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He wasn't even trying to run away from you at this point, you had decided. Your theory was confirmed when the male had sat down on a nearby rock that was overlooking a herd of antelope that were laying down for the night as the stars appeared in the dark sky. "You can sit next to me, you know," he said, his green eyes wandering the night-time savannah.

You sigh and approach him, accepting his offer by sitting beside him. "What was all that about?"

"You saw me get upset at the crocodiles, right?" Taka asks, hanging his head low. "I didn't want anyone to see me do that. It's so... embarrassing."

You tilt your head and look at him, frowning when he wouldn't meet your eyes. "Then why did you?"

"Because I'm so sick of feeling weak, and being seen as a lesser being to Mufasa!" He growled, "I'm more powerful! I have the kings of the past on my side! And yet I can't even swim!"

The young male's shoulders slumped and you felt sorry for him. You couldn't tell yet if Mufasa was still treating his little brother as if he mattered less, and you wonder if you could get a moment alone with the future king to have a serious conversation with him. "Taka, look at me."

He didn't look up, still glaring down at the rock underneath him.

You sigh sadly and reach forward, using your paw to move his head up so he was facing you. His emerald eyes were still looking down, but then they flickered up to look at you. "Taka, you are not worth less than Mufasa. As far as I'm concerned, you're both as important as each other. Without the other the Pridelands would fall apart. You're both different, yes, but also both special and unique lions in every way. You mean a lot to Sarabi, Sarafina, your mother, your father, the Prideland's animals... you mean a lot to me."

Taka blinked in surprise, choking on his words for a minute before flashing you a watery smile. "...Really?"

You nod and grin, "And hey, if you really want to learn how to swim, you and me can go find a vacant watering-hole and I could teach you. I promise I won't laugh."

Taka chuckles lightly, "I'll hold you to that."

You didn't want to say anything, but you couldn't help but find the prince's eyes beautiful as the moonlight hit them at just the right angle. It looked like they were shining as they creased with his smile. You had found many other lions attractive over the years, but Taka, in this moment, may take the cake.

He turned away from you for a moment, flexing a paw to extend his claws before carving something into the rock underneath you both. You crouched down to see what he was writing, and when he moved his claws away you saw, with very scratchy letters, 'Taka and Y/N's Rock'.

"This is Our Rock now," he announced, looking at you fondly. "We can come here when we're stressed and decorate it however we like. We can just... exist here. Peacefully. With nothing else to bother us." Taka glanced out over the savannah below, smiling to himself softly. "I apologise for my behaviour earlier, it was uncalled for."

"It's alright, you already explained yourself and I understand," you try to reassure him.

The male shakes his head though, "No, it's not okay. I need to apologise to the crocodiles for this to be made right. Thank you for talking some sense into me Y/N."

"No problem. You know you can always come to me to talk, right?"

"I will try to remember that."

"Mother, mother!" Three young hyenas scampered into their mother's den, two of them tripping over one another

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"Mother, mother!" Three young hyenas scampered into their mother's den, two of them tripping over one another. The female of the group came forward, tail wagging, to face her mother. "Prince Taka was angry at the crocodiles again!"

The matriarch smiles gleefully, "Good, he will end up tearing the Pridelands apart from the inside without even knowing."

"But..." One of the young males managed to pick himself up off from his brother's tangled body, "...A young female showed up and he calmed down. He's going to apologise to the crocs tomorrow."

The adult female growled before sighing. "This cannot do, I need to get another influence involved."

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