found the sword of Omens wedged between a tree root and picked it up.
They searched for over an hour to make sure there were no other traces of the tiger left.
The three of them then quietly made it to the Thundertank and headed home.
"What do you mean you broke it?"
Lion-O had ventured to see the spider-king the following day. Needless to say the latter was not pleased upon hearing what happened to the transference ball.
"Well, technically Panthro broke it." Lion-O shrugged, "He shot the gun, missed Tygra and hit my armor."
Arachnor's gaze told Lion-O he wasn't completely convinced.
"I did ask you to take it back the first time around." Lion-O reminded him. "Your bad for not taking it."
The spider-king's mouth dropped open. "What?" was all he could reply with.
"The more important question is," Lion-O interjected, "What happens now that it's gone?"
"I honestly don't know." Arachnor said thoughtfully. "I've got to figure this out."
"Well, let me know when you do." Lion-O stood up and left the throne room. "I apologize in behalf of my clumsy general."
Arachnor didn't have a comeback for that one. He slapped his forehead in exasperation. This had never happened in the history of the transference ball and he has not a clue on what consequences it may bring.
"Are you done preening in there?"
His wife poked her head in his dressing room. Lion-O was adjusting the regal robes he just had tailored for this very occasion. It was once again time for the Winter Solstice ball.
"You know you can stare all you want but those robes aren't going to look any better on you." She laughed as she stepped in the room with him. She was wearing a golden gown that accentuated her curves in all the right places.
"You know I only want to look good for my queen." He winked at her and pulled her by the waist. He planted a longing kiss on her mouth and gently squeezed her bottom. "You look delectable in that gown…" he whispered in her ear. "Even more so out of it…"
"Lion-O! Not now!" She laughed and swatted his hand away. "Your guests await."
Arm in arm they marched together down the hallway leading to the throne room. They were greeted by their sons, both a year older but not any less naughtier. They were dressed in their best regal clothing. Their governess WilyKit was not far behind them, carrying their three month old sister Katarah. She was her mother's spitting image save for the absence of spots. She had the facial markings of a lion. Lion-O loved and adored her, spoiling her like the little princess she was.
The arrived at the grand ballroom, everyone kneeled in respect of the royal family. As with tradition, Lion-O addressed his subjects with reports of the previous year and plans for the year ahead. Included in this year's announcement was the capture and death of third earth's most wanted. Lion-o did his best to conceal the shaking in his voice as he mentioned Tygra's death. He almost wasn't able to pronounce his name as he did, but no one seemed to notice except for Cheetara who cast him a sidelong glance. This was greeted a thunderous applause and enthusiastic chanting.
"Long live King Lion-O! Long live the royal family!"
Lion-O acknowledged the crowd and signaled the beginning of the festivities. The music started playing, the entertainers started performing and his subjects started partaking of the regal feast before them.
"I'm so proud of you." Cheetara smiled at him and planted a kiss on his cheek.
"I couldn't have done in without you, my love." He kissed her back. He led her down the stairs to where the banquet table stood and sat down to take their meal.
As they ate Lion-O's gaze wandered to where WilyKit sat with the children. That was where Tygra used to sit in his world. He had to admit, he missed his brother dearly. He often wondered what he had been doing, if Cheetara had given birth yet and whether they had a son or daughter. He had pleaded with Arachnor several times to allow him to see what had been going on in his world but the spider had told him that that was technically forbidden.
His thoughts then wandered to the other Tygra. The evil alter ego of his brother. The one who may or may not have a slight change of heart while in his deathbed.
He's not even sure if he really is dead.
Could he have escaped again? They never did find an actual corpse.
But the fact that he had never resurfaced after that explosion gave Lion-O some form of solace. He may have truly died, or gone completely underground. Maybe he had a change of heart and decided he was going to give himself a new life or new identity.
Deep in his heart he knew that that was the last he was going to see this incarnation of his brother.
Arachnor did find out what the consequences were of the ball exploding.
Lion-O was going to be stuck in this world.
He certainly didn't mind that, once the spider king told him so. His only regret was that he was going to miss Tygra…his brother, not the rogue commander from Mumm-ra's army. He certainly hoped that the other Lion-O that he displaced wouldn't mind so much, though Arachnor did mention something about being content in where he was.
He knew he was.
The one thing that did keep his memory from being completely reset were the good memories of his brother. He preferred it that way too. He had no desire to learn of the evil version of his brother's misdeeds.
The ball apparently worked in absolutes. All or nothing.
He turned to look at the beautiful cat seated next to him. Coming here he had realized he wasn't completely over her, and that those feelings had resurfaced. In this world he had her and their children and that made him happy.
