We Baba Ngivelelwe
Disclaimer: I don't own Batman or The Lion King II.
Author's Note: the title is the Swahili lyric in the chorus of the song "La La" on Rhythm of the Pridelands. It means "Oh, Father, I'm in pain." I felt it appropriate since Damian is in pain and in need of reassurance in this story.
Author's Note 2: I just added a little more to this story. Nothing much, just a bit more description of the scenes and Damian's reactions to them.
91nimsay: Thank you for requesting that I write this. After you did, I really wanted to, but I couldn't figure out how to do it (and then when I wrote it, I couldn't log in to the website! GRR!) I hope you like it.
Damian Wayne closed the door to his room. He turned off his cell phone. He drew the curtains and then sat down on his bed. He opened his laptop, and signed onto the internet.
OK, I am NOT a fan of Disney movies. I am watching this so I can have an educated opinion of the film. I will not enjoy it for its childishness and moronic songs. I am merely curious as to its quality.
Damian searched for, found, and began streaming The Lion King II Simba's Pride.
The movie opened with more Swahili chanting, as the first movie had. Damian understood a little Swahili, as he had been taught many languages in the League of Assassins, but he didn't really process the whole thing. He was actually relieved when the lyrics changed to English.
Tt. Predictable, he thought to himself. Just a repeat of the previous film. All the stupid animals that should normally FEAR the lions are mindlessly walking to Pride Rock to bow down to their future ruler. Didn't this already happen at the end of the first one? Why would they need to do it again?
The young Robin couldn't help but notice that the animation was vastly inferior to that of its predecessor, but he knew that sequels rarely possessed the budget of the movies they continue from.
There's Mufasa again. Jeez, is he ever going to go away? thought Damian as the scene showed Mufasa in the clouds, smiling down at his descendents. And I certainly don't remember the lion cub at the end of the last movie being THAT color! But of course, those stupid movie-makers didn't THINK they would make a sequel at the time they made it, and so by the time they decided to make a sequel, they had forgotten about how things originally looked.
Damian, however, had not bothered to look up anything else about The Lion King, so he didn't know that the storytellers had established that the cub seen at the end of the movie was actually a son named Kopa, and that he does not appear in the sequel. But he didn't have to be confused for long, as it was soon announced by Rafiki that this cub was a girl.
Damian sat back and relaxed as he saw Kiara playfully romp out onto Pride Rock, and look at the Pridelands before her and say "Wow!" He couldn't help but grunt in sympathy when Simba scooped her up and said "Whoa. Where do you think you're going in such a hurry?"
"Daddy….let go!" whined the lioness cub.
"Now, I just want you to be careful," said her over-protective father. Kiara hopped away, trying to catch a butterfly, but Simba stepped on her tail. "Kiara, are you listening? Accidents can happen. You could easily get-
"Get hurt, or stepped on, or even get lost." Kiara finished for him.
"And remember, I want you to stay in sight of Pride Rock at-"
"At ALL TIMES, I know. And if I see any strangers, don't talk to them. Come straight home. OK, OK, can I go now? Please?" whined the princess.
Heh heh, I've been there, Damian thought as Nala said
"Mind your father, Kiara."
"And stay away from the Outlands," Simba added.
"Nothing there but a bunch of backstabbing, murderous Outsiders," Zazu explained.
Pff! They got a different, not to mention PATHETIC voice actor for the bird. Jeez, how hard is it to say one damn sentence, Mr. Bean? Suddenly you're too good for this job?
While thinking this, Simba's next line and Kiara's question sort-of missed Damian, but he was very alert and listening to the next part, where Simba just said "Never mind. Just run along now."
How well I know THAT trip.
"You'll understand someday. Go on," said Simba.
"Dad…" whined the cub.
You're preaching to the choir, Kiara.
Damian huffed in frustration when he saw that Timon and Pumbaa were getting the screen time now. He despised their childish depiction and how they were put in the movie not to advance the plot, but just to entertain any little kids in the audience who were too stupid to follow the story. (A/N: I don't think of Timon and Pumbaa like that- I love them. But there are some sidekicks in animated movies that ARE there for that reason, and I hate them.)
