Summary: Lion-O has a conversation with his mother. Set during "Trials of Lion-O: Part 1".

Family Comforts

Lion-O opened his eyes. Standing up, he looked around.

"It can't be…," he said shocked. He was standing in the castle of Thundera…before its destruction! "Lion-O," a voice behind him said. Lion-O turned around and saw a familiar face.

"Jaga, what's going on," he asked his friend.

"You are here in the afterlife Lion-O," Jaga said. Lion-O's eyes widened fearfully.

"I'm…dead," he asked in utter surprise.

"Unfortunately so…but the spirit stone has offered you a second chance at life," Jaga said.

"I'll take it," Lion-O replied.

"You must pass a series of trials first," Jaga explained.

"Let's get started then," Lion-o urged. He would do anything that allowed him to save his friends.

"First someone wishes to talk to you. I will return when you are through," Jaga said. Jaga disappeared and Lion-O was left standing alone.

Who would want to talk to me…could it be Dad Lion-O wondered. A bright light flashed and blinded Lion-O. When he opened his eyes he saw a woman standing there. She had red hair, blue eyes and was wearing royal garbs.

"Are you the late queen of Thundera," Lion-O asked. He had only ever heard stories of her from Tygra and his father because she had died not long after he was born. The woman smiled and chuckled at the question.

"I'm more than the queen…I'm your mother Lion-O," the woman said. Lion-o turned away.

"Whatever is wrong my son," she asked concerned. She had expected a different reaction than the one she was getting now.

"I don't deserve to talk to you. After all…I'm the reason you're dead," Lion-O confessed. The queen saddened. Lion-O didn't believe in himself. Worse…he thought he was the reason she had died.

"It was not your fault," she tried to console him.

"If I hadn't been born you wouldn't have die," Lion-O argued.

"Lion-O, my son, it was not your fault. I was getting older…my body was weakened. I also had trouble conceiving a child until I had you," she explained.

"So I'm some kind of curse then," Lion-O asked bitterly.

"No my son, you were a blessing and a miracle. I have no doubt in my mind that you were destined to be born," she said.

"What about Tygra…or Dad…they never seem to want me around," Lion-O pointed out.

"Your father only wanted what's best for you…and Tygra is finding it hard to adjust to my absence," she said, trying to justify their actions.

"It's taking Tygra this long to adjust to your absence," Lion-O asked angrily.

"Lion-O you must understand that Tygra had grown up only knowing your father and I. He had no one else," she explained.

"He had it so rough…I grew up without you…I grew up knowing only sternness and impatience from our father," Lion-O shouted back. There were tears streaming down his face. One by one they hit the ground below. The queen walked over and pulled Lion-O into her embrace. She could feel his anger…his sadness…his denial…even the longing to know what he could've done to save her.

"You must understand that your father loved you both equally. He was harder on you because you are the rightful heir to the throne and he wanted to make sure you were ready," she said, trying to soothe his fears.

"Some king I turned out to be," Lion-O replied.

"Every king has his ups and downs…even your father. But you must prevail…your friends need you," she said. Jaga reappeared next to Lion-O and Lion-O turned to him.

"I'm ready Jaga," Lion-O said determined. The queen watched as Jaga took Lion-O to complete his trials. She knew Lion-O would make them all proud…he just had to believe in himself.

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