In his heart, he wished that Tygra, evil Tygra, should he be alive, be able to find happiness as well. Life was too short to drown yourself in thoughts of hate and misery.
"Lion-O, someone's going to catch us!"
He sealed her mouth with his to keep her quiet, letting her know that if she kept talking someone will indeed find them.
The Winter Solstice ball was taking longer than he had patience for. It seemed like it was going to go on forever. Once he had his wife in his arms during a waltz, he had swept her across a hallway that was seldom used. He had passed Panthro on the way and gave him a knowing nod, to which the panther sighed. Meanwhile he pulled the cheetah behind a pillar where he pinned her against the wall and prevented her from talking by kissing her deeply against her protests.
Once noting the hallway was empty, he quickly shuffled her off to his study where he bolted the door behind them. He wasn't going to allow anyone to interrupt them.
He playfully pinned her against the wall, his chest pressing against hers. He could feel her heart racing with excitement, palpitating against his. He placed his arms on either side of her, trapping her as he bent down to graze his lips against her warm neck.
"Your fault for wearing that damn gown." he whispered as he started tracing a path on her soft neck with his mouth and tongue. "Did you see how many of those other kings kept undressing you with their eyes?"
She laughed heartily. "Unfortunately for them I only allow one king to undress me with both his eyes and his hands." she ran her hands across his back, moving upwards to run her fingers through his soft, fiery tresses.
He tugged at her fine straps with his teeth, allowing them to slide over her shoulders and fall on the wayside. This revealed her well-formed breasts to him. She had been breastfeeding their daughter and they had gotten fuller from the breast milk. Lion-O would be lying if he didn't admit how tempted he was to take over every time baby Katarah was done eating. He took one of the turgid nipples in his mouth, savoring its fullness. Cheetara gasped as his rough tongue circled the sensitive tips. A low moan escaped her throat as her excitement grew.
Lion-O's right hand snaked up the hem of her gown, running his hands across her thighs. He lifted her leg and placed it on his hip as he pushed his lower abdomen against her, letting her know the extent of his arousal. His hand crept towards her midsection, prowling to the center of her womanhood. His fingers slipped in between her legs, feeling the warm heat within them.
"What? No panties?" he voiced out his discovery, pretending to be upset when in truth it had excited him even more knowing she was prancing around without underwear.
"This thing was so clingy on me that the lines were showing." she spoke in between breaths as he probed her wet depths. "It's not very appropriate for me to be panty-flashing the whole kingdom…" she gasped as he flicked her most sensitive nub."B-besides, I wore a slip beneath it…ohhh…"
In one sweeping motion the lion cleared out his study desk, dropping the books and maps to the floor. He pushed his wife on top of the table, hiking up the skirt up to her waist and pulling her to the edge of it, letting her buttocks partially hang on it. He rapidly discarded his own clothes, ripping a seam here and there as he did. They were becoming rather tight and uncomfortable as the heat suffused through his body. He went down on his knees and pulled his wife towards his eager mouth.
He had parted her legs wide, putting them on each of his shoulders. He held on to her hips as he introduced his mouth to the center of her arousal. She had locks of his hair entwined in her fingers as he lapped at her sweet core, tasting her hungrily. He sucked at her swollen lips, teased her sensitive spots with the tip of his tongue. He had found her g-spot and started flicking it with his finger once he verified that it was indeed her point of utmost pleasure. He ate her out like a starving man.
She tensed up as she felt a wave of orgasm slowly start to spread from her center going outwards. She bit her lip to keep from crying out loud when she climaxed. She felt her inner nectar spill onto her lover's mouth as he clamped his lips against her nether ones. She was coming down from her high when she felt his thick member position itself just on the outside of her orifice. Its' tip teasingly rubbed against her. She was ready for him but he seemed to be holding back some.
"Say what, my king?" she replied to his demand almost breathlessly.
"Tell me how much you want it."
Cheetara wasn't sure why he chose this particular time to play hard to get but she was willing to play his game, if only to feel him inside her.
"I want you, my king." she pleaded.
"Not good enough."
"I want you my love, please…."
He stayed completely still.
"Fuck me, Lion-O. Now."
That wasn't a request. That was an order.
"As you wish."
