The only thing Kiara could do upon hearing these words was sigh heftily and let her warm expression virtually collapse in an instant. She shut her eyes and shook her head.
"I just had to say that, didn't I?" The lioness muttered to herself in exasperation as she pulled away from Kopa and stood back up, preparing to walk back over to her spot next to Kovu. While she did, Simba raised an eyebrow.
"Pumbaa, what are you talking about?" He asked reluctantly. "What about our eyes?"
"This doesn't have anything to do with Kopa, does it?" Vitani asked concernedly. Pumbaa quickly shook his head. He answered, "Well it doesn't involve him specifically. It's more about Nala here than anyone else."
Nala winced. "Me? Why?"
The warthog opened his mouth to answer her, but then against all odds, the unexpected happened. Pumbaa stopped as soon as he heard the same thing everyone else did: a faint moaning sound coming from behind them in the den. Simba's eyes widened when he heard it, and Kiara was the first one to look back and see what it was. It didn't take long for the others to follow, and when they did, they saw something they didn't think they would. They saw Timon, who had been unconscious this whole time, groaning as he sat up on the ground, rubbing the back of his head with his hand. Timon had finally woken up.
"Oy... ah, my head..." He said faintly.
As soon as it became apparent that the meerkat had regained consciousness, both Kiara and Vitani couldn't help but give a devious smile at him. "So, did you have a nice nap there, Timon?" Vitani asked jokingly, which made Kopa snicker.
Immediately Timon looked over to the three lions and the three lionesses surrounding the laptop, and he stood up as quick as he could, staggering to regain his balance. He rubbed his eyes and then grew an enraged look on his face. "You... you!" He shouted suddenly. Kiara laughed when he did.
"Oh, so you think this is funny, Kiara?" He demanded. "You think me getting it on with Shenzi is just some absolute genius, huh? Well then you've got another thing coming, princess! How the hell could you-!"
Kiara cut him off. "That was for us to get even, Timon." She said casually. "You showed us stuff that made us sick, we show you stuff that makes you sick. That's fair, isn't it?"
Timon grimaced as he started to walk back over to them at last. "I can't believe you guys lied to me like that! You said it didn't involve me doing... that... with any of you!"
Nala chuckled to herself as she spoke to him this time, watching as he walked forth. "No, what we said was it didn't involve us, we didn't say anything about the hyenas."
"So really that wasn't a lie." Vitani said.
"She has a point, Timon." Kopa added, trying desperately to hold back his explosive laughter. "What's the harm? It's about time someone gave you a taste of your own medicine anyway, Timon."
"I'm just sorry it wasn't me." Vitani added.
Timon smacked his hand against his face hard. He went past Simba and Nala and back up to the laptop like he was before. Pumbaa gave him a concerned look. "Uhh... good morning, I guess?" He said awkwardly. The meerkat sighed.
"I can't believe you guys showed me that! What the hell did I do? After all I did, after all I showed you, after all I-!"
"Yeah, because we all know you showed us some of the best stuff out there, right?" Kopa said sarcastically, making it hard for all of them not to laugh. He went on,
"Thanks to you, we found out that our fans like to see my dad and Kovu go at it, make Kiara out to be a horrible person, write stories that take an hour to describe grass, and then say the most ridiculous crap we've ever heard about my dad being an ass when he was just a kid! Plus we're probably going to have nightmares for the rest of our lives about it. Clearly we just owe so much to you for all these wonderful discoveries!"
That did it. The level of sarcasm in Kopa's voice was just too much for all of them, and they all burst out into laughter. Kovu fell to the ground barely able to breathe from it, Simba struck his paw against the ground in laughter, and Kiara laughed so hard, she actually started to feel tears fall down her face in it. And the entire time, Timon just stood there by the computer, blushing in a state of absolute embarrassment. He sighed.
"God, I knew I should've just stayed asleep." He muttered to himself. "Could've been having dreams about the crunchy bugs, but nooo! I just had to get my ass up off the ground, didn't I?"
"No wonder we stuck to Hakuna Matata, huh Timon?" Pumbaa said to him, having heard Timon's comment through the hysterical laughter around them. The meerkat looked up to him.
