Wokovu: Kovu's Journey

Re: Wokovu: Kovu's Journey

Postby YFWE » May 2nd, 2010, 7:14 am

Thanks to the both of you; I appreciate your comments as always. Glad to hear that a couple of the interesting little storylines/sidesteps/cliffhangers/whatever I've been planning over the past few months have been paying off. I'm especially glad that you liked what I've done with the Mwituni, KM. I'd say they're without a doubt one of my favorite aspects of this story thus far... I think you'll find later on that they can be pretty... different compared to most. At least, if all goes according to plan.

Anyway, I really enjoyed getting back into this story again; it had been so long since I worked on it. I've already begun on the next chapter, so there's a small chance I'll have something to show y'all soon. Keep yo fingaz crossed! :)
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Re: Wokovu: Kovu's Journey

Postby Arani » July 3rd, 2010, 8:01 am

This is very good! Keep on writting! :D
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Re: Wokovu: Kovu's Journey

Postby YFWE » April 25th, 2015, 4:54 pm

Lol don't mind me, just updating a fanfic I haven't touched in five years.

Wokovu: Kovu's Journey
Chapter 8: Friends

It was outside her usual path of travel, but Kiara was not worried about keeping the status quo.

On normal days, she might have risen early, drank in the Pride Lands’ expansive surroundings from atop Pride Rock, and then started on a hunt, either for fun or for food. Her tan fur would have been matted and dirty by midday and she would have taken a quick bath before lounging lazily in the sun, perhaps stealing a wink or two of sleep until dinnertime.

But the sunrise had come and gone without a trip to the ledge of the promontory. The wildebeest in the area had breathed a sigh of relief. There was a spot for her among the lionesses at Pride Rock, but it was left vacant.

Sometimes the mold had to be broken, and there was no choice but to do so.

Nestled around the Pride Lands were a fair share of grottos, dotted gingerly about the land as though a higher power had a strategy to their placement—choosing here because of proximity to the lions, and there due to a wealthy spring out of which the watering hole flowed.

It was a well-kept secret—or so they liked to believe—among the lionesses of Pride Rock that there was a methodical path between these springs, one that would allow many drinks without being thought of as a dabbler in excess if too many swallows were taken in one location. Kiara normally had not cared; as a cub, the distance was too great, and even now, she minded little for what others thought of her, so she drank wherever she pleased. But the path was quiet and bare, not often traveled by much of anyone. How could she refuse such a tempting offer?

The sun was at its peak when she reached her third oasis of the day, paws worn from the travel but gracious for the solitude. Normally by now she would have spent a lazy hour with Kovu, but for the second day in a row, he was nowhere to be found. She did not necessarily expect his company at all hours, clinging to him as though he would be the last lion on earth ever to pay her attention. But as her current and future beau, she expected some semblance of contact with the dark-furred male with whom she had fallen in love—and if he was going to leave the vicinity, she appreciated some—if any—notice.

That was what bothered Kiara most of all. “He tells me everything,” she repeated, and had repeated since the words first left her muzzle the day he left. Sure, she certainly had not known Kovu for an exceptionally long time—they were not old childhood friends who had maintained a close bond their entire loves, like her parents to some extent—but in the time she had spent with him she had come to expect a fairly mutual understanding that no secret was that at all—a secret. He had spent long enough in the darkness. It was time to let him out.

Yet here she was, none the wiser to Kovu’s whereabouts, what could possibly be troubling him enough to cause his leave from Pride Rock with nary a word to her. Maybe a part of her hoped she would find him out in the Pride Lands on her walk, certainly not far enough away that he could not be reached. But she had felt his presence to some extent—even when he resided far away from her in the Outlands—when he was around. She felt nothing now.

She decided that, in lieu of her usual nap back home, she would sit for a spell at the third oasis, foregoing the possibility of seeing others—particularly her parents and especially her father, who just did not understand her plight.

Kiara lapped up her fill there—the water level was lower with the recent drought, but she did not feel she stole too much—before padding off to a nearby acacia, taking a share of the shade and dozing off. Her dreams were graciously free of the troubles that haunted her when awake, subsiding, lessening to a dull purr of discontent until consciousness found her again.

So came her dreams—

Her eyes fluttered open. She heard something—someone.

Kiara shot up as quickly as she could manage, teeth half-bared as the struggle to knock the cobwebs from her short slumber, on her feet but wobbling slightly as she turned to face that which approached from behind her.

She was surprised to find another lioness—golden like she, but pale. Vitani.