The 10-year-old had to stifle his own laughter when the duo and Kiara came face to face and screamed, and Kiara fell off the rock into the water.
He continued to watch quietly, and was intrigued when Kiara stumbled off the long upon which she was walking, and rolled right into Kovu. He particularly liked Kovu's vicious approach to the princess, as Damian had also been raised to be suspicious and mean to any stranger.
"You always do what Daddy says?" Kovu mocked Kiara.
"Bet you do! Bet you're Daddy's Little Girl! Ha ha!" Damian grinned at this, thinking to himself that he would never just blindly obey his father, either.
"An Outsider doesn't need anybody. I take care of myself," said Kovu.
OK, I like this guy. And you should probably MOVE right about now, you idiot! thought Damian as the characters on screen barely escaped the crocodiles they were standing on.
After the crocodile fight, Damian rolled his eyes at the way Kiara was talking about what had just happened.
Annoying child. I hope she dies, he thought. But then he saw the two cubs friendship developing. He found it especially relatable when Kiara tagged Kovu, but he had no idea what to do. He would rather fight than play, just like Damian.
Busted now, thought the child as soon as Simba stepped in and roared. Then Zira stepped in and roared, too. The characters were introduced and Simba ordered them to return to the Outlands.
"Oh, haven't you met my son, Kovu? He was hand-chosen by Scar, to follow in his paw prints…and become KING," said the lioness.
As Zira talked and explained Kovu's origin and purpose in the movie, Damian felt a strange twinge in his heart. Kovu's lot in life so resembled his own; he was born simply to kill his enemies and then rule in their stead. Damian had been conceived to kill anyone who got in his way, and then rule the world.
"Take him and get out. We're finished here," said Simba, picking up his daughter in his mouth.
"Oh no, Simba," said Zira. "We have barely begun!" and with a closed-mouth chuckle, she then picked her cub up in her mouth. Kiara and Kovu were barely able to whisper "Bye" to each other. It kind-of reminded Damian of his friend Colin, whom he hadn't seen since they fought Zsasz together.
As the good lions walked back to Pride Rock, Damian started to become disgusted at the quality of the backgrounds. Pride Rock looked more like an ironing board than the majestic royal home it really was. And for some reason, Nala had blue eyes in this movie instead of green, and Simba was orange instead of golden. Who was in charge of coloring this movie? A dog?
"Kiara, what did you think you were doing? You could have been killed today," said Simba.
Channeling your father, eh? thought Damian. …not to mention mine.
"I'm telling you this because I love you. I don't want to lose you." Damian felt that twinge in his heart again. Did Bruce only keep him on such a short leash because he loved him? Or because he didn't trust him?
"One day I won't be here. And I need you to carry on in my place," Simba explained.
Well, that's hardly the case here, thought Damian. There are many candidates for the job that Father would pick before me to carry on in his place.
"You are part of the great Cir-"
"Circle of Life. I know!" grumbled Kiara.
"Exactly. And you need to be careful," said Simba. "As future queen-"
"What if I don't want to be queen? It's no fun," muttered the cub. Damian couldn't exactly identify with that. He WANTED to take his father's place when the time came. He knew he would be an excellent Batman, as well as head of Wayne Enterprises. Damian wasn't interested in silly childish adventures like the protagonist of this movie.
"That's like saying you don't want to be a lion; it's in your blood," said Simba. "As I am. We are part of each other."
"Hmph!" replied Kiara. Then Simba nosed his daughter off the rock upon which she sat and into a few dandelions.
Oh great. Here comes another song, thought Damian. However, as he listened, he found the lyrics very profound, and also relatable.
"As you go through life you'll see there is so much that we don't understand," sang Simba. "And the only thing we know is things don't always go the way we plan."
Yes, well…that's true for everyone, isn't it? thought Damian with contempt. He didn't like the songs in these movies, but he couldn't deny that their lyrics meant something to him.
"But you'll see every day that we'll never turn away. When it seems all your dreams come undone, we will stand by your side filled with hope and filled with pride. We are more than we are, We Are One."
Damian watched curiously as the scene depicted a mother wildebeest encouraging her offspring to walk, and making sure it didn't go too far.
