First of all, I want to start by apologizing. I know it's been so long and I have been quite busy, but still that excuse really sucks.

Now that school is over and that my summer has started, I will have more time to write and hopefully there will be an update about every week. I'm not promising anything, though, but I won't leave you hanging for so long, I promise !

Enjoy!


"I want him gone." That's what Taka's been saying all over again to his three friends that have been listening to his whole story.

For Ed, this is just too complicated. But Shenzi, oh smart Shenzi, has a plan developing in her mind. She despises lions, too, well Taka being the only exception. If Mufasa was gone, it would mean that the crown would be Taka's. And since they're friends... it would mean that they'd be royal, too, wouldn't it?

"Taka," Shenzi says, "I think that I have an idea."

Taka turns to her, his eyes full of hope. He is usually filled with brilliant ideas, but this time, he can't see anything that could fix his problem.

"Tell me," he demands.

She grins, snickering before exposing her plan. "We make him look bad by making you look good."

Taka sits down next to her, his head cocked to the side, thinking. "How?"

"We're hyenas. Lions hate us. Let's just show up on your lands and you'll have us gone."

This could work, Taka thinks. It will catch his father's attention. Everyone will finally realize that he's not as useless as they think that he is.

"But... how is it going to make Mufasa look bad?"

"Because we'll target him," Shenzi explains evilly. "We'll go after him and you'll hunt us down."

"Yes," Taka agrees, "but that's not going to make me King."

"No, but that's one step closer," Shenzi says. "And who knows, maybe your Father will be so pleased and proud of you that he'll be willing to agree if you asked for a favour."

A favour. That's it. All that Taka has to do is to "save" his brother from the mean hyenas. He needs witnesses, a lot or not, that doesn't matter, someone has to see. And then, maybe Ahadi will acknowledge his second-born son's power. Yes, a favour. That's all Taka needs from his father. A favour. The "okay" to take Mufasa's bride-to-be. That's not going to be easy, but ... if Taka hadn't been there, Mufasa would be dead. That's what he'll tell his father.

Taka's teeth suddenly show as he smirks. "You're a genius."

"Learned from the best," Shenzi teases.

"When do we start?"

"Tomorrow. I'll need some time to make sure those two idiots don't screw up."

Taka nods his head as he gets up on his paws, feeling slightly better about this whole wedding thing. He's going to have great news to bring to Sarabi once his father agrees to the deal. She'll be thrilled.

Right?

And they don't have to get married straight away. They're just cubs. But it'll give Sarabi the freedom that she wants. And it'll free her from her wedding with Taka's older brother. She'll just have to be pleased.

Right?

"Be ready," Shenzi warns him before he leaves. "Tomorrow."

Meanwhile, Mufasa has decided to go and talk to Sarabi. Maybe he can prove her that he's not just a complete spoiled cub. Maybe he can prove her that she will be happy with him. Maybe he can show her that he can change, that she's going to make him change for the best.

He doesn't really know his younger brother's friend, but from what he's seen, he just knows that she won't be able to walk away from changing someone into good, into what she believes is good. She'll just feel compelled to help him, to show him the way. And while she does that, he'll make her fall for him. After that, it'll be a piece of cake. She'll just want to get married, even be eager to be Queen, his Queen.

Mufasa just needs to prove her that he's willing to be who she wants him to be.

He paces in front of the waterhole, wondering if this is truly a good idea. What if she just ends up despising him more? What if she never agrees to help him? What if he's wrong about her and she has no intention whatsoever to be around him?

Not once does he think of his brother and of his friendship with his bride-to-be. Not once does he think that maybe him trying to spend too much time with Sarabi will hurt Taka's feelings. Not once does he think that maybe Sarabi doesn't belong with him but with his younger brother.

Not once does he think of his brother... at least, not for the right reasons.

It's time, he thinks. He has to do it now. Mufasa just hopes that Sarabi is around, that she's not gone somewhere with his brother to do some useless things while they could at least try to act like grown-ups. Mufasa knows that he has to hurry. He doesn't have much time left before his father takes him somewhere in the Kingdom to teach him how to be a good King, or to show him around even though Mufasa knows the whole Kingdom so well he could be blind and still be able to avoid every rock on the way.

"Sarabi?" he calls as he walks to her usual spot.

She doesn't really hang out with the other cubs from the Pride Lands, only Taka.

A movement catches his attention. It's a tail moving left and right.

"Sarabi?" he calls again.

He hears her roaring softly as her head snaps up. She stares at him for a second and he feels like she'd be willing to rip him to shreds right here and right now.

"What do you want?" she groans, looking away and back at the plains in front of her. They're infinite, and she often wonders what is beyond the boundaries of the Pride Lands.

She and Taka should go explore one day. That'd be fun.

Mufasa comes by and sits next to her, making sure to maintain a certain distance between them. He wants to get close to her, not scare her away.

"I just wanted to know why you didn't want to be Queen," he demands quietly. He already knows the answer, but he wants to hear it straight from her mouth.

Sarabi rolls her eyes, a little amused. "I never said that I didn't want to be Queen," she replies.

"Then what did you say?"

"I said that I didn't want to be your Queen," she tells him as their eyes lock.

Mufasa feels taken aback by the hatred that he thinks he sees in her eyes. It's really hopeless. She really does despise me, he thinks sadly.

"Why?" he asks slowly. "Why did I ever do to you?"

Sarabi jumps on her paws, her eyes burning with anger. "It's not what you did to me. It's what you do to everyone else. It's how you make your own brother feel. It's how you treat the other cubs that disgusts me!"

Mufasa cocks his head to the side as the words sink in.

And then, he understands. She doesn't hate him. She hates his attitude. If he can prove her that he can change, that he will change, maybe she'd be willing to reconsider their marriage proposal.

"I can change," he declares, getting up on his paws, too, facing her. "And I will if that's what it takes for you to agree to be my Queen."

A sparkle of surprises goes through Sarabi's eyes, but it quickly vanishes to be replaced by anger.

"Unlike everyone else, I won't believe that until I see it."

"Then, you will, my Queen-to-be," Mufasa promises her.

Sarabi stares at him for a while, wondering if this is a good idea. She doesn't want him to change. If he does, the boundaries that she set for herself will not be so clear anymore. And what about Taka? What about Taka, she wonders. If she agrees, he'll never forgive her.

She can't be Mufasa's Queen. For the sake of everyone.

But if Mufasa is willing to change, it would be stupid to turn him down. Maybe she can just lead him on for a while until he truly changes and until there's no coming back to the way he was before.

Yes, that sounds like something acceptable.

That's her plan when she says, "I'll be waiting to see the progress." She bows out of disregard before running away.

Mufasa's eyes never look away from her until she's out of his sight. Then, he hears his father call him and he runs back to him, feeling better about this whole thing. He will get Sarabi to like him.

What none of them noticed is a silhouette hidden in the shadows. This someone heard everything.


Emerald dreamer96: Well no one's really a monster, you know. I hope that you have liked that chapter! And I wouldn't exactly put the blame on Uru or Ahadi. That's the only way they know.

kate: thanks for the comment! I sure hope it goes well for them, too!

Anonymousgirl: errr... if that happens, I'll think of you and I will.

Roslind: there you go! hope it didn't disappoint!