He rammed himself inside her, to the hilt, hard. Cheetara bit her lip as he started pounding her. Forget the uncomfortable, hard desk she was laying on. All that mattered now was his throbbing shaft that slid almost violently in and out of her. She wrapped her legs around his waist to allow him better access to her. She dug her claws against his hips as she felt another orgasm hit her. She wasn't quite done when he pulled her off the table, flipped her over and started taking her from behind. He spread her legs wide, squeezed her buttocks harder, as he buried himself in her warm core. Across the table was a full length mirror where she could see him penetrate her, watch him grit his teeth, clench his jaw with pent up excitement. Her breast bounced with every movement he made against her. It was one of the most erotic things she had ever seen.
"Lion-O…" she gasped as she felt she was going to climax again.
He loved hearing her say his name. It was an affirmation that she belonged to him. Heart. Body. Soul.
He finally released his warm fluids inside of her as he imploded. He held on for as long as he could and the release was exhilarating. He thought he heard her whimper when she came a third time. Once sated, the king slowly got down on his knees and fell limp on the carpeted floor, his wife following suit right after.
"We should do this more often." She nuzzled at his neck as she cuddled up next to him. He pulled her close and planted a kiss on top of her head.
"As if we don't do it often enough…" he chuckled as he buried his face in her sweet-smelling hair.
"Why Lion-O, are you getting tired of me?"
"I've waited too long in the sidelines, my love." He spoke tenderly, "I will never, ever be tired of you."
They fell asleep that way. Cheetara with her gown bunched in the middle and Lion-O in nothing but his fur. They woke up several hours later and made love again before redressing and sneaking back into their quarters. Panthro was left holding the bag at the solstice ball. He had to come up with an excuse on why the king and queen weren't there to bid their guests goodbye. The panther shook his head, one of these days he was going to have a serious talk to the king about a pay raise for all the extra things he does that weren't on his job description.
The lion stirred. It was still dark, he guessed about a few hours before dawn. He thought he heard a sound within their chambers. He took hold of the sword of Omens that lay next to his bed and slowly got up. He tiptoed around his quarters, eyes sweeping the room for anything suspicious.
His glance rapidly shifted to the source of the sound, which to his surprise was coming from the mirror. The glass had an eerie bluish glow to it. He carefully crept towards it. He saw nothing but his own reflection, but once his gaze adjusted he noted that the reflection was wearing different clothing from himself.
"It's me." the reflection spoke. "The other you."
Lion-O rubbed his eyes. Did he have too much wine at last night's festivities?
"No, you're not dreaming." the image on the other side laughed. "I'm the one whose spot you are currently in." He cleared his throat before titling his head towards Cheetara's sleeping form. "That's my wife right there."
That sentence seemed to snap Lion-O awake. He stood directly in front of the mirror, his eyes going up and down examining the figure before him. They are of course spitting images of each other, the difference was very subtle. The other Lion-O appeared more weary. Tired, so to speak. A little rougher around the edges.
"Now technically what I'm doing is forbidden, "the reflection said. "But I figured I should talk to you at least once."
The lion put the sword of Omens down, his eyes still very alert and attuned to the reflection's movements.
"How do you like it there?" the other lion asked.
Lion-O's gaze shifted to the sleeping cheetah, "Well…"
The other lion laughed, "Oh I know…little tigress in bed isn't she?" he remarked. "Sorry, pun not intended."
"Where are you at?"
"In your world." he replied. "Where you actually get along with Tygra." the smile on his face showed contentment.
Lion-O was almost afraid to ask but he did. "How do you like it there?"
"A lot actually." the reflection answered. "You know, after almost a decade of dealing with a renegade prince that doesn't know when to quit, a little peace of mind is most welcome."
"Don't you miss your family?"
"I do of course." the other lion said. "Tygra's boys remind me so much of my own. They're a little more hyper than Leoric and Leonidas though." he laughed. "Your sister-in-law gave birth to a third boy, by the way. They named him Claudus."
Lion-O smiled. He thought that was thoughtful of his brother to name the little one after their late father.
"A bit unusual considering the little squirt looks like a blonde tiger, but he's very adorable." he answered the question in Lion-O's head.
"So…are you coming back here?" Lion-O finally voiced out the query he's been dreading to ask.
The reflection sighed. He lowered his head and picked up an imaginary piece of lint on his clothing. "That's what I'm here to talk to you about."
They both grew silent for a short moment, eyes meeting each others'.
Lion-O wondered if his counterpart knew that the evil version of their brother was gone.
Should I tell him?
Then again he thought that it wasn't possible for him to go back since the transference ball broke. Was Arachnor wrong?
"When I left there, there were many unresolved issues." the other lion began. "Cheetara and I were having marital problems. The stress of dealing with Commander Tygra was getting to me. It has affected my marriage. Thats why I took a two week hiatus to clear my head. That's when Arachnor gave me the ball….and I arrived here."
