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"Woohoo!" Mufasa called in excitement, diving off the tall rock into the watering hole with a loud splash. He poked his head out the water, his small mane slicked down over his forehead and covering his eyes.

Sarabi, sitting on the bank, laughed at him, a small blush covering her cheeks. You notice and smirk, making her look away in embarrassment.

"So, Mufasa, huh?" You made the snide remark, making her shrink more into herself. "Not a bad choice, he's a nice enough guy."

"What about him?" The quiet cub deflected, "Yeah, he's a good friend. Hey, look at the weather."

"Sarabi likes Mufasa, Sarabi likes Mufasa~" Sarafina sang quietly so Mufasa wouldn't hear before climbing onto the rock and leaping into the water.

Sarabi looked at you worriedly, "Please don't say anything, it'll go away soon. My mother says her friend is coming around soon and she has a son, so maybe I'll like him instead..."

You look down at your paws and hum, thinking about what she said. Recently you and your friend's parents had been talking to other lions about betrothing, even if you weren't of royal blood. It was to secure the family lineage. Thankfully your mother hasn't brought this up for you.

You are about to reply when Mufasa calls out, "Sarabi, Y/N, come in! The water's great!"

"W-what about me?" Came a timid voice from behind, Taka squeezing himself in between you and Sarabi, "Can I come in?"

Mufasa pulled his tuft away from his eyes and looked at his little brother for a moment before saying, "Sure, but he careful. Mother still doesn't think you can handle strenuous activ-"

"I can handle it!" Taka barked in response, ignoring all the surprised pairs of eyes on him. He stood up and walked around you, up to the rock the previous two had used as a diving board. He looked incredibly small atop it compared to the others, and it made you anxious. The orange cub took a couple steps back for a good run-up, "You guys better move out the way!" He then ran and jumped off the ledge, landing in the water.

You look to Sarabi and chuckle, "That was a bigger splash than I thought he'd make."

A few seconds pass and the prince doesn't resurface. Mufasa and Sarafina begin to look alarmed and you stand up, leaning in closer.

Eventually his head pops out, and he flails his arms desperately, coughing. The two in the pond with him are frozen in shock, so you dive in after him, paddling over and grabbing him by the scruff of his neck before pulling him toward safety. You place him down on the bank and he lays there, sputtering for a few seconds before he brought up a bunch of water from his throat.

 You place him down on the bank and he lays there, sputtering for a few seconds before he brought up a bunch of water from his throat

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"Are you okay?!" You place a paw on his back.

Sarabi runs over, and Mufasa and Sarafina make their way out the pond, all 4 of you surrounding Taka as he inhales oxygen deeply into his lungs with a couple heaving breaths.

You turn to Mufasa and glare, stepping forward into his personal space, making him back up, "This is all your fault! You shouldn't have let him jump in; you didn't even want him here in the first place! What would make me think you didn't do this on purpose?!"

"You... you think I'd try to drown Taka on purpose?!" Mufasa growled, the hair on his neck standing up, "You're such an idiot, Y/N!"

"STOP IT!" Taka shrieked, standing up on shaky legs. He moved away from you all, green eyes welling up in tears, "I'm- I'm not some fragile thing to be pampered, I just want to do what you all do!" He then turned and ran, off of the path marked by Ahadi.

"Taka, wait!" Sarafina called in vain, giving a nervous look to Sarabi.

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