Standard disclaimers apply.

For His Little Brother

"Lion-O!" He screamed trying to fight through the fog to save his brother. He felt the falling sensation overwhelm him, as if he were tumbling over the edge, plunging to his death.

Tygra shot up from his palette in the dirt, sweat gleaming from his forehead and rolling down his naked chest. He ran his claws through his hair and tried to slow his racing heart, to no avail. The tiger stood up, shook his head to clear it of any lingering sleep, and walked towards a secluded area of rocks, far enough away from their small camp where he could think, but not so far away where he couldn't help if they were ambushed again.

Looking up at the glittering stars, Tygra sat on the rocks, his whip brushing lightly at his side and let the tears stream down his face. He couldn't believe Lion-O was dead. The little brother he had always wanted to look up to him; the kitten he had once helped their mother bathe; the eager prince who never stopped dreaming of worlds unknown. Tygra felt as if he was still in a dream, or rather a horrid nightmare. It was as if his body was floating in a sea of endless gelatin, his movements were labored, his mind hazy. Days and nights blended together into an eternity, when in truth Lion-O had only been gone for 3 days.

The Thundercats were still going after Slythe in order to retrieve the Sword of Omens, but he had decided they needed the Thundertank and the gauntlet first if they stood a chance against Mumm-Ra's lackies. It felt strange being in charge, actually calling the shots. When he was a teenager all he had thought about was being king, to prove that he was just as great as the kings of the past, and to prove that he wasn't just a silly prince more interested in chasing after pieces of pretty fluffy tail than his people. In truth there was only one piece of pretty, fluffy tail he sought. He wanted to impress Cheetara, wanted to prove he was the alpha male who could take care of her, who would father good strong litters, who would always be there to give her anything her heart desired.

Tygra was interrupted from his thoughts when he heard a stone turn over. Grabbing his whip he lashed out, thinking it maybe an intruder, but was surprised to see his mate "caught" in his trusty weapon. The fact he caught her was a show of surrender, they both knew she could have evaded him and had him flat on his back before he could even blink. She kept her eyes downcast but her neck barred to him, a sign showing she meant him no harm. Tygra pulled her in with his whip then caught her in his arms, keeping her from tripping over the hazardous terrain. While her eyes were still downward, he tipped her chin and lightly nipped the cream colored fur, letting her know that he understood she wouldn't attack him. He let the whip fall to the ground, loosing her from its leathery grasp.

Cheetara looked up at her mate and slowly rose her hands to his cheeks; whipping away the river of sorrow running down his face. She said nothing as she pulled him into her arms, allowing him to release his sorrow in the comfort of another. Tygra relished the feeling of warmth and peace radiating off her fur, let the calm waves roll off her and into him, and relaxed the tense muscles of his neck. After what seemed like hours had pass he spoke.

"I thought you were still asleep."

"It was cold without you." She whispered, not trusting her voice. She could feel the pain and guilt radiating off of him in waves, and if the sight of Lion-O falling, Kit and Kat's breakdown hadn't broken her heart, the emotions attacking her beloved sure did. They fell silent again, one thinking of the next words to say, the other waiting until he was ready to speak.

"I didn't want it like this."

"I know you didn't."

"He shouldn't have died, I'm not supposed to be king. That's his destiny not mine. He's supposed to be alive, breathing, getting us lost, fawning after you, not dead in the bottom of a river or sea Thundera knows where!" He pushed her away, unable to take her sympathy.

"Tygra, it's not your fault. We don't blame you, and you can't blame yourself." She stayed where she was, unfortunately she knew he had to get angry and admit his pain; it was the only way he could come to terms with losing his brother, the only way he could relieve himself of his guilt.

"I should have protected him, Cheetara! He was, is, my little brother. He can't be gone, it wasn't his time!" He sank to his knees, water streaming from his eyes and splashing down into the sandy dirt. Cheetara stood there at a loss; she had no clue what to say or how to comfort him. When she became a cleric, Jaga had taught her that all things happen for reasons, and the elephants had drilled it into them that we all had parts to play in keeping the balance of the world, but how do you say that to a cat who had just lost his brother? Words seemed so insincere to her.

"He's watching you, from the stars. He looks after you, guides your path. He is in a world where nothing can hurt him now, where pain cannot follow; where heartache fears to tread." She whispers as she kneels down to hold him. He allows her to pull him into her; he allows himself to lean on her strength, to absorb it and use it as his own.

"Lion-O may not be in this world, but he will always be in our hearts, as long as we remember him, he can never disappear." She continued, caressing his fur with gentle methodical strokes. Tygra wrapped his arms around her and snuggled closer to her breast as if he was a kitten again, and before he knew it he felt drops of water on his fur. He looked up to see his beloved crying, finally releasing her pain. She stood as a pillar of emotional stability for all of them; even Panthro took comfort from her calming presence. She had rocked the kittens one by one to sleep and gave them words of encouragement. She tucked them in and sang a lullaby to Snarf. She sat here with him, easing his ache away, and now that everyone's heart was nurtured, she let her own wall of security break. Tygra sat up and pulled her to him; she had been everything for them, and now it was time for him to be the shoulder she leaned on.

"It'll be ok, Kitten. It's all going to be alright." He ran his claws through her dis-shelved hair, twirling the ends around his fingers as he felt the cool sensation of her tears run through his fur. He pulled her closer, as she bit back her whimpers of dismay.

"It's ok Cheetara, let it out." After what seemed like an eternity, her sobs quieted and her breathing deepened, betraying her exhaustion. The cat stood and carried his mate back to their pallet and laid down; pulling their blanket higher upon themselves as she snuggled closer to his heat. As her hair drapped over his chest he looked up to the glittering stars again, making a vow that they would get the spirit stone and Sword of Omens back, and even if it took their last breath, they would end Mumm-Ra's tyrannical rein. Tygra promised as soon as they retrieved the Thundertank, they would visit all of the animal nations to enlist their help just like Lion-O had wanted. He would do everything in his power to end the evil on third Earth. He would do it with his own bare paws if he had to; for those who had lost their lives in the attack, for all the animal kingdoms that were in turmoil over the mummy's decrepit ambitions, and for the cat that had a vision of a better world. He'd do it for all animal kind, but mostly, he'd do it for his little brother.

A/N: Just a little oneshot I thought of after watching Trials of Lion: part 1. For some reason I love writing scenes of TyChee at night, idk it's just so much fun. So a lot of you guys have requested a "sequel" to SOHO and I'm happy to say that I'm working on a 2 parter so look for that =)