"Yeah, buddy... this is why all right." He said casually. As he did, Timon's expression lightened as he did in fact think about some things concerning what he had been shown. Thinking back to the first day he brought the computer to Pride Rock, he did in fact remember how he laughed hysterically at everyone's reactions to the dirty art about themselves. And when he did, the meerkat actually did consider that maybe Kiara and the others were in fact justified in what they did. If they showed him something that horrified him, maybe it really was fair that they returned the favor. He sighed.
Eventually Timon took a step forth and cleared his throat. "All right guys, settle down before one of you suffocates already." He said in his own way. It took a while, but eventually the laughter from the others died down as they all stopped to catch their breaths. Kovu in particular was panting as though he had almost been choked to death, and Kiara had to help him calm down. Timon glanced over at them.
"Speaking of suffocating..." He muttered. "Anyway, I'm just gonna say now... maybe I did deserve that."
"You've got that right!" Simba commented. Timon ignored him.
"And as much as I feel like I'm probably going to throw up in about an hour, let's just move on, and keep going with the Internet here, shall we? There's still a hell of a lot more I want to show you guys."
Nala, who was the first one to fully calm herself over her son's extreme sarcasm, cleared her throat. "Like what, Timon?" She asked him.
And then Simba finally caught his breath before regaining his composure and saying, "Maybe you could tell us what's going on with the eye colors now?"
"Pumbaa said something about our eyes?" Kiara said to Timon curiously. "The colors or something? Do you know what he meant?"
It took a moment for him to contemplate what she said, but as soon as he did, he grimaced and softly placed his hand on his face. Everyone around him seemed to grow rather concerned when he did.
"Oh no... you just had to bring them to that now, didn't ya, Pumbaa?" He said to himself. Sighing, Timon turned back around and said to the warthog, "All right, let's get this over with. Move aside Pumbaa, I'll take it from here."
And with that, Pumbaa stood up and stepped to the left, moving around the laptop so that now he was behind it. Looking down on the screen, he sat down giving Timon the most amount of room that he could. Timon cracked his fingers.
"Ah well," he said. "This'll still be better than... whatever it is you'd want to call that."
A moment of silence passed before Kiara added slyly, "That was what we'd call revenge, Timon..."
Finally, the meerkat took a deep breath and leaned forth to the laptop's keyboard, typing something into the search bar.
"I should probably tell you guys now", he started. "This is where things start to get rough."
"You mean they weren't all ready?" Simba questioned. Timon shook his head.
"Simba, you ain't even see the start of it yet." He replied, which made Simba shudder in fear. He can't be serious, he thought. Surly the worst of it's behind us... right?
When he hit 'search', a multitude of new results appeared, though none of the lions could tell what they were. Timon zoomed in on a particular image, and after a brief moment of loading, it showcased what appeared to be a diagram showcasing screenshots of Nala from both The Lion King and The Lion King II. The image had close ups of Nala's eyes, color extractions, boxes of text to prove what color they are, among other things. Upon seeing it, Simba raised an eyebrow.
"Uh, Timon? What is this?" He asked cautiously. Timon sighed. He said, "Basically Simba... this is going to piss you and Nala off a hell of a lot more than anyone else."
"You know how Nala's eyes are blue, right Simba?" Pumbaa asked him. Simba gave him a confused look at first, but then looked over to Nala to see what he meant. Indeed, Nala's eyes did look to be a shade of sapphire blue to him, as they always did. He nodded.
"Yes. They're blue, what could be so big about that?"
Timon reluctantly replied, "Well let's just say that not everyone in your fandom thinks they are."
Simba's eyes widened, and Nala stood up. "What are you talking about?" She suddenly demanded. The meerkat answered,
"Basically Nala, it goes like this: They say that in the first movie your eyes were green, and then in the second one they were blue. And there's been just this whole argument over what color they are, which movie got it right and which didn't... it's a mess what they do with it."
Simba grimaced as Nala's expression looked more confused than it ever had. "That's ridiculous! My eyes are blue, they always were! How could they...?"
"Try telling that to this." Timon muttered. As soon as he did, he pulled up a new image of only two screenshots this time: One from the first film, and the other from the second one. And as everyone looked upon it, they actually did notice that one of them had her eyes as bright green while the other had them as sapphire blue. Nala looked especially intently upon it, trying to think of any time she had seen her reflection in the water recently to confirm that her eyes were in fact blue. This time Kopa was the one to respond.
