It was a lovely evening in the Pridelands.
On Pride Rock, Kovu and Kiara were getting ready to leave for a week long vacation to Hakuna Matata.
Kiara's parents, Kovu's sister, the lionesses, Kiara's grandmothers, and Kiara's siblings were lined up outside the entrance to the den waiting for them to appear.
Kovu and Kiara were inside the den with Belee and Denahi getting ready.
Kion was huddled in between Vitani's legs, he was upset because Kiara was leaving.
Vitani bent down and rasped her tongue over Kion's ears.
"It's ok Kion, they're going to be back soon I promise" she said.
Finally Kiara and Kovu emerged with their children following.
They made their way past the lionesses, who bowed their heads and murmured words of encouragement to the young couple.
Belee slipped past her parents and crawled into Sarafina's paws, Denahi followed her and crawled into Sarabi's paws.
Kovu and Kiara reached the end of the path and stopped in front of their family.
Nala was the first to step forward, smiling warmly she rubbed heads with her son in law,
"Please protect my baby" she whispered.
Kovu smiled, "Don't worry Nala, she'll be fine I promise" He said.
After nuzzling Kovu once more, Nala stepped over to Kiara.
Nala pressed her muzzle affectionally to Kiara's.
"I love you Sweetheart, have a good time and don't worry, I'll take care of Belee and Denahi"
"I love you too Mom, We'll be fine, take care of Kion too, he'll be missing me" she said.
Nala nodded and stepped aside.
Simba stepped up to Kovu and smiled gently at him
"Have a god time My Son, and keep my daughter safe, don't worry about your cubs, I promise I'll protect them" he said.
Kovu bowed his head respectfully,
"Thank you Simba" he said.
Simba then stepped over to Kiara and they rubbed muzzles affectionally.
"I love you Darling, be safe, have fun, and don't worry about Belee and Denahi, I'll protect them" he said warmly.
Kiara pushed her muzzle into Simba's mane.
"I love you Daddy" she said.
Simba rasped his tongue over Kiara's ears.
Kopa stepped up to Kovu and they thumped tails.
"Have a good time Bro, take care of my sister" Kopa said.
Kovu nodded, "don't worry Kopa she'll be fine" he said.
Kopa stepped over to Kiara and they rubbed muzzles.
"I love you Kiara, have fun" Kopa said.
Kiara nodded, "protect my babies Kopa" she said.
Kion slowly left his safe place with Vitani and bounded up to Kovu, he rubbed his head against Kovu's leg
"Bye.. Kovu" he said sniffling.
Kovu rubbed his chin against Kion's head affectionally.
Kion went over to Kiara and they stood there for a minute gazing at each other.
Finally Kiara gestured to a clump of ferns and began to make her way over to them, Kion following behind her.
When they were safely concealed in the ferns, Kiara pulled Kion close to her and nuzzled him.
"I love you very much Kion, I promise I'll be back soon" she said gently.
Kion nodded shakily,
"I love you Kiara" he said,
Kiara nuzzled him again before leading him back to their family
Kion crawled back into Vitani's paws and pressed his muzzle into her fur.
Vitani licked the top of his head comfortingly.
Belee walked over to her father and rubbed her head against his leg.
"I love you Daddy" she said.
Kovu gazed at his daughter, a feeling of affection and love in his heart.
"I love you Sweetie, have a good time, listen to Ni-Ni and Grandpa, Mommy and I will be back soon" Kovu assured her as he rubbed his muzzle against hers.
Belee made her way over to Kiara and they nuzzled each other affectionally.
"I love you Dear, be safe and have fun" she said.
She pressed her muzzle to Belee's forehead.
Denahi stepped over to Kovu and rubbed his head against Kovu's legs.
"Have a good time Son, listen to Ni-Ni and Grandpa, your mother and I will be back soon" Kovu said.
Denahi nodded,"Have a good time Dad, and don't worry, I'll protect Belee" he said.
Kovu chuckled at the expression on Denahi's face, a mixture of affection and seriousness, then lightly cuffed him over the ears affectionally.
Denahi bounded over to Kiara and they rubbed muzzles.
