WHAT IZ ZIS? TLK FANFICTION?
Ah, the smell of your first fandom in the morning. (or evening, rather, currently.)
So, I know that most of my followers/watchers/stalkers are doing so for my Doctor Who stuff, BUT! TLK is still my first and very beloved fandom, and the plotcubbies decided that I needed to get back to writing for it. Ergo, here I am, back in the saddle again!
This story came about randomly one day. Unlike most of my writing, there is no elaborate backstory or reason for it coming into being... it just... happened. Though now that I have a story forming in my head, I think I can do a lot more with it!
Disclaimer: I do not own The Lion King or any characters or settings associated thereof. If I did, Mheetu wouldn't have been cut and Kiara would be a helluva lot smarter.
Enjoy, ya crazies! :D
A dark shadow slunk over the rocks in the blackness of night, completely silent but for the faint swish of his mane as he walked. He had been altered by the lionesses that his chosen mate had given birth to cubs several nights ago, while he had been in the midst of one of his 'philosophical holidays of the mind'. (Zazu called them 'episodes'. He had then asked the birdbrain how he'd prefer to be cooked, boiled, or baked. That had shut him up properly.) As the dawn rose on the horizon, he made his way up to see her and their offspring. It was his belief that the sooner he made an appearance and took a good look at his heir, the sooner he could ignore him and his mother until he came of age.
As he noiselessly padded into the birthing den, he approached one of only two lionesses present. Her eyes were not on him, but on the small, furry bundles resting between her paws, unlike the other, whose glinting red eyes were trained on him with obsessive admiration. As he came to stand before her (or rather, loom), she glanced up at him briefly, her forest eyes meeting his own acidic ones.
"Scar." She said simply.
"Sarafina." Scar replied with a similar amount of disinterest. His gaze shifted then to the young lioness stationed stoically beside her; a young thing, having barely left behind the awkwardness of cubhood. "And young Nala! How lovely to see you my dear." He purred, sickly sweet. Nala's only response was to glower dangerously at him.
Not the least bit intimidated by the adolescent lioness, Scar turned his attention to the cubs Sarafina held protectively against her. There were two of them, one a dull gray, and the other a light cream. His eyes flickered over them dully, waiting patiently for their mother to describe them, and determine to him which was his heir. Sarafina, taking the hint, told her so-called "mate" about his children.
"The gray one is a boy, and the elder one. The other is a girl." She smiled fondly down at them, then. "I've named them Kuja and Mheetu. Kuja, because he is hope for the future to come, and Mheetu, because she didn't want to wait a moment to join her brother in the world." She found herself smiling tenderly up at the Dark King, but quickly realized he could care less why she named their cubs what she did, or even if she named them at all. Scar only cared if she had produced a viable heir.
Knowing this, she carefully picked Kuja up and placed him infront of his father. She had to admit, he wasn't the healthiest looking cub; in fact, she had been afraid for awhile that he wouldn't make it. But after several hours of licking and nuzzling, he had begun to nurse alongside his sister. So yes, he was a bit scrappy looking, but she loved him all the same. She could only hope that Scar wouldn't twist him into an evil monster like himself.
For Scar's own part, he bent down to inspect the cub. There was little doubt that this was his son, as he bore a striking resemblance to himself. Dark, scrawny and weak. That was the last thing he wanted in an heir. That's why he had chosen Sarafina to breed to. She was fit lioness, with a strong lineage of healthy individuals. He knew that she was descendent of the PrideLand's old allies, the South Hills Pride. Their males were often large and powerful, with enough brains to back it up. That's what he wanted in his successor. Brains and brawn. And looking at this cub, he wasn't entirely positive he had either. Yes, it was hard to judge with him being only days old, but he was never one to give benefit of the doubt. This little, smelly rat would never be King, as long as he was ruler.
He sniffed at the cub in disdain, and pushed him with his muzzle. The cub cried out in confusion, and began to scramble back to his mother as fast as his immobile limbs could drag him. He dragged his eyes up to Sarafina, watching the exchange between father and son intently. His gaze was steady as he brought her down more than a few pegs.
"This child is no son of mine." He declared. "He seems weak in both body and mind, and if there is one thing I refuse to tolerate in an heir it is weakness of any kind. As long as I am King, he shall never inherit."
"Fine by me," Sarafina spat at him. She motioned for Nala to collect her brother, and she did so obediently, cradling him between her own paws. "I would prefer it if Kuja didn't grow up to be a sick, twisted lion such as yourself."
Scar contemplated slapping her across the face for her insolence, but decided against it. He may have been a murderer, but he also had a reputation as a gentleman to uphold, did he not?
But now what was he to do? His only choice for heir was a dud, and the only other lioness in the pride with cubs was the ever-insufferable Zira, resting not far away, gazing adoringly at him. From what he could see, Zira had produced but one cub, and from what he could judge at a distance, it was also female. Not that he would ever consider any of her vile offspring to take his throne. As he contemplated his predicament, his sight landed on Sarafina's other cub, his daughter. Mheetu, she had called her.