"Hey mom... Actually, your eyes do look pretty green in that first one." He said. The lioness looked over to her son for a moment, and then back to the screen. She took a step forth.
"Yeah you know, I kind of see a difference, actually." Kiara added, raising an eyebrow. "But... how can that be?"
"They must've gotten it wrong in the first one, then." Simba said rather defensively, making Nala look up to him. "Ever since we were cubs, your eyes were blue. Why the hell are they green there? That can't be right!"
"Simba, if we had an answer, I really don't think this would be much of an issue." Timon cut in, now scrolling down the page he was on.
"Oh no, I'm sure they'd still find a way to bitch about it." Kopa added slyly. The meerkat simply ignored him.
"Here's what they had to say, anyway." Timon's said after a brief silence. From there, he read off a pair of comments to a fairly well done drawing of Nala with Simba. They read as follows:
"Her eyes are the wrong color, should be blue.."
"Goodness, no. Green eyes, appearing blue in night scenes and lazy animators in TLK2".
"Say what?" Kovu said suddenly, making Timon turn to him. "TL...K 2... That does mean the second movie, right?" The lion asked. Timon nodded. "What the hell did they call them lazy for?"
"And what are animators anyway?" Nala asked confusedly. "Are those some sort of Disney things?"
Timon gave her a blank look. "Yes, you could say that's what they are, Nala... and I already told you, everyone thinks they messed up your eyes in it." He answered as plainly as he could. Vitani shook her head now.
"Saying Nala's eyes are green is like saying Kopa's mane is blue! You just don't do it!" She exclaimed. But immediately after she did, she narrowed her eyes and smiled at Kopa.
"Actually..." She went on. "That wouldn't look bad on you, Kopa."
From across the den, Kovu smacked his forehead and groaned in disgust at his sister's comment. Timon rolled his eyes.
"Tell that to these, then." Timon murmured as he began to read off more comments on the matter.
"Sometimes they're green and sometimes they're blue! It's crazy!"
*Nala should technically have sea-green eyes like she did in the first movie...that always bugged me about the second movie. I wonder why they went and decided to turn them blue...*
"Nala's official eyes are green not blue"
"I always assumed Nala's eyes were green. I still remember the first time I saw Simba's Pride. I was like noooo what have they done to Nala's eyes? I was in complete shock they were electric blue."
"Actually I do believe her eyes are green. Then because of the lighting in the jungle made it appear blue. Thus the SP animators thought they were blue. We all know how they can mess up on eye colour anyways."
While she listened to these being read off, Nala felt her ears begin to droop in a mix of shock and dismay. Every word that the meerkat read made her feel worse and worse about the online matter. How was it possible that her own fandom would be so picky with such things that the people in it would be able to rip apart her eye color of all things? It never seemed like an issue to her before. Every time she saw her reflection in the water, day or night, her eyes were a solid sapphire blue. She remembered how her mother, Sarafina, had mentioned several times what color they were before she passed on. And Simba himself could confirm it too, like he would have since childhood. So what could have happened to start up such arguments like this? Did the first film have them incorrectly? It seemed so confusing to her, and indeed, she never would understand it for the rest of her days. The lioness sighed.
Kiara was the first one to notice her mother's subtle dismay. "Mother?" She said. Nala looked over to her daughter with small amounts of sadness and large amounts of confusion visible in her eyes. "I-I'm fine, Kiara. Don't worry about me, they're just idiots." Nala said as best as she could. Kiara nodded.
"Your eyes were always blue, mother, where the hell is this coming from?" She said as supportively as she could. Her mother shook her head. "Your guess is as good as mine, sweetie."
A Brief moment of silence passed before Simba said to Vitani, "Boy, right when I thought this couldn't get any stupider too, huh Vitani?"
She laughed at his words. Simba went on, "If they can't even decide what color my mate's eyes are, what the hell kind of hope do we have for the rest of this now?"
The lioness shook her head and said back to her father-in-law, "Well, I don't know, Simba. It's going to take a lot more than this for me to feel like that again. I mean with the art that Pumbaa showed us before... there ought to be some people out there who know how things are with us."
"Yeah, same here, Vitani." Kopa said as he scooted closer to her. "They are going to need to say something a lot worse than that for me to think anything like that again."