"I love you Precious, have fun, listen to your grandparents, and play nicely with Belee, Dad and I will be back soon" Kiara said.
"I love you Mom" he said.
Vitani deposited Kion with Sarabi
then walked over to Kovu.
"I love you Kovu" she said.
Kovu rubbed his muzzle against Vitani's cheek affectionally.
"I love you too" he said.
Vitani stepped over to Kiara and they rubbed muzzles affectionally.
Kovu and Kiara bade goodbye to the rest of the family, before setting off down the path to Hakuna Matata.
"Kovu are you sure Belee and Denahi will be ok while we're gone?" Kiara asked.
She entwined her tail with Kovu's and pressed her body against his.
Kovu returned her affection.
"Kiara I'm sure they'll be fine, they've been away from us before" Kovu said.
"That was only for a few hours, they've never been away from us for a week, they're only three months old, and Kion has never been away from me either" Kiara said.
Kovu gently stroked his tail along her back.
"I'm sure they'll be fine, they have your parents" he said soothingly.
Kiara nodded and they continued on their way to Hakuna Matata
Meanwhile back at Pride Rock, Kion, Kenai, Denahi had run off to play with a few of their friends, Simba and Nala were talking to Sarabi and Sarafina, and Belee was curled up in Vitani's paws.
"Aunty, when will Mommy and Daddy come home?" Belee asked.
Vitani gazed down at her and sighed patiently, Belee had asked that question two times already.
"They'll be back at the end of the week My Love" she said gently.
Belee nodded and snuggled deeper into Vitani's paws.
Vitani gazed down at her precious niece and sighed.
Just then Nita and Kia ran over to them.
"Hi Mama" Nita said nuzzling her mother.
Vitani smiled warmly at her daughter.
"Hello Sweetie" she said.
Belee glance up and smiled when she saw her cousins.
"Hi Nita, hi Kia, what are you doing?" She asked.
"We thought we'd go visit Rafiki" Nita said.
"Want to come with us?" Kia asked.
Belee glanced at Vitani to ask for permission and Vitani nodded.
"Sure I'd love to" Belee said getting up.
"Be careful Nita, you know how frail you are" Vitani said.
Nita rolled her eyes, "Yes Mama" she said.
The three of them ran off.
Vitani sighed and settled down to take a nap.
Meanwhile Kovu and Kiara had made it to Hakuna Matata and had settled down in the vacation den.
"I love this place Kovu, this is where Mom and Daddy fell in love, this is their Upendi, Mom and Daddy brought me here for a vacation before Kion was born, I remember it so well" Kiara said.
"It's beautiful" Kovu said.
"I love you" Kiara said.
She pressed her body against Kovu's affectionally.
Kovu pressed his muzzle to her forehead and they settled down for a nap.
Meanwhile Kia, Nita, and Belee had made it to Rafiki's tree.
"Rafiki!.. It's Princess Belee, are you home" Belee asked.
"Ahh.. Princess Belee, and Princess Kia, and little Nita" Rafiki said as he climbed down to join them.
He embraced each of them warmly and they returned his affection.
"So what is happening my dears?" He asked.
"Mommy and Daddy went to Hakuna Mattata" Belee said.
"Ahh.. Yes I've heard about that.. Come in my loves come in" Rafiki said.
He led them inside a hole in the trunk of the tree and they went up a slope to where Rafiki made his home.
Belee always loved to look at the images of her family that Rafiki had painted on the trunk, her favorite image was of her parents.
"Rafiki.. Is it true that Grandpa Mufasa told you to bring Mommy and Daddy together?" Belee asked.
"Yes Dear, it is true" Rafiki answered.
Kia and Nita were examining Rafiki's herb collection.
"Rafiki, Mommy says you've been with our family since Yeh-Yeh ruled the Pridelands" Belee said.
"That is true" Rafiki said.
Belee gazed at him in wonder.
"Hey Rafiki, what herb is this?" Nita asked.
"It's called borage, it helps your mothers provide milk for you" Rafiki explained.
Belee began to hum a lullaby under her breath.