"I see." Lion-O said thoughtfully. "He's….Tygra I mean. He's gone." He thought he would be honest. No sense in hiding the truth.
The other lion didn't seem shocked. He smiled. "Wow. You got rid of him faster than I did." he commented. "Congratulations."
Lion-O just smiled back. He still has a hard time thinking that the tiger might have been dead. The emotional attachment was a difficult tie to sever, no matter how many times he reminded himself that this was a very different Tygra. This was the big difference between him and the other Lion-O.
"I have to tell you something." he thought he might as well let all the beans spill out. "The transference ball broke accidentally and Arachnor said it meant I was going to be stuck here permanently."
The reflection raised a brow, showing little surprise. "Well…" he spoke after a while. "I guess that makes my job easier then."
"What do you mean?"
The reflection met Lion-O eye to eye. "I was going to ask to switch places with you, permanently."
The lion's eyes widened. "Why?" was the first word he managed to say.
The other lion took a while to reply but he appeared serious when he did. "I love my family Lion-O. Don't get me wrong. But…in those two weeks that I was gone I….I did my wife a disservice."
Lion-O squinted. He wasn't sure what the other one meant.
"I made a sojourn and…" the reflection said. "You probably wouldn't understand. I was in so much confusion and stress and….and in a moment of weakness I gave in to temptation."
The lion's jaw dropped open.
"I felt I needed an escape and for that moment…it seemed like a way to release…feel free even temporarily." he tried to explain. He met the other lion's stare. "I had a tryst with someone…"
It was with that one sentence Lion-O realized the other difference between him and his alter ego.
"Look, I don't expect you to understand." the other lion seemed to read his thoughts. "Your strains and stressors are different than mine." he was quiet for a few seconds before he continued. "I had a fling, Lion-O. She didn't know who I truly was or that I was married. And for that moment it felt right, you know?"
Lion-O wasn't sure how to respond to that one.
"Anyway…Cheetara doesn't know since I was whisked off here after it happened. She's a great woman, Lion-O. She deserves better than a cheating husband."
"I'm sure she'll forgive you…" Lion-O couldn't believe he was saying this, but he did. "If you only did it once in a moment of indiscretion I'm sure she'll understand."
Neither of them spoke for a few moments. Lion-O's gaze wandered to the back of his reflection where his bed was. His eyes widened when he saw a young lioness in it. He recognized that it was not any of his concubines.
The other lion nodded. "Tygra introduced her to me a few months ago. I didn't know she existed in this world as well."
Lion-O's lip tightened. He held back the desire to lash out at the other lion for breaking the marital trust between him and his wife. He knew in his heart that he would have never cheated on Cheetara.
"Like I've said I don't expect you to know what it was like." the reflection spoke again. "Our circumstances are gravely different." he seemed to read the other Lion-O's thoughts. "I'm not asking you to condone my faults, Lion-O. The only thing I ask is that you treat my wife better than I did."
Lion-O wondered if Commander Tygra had a point. Maybe this world's Lion-O didn't love her as much as he did?
"I know I will." he said in response.
"Trust lost is hard to regain. No marriage will last with a break of trust, I realize that." the other lion spoke. "I still love my wife, Lion-O, I do. Maybe you'll find that hard to believe doing what I did. I want her to be happy and if she feels happy with you then so be it."
The reflection then started fading, and before Lion-O could say another word, he had completely disappeared.
He stood there unmoving for several minutes, still trying to digest what had happened. He felt a surge of anger at his alter ego's treatment of his wife. Then again, he figured he didn't truly know what it was like to be in the other lion's shoes. Not completely anyway.
He crawled back into bed, his gaze moving to the gently sleeping cheetah. The streaks of moonlight softened her features. Lion-O felt a warm sensation in his chest. He promised that he would treat her as well as he possibly could. He started caressing her soft hair, running his claws through it.
He leaned over and planted a kiss on her cheek.
He pulled her closer and held her lovingly.
Lion-O pressed his lips to hers.
His hand slipped behind her back, caressing it.
She opened her eyes slightly when she felt his tongue try to push between her lips.
"Mmmm…" she spoke sleepily. "Isn't it a little too early for this?"
He laughed deep in his throat as he resumed invading her mouth. His hand moved to slip the straps of her night gown off. Once down, he pushed it all the way down to her waist. He pushed his naked chest against hers, pressing her full breasts on him. Her nipples rubbed on his soft fur, hardening at the contact.