"Show me the girl," he demanded of Sarafina, who's reaction was obvious shock at his interest. "Now!" He added sharply. Glaring at him in pure contempt, the pale lioness set the tiny cub before him. On closer inspection, she resembled him more closely than he had originally thought. Same face, same nose, same dark spots around the eyes. However, she seemed more physically developed than her brother, even at such a young age, her build similar to that of her mother and sister. Her pelt was far lighter than his own, but a hint of orange was present in the tone. The tip of her tail, where a tuft of hair would one day grow, was dark brown in color; darker than her mother's, but not quite black, like his own mane. When she blinked up at him, he could see a hint of vibrant green in her irises, as opposed to the grass of her mother and sister, or the embers that would one day be her brother.
He stooped to get a closer look at her, his nose meeting her's. Her eyes were curious, and soon he found his muzzle being batted around by tiny infant paws. He pulled away from her, but her gaze was still trained firmly on him. And then she did something he had hadn't expected at all.
A silly smile lit up her small, chubby face. She squealed in delight as she attempted to pounce on his far larger paw, despite her lack of mobility. From this display, Scar could see she was sharp, determined, and creative. These, of course, were his only observation. The fact that the sound of her infant laughter had slightly melted his icy heart was definitely not one of them.
Before his mask of indifference could splitter any more, he sealed the cracks and put it back in place. He stared at the child passively, then shifting his gaze to Sarafina, he made his decision.
"I have found my heir." He said evenly, and couldn't help the smirk of smug satisfaction at the befuddled expressions of Sarafina and Nala, as well as the stinging disappointment painted on the face of Zira, whom he could glimpse out of the corner of his eye.
"Nala," he said, addressing the young lioness. "Go announce to the pride that an heir has been born. Spread the word that Prince Mheetu shall inherit the throne."
"Wh-what?" Nala stuttered out in puzzlement. Scar gave a low, menacing growl deep in his throat, giving Nala the motivation she needed to do as she was told. As Nala bolted out of the den, Sarafina could only stare at Scar in disbelief.
"Prince?" She shrieked. "Mheetu is a girl. A female. She's a princess, if anything, and certainly not your heir!"
Scar sighed in exasperation. "I already told you, the boy shall not be King. I said nothing about the girl."
"But!" Sarafina stammered. "If Kuja isn't fit to inherit, why would Mheetu be any different? If either of them should be ruler, it should be Kuja. It is his birthright!"
"Then I disown him. I already said he is not my son, and now that you have broached argument with me, he is yours no longer as well." With this, Scar swiftly swooped to pick Kuja up in his jaws, before Sarafina, still sluggish from birth and nursing, could gather him in the safety of her arms. She cried out for him not harm her son, and Scar rolled his eyes at that. Death would be too good for the little brat.
To Sarafina's shock, Scar does not take her son's life, when it would be so easy to, with him resting in his powerful jaws like limp prey. Instead, Scar approaches Zira with deliberate steps, and places the cub at her side, beside the other lioness's own offspring.
"What are you-" But before Sarafina can even properly voice her question, Scar answers it, in his own, cruel way. Glaring down at the cub in disgust, he delivers the most devastating decree Sarafina has ever witnessed in her life.
"As King of Pride Rock, of this pride, and all these lands, I hereby dissolve any and all ties this cub has to the Royal Family. From this moment forwards, he shall be known to all not as a Prince, but as the smelly rat that he is. A son to no King or Noble, but a common cub, born to rogues and pridesisters. He shall be raised by the pridesister, Zira, and be known to all within and outside of the pride as…" he halted in his speech, clearly pondering on a perfectly despicable name. "…Nuka. Named for the stench his existence brings to the pride." He strode away then, back to Sarafina. "Do with him what you will." He said to Zira flippantly over his shoulder.
During his very official sounding speech, Sarafina could only look on in horror and heartbreak as her only son, her precious Kuja, was ripped harshly from her side, and then have him be handed to another lioness, whom she could clearly see held as much hatred for him as his father did.
Except, for all intents and purposes, Scar was not his father, she was not his mother, and his name was not Kuja. And though it broke her heart beyond repair, she would not dare challenge Scar's word. His word was law; not one that she was necessarily inclined to follow, but the hyenas were, and the last thing she wanted was to be dismembered by hyenas and leave her remaining children motherless.
As Scar neared her once again, she had to resist the urge to snarl, take up her infant daughter, call Nala to her, and run for the border. But Scar clearly wasn't finished with his 'Kingly rant'.
"This one, however," he continued. "Is exactly what this kingdom needs. She is clearly a sharp-minded child, with strength and curiosity to compliment it. Her only downfall is her gender."
Sarafina almost lost it with that comment.