Rafiki smiled warmly at her.
"Thad is a beautiful lullaby Dear. What's it called?" He asked.
"Mommy used to sing it to me when I was younger.. She says that Grandpa sang it to her when she was my age.. It's called We Are One" Belee answered.
Kia glanced up at the sky.
"It's getting late we should head back" she said.
Belee and Nita nodded and Rafiki embraced them both warmly.
The three of them made their way down the slope and exited the tree.
Meanwhile at Hakuna Matata, Kovu and Kiara were taking a walk and enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
Suddenly Kiara gave a gasp of pain and stumbled slightly.
"What's wrong Kiara?" Kovu asked with concern.
"Ow.. It's a thorn in my paw" Kiara said.
Kovu turned Kiara's over and gently tugged the thorn out, he licked her paw gently.
Kiara gazed warmly at him.
"How does that feel?" Kovu asked.
"It feels fine" Kiara said.
Meanwhile back at Pride Rock, Belee, Kia, and Nita had returned and were relating their visit to Kion and Denahi.
Nala smiled warmly at her granddaughter.
"It's time for bed Belee" she said.
Belee nodded and Nala gently ushered her and Denahi inside and began to out them to bed.
Meanwhile at Hakuna Mattata, Kovu and Kiara were settling down for the night.
"Kovu, isn't this a beautiful place" Kiara said.
Kovu smiled affectionally at her.
"It's not as beautiful as you my love" he said,
Kiara pushed her muzzle into Kovu's mane.
Kovu pressed his muzzle to her forehead.
"Kovu, I'm glad I taught Belee and Denahi We Are One" Kiara said.
"I'm glad you insisted on telling them stories about your family" Kovu said.
"I'm glad Belee and Denahi know our history" Kiara said.
Kovu licked her forehead, Kiara pushed her muzzle into Kovu's mane.
"Let's go to bed" Kovu suggested.
Kiara nodded and pressed her body against Kovu's.
They settled down and went to sleep.
Meanwhile back at Pride Rock, Nala was putting Kion to bed, Belee and Denahi were snuggled close together next to Vitani.
"Mama, I miss Kiara" Kion said.
"I know Kion, she'll be back soon my love" Nala said.
"Ok" Kion said.
Nala nuzzled him and he cuddled close to her and fell asleep.
Simba walked over to them and bent down to press his muzzle to Nala's.
Nala smiled at him warmly.
"Simba when did you realize you loved me?" Nala asked.
"Hmm.. When you stood by me" Simba said.
"I realized it when Scar told us you had died" Nala said
Simba leaned down and he and Nala rubbed muzzles fiercely.
"I love you" Nala said.
"I love you too" Simba answered.
They settled down and went to sleep.
Meanwhile back at Hakuna Matata, Kovu had fallen asleep and Kiara was laying awake thinking about her children and Kion
Kovu felt Kiara shift beside him and he opened his eyes and sat up.
"What's wrong darling?" He asked.
"I'm worried about our children and Kion" Kiara said.
"They'll be fine, they have Simba and Nala" Kovu said.
Kiara pressed her body against Kovu's and pushed her muzzle into his mane, desperate for comfort.
Kovu rasped his tongue over her ears affectionally and curled his body around hers.
Kiara pushed her muzzle into his pelt and fell asleep.
Kovu gently stroked his tail along her back before joining her in slumber.
Meanwhile back at Pride Rock, Simba and Nala were curled up together , their tails entwined and their bodies pressed together.
Belee and Denahi were curled up next to them and Kion was sleeping on Simba's other side.
Suddenly Nala woke with a start, she glanced around and smiled at the sight of her grandcubs.
She cuddled close to Simba and fell back asleep.
Meanwhile at Hakuna Mattata, Kovu was sound asleep, Kiara's body pressed against his.
Kiara was shaking and shivering in her sleep.
Suddenly she sat up and gasped.
Kovu awakened by her movements, sat up at once when he noticed his mate was awake.
"What's wrong my love?" He asked as he noticed the expression on her face.
A shudder rippled through Kiara's body and she started crying.
