It was a peaceful day in the Pridelands.
Kion was in the Meadow with the Lion Guard.
"Is Koda doing better?" Fuli asked gently.
Kion shook his head.
"He won't even eat anymore. Everyone's worried terribly" Kion said.
"Does Mari know?" Bunga asked.
"She doesn't quite understand it" he said.
He sighed, and glanced up.
"Ono check the sky, Kiara told me she'd send Zazu if anything happened" Kion said.
Ono nodded, and took to the sky.
He returned a moment later, and settled on Beshte's back.
"It's all clear" Ono said.
"Thanks, Ono." Beshte said.
Fuli brushed her muzzle against Kion's.
"Don't worry" she murmured.
Meanwhile, Nita had met up with Rafiki at his tree.
"I think I figured it out" Nita said.
Rafiki glanced up.
"Figured what out?" He asked.
"Midnight's omen" Nita answered.
She padded over to Rafiki.
"Zuri's younger brother has Greencough" Nita said.
"Midnight said that something would happen to someone that both Nana and Aunt Kiara love." Nita said.
"Very good, Nita" Rafiki said proudly.
"Isn't there anything we can do?" Nita asked.
Rafiki shook his head.
"I've done all I can" he said gently.
"Aunt Kiara's visiting them today." She said.
"Mhmm" Rafiki said quietly.
"She told Kion that she'd send Zazu to fetch him if anything happened to Koda" Nita added.
"Who'll fetch us?" Rafiki asked.
"I asked Kion to send Ono to fetch us" Nita said.
"We'd better prepare some herbs" he said.
"Should we bring mint leaves?" Nita asked.
"Rosemary as well" he said.
"I'll go get them" she said.
She bounded down the slope, and entered the store cave.
Meanwhile, Kiara had ventured to Kula and Chumvi's cave.
She and Zuri were crouched beside Koda's nest.
Kiara curled her tail around Zuri's shoulders.
"Can I get you some fresh-kill?" She asked gently.
Zuri shook her head.
"Kiara, do you remember when Koda was born?" She asked.
Kiara's expression softened, and she nodded.
"Of course I do," she said.
"He was so tiny" she said.
"I know" Kiara answered.
She watched Koda mewl, and nestle closer to Zuri's flank.
"Mom was always afraid that the other cubs would hurt him" Zuri recalled tearfully.
Kiara moved closer, and pressed her pelt against Zuri's.
Suddenly, Koda shrieked, and was still.
Kiara and Zuri exchanged a startled glance.
Zuri bent her head, and nudged Koda's cheek.
"Koda?" She said shakily.
She stiffened, and wailed with grief.
Kiara stood up.
She watched Zuri slump forward, and press her muzzle into Koda's pelt.
Kiara backed out of the den.
"Zazu!" She shrieked.
Instantly, Zazu flew over.
"Darling, what's wrong?" He asked.
"Get Kion. He's at the Meadow" Kiara said shakily.
Zazu nodded, and flew off.
When he reached the Meadow, he settled beside Kion.
Kion glanced up quickly.
"Zazu, what news?" He asked.
"Kiara wants you at Pride Rock" he said.
Kion and Fuli exchanged a glance.
"Zazu, did Koda..?" Kion asked shakily.
Kion turned to his team.
"Ono. Go get Nita and Rafiki. Now" he said.
Fuli brushed her muzzle against Kion's.
"What about us?" She asked.
Kion unsheathed his claws and sank them into the earth underneath him.
"You can all go home" he said.
"Little B, come to Big Springs" Beshte said.
Zazu put a wing on Kion's shoulder.
"Come on, Kion" he said gently.
Kion turned, and followed Zazu back to Pride Rock.
When they reached Pride Rock, Kiara came out to greet them.
She was followed by Chumvi and Kula.
"Kion, come with me" she said.
Kion exchanged a glance with Zazu.
"Go on," Zazu said reassuringly.
Kion padded forward, and nuzzled Kiara's foreleg.
"Is Zuri inside?" He asked.
She curled her tail around Kion's shoulders, and led him into the den.
When Kion entered the den, he immediately padded over to Koda's nest.
"Zuri?, are you okay?" He asked gently.
Zuri glanced at him.
"Kion.. He's gone" she said tearfully.
Kiara exchanged a glance with Chumvi and Kula.
She gently nudged Kion forward.
Kion padded forward, and nuzzled Zuri's foreleg.
"I'm sorry, Zuri" he said.
Zuri draped a paw over his shoulders, and pulled him closer to her.
Chumvi cleared his throat.
"Go get your parents, Kiara" he said.
"Of course" she said gently.
She turned, and padded out of the den.
"Rafiki's on his way" Kion said.
"Thank you, darling" Kula said.
Chumvi knelt down, and nudged Zuri to her paws.
He and Kula pressed themselves against her.
Meanwhile, Ono had flown to Rafiki's Tree.
He flew into the store cave, and entered the tree.
Nita glanced up.
"What's wrong, Ono?" She asked.
She and Rafiki exchanged a glance.
"Kion sent me to fetch you" Ono explained.