Right after he said this though, Timon just tisked. "Welp, wish freaking granted, Kopa...", He said. But as soon as he did, Simba said to him in annoyed tone, "Pumbaa already showed us everything about Kopa, Timon. You don't have to go through that."
Timon raised his eyebrow and looked over to Pumbaa. "What? You showed them that? Without me?" He said exasperatedly. The warthog nodded. "Kopa felt pretty bad about it, Timon. I wouldn't go back to it if I were you."
The meerkat just put his hand over his face. "Oh come on, I wanted to say something about that... Ugh... Just remind me to be mad about it later, Pumbaa." He said softy. Then he turned around and faced Simba. He said, "Simba? You ain't out of the woods for this yet either."
The lion perked up. "Uh, what?" He asked, giving his friend an odd look. Timon responded, "Apparently the fans have got problems with the way you look too."
It took a second for these words to really click before Nala stood up. "What are you talking about Timon? Does this have to do with those... animators? Is that what they're called? What do they say about my mate?!"
Timon replied, "Sheesh, calm down lady. You're not having a baby here. It more involves that second movie they made than the first, from the looks of it your fans aren't too happy with they way any of you guys look in it."
As soon as he said this, Kiara leaned into Kovu and whispered uncomfortably, "Why do I get the feeling I'm going to want to throw up after I hear this?"
Kovu whispered back, "I think you're dad's going to be the one doing that if this gets as bad as I think it's going to."
Ignoring the whispering, Timon went back to the laptop's keyboard and typed something new into it. Simba felt anxiety rise within him as he opened a new page that was filled with text and a few images. Most of them consisting of him and Nala, though if one were to look closely, it would appear as though some pictures had them look subtly different than others.
"What's this?" Nala asked in a quivering voice. Timon tisked again. "Well Nala, I think I'm just going to let this speak for itself."
And from there, he read aloud the following:
Oh my god, i HATE their designs in Lion King 2! They both look distorted and just not quite right. Simba is fatter and a lot darker for some reason, and Nala looks like someone spilled bleach on her. I know they had different artists for TLK2 than they did for the first one, due to a lower budget, and a different animation company (Toon Disney) and that's fair enough. But they could've at least got their colors right! Geeze! Even Pride Rock looks different! it's skinnier and a darker brown color. Come on Disney, get it together!
Each word that the six lions heard made each and every one of them more and more angry by the second. Not since the Confused Matthew review had they heard this level of agnering misinterpretation, and God knows how much they wanted to forget about all that. Nala's teeth were barred when Timon finished, completely astounded that such things could be said about her and Simba. Her mate was standing up, growling loud enough for all inside to hear. Kiara and Kovu were both cringing in disgust with Kovu covering his eyes with his paw, and Kopa and Vitani were just grimacing in confusion. It came to pass that Simba once again smacked his paw against his forehead before he uttered,
"Just... just why?" He said flatly. "Do they have... any idea how long of a time there was in between those movies?"
Nala suddenly shouted, "How do they not understand that we just got older?! Almost a whole year passed from when Kopa was born to when Kiara was born! A lot happened there, guys!"
"And a year for you is like 15 in human years." Timon muttered.
Kopa was the next one to speak. "And did they just call you fat, dad?" He said awkwardly. "Who the hell would say that, you don't look fat at all!... Even though you're kind of getting old."
That last part he muttered to himself so he wouldn't hear. Simba nodded firmly. "That's right, son, I was never fat like that says!"
But almost immediately, the lion looked over to Nala and whispered, "Nala, you don't think I'm fat... right?"
She gave no answer.
"So they're saying that both of my parents looked terrible in that second movie, is that right?" Kiara demanded. This time Pumbaa shrugged. "Their words, not ours."
"I wouldn't worry about what they say about you, Simba." Timon added, looking back to his best friend. Simba sighed heftily. "However", Timon went on. "Nala's the one I'd worry about here."
The lioness opened her mouth to say something in protest, but Timon read ahead before she could. And as he did, her mouth remained open.
"MY GOD! At the end of the first film, the characters look normal and have a cub. And the lighting/art was superb at the end of the first film, the we cut to the second film's beginning, then everything is darker(except Nala!) and all around different!
"It was a different goddamned ceremony!" Kopa said angrily.