"Shh.. It's ok baby, tell me what's wrong" Kovu said, he covered her face and ears with kicks to comfort her.
"It,. It was a bad dream" Kiara said, she shuddered again and pushed her face into Kovu's mane.
Kovu pressed his muzzle to her forehand soothingly.
They settled down and went to sleep.
Early the next morning Kovu was the first to wake,
He smiled as he got up and stretched.
He decided he'd go out and hunt for his and Kiara's breakfast.
He slipped out of the den and began the hunt.
He spotted a rat and crouched down in the hunting crouch.
He launched himself forward and caught the rat.
He got the rat and carried it back to the den.
Kiara had just woken up and was starting to get hungry.
Just as she was starting to get up to go hunting, Kovu entered and dropped a plump rat in front of her.
Kiara's eyes sparkled and her mouth watered as she gazed at the rat.
"Thank you Kovu, do you want to share?" She asked.
Kovu shook his head, "it's all yours darling" he said.
Kiara smiled at him and began to eat.
Kovu gazed affectionally at her.
When Kiara had finished her meal, they set off for a tour of Hakuna Mattata.
"This place is so beautiful Kovu, After Daddy became king he insisted on building the vacation den so his family could come back here for a vacation any time they wanted" Kiara said.
She and Kovu approached a small lake and bent down to drink.
Kiara remembered a story that Nala had told her, she raised her head slightly to look at Kovu.
Kovu felt her gaze and smiled warmly at her.
Once they had drunk their fill they set off for a small grassy area.
Kiara remembering another story Nala had told her lurched forward and pinned Kovu.
Kovu chuckled and reversed the pin.
"I love you Kovu" Kiara said.
"I love you too" Kovu said.
Meanwhile back at Pride Rock, the lionesses had just returned from the hunt, they had caught three mice, two rats, and a antelope.
Nala was satisfied with the hunt and led the lionesses into Pride Rock.
She dropped the mice in front of Kion and her grandcubs, gave the antelope to the lionesses and took one rat over to Simba to share.
She and Simba curled together as they devoured the prey.
They glanced up and smiled when they saw their granddaughters standing in front of them.
"Grammy, can we go visit Rafiki again?" Kia asked.
"Of course sweetie, tell Rafiki that you can stay until noon" Nala said.
Instantly they raced off, Kion, Denahi, and Kenai went to the waterhole to join a game of baobab ball.
Meanwhile Belee and her cousins had made it to Rafiki's tree.
"Rafiki.. It's Belee, are you home?" Belee asked.
"Ahh.. My three favorite lionesses, it's a pleasure to have you visit again" Rafiki said as he swung down to join them.
"Rafiki Grammy said that if it's ok with you we can stay until noon" Kia said.
Rafiki smiled warmly at them,
"Of course it's ok, come in darlings come in" he said.
The group entered the cave.
"So Dear Belee, how are you and young Denahi doing being away from your parents?" Rafiki asked.
"Well.. Grammy and Grandpa take great care of us, and I do miss Mommy and Daddy, Denahi's always with Kion and Kenai playing with their friends" Belee said.
"Well Darling, if it's all right with Nala you three are welcome to come to old Rafiki's tree all week" Rafiki said.
Belee nuzzled Rafiki affectionally.
"This tree is so magical" Kia said, she and Nita were gazing at the images painted at the trunk.
"The whole Pridelands is magical Kia, Denahi and I have grown up running through it, so we know every signal detail from this tree to the meadow, but Mommy says that you never fully understand the beauty until you see it from the peak" Belee said.
Rafiki nodded wisely, "That is true little one" he said.
"Mama won't let me go past the meadow" Nita said.
"Vitani just wants to protect you" Rafiki explained.
"Rafiki what's that image?" Kia asked gesturing to a special image behind Belee.
Instantly Rafiki rushed forward and stood in front of it.
"It's nothing Kia, now I have a surprise for you darlings, how would you like to talk to Mufasa" Rafiki said.
"Can we really do it?" Belee asked.
"Of course, just give me a moment" Rafiki said.
He shook his staff and murmured a phase that was unfamiliar to Belee in Swahili.
