...the gateway had opened. It was familiar to Simba and Bambi, by this point but Nala was left speechless.
"Bambi?" asked Simba, perplexed, "What are you doing he..." He quickly realized they weren't alone.
Nala had an idea about who this was but... no that couldn't be him. Could it? "Uh... Bambi," she asked, "who is that?"
"Simba, of course," replied Bambi with a grin. He moved a respectful distance, to give them room.
Simba and Nala couldn't stop staring at each other, their mouths open. Neither could believe what they were seeing. Slowly, they approached each other, with Nala crossing over the gateway, until they were mere inches apart.
It was all they could think to say. Nala slowly grinned. She began to chuckle. Simba had no idea what make of it. Suddenly, she went along side and rubbed against him. Simba understood at once. With the tension broken, he began to do the same. Nothing had changed between them.
Eventually they broke away from each other, smiling. "Simba, its been... its so... so..."
"It nice to see you too," Simba broke in.
"What happened? I mean, you're... well look at you!"
"I know. It's a long story."
"We've got time."
"Well, okay then. So it all started when..."
As Simba was telling his story, Bambi was looking into the forest he had once called home. It his mind started racing again. Rafiki's words from last night not only strengthened his doubts about Scar's task for him, it also created doubts about his role as king. It was then a deer, the same deer from earlier, appeared seemingly from out of nowhere.
"You!" shouted Bambi. He shook his head to make sure he wasn't seeing things. Another deer had taken its place. She was younger and quickly hid at Bambi's outburst.
Bambi sighed. He had no desire to hunt her and to have her fear him, it... hurt. His outburst hadn't gone unnoticed. Not just by the doe but also by the young buck and lioness close by. He realized their eyes were on him. "Uh... heh, heh. Sorry," he smiled lamely.
"Is he okay?" whispered Nala.
"I'm not sure," replied Simba.
"Yes, he is," Bambi whispered back. Nala felt very awkward and Simba quickly shifted topics.
"So, how's the kingdom?" he asked.
"Not good," she sighed, "Scar took over after..." She quickly cut herself off. "...and he's gone mad with power."
"What do you mean?"
"I told you," interjected Bambi, "He knows nothing about respect. He thinks I need to be exactly like him." He then added under his breath, "I don't want to hunt everything under the sun."
"Wait, so that whole prey thing... That was him?" asked Simba.
Bambi nodded. "I've seen what he does to those that defy him. He's cruel."
Simba was sympathetic. "I'm sorry, I really am, but what can I do?" he asked.
"You're still the son of Mufasa, aren't you? There's got to be something you can do," said Nala.
It was then he remembered his father's words. Your role in the kingdom is not over. "That's true. I want to help but I can't be... FALINE, NO!"
Hearing that Bambi had no desire to hunt, she snuck by them and was about to cross over the gateway herself.
"Simba, what...?" Nala began. She turned to face the doe and was suddenly pushed from behind.
"I'm sorry, Nala," Simba was trying to push her back to the oasis, "I can't let you lose everything too."
"But Simba, you don't..."
"No, turning into a deer took everything from me. My home, my family... Look, just go and don't come back, Please!"
Bambi watched helplessly. He felt like he had to do something. "Faline," he cried, "get out of here, now!"
"Why, I don't get it?"
"Please!" he begged, "I don't want to do this!"
Faline, thoroughly confused, was about to step foot over the gateway. Bambi, feeling like he had no choice, arched his back and raised his hackles as intimidatingly as he could. "GO!" he demanded.
Faline took the hint and retreated out of sight just as Simba managed to push Nala over the gateway. Truly, Faline wasn't afraid, she had guessed this this lion was Bambi and that he most likely wouldn't have attacked her. But Bambi didn't know that and felt terrible for what he had done. He wasn't sure but he could've sworn that the mysterious deer was there, looking very disappointed.
Nala quickly turned to face Simba again only to find that he wasn't there. She called out for him but there was no reply.
"I don't think he's coming back," said Bambi.
Nala looked hurt. "It can't end like this, it can't!"
Bambi remembered. "And it won't," he said, "Rafiki says he might be able to help us."
Nala was surprised. "Rafiki, really?"
Bambi nodded. "He asked me to bring him water from that pond."
"Alright! I'll run and get Simba while..."
"No," Bambi interrupted, "You'll only get lost. Besides, if you got exchanged, I don't think Simba will ever forgive himself."
"It wouldn't be his fault."
"Can you honestly tell me he won't think that?"
Nala said nothing. There was nothing to say.
"I'll tell you what," offered Bambi, "I know that forest better than you. I'll try to find him; you take the water back to Rafiki."
With that agreed upon, Nala filled the coconut and started back toward the baobab tree and Bambi started to look for Simba. All the while, Faline, who had hidden away, had seen everything.
"Really, Bambi?" she thought.
"Come on..." Rafiki was struggling to keep the elixir's effects from reverting. The more resources he used, the longer the effects lasted but it was becoming very costly.
The latest attempt had exchanged Timon's arms and Pumbaa's fore legs but it didn't even last five minutes.
"I don't think this is working," said Pumbaa, as sympathetically as he could.
"Well we cannot stop now! We are so close!" snapped Rafiki.
"Hey. Calm down, monkey," said Timon, "Remember, we're the ones helping you."
Rafiki sighed. "You are right," he replied calmly. Then something came to him. "You are right. In fact, you might be more right than you think." He quickly got back to work mixing all sorts of things of things together.
"Um... what were we right about?" asked Pumbaa.
"Don't you see?" Rafiki was excited. "This whole time we were trying to manipulate the energy itself but..." He paused briefly to focus on his elixirs. "What if... we... use the energy... to manipulate... our elixirs!" He turned around, holding the readied elixirs.
I think this part was overhauled the most. I needed a reason for Simba and Nala to separate; the original reason was forced and very weak.
I hope you enjoy and please let me know what you think down in the comments.
The initial idea was by Sirzi (https://www.deviantart.com/sirzi)
The characters are owned by Disney