The Lion King:

Responsibilities

Chapter 4

Out in the woods near the Zuberi River, Timira huddled under a bush and had a good long cry. She felt as if she'd lost all control of her life – that no one cared what she wanted. What was even more frustrating was that she wasn't even sure of what she wanted.

"Mom, please, I want to go home," someone moaned, a male cub it sounded like.

"Hush, Kovu," a surly female hissed.

Timira stifled her cries and cautiously looked out from beneath the bush, keeping within the shade to hide herself. Timira saw a lioness she did not recognize approaching. It was a menacing female with tanned fur, red eyes, and a dark dorsal stripe on her forehead. Two cubs followed the brooding female. The one that had spoke was a small brown-furred male with a tuft of dark mane and emerald green eyes. The other cub was an older male, two years in age, with a spindly black tuft of mane, scrawny limbs, and red eyes like the female.

"Tani usually meets him in these woods," the older cub explained to the female, grinning eagerly. "Bet you're mad, eh, what with oh-so-reliable-Vitani playing with the enemy when she should be spying on him? I did good telling you, didn't I, Mother?"

"Where, Nuka?" the lioness demanded lowly. "Where exactly do they meet?"

The one called Nuka looked around. "Oh, right, they meet… Um, huh, where do they meet? Uh, you know, around these parts," he said vaguely. He shied away from the female's dark gaze.

"You're useless," the female muttered, moving forward.

Then it dawned on Timira who the female was. Her parents sometimes spoke of Scar's mate, the lioness who lived alone in the Outlands with her cubs - Zira.

"We're going to get in trouble," Kovu whimpered.

"Not as much trouble as the prince's going to be in when Mother finds him," Nuka giggled.

"Prince?" Timira mumbled softly, moving back under the bush as Zira and her cubs came closer. "Does he mean Kopa?"

"But Kopa's cool," Kovu protested. "He was really nice to me and Tani."

"And that's how he enticed you and your sister," Zira growled, turning about to face the smaller cub. "He wishes to turn my own children against me, by seducing them with his feigned innocence. But no child of Simba is innocent."

Timira moved deeper into her hiding place, her back paw inadvertently touching one of the bush's lower branches and rustling the leaves overhead. Zira stiffened, turning a crazed eye towards the bush. She tilted her head as she regarded the plant. With a powerful claw, she swiped the bush. Several branches were snapped out of the way, revealing Timira.

A ways off, Babu walked along a weathered path looking for Timira, wishing to apologize for their argument – though he didn't really think it was his fault. A familiar cry caught his attention. "Timira," he called, hurrying in the direction of the scream.

"Let me go!" Timira wailed as Zira pinned the cub to the ground.

"A little spy," Zira growled.

"Oh, I know her," Nuka exclaimed. "That's Timira. I overheard the lionesses talking about her when I was spying on Pride Rock – doing what you told me to do, of course. Not like Tani. I bet you're way more pleased with me than Tani, right Mother?"

"Get on with it, Nuka!" Zira snarled. "What did you hear when you spied on the Pride Landers?"

Nuka flinched. "Right, yes mother. The Pride Landers say that she's Kopa's betrothed."

A vicious grin spread across Zira's face. "Is she now? That's unfortunate for you, little one. Now I have no choice but to make an example of you."

Babu crested a hill and gasped when he saw the sinister lioness pinning his friend. Without thinking about it, he bounded towards them. "Get off her, you ugly hag!" he shouted, leaping on Zira's back and biting down hard on her shoulder.

"Ah, you wretched boy!" Zira roared. She had to release Timira as she slapped the male cub off her shoulder.

Babu hurt from the slap but still managed to hit the ground running. "Move it," he told Timira, who likewise took off.

Zira touched the spot where Babu had bitten her. There were tiny drops of blood where his teeth had penetrated but it was not a serious wound. Still, her murderous gaze followed the cubs as they fled. With a furious roar, she charged after them.

Though they had a head start, Timira knew it wouldn't be enough to outrun Zira. "She's going to catch up to us!" she shouted.

"I saw your dad earlier. He's not far from here," Babu explained. "Follow me!"

They ran even after their short legs started to burn, navigating the familiar paths towards Pride Rock. They didn't realize Zira was cutting through the trees, quickly bypassing them.

"We're almost there!" Babu said eagerly.

Zira leapt out of the trees unexpectedly and positioned herself in their path. The cubs skidded to a stop and turned to run back the way they came but Zira pounced on them, pinning both to the ground.

"Daddy, help!" Timira cried.

Zira leaned down, hissing malevolently at the cubs. "Naughty, naughty."

Timira closed her eyes, certain that she and Babu were about to die.

"Get off my daughter!" Timir roared, tackling Zira off the cubs. A vicious battled ensued while Timira and Babu, now free, hurried to a hiding place in a burrow under an overgrown root. They huddled together, paws wrapped around each other. They watched in horror as Timir and Zira struggled, biting and clawing at each other. It was a quick battle, Zira besting Timir in both strength and speed. She slashed Timir brutally, knocking him to the ground in a bloody mess.