"Didn't they see that my presentation happened a lot earlier in the morning than yours did, Kopa?" Kiara asked her brother. "I was an infant and even I remember! The sun was barely up, of course it's going to be darker!"
Timon read on.
You can say "Because it's two different cubs!"... But then again, the fact of the matter is that according to the Films, Kiara is their only cub : ... weather we like it or not.) So to say that they aged,
"Which we did!" Simba interrupted. "That's exactly what happened to us, that's what happens to lions when they age for crying out loud!"
"... Moving on..." Timon muttered.
is nonsense... That is supposed to be the SAME cub from the first film,
"Kovu, remember when I said I thought I was going to throw up?" Kiara said to her mate. Kovu nodded. "I really think that might happen now. This is just... w-what the hell, people?"
so we can honestly say that is was poor film-making right there. Then again, it was just a direct to video sequel from the 90s.
"Huh?" Vitani asked suddenly, getting Timon's attention. "What are 90s, is that a Disney thing? And what does... direct to video mean?" She asked, both of those terms sounding completely foreign to her. When she asked, the meerkat simply sighed and put his hand on his face, shaking his head at the same time. He pinched the space between his eyes.
"Vitani..." He started. "Those... those are both things that the humans hate, essentially. Well, maybe not the 90s, but I can't really..."
Unexpectedly, Pumbaa picked up on this for him and explained to the lioness, "Well Vitani, most movies that the humans make are shown in a place called a theatre when they're done. The first Lion King was like that."
She gave him a blank look. "Okay..." She said slowly. "And what about the second one?"
Pumbaa reluctantly shook his head. "Well, not exactly. It wasn't in the theatre like the first, they just put it right on the uh, home formats. That's what direct to video means, and The Lion King II was like that."
Vitani felt tempted to ask what the term 'home formats' meant, but she didn't bother. Kopa was the next one to react. "Well why didn't they put that second movie into this theatre then?"
Timon answered for Pumbaa, "It was uh, something Disney was doing a while back. It... I- it was a dark time, Kopa. A very, very dark time indeed."
Kopa was about to ask further, but at the last second, he simply said "You know what... I don't want to know."
"Do they say anything else about those colors on us?" Nala asked through gritted teeth, trying to make it clear how she felt about what she was hearing. The meerkat turned around, scrolled down on the page on the screen, and cleared his throat.
"Is it me or does Nala look like she's gained some weight (in her chin LOL) and that she's been dipped in bleach in the second Lion King Film? Her colors are all wonky especially her eyes colored. Obviously it wasn't the same animator, so she would look a little different. But she did look more round for sure in the second one."
"WHAT?!" Nala screamed so suddenly, it made Simba jump. "They think I'm fat too?! Honestly?!"
"That's insulting!" Simba unexpectedly started, where what he said next came almost entirely out of nowhere. "At her age, she still turns me on just from looking at her! Nala is the sexiest lioness I've ever seen, and I know! I've been around a lot of them!"
It took Simba a second to realize what he'd just said. Immediately his pupils shrank and his face blushed brightly. He looked away from Nala in fear that he'd hit him. Nala herself gave Simba a bit of a disturbed look. The awkward silence there lingered for a moment before she sighed, put her paw on Simba'd shoulder and thought to herself, Just take the compliment, Nala...
"Okay then..." Said Timon. "Moving on..." He took a step away from Simba and Nala after this, and he muttered under his breath, "Note to self, tell them to get a room when this is over."
"Sheesh... so what is it with these fans and the way we look?" Kiara said madly, resuming the real point of focus now. "Do they hate all of our looks or something? Is that just it?"
Timon scrolled down and replied flatly, "Does this answer your question, princess?"
"Made my redesign of Kiara look a lot like Nala and Simba; what Disney lacks in doing the two mates' offspring."
"Oh crap, now this?" Kovu asked exasperatedly, looking over to his mate. "They think you don't look like your parents now?"
"Just when I thought they couldn't treat you worse any worse, too." Vitani remarked, earning her a brief glare from her brother.
"That's insane!" Kopa shouted. "You look exactly like they do! We both do!"
"Apparently they don't think so." Pumbaa said as he scooted closer to the backside of the laptop, peering down to the screen. "It looks like they even want to go as far as to redesign you altogether."