I guess that's sort-of what Father does with me. He takes me out on patrol, but he doesn't let me go very far or do a whole lot, thought Damian.
"If there's so much I must be, can I still just be me? The way I am?" sang Kiara, only to be answered by a fish leaping in the stream and destroying her reflection. "Can I trust in my own heart or am I just one part of some big plan?"
"Even those who are gone are with us as we go on," sang Simba. Damian quickly recalled the time when Bruce had taken him to honor his parents, Thomas and Martha, the very first night that he and Damian went out on patrol. Damian didn't like to dwell on the past, or make a big deal out of two dead people he'd never met, but Simba's words just kept finding their way into his heart. "Your journey has only begun.
"Tears of pain, tears of joy, one thing nothing can destroy is our pride deep inside. We Are One."
The characters ran back to Pride Rock, Simba stopping and waiting for his daughter to catch up every few yards. During this scene one could also see two ostriches welcoming a newly hatched chick. The emphasis on family and parent/child relationships was not lost on Damian.
"We Are One, you and I, we are like the earth and sky. One family under the sun. All the wisdom to lead, all the courage that you need, you will find when you see…We Are One."
"As long as you live here," Simba said after the song finished. "It's who you are." With an affectionate lick, he said "You'll understand someday."
Man, that's all they ever say to us, isn't it?
The next scene depicted the desert-like Outlands, where an effeminate lion with a chewed-off mane was complaining about Kovu and how he wasn't Scar's real son.
"Kovu, Kovu, Kovu. Scar wasn't even his father! He just took him in!" said the lion.
Yeah, Bruce Wayne isn't Drake's father, either. He just took him in! thought Damian. Man, what is that lion's problem? Is he gay or something? Damian thought condescendingly, unknowing that the lion, Nuka, was voiced by Andy Dick, who was bisexual.
"Nuka! Where's Kovu? Did you leave him out there on his own again?" demanded Vitani, a cub with bangs and blue eyes.
"Hey, it's every lion for himself out there. That little termite's got to learn to be on his own!" complained Nuka.
"Mother's going to be mad, she told you to watch him!" hissed the androgynous cub.
Is that a boy or a girl? It sounds like a girl, but it has hair…
"Oh, who cares? I should have been the Chosen One!" grumbled Nuka, while scratching his back on a dead tree. "I'm the oldest…I'm the strongest…I'm the SMARTEST… OH! THESE TERMITES!" At this, Damian sighed in annoyance. This character was obviously just added to the movie for comic relief, not to contribute to the story. Or so he thought…
"I could be a leader if she'd just give me a chance!" Nuka cried while scooting.
"Pff! Yeah right! Why don't you tell that to her?"
"Yeah? Don't think I WON'T!"
"Oh yeah?" chuckled Vitani. "Here's your chance." Nuka then began sucking up to Zira, who didn't even acknowledge him. That's how Damian felt sometimes; no matter how hard he tried, he felt third-best behind his two brothers. Though as the youngest, he'd never been ordered to baby-sit anyone.
"You were supposed to be WATCHING HIM!" snarled Zira.
"It's not his fault! I went off on my own!" Kovu defended. But Zira continued to yell at and intimidate her son. Damian's own mother had never been that vicious to him, but she was just as manipulative as Zira became in the next few seconds.
"You thought you'd get to the daughter, and Simba would welcome you with open arms? WHAT in idea…what…an IDEA!" Shoving her face right a the camera, Damian flinched just as Kovu did. "You brilliant child! I'm so proud of you. You have the same conniving mind that made Scar so…powerful!"
As Damian watched Kovu be first scolded and then praised by his mother, he actually started to feel a little paranoid that this movie was literally based on his life. Because his mother Talia was exactly like Zira, only without the beady orange eyes and the scratchy Suzanne Pleshette voice.
"Sleep my little Kovu, let your dreams take wings. One day when you're big and strong you will be a king," sang the villainess. Damian swallowed.
OK, this is getting FREAKY how much like my life this is.
As Zira sang her morbid song of revenge, Damian squirmed and removed his laptop from his lap and set it down beside him so he could curl up. Kovu was being used by Zira the way Damian had been used by his own mother.