His kisses moved to her ear, lapping, nibbling, tracing its outline. His tongue traced a path then to her neck. She shifted in the bed, allowing him better access to it as he gently bit on it. She was still hallway asleep and had placed her hand on his back, rubbing it affectionately. He pulled back to admire her still sleepy face. She did manage to smile a little at him. She looked like she was still in dreamland.
"I love you." he said as he pushed a strand of hair that fell on her face.
"I love you too hon." she replied.
He resumed his journey downwards, kissing a trail to the middle of her chest. He heard her gasp when his hand went to her full breast and fondled it, rubbing the firm nipple with his thumb. He moved to the opposite side and started running his tongue on the peak. He had a little taste of her breastmilk as he sucked on it. She started purring as he continued his onslaught on her breasts. If she had been lolling earlier, he was quite sure she was awake now.
Lion-O started towards the hem of her sleeping gown, lifting it up to her waist. He hooked a finger on the side of her panties and slowly dragged it down before carelessly discarding it. She moved restlessly beneath him as he slipped his hand between her thighs. His thumb rubbed at pinnacle of her folds while his fingers slid between them. He felt her squeeze his fingers with her muscles as she started to get wet.
"You and your funny timing." she spoke breathlessly as she bit her lip. She tightened her grip on his fingers as they continued to pleasure her core. She clutched at a nearby pillow when she started that all too familiar feeling that began in the center of her loins. Her legs stiffened, she pushed her head back as she climaxed under his touch.
The lion then impatiently discarded his underwear as it became too small to accommodate his excitement. Nothing turned him on more than hearing his wife call his name out in ecstasy. He moved above her, pushing her legs apart and wrapping them around his waist. He tentatively probed with the moist tip of his manhood, testing her wetness a few times before slowly penetrating her with his eager shaft. He bit his own lip as he felt her wet warmth envelop him. For some unusual reason this mating felt a bit different from all their previous sessions. He savored the sensation of her muscles surround and gripped his member inside her. He then started moving in and out, slowly picking up the pace. He held her hips in place as he pounded her, progressively getting more aggressive as the minutes passed. He gritted his teeth as he felt himself coming. With a grunt he released himself inside her. Her hands had gotten around his buttocks and squeezed them as she followed suit with her own orgasm a few seconds after him.
When he finally caught his breath, Lion-O fell along side his spouse, holding her against him as she turned to the side. He buried his head on the nape of her neck as he purred.
"Marry me, my love." he whispered in her ear.
This caused her to look bewilderedly at him over her shoulder. "We are married, King Lion-O." she raised a brow. "Who do you think you're sleeping with, hmmm?"
"That's not what I meant." he chuckled as he licked the outer curve of her ear. "You're married to the other me." he clarified. "I want you to marry me. This Lion-O. The one who loves, adores and worships you more than any other version of me in the universe."
She turned over to look him in the eye, a puzzled expression still on her features. "You know how weird the whole kingdom will think that's going to be?"
He reached over to cup her cheek, his thumb caressing it. "We don't have to have a grandiose ceremony in front of everyone." he said. "It'll just be you, me and the clergy." he paused before adding. "Maybe we'll throw the kids, Kit and Panthro in there too, just for kicks."
She laughed as she partially got off the pillow and rested her head on an arm. "Okay…well then…I accept your proposal my sweet king."
He sealed the deal with a peck on her lips.
"I better start picking a bridal gown then." she said as she buried herself in the covers. Lion-O wrapped an arm around her waist and held her close, smiling to himself as he slowly started going back to sleep.
He couldn't wait until they were declared husband and wife. Officially. He wasn't going to be merely the substitute lion in another cat's place.
He didn't feel he had any more shoes to fill. He was going to make them his own.
Like I said, this was a re-write. My baby boy had deleted my original work, but I suppose it was a blessing in disguise. I feel this is a stronger piece than what I had originally written.
As usual, comments and reviews are welcome and encouraged.
Lion-O: So, whatever happened to evil Tygra?
Me: He gets his own spin-off.
Lion-O: Why? Oh come on, you've written plenty about Prince Snarky. What about me?
Tygra: Hey, not her fault she adores me more. I'm obviously more writing-material-worthy than you are.
Me: If anything, I probably love Cheetara the most. She's in all of my stories :-)
Tygra: Hey, can we get more make-out scenes next time? Coz I would really like that.
Lion-O: Yikes. I don't want to make out with you. Gross!
Tygra: I'm not talking about you and me! Hentai head! I meant Cheetara and me.
Lion-O: You already got to make out with her on national television. My turn!
Me: Settle down you two or I'm going to have you both make out with Panthro. Or Mumm-Ra!
*Panthro and Mumm-Ra take off in the thudertank as fast as they could….