Her expression, once adversarial, softened momentarily but soured thereafter. She did not dislike Kovu’s sister—how could she? She was not her mother just as much as Kiara was not necessarily hers, and Kovu had proven the Outlanders could change—but she recalled the confrontation shortly before, when the two had argued over Kovu’s well-being and whereabouts, and was hardened in her resolve. Perhaps part of her felt Vitani knew more than she had let on about Kovu and why he had gone—“You don’t know the least of what’s going on in my brother’s head right now,” she had said, after all.

But now was not the time for another argument—though fleetingly the concept was tempting, since no one else was around. Kiara took a deep breath. “Hey.”

Vitani, who had seemingly followed the same path as Kiara to get there, was characteristically terse with her response: “Hey.”

The wind rustled through the lone tree that overlooked the oasis while tiny particles of dirt and dust swirled like tornadoes around them. The silence was palpable, a clear sign of the disconnect between the pair. Not that there was any hate, nor even dislike. Distrust, perhaps, was the word.

Thoughts of Kovu, gone somewhere, flooded back to Kiara, his face beaming at her from reaches of her mind that were close, yet somehow distant. She only saw a bit of Kovu in Vitani; the lioness favored her mother in looks, that much was certain, and it was not as though the siblings had the same father. But it was there and it was enough—and for a moment, she was happy.

Vitani eventually padded over to the oasis, where, after one last brief side-eye to Kiara, began to drink. Momentarily strengthened by her warm thoughts of Kovu, Kiara placed a paw apprehensively, muscles tensed in her search for anything to say.

At last: “So, uh, nice weather?”

Vitani looked up from the water, her muzzle still coated with liquid, and scoffed aloud. “That’s the best you can come up with?”

Kiara grimaced. “Heh. Yeah, I guess it was a little lame….”

Her temporary companion’s back was to her as she lay down nearby, head resting on paws slightly over the edge of the oasis. There was silence a while longer before a sigh. “Let’s just get this over with, right?” she said.

“What do you mean?” Kiara asked, puzzled. “This” could mean many things, among them the answer to her questions about Kovu but other, perhaps more sinister implications as well.

Vitani sigh was even more pronounced this time. “Your mom made me come out here,” she growled, so low it was nearly a mutter. “She wanted us to… well, you know, after the other day….”

She rose from the ground, but still did not turn around. “Just… sorry for snapping, okay?”

Briefly Simba’s daughter was disappointed that there was no master revelation, a lack of mention of Kovu in Vitani’s begrudged apology. But with that in mind, Kiara was also aware that nothing good could come of the two lionesses remaining at each other’s throats, especially at a time when both a lover and a brother had gone missing. She did not expect unbreakable friendship between the two, but it certainly was preferable to the alternatives.

But Vitani was not done. “Nala wants us to be friends. I’m sure the king desires the same.”

Kiara had not made many friends growing up; one lioness had produced a female cub like she, but the pair had not clicked—though she was a princess, she, much like her father before her, had appreciated the rough-and-tumble qualities of life, preferring a tattered pelt at day’s end versus one soft and pristine. Her companion had not; perhaps she would have been more suited to royalty, had it meant sunbathing all day while one’s subjects did all the work.

Vitani was different; in fact, Kiara could not dream of possessing the scrappiness of her counterpart. Not only was a friendship desirable from a familial standpoint—her bruteness was an ally indeed.

“Well, sure. I’d love that. Like that, I mean,” Kiara said with a swallow. “I mean… if that’s what you want.”

Vitani finally turned to face Kiara. Her blue eyes bore into her, laser-focused in their resolve, whatever it was, brow furrowed but not as though an attack was imminent. Finally, she simply shrugged. “Sure. Whatever. If it pleases the princess.”

But Kiara could only wince, turning away quickly, gaze upon the dusty ground.

The opposing lioness rolled her eyes with a sigh, stretching her limbs once before striding to Simba’s daughter. Tentatively she raised a paw, slowly resting it on Kiara’s shoulder as though the gesture was unfamiliar to her. “I mean it, “ she whispered. “Friends.”

Kiara stole a glance at Vitani, who, she decided after small thought, seemed about as truthful as she would ever expect. So, then came the question, the one on Kiara’s lips and that had been for days.

“Where’s Kovu?”

As soon as it had arrived, Kiara felt Vitani’s paw fall from her, and she looked to see her “friend” retreating, her body language showing agitation, a dull growl escaping from her throat. Kiara had not wanted to be so forward with Vitani, but stood firm all the same, her head raised, eyes following the lioness’ movements. She was tired of being left in the dark. And she still did not believe the prevailing excuse of “finding oneself.”

Suddenly Vitani whipped her head around, facing Kiara with her countenance downturned into a snarl—a move that caused the princess to jump back ever so slightly, caught off guard.