"Mother!" Nuka called, he and Kovu hurrying along the path, "I saw Kopa!"

Zira turned a crazed eye to her sons, ignoring the beaten male at her feet. "Excellent," she chuckled.

Kovu stared in horror at the brutally thrashed lion. As he walked closer with Nuka, he noticed Babu and Timira hiding in a hole nearby. His eyes locked with Timira's and the girl quivered, thinking Kovu was about to reveal them to his mother. Instead, Zira's youngest child discretely held a paw to his lips, signaling Babu and Timira to remain quiet.

"Where is the prince?" Zira demanded.

"He's with this old white lion," Nuka explained, gesturing back the way they came.

Zira cackled. "Simba is about to lose his first heir. Come, my sons." She rushed off, kicking up dirt in Timir's face. The defeated lion coughed feebly as the lioness hurried off with her two sons in tow.

Once they were sure Zira was gone, Timira rushed from her hiding place to inspect her father. "Daddy?"

Timir looked at his daughter and gently pulled her close. "Are you hurt?" he asked.

Timira shook her head, eyes brimming.

"Mr. Timir," Babu whispered, coming closer. "Are you going to be all right?"

"Of course I will," Timir assured them unconvincingly. He tried to rise, but cried out in agony and slumped back to the earth. He breathed with difficulty and settled onto his side. "Babu, I need you to go find help," he said laboriously. "I don't think I can walk on my own. Tell the king that his son's in danger."

Babu nodded and quickly ran back to Pride Rock.

Looking at his daughter, Timir reached out and gently stroked her cheek with his paw. "Timira," he sighed.

"Yes, Daddy?"

He smiled sadly. "I just want you to know – that you don't have to be afraid. I know you're going to do just fine. You're going to make me and your mother so proud."

Timira cried miserably. "Yes Daddy," she promised.

The vanquished lion pulled his daughter close and nuzzled her. Timira wrapped her forelimbs around her father's neck – and they waited.


Timira stared at the spot where her father was defeated by Zira years ago, Kopa standing beside her. The two adult lions were silent for a moment, the prince taking in Timira's story. "I didn't know about your dad," Kopa noted.

"No one likes to talk about it when I'm around," Timira explained. "He didn't die right away. After they found us, they carried my father to Rafiki to be treated. He managed to hold on for a couple of weeks but the wounds didn't heal right. They became infected and…" she trailed off, touching the earth where her father lay as if to feel for a sign of his presence.

"I'm so sorry, Timira," Kopa explained.

Timira shook her head. "I wasn't trying to make you feel sorry," she said, gazing up at the blue sky. "It might sound silly but, when you fell into the river and everyone thought you were dead, I felt like I had somehow let my parents down."

"Because they wanted us to be married," Kopa acknowledged.

"I never really understood, though I thought I did," Timira continued. "I didn't talk about it with my mother so, even after she passed away, I still carried around this misunderstanding about what they wanted. I thought they wanted the prestige of having a queen for a daughter."

Kopa shook his head. "I remember your parents. They weren't like that."

Timira nodded. "Simba told me what he and my father discussed. My parents just wanted to give me every opportunity – so that I could choose. We were extremely unfair to our parents, I think. We should have known they wouldn't have forced us to do something that would have made us miserable."

Kopa looked a little insulted. "Not that I'm saying we should have gotten married, but you don't really think I would have made you miserable, do you?"

Timira smirked. "Okay, maybe not miserable, but you and I were just not right for each other."

"Mom!" a golden furred cub wailed, rushing towards Timira and hiding behind her.

"Timir?" Timira gasped. "What's the matter?"

A white furred lioness cub bounded after Timira's son. Kopa caught the white cub and restrained her. "Nyota, what have I said about terrorizing your playmates?"

Nyota sighed. "Not to get caught."

Timira gave Kopa an annoyed look.

"What?" the prince said sheepishly, "No, that's not what I said." He cleared his throat awkwardly. "Come on, you tattletale. Let's go find your mother."

"Yes, Daddy," Nyota sighed.

As Kopa departed with his daughter, Timira looked down at her son. "It's okay, Timir," she cooed. "You can come out, now."

The cub scurried out and nuzzled his mother's leg. "Nyota's crazy," he claimed. "She said I was her boyfriend." He shivered in disgust. "It's a lie, I tells you!"

Timira smiled. "Okay, I believe you."

"She says that her granddad can make me marry her if she asks him to. Simba won't do that, will he?"

Timira leaned down and nuzzled her father's namesake. "Of course not, Little One," she assured him. "That choice is yours alone and no one can take it away from you. All I ask is that you choose the one who makes you the happiest."

The End


Proposed OC and Semi-Canon Voice Cast

Kopa - Topher Grace

Sabini - Julia Roberts

Shadow - Gillian Anderson

Timir - Ron Perlman

Timira - Anne Hathaway