Nita stood up, and padded over to Ono.
"Koda passed on?" She asked.
"I'm afraid so" he said.
"Thank you, Ono" she said.
She turned to Rafiki.
"We need to go home, Rafiki" Nita said.
"I know, I'll fetch the herbs" Rafiki said.
"Can I go ahead with Ono?" Nita asked.
Nita nuzzled his shoulder, and bounded after Ono.
When they reached Pride Rock, Nita turned to Ono.
"Thank you" she said.
Ono inclined his head.
"You're welcome, darling" he said.
He spread his wings, and flew off.
Nita rushed into the den.
She padded over to Kion, and knelt to examine Koda's body.
"When did he pass on?" She asked.
"A few heartbeats ago" Zuri said tearfully.
Kula curled her tail around Zuri's shoulders.
"Is Rafiki coming, Nita?" She asked.
Suddenly, Simba and Nala padded into the den.
Kula glanced up.
"Nala, my baby's passed on" she said.
Nala padded forward, and nuzzled Kula's cheek.
"I know, I'm so sorry" she said gently.
Kiara slipped past Nala, and pressed her pelt against Zuri's.
"We shall prepare for the vigil and burial at once" Simba said.
He glanced up as Rafiki entered the den.
Rafiki inclined his head to Kula, and bent over Koda.
He began to rub herbs into Koda's body.
Nita crouched beside him.
"Rafiki, what can I do?" She asked.
"Help your aunt comfort Zuri" Rafiki said.
Nita nodded, and padded over to Zuri's side.
She pressed her muzzle against Zuri's foreleg.
"I'm sorry Zuri, I love you" she said quietly.
Zuri nodded shakily.
"I love you, darling one" she said.
Rafiki grasped his staff, and began to shake it over Koda's body.
Kula sank down, and buried her muzzle into Koda's pelt.
"My poor love" she said quietly.
"Mom, where are the other cubs?" Kion asked.
"They're with Timon" Nala said.
He watched Chumvi and Zuri move forward, and crouch beside Kula.
"I'll go fetch the lionesses" Kiara said.
She padded out of the den, and returned a moment later with the pride following.
Simba cleared his throat.
"I am sure that Chumvi and Kula are comforted by the knowledge that their son was much loved. For even those that have gone are with us as we go on." Simba said.
His gaze softened as he watched Zuri nestle closer to Chumvi's pelt.
Slowly, the Pridelanders moved forward, and surrounded Koda's body.
They settled down, and pressed their muzzles into Koda's pelt.
Kiara cleared her throat, and began to hum in Swahili.
Once she'd finished, Simba padded forward, and bent to grasp Koda's body.
Rafiki cleared his throat.
"It is time for the burial" he said.
Kiara gently nudged Zuri to her paws, and led her over to Simba.
Kion watched Zuri lean over, and press her muzzle against Koda's.
"Chumvi and Kula will lead the procession" Simba said.
Kion and Kiara exchanged a glance.
"What's wrong?" Kion asked.
"Should I walk?" Zuri asked.
Kiara sighed patiently.
"If you don't walk, you may regret it later." She said gently.
"If I walk, will you walk with me?" Kion added.
"Yes. I will" she said.
Kion and Kiara pressed themselves close to her.
Chumvi and Kula led the way out of the den, and into a sheltered clearing.
Timon was waiting for them.
Kion blinked with surprise.
"I thought you were with the cubs" Kion said.
"I told Simba I'd help dig" Timon explained.
"Who's watching the cubs?" He asked.
"Ma is" Timon answered.
The ground was soft and thick with moss.
Simba gently laid Koda down, and Rafiki bent over him.
He began to murmur quietly.
When he'd finished, Chumvi, Kula, and Zuri padded forward to press their muzzles into Koda's pelt.
Timon started to scrape away the moss and dirt.
Once he'd created a hole, Simba and Chumvi lifted Koda up, and laid him inside.
Kula's eyes filled with tears, and she struggled to stifle a sob.
"Sleep well, my son" she murmured.
Zuri curled her tail around her mother's shoulders.
Kion leaned against Kiara's foreleg, and watched Timon begin to cover Koda up.
"I love you" he said quietly.
"I love you too" Kiara answered.
Kovu moved forward, and pressed his muzzle against Kiara's cheek.
"Are you okay?" He asked.
Kovu glanced down at Kion.
"Are you okay, Kion?" He asked.
Kovu's expression softened.
He bent his head, and nuzzled Kion's cheek.
"I love you, Kovu" Kion said tearfully,
"I love you" Kovu answered.
Simba cleared his throat.
"We must head back to Pride Rock, now" he said.
He and Nala entwined tails, and began to lead the way back to Pride Rock.
When they arrived, Kiara guided Zuri into the den, and settled her amongst the moss.
Kula and Chumvi settled themselves beside her.
"Can I get you anything?" Kiara asked quietly.
Chumvi shook his head.
"Thank you, sweetheart" he said.
He and Kiara watched Zuri press her muzzle into Kula's pelt.
Kion padded into the den, and settled beside Zuri.
He pressed himself against her pelt comfortingly.