It didn't go quite the way Sarabi wanted. Her parents didn't want to listen to her. She had to tell Taka to go because the roars were too loud, and it upset her and embarrassed her at the same time.

"It's tradition," her parents kept telling her.

Like she cares about tradition. It's time for a new tradition, she believes. It's time for that kind of wedding to be completely gone.

Sarabi took a few hours to calm herself down. There is nothing to do. She can't go against her parents' will.

"Get to know him," her parents said. "He's not all bad."

Thing was that he is. He is all bad. That's at least what Sarabi believes.

When she meets back with Taka, he can immediately tell just by looking at her that it didn't go well.

"What happened?" he asks.

She just looks away and her tail hits the ground angrily. "They didn't want to listen" is all she says. Taka doesn't know what he can possibly do to make Sarabi feel better. She really thought that her parents would listen and agree that she didn't have to marry someone she despises. But they didn't agree with her. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

They just lie down there, until they're called by their parents. Taka is quite surprised, though, because his parents barely bother about him. He tells Sarabi good night even though he'll see her later and he climbs to the top of Pride Rocks where his father is waiting for him. Beside him is Mufasa who seems weird. He's looking down and it feels that he's just been reprimanded. Taka wonders what for because Mufasa never gets told off by their father.

"Taka," Ahadi calls. "Come here."

Doing as he's been told, Taka takes place beside his father. His mother is nowhere to be seen. She's probably hunting or doing something else with other lionesses.

"Mufasa here has been telling me that your friend, Sarabi, isn't quite pleased by the idea of being married to him," Ahadi begins. Not exactly understanding where this talk is going, Taka looks up at his father. "Does she know that it'll make her Queen? Does she know what an honour that is?"

Taka nods his head. "Yes, she does."

"Then what is it, son?"

Taka's breath is taken away at that precise moment. Son. His father just called him son. That's usually Ahadi's way of calling Mufasa. What has gotten into him, Taka wonders. Did his older brother do something so bad?

But can he "betray" Sarabi by telling his father that his friend doesn't want to be married to his big brother because she doesn't like him, and probably never will? His father would say that she'll learn to like him, just like Uru, their mother, has learned to like him.

No, he definitely can't say this.

"Taka?" Ahadi insists.

The second son looks away, feeling both Mufasa and Ahadi's eyes on him. He would be lying if he said it didn't intimate him. But it feels so good to be noticed, to be asked questions, to be cared for.

"She doesn't like to be told what to do," Taka says instead.

Ahadi lets out a dry laugh. "Is that it?" Taka nods his head yes. Ahadi ruffles Mufasa's mane-to-be and says, "Then it's perfect. When she'll be Queen, she'll have no one to tell her what to do, but herself. She'll be the one giving orders."

With that, Ahadi walks away. Mufasa, on the other hand, stays with his brother. "Taka," he whispers. "Is that really the only reason why she doesn't want this marriage?"

Taka looks back at his older brother. To him, he can say the truth. Just to make him understand that not everyone will like him, that not everyone is amused by his nastiness.

"Of course not, Mufasa," Taka answers. "She despises you."

With that, he walks away without being held back by his brother for more questions.

Days went by and things have changed a bit. Sarabi doesn't talk as much. It's like she's lost that sparkle of life that made her alive when she learned that she was meant to be married with the future King. Ahadi acts like nothing's wrong and that everything's perfect. And Mufasa's behaviour changed, too. Sometimes, Sarabi catches him looking at her with something else than spite in his eyes, and it makes her wonder if maybe she can save him, if maybe she can teach him how to be loved.

One night, Taka is pretending to be asleep. At least, he's trying to fall asleep. Everyone else is sleeping except Uru and Mufasa who are whispering.

Taka manages to understand most of the conversation.

"Mother," Mufasa says.

"What is bothering you, Mufasa?" Uru asks.

"This whole wedding thing," he admits. "Taka said that Sarabi doesn't like me, and that she doesn't want to be married to me." He sighs. "Mother, can I really force her to be my Queen if that's not what she wishes?"

"Oh," Uru says. "That's what it's all about." She licks the top of Mufasa's head, fondly. "I didn't want to be your father's Queen either. But you have such a big heart. She will learn to love you, you'll see."

It sounded like a promise.

And that's exactly what Taka feared. What if Sarabi learned to love his brother? He can't lose her. He can't bear the thought of her with his brother. Taka can't think about that. He doesn't want to. He didn't have much to worry about before because his brother was acting like the biggest idiot on earth, but now that he's been talked some sense into, he actually changed. It's not a big one, but it's a chance, and knowing Sarabi, Taka just has this feeling that she'll try to make Mufasa a better lion.

Because that's what Sarabi does. She makes everyone better. When he's with her, Taka is the best version of himself. She makes all of that happen. So, he can't lose her. And he won't. He's not going to let anyone take her away from him.

The next day, Taka doesn't wait for Mufasa before wandering within the Pride Lands. It's been quite a while that he hasn't visited the three hyenas. It would be about time he pays them another visit. Maybe they'll have an idea.

chaos in the sky: Oh, why, thank you!

Kate: I don't know if they are aware of the fact that they love each other, though. But that could be an idea. Interesting. I'll try working on that for the next chapter!

Guest: Whoever you are, thank you for reviewing! And that is a pretty good idea, actually! I'll think about it ! :)