Meanwhile at the baobab tree, Bambi was staring into the open too. He couldn't sleep.
"What are we looking at?" asked a voice from behind.
Bambi didn't need to look to know it was Rafiki. "Nothing, really."
"May I join?"
Bambi shrugged and Rafiki took it as an invitation. For a short while, they sat in silence.
"You are tense," said the baboon.
"I... don't know if I'd say that. I just have a lot on my mind."
"Like... Rafiki, do you really think this will work?" Rafiki didn't respond. "I mean, if I'm going to stay a lion then I should be out there, proving myself."
"Well." Bambi hesitated. "Scar said I have to bring my prey back to the den."
"And you'll prove yourself by doing what he says?"
"He is king. He has to know something, right?"
"I know him," said Rafiki bluntly, "Very strong, very powerful that lion. There are things
to learn from that. But he knows not of honor and respect. He thinks it is something he alone can grant and that is simply not true."
"Respect," muttered Bambi, thoughtfully.
"I know you are new to this. Going from prey to predator cannot be easy."
There was a pause. "What would you do?" asked Bambi at last.
"It does not matter what I would do. However I would want to learn. What do you want from your experience?" Bambi didn't know how to answer so said nothing. "Okay, let us try this," ventured Rafiki, "What do you want right now?"
That was a much easier question. "I want Scar off my back," said Bambi.
"There you go. And is that why you want to 'prove yourself'?" The realization hit Bambi hard. "I will not tell you what to do, Bambi," finished Rafiki, "but you do not need to turn into him. Now get some rest, you will need it."
With that, the baboon left the lion alone. His last words confused him. Did he know that he was going to see Nala tomorrow? As if he needed more on his mind.
Simba ran through the forest, dodging trees. He kept looking back, to see if he was still being followed. Though he couldn't see anything, he knew he was so he kept running. But something was off. His legs felt like they were working differently, he could feel the dirt between his... toes? And his tail was swishing about, as if longer. Was he a lion again?
The trees began to thin out until there was nothing but open space. Then everything happened at once. Simba checked to see if he was still being chased when his legs gave out from beneath him and he fell forward into a body of water that wasn't there before. He looked back just in time to see his reflection. He was still a deer.
The water was deeper than it looked; deep enough to completely submerge him. Despite this, he wasn't wet and he could still breath.
Simba landed upright in what could be described as a shapeless room. He looked up and saw a silhouetted lion in front of him. Despite its domineering presence, Simba felt no fear.
"What?" he asked. The lion just stared at him. "Don't look at me," demanded Simba.
"Such hostility," said the lion sagely, "It's not like you."
"I just don't want you to see me like this, okay?"
Simba stood firm. "Why? Why?!" He advanced on the lion. "How about because I'm a deer? I'm only prey now!"
"So you're just going to leave everything behind?"
"I have no choice!" finished Simba with clenched eyes, "Look at me, how could I possibly be your son?!"
Mufasa smiled wickedly, stepping into the light. As he did so, he took the form of Scar. "You can't." He lunged at Simba with an open maw and...
"DAD!" Simba woke with a scream. Birds flew from their perches. Simba just sat there breathing heavily. He was safe. So long as he never went back, he was safe. The thought alone was enough to bring him to tears.
When I first started writing this, I wasn't sure what to do with Simba for this part; I knew that I wanted to cement both his and Bambi's mindsets. I don't know how I came up with the idea for a dream sequence but I have a new appreciation for them and how they can be used.
As ever, I hope you enjoy and please leave a comment.
The initial idea was by Sirzi (https://www.deviantart.com/sirzi)
The characters are owned by Disney