“Look,” she snapped. “I’ve told you all I already know. And if you don’t wanna believe me then there’s nothing I can do but prepare to gloat in your face when your beloved comes back and tells you precisely the same thing as his sister.”

“Then why wouldn’t he tell me?!” Kiara’s voice was raised now, too, but quivering as though on the verge of tears. “That’s not something you keep from your mate just because. He knows I wouldn’t care. The whole pride wouldn’t care!”

“Sure about that?” Vitani asked coldly, and paused while Kiara stared back, at one moment opening her mouth to retort but then, hesitantly, shutting it.

Vitani smirked. “Yeah. Let’s get that question straight. Kiara, are you sure of that? Are you certain the pride wouldn’t care?”

“I… yeah….”

“So the untrusting leers in my and my fellow Outlanders’ direction, the side-eyed glances given to Kovu while the two of you waltz apathetically through the savanna, the murmurs even after we helped your pride claim the land against my mother, the outright discounting of my word now—you can stand there and tell me the pride wouldn’t care if Kovu went off by himself, off to who knows where, when it is known that there are others out there who would still harm you and your pride without hesitation?”

She grimaced. “If that were the case, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.”

Nearby, a trio of meerkats scurried across the dust, the only sound that moment in the vicinity other than Vitani, whose heavy breathing after such a diatribe had worked her to the point of mild exhaustion. A stoic Kiara could say nothing, feeling her eyes water—in part from the lack of a different tale of Kovu’s whereabouts, sure, but also due to guilt. Even she, Kiara, the lioness who had dared defend the Outlanders from the moment she was young, who had pled for their admittance into her father’s pride, who had taken one as a mate—she, too, had become sullied by their presence, casting doubt in the direction of those she had beckoned others to trust. Simply because she did not believe the words of the lioness who shared Kovu’s blood.

The skirmish had overtaken Vitani and Kiara to an extent that they had not heard the approaching presence within their midst, certainly not sneaking up on them but cloaked under cover of the din of the argument. All the same, he felt curious at the scene onto which he had arrived.

"I hope I'm not interrupting anything," announced King Simba, producing a restrained, yet authoritative vocal that immediately caught the attention of his daughter and subject, both heads swiveling to face the approaching king, Vitani's breathing still weathered.

"Daddy!" Kiara called. "Hi! Vitani and I were just--"

"Just a little disagreement, my king," Vitani said, giving a quick bow. "Nothing more."

Simba's gaze lingered upon the Outlander lioness, pausing in his gait once was close by. Zazu was perched upon his right shoulder, silent but with eyes that betrayed Simba's motive: this was not a chance, friendly visit.

The king shot a quick look at Kiara--he had attempted to make it reassuring, but it was sterner than he had meant--before returning to Vitani. "Vitani," he spoke, softer than before. "I wish to speak with you, along with Queen Nala, in my chambers."

"The queen already talked to me this morning," Vitani replied firmly. "Assuming we are thinking of the same subject."

"No, no, I don't think we are."

Vitani raised an eyebrow, cocking her head to the side, but said nothing.

"We'd like to talk," Simba spoke again, eyes quickly darting to Kiara once more, albeit briefly, "about where Kovu really went."

xXxXxXx

It was not the densest jungle Kovu had ever visited. Water was present but not plentiful, and the trees themselves seemed different, perhaps less copious, too. It was certainly a forest, but often Kovu worried of dense fog or exotic creatures of the jungle, waterfalls splicing expanses of vines and limbs as far as the eye could see. This, instead, was emptier, the space between foliage more pronounced, little humidity. Hilly but not treacherously so.

It was into this area he had come in search of water and food--and that he had already found, the latter in the form of sweet berries. No meat just yet, but Kovu was sure he would find some, not that he necessarily required it.

Bidii rode on his back, a change of scenery for the tiny hyrax that neither minded too much. Kovu felt the animal's every movement, every tensing of muscle, even the slightest of warnings that the young thing was about to go on one of his lengthy spiels about whatever befell them--this tree, that view, some memory of his being there before, back when he and Koko had lived there.

For her part, Koko said nothing. In fact, she lagged behind the group, a few paces in arrears as though her lollygagging would prevent them from going farther. She had made it well known that she had no desire to enter the forest, the one in which she grew up and, for reasons still unknown to Kovu, had left. Finally she relented once the lion had offered the promise of food, but she had expected nothing more than a quick foray into the outer reaches of the forest--and this was too much.

"Uh, Kovu?" the wild dog squeaked, barely audible from the distance she was behind them. "We found f-food, y'know. Can't we...."

"Hush now, Koko," Kovu said mildly. "Just want to see if there's anything else besides berries. It's a big place, right? No guarantee we'll see your family if you really don't want to."