"Scar is gone, but Zira's still around…to love this little lad. 'til he learns to be a KILLER…WITH A LUST FOR BEING BAD!" Zira sang, dragging her claws down a rock and creating sparks. Damian shivered at this, as his own mother probably did similar things while he was sleeping. The song climaxed with Zira and her followers climbing to the very top of the giant termite mound in which they lived, and Zira ending her melodic monologue with an evil cackle.
The next scene allowed Damian to return to his arrogant, condescending ways, as it became all too clear where the movie was heading. As Rafiki slowly pieced together the broken gourd while looking at his paintings of Kiara and Kovu, the little light bulb went on in the young Robin's brain.
Of course. Romeo and Juliet. The first movie was based on Hamlet, this one is Romeo and Juliet. But the lovers probably won't die in this one.
The next scene made Damian very tense. Kovu was all grown up, and was sitting on a rock as his mother walked around him, asking him questions.
"You are ready!" she declared. "Nice. Very…nice. Hm hm hm. You have the same blackness in your soul that Scar had. WHAT is your DESTINY?"
"I will avenge Scar. Take his place in the Pridelands."
"Yes. What have I taught you?" asked Zira.
"Simba is the enemy," Kovu responded, almost robotically.
"And what…must…YOU DO?"
"I must…KILL HIM."
That basically had been Damian's life up to this point. He was put through rigorous training, taught all manner of fighting, and indoctrinated into being a little assassin. That's exactly what happened to this character. It was also during this part of the movie that he confirmed that Vitani was a female, as she was now grown-up and had no mane. Though she still had bangs, which was kind-of weird.
While he was finding his kindred spirit in Kovu, Damian also found himself relating quite a bit to Kiara, in that her father was over-protective and wouldn't even let her go on her first hunt without Timon and Pumbaa following behind her.
Unfortunately, he almost felt embarrassed in being able to relate to her when she passed out in the fire and had to be "rescued" by Kovu. The banter between the two teenage lions left Damian rolling his eyes, until Simba and Nala hit the scene and Kovu explained his intentions.
"I humbly ask to join your pride," said Kovu.
"No! You were banished with the other Outsiders!" snarled Simba.
"I have left the Outsiders. I'm a rogue. Judge me now, for who I am. Or am I to be blamed for a crime I didn't commit?"
Damian found that line particularly intriguing, as he himself had committed murder in the past, but now wanted to start fresh and be a good guy, but it was hard getting people to trust him.
"My father's law will prevail. For now, I reserve judgment. We'll see who you really are," said Simba.
Of course. He has to PROVE himself to you. Heaven forbid you just thank him for saving your only child! Damian thought. He himself had also fought crime honestly, but some people refused to trust him.
He allowed himself to laugh at the part where Kovu said to Kiara
"What kind of hunter are you, anyway, Princess? You almost got yourself killed out there!"
Ha! She's more inept than Stephanie!
The next scene was almost excruciating to watch, as Kiara kept giggling and being ditzy and annoying while receiving her hunting lesson. Then Timon and Pumbaa came along, and that just annoyed the crap out of Damian. He wanted to fast-forward but he didn't want to miss a crucial scene.
By the time Kiara and Kovu were stargazing, he had calmed down. Mostly because Timon and Pumbaa weren't with them. He listened intently to Simba's little monologue to the stars.
"Father, I am lost," he said. "Kovu is one of them; Scar's heir. How can I accept him?"
I wonder if Father feels that way about me, thought Damian.
"Simba?" said Nala, coming up to him.
"I was seeking council from the Great Kings."
"Did they help?" asked the queen. Simba just sighed.
"Silent as stars. My father would never-"
"Oh, my Simba. You want to much to walk the path expected of you…"
Yeah, so do I.
"…perhaps Kovu does not."
OK, why the hell are her eye-rings brown in this scene? Aren't they supposed to be LIGHTER than the rest of her fur?
"What's wrong?" Kiara asked as Kovu pulled away from her.
"It's just that my whole life, I've been trained to- ah, nothing. I gotta go."
My whole life I've been trained to kill. I know what you're going through, Kovu. Well, except I'm not falling in love with some stupid girl.