Just then Belee heard a unfamiliar yet still familiar voice in the sky.
"My precious Grandchildren, it is a honor to meet you, I've been watching you for your whole life's and I love you all very much" Mufasa said.
"Grandpa, We've heard a lot of stories about you, Nai Nai really misses you" Belee said.
"Grandpa, Daddy says he could sense your presence while he was exiled from the Pridelands" Kia said.
"That's true Darling" Mufasa said.
"Mommy says that you made Rafiki bring her and daddy together" Belee said.
"That's also true" Mufasa said.
Rafiki smiled warmly at Belee and went over to put a hand on her shoulder
"I'm afraid I must leave you now my dears" Mufasa said.
"Goodbye Grandpa" Belee said.
Mufasa's spirit embraced them all warmly before disappearing.
Meanwhile at Hakuna Mattata, Kovu and Kiara were laying close together in a patch of moss.
"This is nice isn't it Kovu?" Kiara asked.
Kovu nodded and pressed his muzzle to her forehead.
Kiara pressed her muzzle into his mane.
"I love you Sweetheart" Kovu said.
"I love you too" Kiara said.
Kovu pressed his muzzle to Kiara's and they smiled at each other.
"Thank you for the rat Kovu" Kiara said.
"You're welcome Kiara" Kovu answered.
"Did you have anything to eat?" Kiara asked.
Kovu shook his head, "Not yet darling" he answered.
"Why not?" Kiara asked.
"My first priority is and will always be to take care of you Kiara" Kovu said.
Kiara gazed affectionally at him and leaned over to nuzzle him.
"How about I catch you something to eat" Kiara suggested.
Kovu nodded and Kiara rushed off to hunt.
Meanwhile back at Pride Rock, Belee and her cousins had returned from Rafiki's and were excitingly relating the story of seeing Mufasa to Sarabi.
"He said he misses you Nai Nai" Belee said.
Nala came over to her grandchildren.
"Darlings it's time for your nap"she said.
Kia and Belee ran to their sleeping places and Nita went to lay with Kora.
"Are you ok Sarabi?" Nala asked her mother in law.
"I'm fine Nala" Sarabi answered.
Nala brushed her tail along Sarabi's flank comfortingly.
Meanwhile back at Hakuna Matata, Kovu was grooming Kiara and Kiara was laying sprawled out in front of Kovu talking.
"Kovu. Would it be all right if we went home early?" Kiara asked.
"It'd be fine" Kovu said as he rasped his tongue over her ears.
"Can we leave tonight?" Kiara asked.
"Of course" Kovu's answered.
He finished grooming Kiara then set out to hunt for her dinner.
Kiara stretched out and waited for him to return.
Kovu caught sight of a vole and got in the hunting crouch.
He lunged forward and caught his prey.
He carried it back to the den.
Kiara was just beginning to wonder where Kovu was when he suddenly appeared and dropped a plump vole in front of her.
"Mhmm Kovu thank you, I insist you share this with me" Kiara said.
"No Kiara it's all yours" Kovu said.
"I caught a mouse earlier do you want that?" Kiara asked.
"Sure" Kovu agreed.
Kiara gave him the mouse and they settled down to eat.
"Kovu can we leave after we eat?" Kiara asked.
Kovu nodded,"Sure Sweetheart" Kovu said.
They finished their meal and set off.
Meanwhile back at Pride Rock, Kenai, Denahi, and Kion had just returned and were huddled in conversation with Simba
Nala meanwhile was making sure Belee was comfortable and getting her ready for bed.
Just then Zazu flew up to them.
"Nala, Kiara and Kovu are on their way home" he reported.
Nala and Belee exchanged a delighted look.
"Thank you Zazu" Nala said.
Zazu bowed and flew off towards his tree.
Nala went inside to tell Simba and Belee waited outside for her parents.
When Kovu and Kiara reached Pride Rock, Belee ran out to greet them.
"Mama!, Daddy!!" She squealed excitingly.
Kovu and Kiara rushed forward and greeted her affectionally.
Then Belee led them inside Pride Rock to greet the rest of the family