"Oh great, I've just gotta see this." Kiara said sarcastically. Timon quickly opened a new page and clicked on a new image, showing what looked like a drawing of a redesign for Kiara. It came with the description, "Wanted to draw my own version of Kiara, cause the SP version looked terrible."
Kovu snarled when he heard this. He stood up, walked over to the computer and shouted, "How the hell does that look better?!"
"Ya' look like a freaking horse in this!" Timon added, looking over to the princess. When he did, he saw that Kiara was doing her best to maintain her composure like before. She knew that hate for her very looks was inevitable, so she did everything she could to prevent it from bothering her. Kovu on the other hand, did not have the same mindset in the least.
"That looks terrible!" He said at the screen. "How the hell would I fall in love with that when I have by far the sexiest lioness in Africa right behind me?"
It took him a moment to realize what he had just said, but he shook his head when he did. "You know what..." He said softer now. "I-I don't even care who heard that this time."
"He's learning..." Simba said to himself, thankfully with no one to hear.
"What else do they say, Timon?" Kopa growled. Fearfully, Timon went further down still, and he read off the following for all to hear:
"She looks like she was just designed for the 'aww pretty' factor. and she is the color of macaroni. SO! I decided to try and 'fix' kiara to look alittle more like she could've come from Simba's gene's and mix with Nala's a bit more. OH also im not that happy with kiara's "cub to young adult" colors in the film. because if you'll notice. the main colors of the lion characters are lighter as cubs, then darker (and duller) as adults!"
"Hey, you know what I find really weird about what that just said?" Vitani started, her tone making it clear that she was getting at something. Everyone turned to her as she finished.
"Why is it that they complain Simba looked darker at the start of the second film, and then complain that the same exact thing didn't happen to Kiara?"
Nala shook her head. "They just can't make up their minds, can they? They just don't get it!"
"Yeah, these fans get it about as well as that one review does." Kopa snickered, which got a few laughs from the others. When that died down, several of them began to talk amongst one another about how odd and overblown their fandom was making this. Kiara cleared her throat.
"Why are they all so obsessed about designs and the way we look? It's not that important, what matters is who we actually are on the inside." She commented, which got several nods around her.
Boy, could humans learn a lot from that, Timon thought. But then, the meerkat heard Simba clear his throat in an odd way through the chatter around him, so he turned around. Simba leaned in and said to Timon personally, "Hey you know what I noticed, Timon? They really seem to like saying nasty things about that second movie of ours, there. Is there really something about that, or am I just thinking out loud?"
Instantly Timon cringed. "Ho boy, the second movie... you don't even know the start of what they've done with that, buddy..."
Author's Note: After an almost three month break, I've finally gotten this chapter out! The reason this was on hiatus was because I really just needed a break. I'd been putting out chapter after chapter in short periods of time, it just really wore me out. But I truly don't want to leave this story unfinished for much longer, so updates shall resume for this. However, since I'm still a little worn from before, I'd expect those updates to be a tad more infrequent than what I was previously used to. Also, because of the hiatus, I can't help but feel this chapter is more uneven and not as well done as the others. I had a massive headache when I wrote this because of medicine I recently started taking because of my braces (I'm getting the ones for my bottom teeth installed soon). That, and I felt tired as hell, so I might've made some mistakes here I didn't catch. I don't know, if there's anything wrong here or if things don't seem as funny in any way, please tell me in the reviews so I can rectify any problems for the next chapter.
As for the topic this chapter addresses: Much like the characters themselves, I too am baffled at how big of an issue the character designs from The Lion King II are in this fandom. Seriously, how do so many people revile the designs so much just because of very minor differences? I just don't get it. I really do think that Simba and Nala were just older and that the start of the second movie is not the same as the end of the first. (Kopa/Kiara debates, anyone)? I mean it's just not a big deal, the differences are so minor I didn't even start to notice them until four months after I first saw the film. Yes, I'll admit they look different from the original, but why is that worth complaining about so much? It's not like they made Simba's eyes green, Nala's fur brown or Timon and Pumbaa's fur both colored hot pink. It just seems blown WAY out of proportion to me.
And speaking of which, the next chapter will be covering the scattered and generally mixed to negative amount of hate for The Lion King II: Simba's Pride in general. Oh joy, won't that be fun for me to write... -_-
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed, thank you all so much for being so patient for the extended delay, and please review!