Damian was barley able to get through "Upendi" without muting it, but he managed. He watched the next scenes contentedly, until the ambush part.
"ATTACK!" hissed Zira. Nuka was the first to lunge at Simba, who just whipped him across the face.
"NO!" cried Kovu, not wanting to see his brother hurt.
Damian did enjoy the action in the scene, as well as the suspense. He knew Nuka was going to die, as did Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. But he was almost brought to tears by the little funeral scene, in which Zira slashed Kovu over the eye, and said
"What have you DONE?"
"I didn't…I- I didn't mean to- it wasn't my fault- I…I did NOTHING!"
"EXACTLY! And in doing so you betrayed your pride! Betrayed SCAR!" yelled Zira. It reminded Damian all too well of when his mother banished him from the House of Al Ghul. Claiming that she couldn't love him for who he was, and that she now considered him an enemy.
"I want nothing more to DO WITH HIM!" yelled Kovu. Just as Damian wanted nothing more to do with his grandfather.
"You cannot escape it. Nuka is dead because of you!"
"YOU'VE KILLED YOUR OWN BROTHER!"
"NO!" Damian shouted out loud along with the movie. He didn't mean to, but he found himself so wrapped up in it that he actually cared about the characters now. He quickly shifted his eyes from left to right, just to make sure no one had heard him.
During the song "One Of Us," Damian was almost crying, because he secretly feared that someday he would be banished from the Wayne Family, and sent back to his mother. Despite being Bruce's biological son, Damian still felt like a stranger to the Bat Family. Or an Outsider.
He didn't much care for the scene in which Kiara and Kovu were reunited. Damian didn't have a lot of tolerance for mushy love scenes, being a 10-year-old boy and all. But he did understand the scene's significance, especially when Kiara said
"If we run away, they'll be divided forever."
The fight scene was pretty suspenseful, especially since Damian knew that it wasn't going to turn out like the real ending to Romeo and Juliet. But he didn't know what WAS going to happen. The scene quickly escalated into a repeat of the stampede scene in the first movie, as Zira clung to the wall of the gorge for dear life.
Damian watched with sympathy but also dread as Kiara reached out to help Zira. Damian had never been one to pity his enemy, but what if it was his own mother? What if someday Talia was dangling from a cliff and he was the only person who could help her? Would he? Would he help his mother, knowing the threat that she posed to the world? He could actually feel his heart wrench as Zira lost her grip and fell down into the rushing water, her paw being swept away by a log.
Kovu whimpered a little, and then just sighed. Damian could only imaging what he must have been going through.
Kiara and Simba climbed up the gorge and were reunited with their loved ones. Then Simba said "Kovu…I was wrong. You belong here."
I hope one day Drake can accept me, thought Damian.
The Circle of Life was completed as the opposing prides united and the four main lions roared out at the Pridelands. Damian smiled when he heard Mufasa's echoing voice
"Well done, my son. We Are One."
That night during patrol, Batman noticed that his son was being unusually quiet. He found it actually pleasing, as it allowed him to do his job better, but when they got home, Bruce asked Damian about it.
"Is there something on your mind, son?" he asked.
"I've just been thinking about some stuff," Damian admitted.
"What kind of stuff?" asked Bruce.
"Um," Damian stalled, not feeling quite comfortable enough to admit that he was afraid that his father didn't love him. "…never mind. I'm going to bed."
After brushing his teeth, Damian changed into his pajamas and got in bed, where his Great Dane, Titus, was already waiting for him. Then Bruce entered the room to tuck him in.
"Are you sure you don't want to talk about anything?" he asked, sitting down on the bed and rolling the covers back up around his son's shoulders. Damian waited a few seconds before answering.
"We're part of each other, right?"
Bruce looked confused for a moment, but then realized what his son was really asking.
"Yes. Yes, we are," he said with a smile.
"We're one, you and I. Right?"
"Yes, Damian. You're my son, and I love you," Bruce said softly, kissing Damian on the forehead. Damian smiled a weak smile and nodded. He wasn't really mature enough to say "I love you, too," but Bruce understood.
"Thank you, Father."
Please review, thanks.