"But," Scar went on. "I'm willing to overlook that. The reason, my dear Sarafina, that I told your Nala to announce the birth of a Prince, is because that's how this child shall be raised. She shall be a King in her own right; feared and revered by lion and lioness alike. She will be a mighty warrior, as well as a respected diplomat and ruler. King Mheetu will be known throughout Africa; the King who is not." He ends his oral show with a smirk that could make the most wicked of creatures turn tail and flee. It makes Sarafina sick to her stomach that she let this monster mate her in the first place. Though she was well aware her sacrifice was worth it. If not her, it would have been Sarabi, and she refused to let her friend go through that. But, being the vocal lioness she was, she couldn't leave her questions unanswered.
"So what you're saying is," she began to question Scar. "That you plan to raise Mheetu as a male?"
"Precisely." He replied. And there was that horrid smile again, plastered firmly on his face as he sauntered out of the den.
"Oh, and Zira, my dear," he purred, his back to them as he stood in the entrance. Zira's ears perked as her name passed his lips, and Sarafina could have sworn she shivered. Disgusting. "Don't let Sarafina near the boy, hmm? Wouldn't want her to get more attached to the hairball than she already is, would we?"
"Oh course, my King!" Zira chirped happily. "I will keep the child as far from her as possible! He will never know of his true parentage!"
"Excellent." And then he was gone.
Moments later, Nala returned with Sarabi close behind, reporting to her mother that she had told the entire pride of the new 'Prince'. Sarafina nodded, giving her elder daughter a watery smile, and telling her she was smart for not arguing with their tyrannical ruler.
When Sarabi asked about what exactly had occurred, Sarafina could no longer hold in the tears. Salty water trailed down her cheeks, staining her fur, as she told her friend of Scar's cruelty and mad logic. Even as Sarabi and Nala tried to comfort her, it was in vain.
Her son is within reach, but lost to her forever, and her daughter is destined to fall to the same madness as her sire. A child conditioned as a weapon and a puppet, and crafted to believe she is what she will never be.
A male. A King. The King who is not.
Explanation time YAY!
So first off, lot of unstable headcanon going on here, as well as some genderbending. The image of Mheetu as a lioness struck a cord in my very complex ADD brain and begged to be written. Sue me for being creative.
And now to address some issues people may or may not have with this lovely little ficlet.
1. Nala's age: I see her as a very young adolescent when/if her siblings were born.
2. The fact she has siblings, plural, at all: It IS statistically more likely for a lioness to have twins as opposed to a single cub...
3. Nuka is the son of Scar and Sarafina: This is something that is usually in flux in my headcanon; sometimes he is, sometimes he isn't. I just thought, since most people have Nuka being either the biological son of Zira and Scar or Zira and a rogue, why not switch it up a bit? It IS possible that a mating between Sarafina and Scar could produce a lion with Nuka's appearance. For one, we know that Scar must carry a red eye color gene, as both Mufasa and either one (or both) of his parents did as well. As this is a dominant gene, it would overpower Sarafina's blue eye gene, resulting in Nuka's red eyes. As for is coat color, that's simple. Scar is a dark color to begin with, and when taking a closer look at both Sarafina and Nala, both have rather dull-colored pelts. Therefore, gray is in no way out of the question.
4. Vitani being Zira's daughter and Zira's daughter only: BECAUSE I'M A REBEL! No, but in all seriousness, it was a similar case as with Nuka; many people place her as having some relation to Nala, whether that is as her sister or her daughter, it varies. To be quite honest, I've seen only a few fanworks in which Vitani is Zira's biological daughter, and not a kidnapee or something. She is also NOT Scar's daughter, as in my mind, the mere idea of touching Zira is repulsive to Scar.
5. The lack of an age difference between Nuka and Vitani: Once again nature is at play here. Females are usually smaller than males; add to that the lack of food and water that the Outsiders have to suffer in the Outlands, it is plausible that Vitani and Nuka could be the same age, even with the size difference.
6. The fact that Scar refuses to raise little Fem!Mheetu as a lioness: I honestly don't think Scar cares much for the differences between the genders. To him, an heir is an heir, and male or female, they will succeed him as King. As for the idea of a female king, I enjoy likening my Mheetu to the Egyptian Pharaoh Hatshepsut, one of the few female kings of Egypt. She refused to be viewed as anything but Pharaoh, and even took to wearing the traditional mantels and crowns of a king, not a queen. She was equal and above every man she ruled over, and her word was law. Mheetu would have turned out the same way, had her father remained King, though far more harsh and unfair than Hatshepsut ever was. Just a bit of a history lesson for you all! :3
7. What does "Kuja" mean?: It means "future" or "to come" in Swahili.
8. South Hills Pride?: A pride in my that is part of my long-time headcanon and fanfic that has yet to be written.
9. Is there more of Fem!Mheetu to come?: Oh yes! Plenty of her if I can help it! :D
Now no one can snark at me for not covering all the bases. :P
Reviews get the creative juices flowin'! XD