But Koko was not so sure. Though she had not set paw within its bounds for quite some time, she had begun to recognize certain landmarks more readily than before, places perhaps her kind did not come often but still visited on occasion. Kovu may have been blissfully unaware of this, but he was not aware of his surroundings. She was, and her motive for staying behind a bit was partly so that she could dash out of view if need be.

But she never got that opportunity because they came up from behind.

"Who goes there?"

Koko froze in her tracks, mid-gait, teeth bared but in a grimace--she knew the voice but dared not turn around.

Kovu, meanwhile, was not caught off guard by the voice--female--per se, but was surprised enough to whip the whole front half of his body around rather violently; Bidii rolled off and onto the ground but was unfazed, eyes wide immediately at their new visitor.

"I said--" came the voice again, and Kovu located it quickly: it was another wild dog, female, bigger than Koko but not pronouncedly so--either full-grown or close to it. She had been walking up from behind them; Kovu noticed a parting of vines where there had not been before, assuming that had been where she had entered the path. Her expression was not standoffish but uncompromising all the same; Kovu got the impression they did not necessarily appreciate trespassers.

"I am Kovu!" he called, turning to face her finally. "Kovu of Pride Rock. I promise you, we come in peace."

Bidii had somehow restrained himself from speaking up to then, though Kovu sensed that was not going to be the case much longer. Koko remained rooted to the spot, and Kovu, his gaze having left the other wild dog momentarily, set questioning eyes upon his friend--but she did not move.

The approaching animal stopped, just behind where Koko stood. Kovu noticed her features had softened, but only slightly. Her fur, mostly brown with white down her chest and on her front paws, was noticeably smoothed in comparison to Koko's, which was matted--perhaps from her time spent in the wilderness. Her ears, he observed, were a little larger, too.

"I am Jioni," she spoke. "Jioni of the Forest Tribe. The only of our kind to reside in such conditions." She lowered her head slightly. "Usually to avoid predators such as yourself."

Kovu was puzzled. "Sorry, I wasn't aware lions consumed your kind."

"You'd be surprised, then, what can occur in these lands, especially with the prides nearby," Jioni said, and there was a hint of foreboding in her voice. "But clearly you are from another place, though I am unfamiliar with Pride Rock."

"Again, we desire peace--the same as you."

Jioni's dark eyes settled on Kovu a little while longer--and then Bidii, the hyrax, who accompanied him. She had not heard of such an animal traveling with a carnivore so high on the food chain; clearly, this lion was different.

She nodded. "Damu, stand down. Soldier, they are friendly."

Kovu recognized the word and perused the surroundings, expected another within Jioni's ranks to emerge, having been prepared for an ambush if need be.

But none emerged, and soon he realized why: she was speaking to Koko.

And still Koko stood, rooted to the spot, her facial expression unchanged as Jioni, now curious, stepped lightly toward her fellow canine. "Hello? Are you...?"

Sensing she was approaching from her left side, Koko turned her head to the right, gritting her teeth, Kovu realizing she had begun to vaguely shake.

Jioni appeared alongside, now with a bemused countenance. She studied the side of Koko's face that was visible, glanced down at her markings along her side, seeming in deep thought.

Then, she bolted up quite suddenly, and when she turned to Kovu, her expression was a mix of surprise and confusion.

"Kovu," she called. "Has she traveled with you?"

"Sure did, Jioni! That's our friend--well, she's my best friend but she's Kovu's friend too, but she's only been his friend for a little bit, you see, while we've been friends for a while, yeah, long as I can remember," Bidii had finally given in to the power of speech. "We used to live here, did you know that? Yeah, Koko and I, best friends, we lived her until we decided to leave, but we're back now, isn't that right, Koko, we were looking for food and I said, 'Hey, l-'"

"K-Koko?" Jioni breathed as Bidii continued on about how they had come to the forest. "Koko?"

The other wild dog said nothing.

"I... take it you know each other," Kovu surmised, patting Bidii with a paw to end his story.

Jioni looked at Kovu with suddenly empathetic eyes, ones that seemed to harbor a sudden welling of tears.

"Yes," she said. "We do. Koko is my sister... and also one of the most important beings my tribe has ever known."

END
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Re: Wokovu: Kovu's Journey

Postby Azdgari » April 30th, 2015, 10:07 pm

nobody wants to listen to your mixtape kevin
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Re: Wokovu: Kovu's Journey

Postby YFWE » May 1st, 2015, 3:12 am

sry can't hear u over the sound of these sick beats
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Re: Wokovu: Kovu's Journey

Postby Azdgari » May 3rd, 2015, 6:51 pm

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