A/N: I OWN NOTHING!
Mufasa ran as fast as his legs could carry him. How could his brother think that? Their father loved them both, surely Taka could see that!
"Taka!" he shouted, looking for anything that would lead him to his brother.
"Mufasa!" he heard Sarafina shout and turned around. Sure enough, there was his brother's best friend running up to him.
"Thought you were staying in the cave?" Mufasa asked.
"Taka knows more hiding places than you do," Sarafina said simply. "I know them though."
"He's my brother," Mufasa said stubbornly. Sarafina rolled her eyes.
"Yet you've missed the giant trail of blood underneath your feet," Sarafina shot back. Mufasa looked down and sure enough there was a trail of blood.
"Looks like it's going to the old caves by the southern boarder," Sarafina frowned but Mufasa shook his head.
"It's going north," he said. "Taka knows how to evade questioning if he needs to."
"Then what are we waiting for?" Sarafina asked. Mufasa nodded and they both ran off after the blood trail. They went with out saying a word until they came across a giant gorge.
"He wouldn't be that stupid, would he?" Sarafina asked.
"Knowing Taka?" Mufasa shrugged. "Let's hope not."
Mufasa climbed down into the gorge. It was a little creepy after watching his own death in this ravine.
"Taka?" he called, looking as the blood trail seemed to get thicker. "Taka, Dad didn't mean it! Come on!"
Sarafina followed him, keeping silent knowing that this was something that Mufasa should do on his own.
"It was just a lot to take in Taka," Mufasa called. "Come on brother! Maybe it'll get better as we watch!"
"Mufasa," Sarafina called softly and pointed out a small cave near the area they were standing.
"Taka?" Mufasa called gently as he approached the cave. "Taka, come out. Please?"
The silence was making Mufasa uneasy, not to mention the blood that was beginning to pool thicker on the threshold of the cave.
"If Dad really didn't mean it," a small voice called from the cave, "then he'd be out here, not you!"
"Taka, he's in shock," Mufasa tried to explain but knew it was fruitless. His father really should be here, to comfort Taka and reassure him that he was loved. Sarafina ran off, but Mufasa didn't stop her. She probably thought that it'd be less awkward without her there.
"Shock?" Taka spat. "Shock wouldn't have made him hit me like that!"
"I'm sure it's not so bad," Mufasa said gently but gasped as his brother walked out of his cave. The entire right side of his face was coved in blood, and his right eye had a huge gouge near the corner.
"Not so bad?" Taka asked, throwing Mufasa's words back in his face. "Yeah right. Go back to Pride Rock Mufasa. I'll stay here."
"And do what?" Mufasa asked. The sound of a rock flipping down the side of the gorge caused him to jump.
"Jumpy, are we?" Taka smirked but Mufasa could see that it wasn't the usual smirk his brother would wear when he was amused. It was more…sinister.
"Little brother…" Mufasa began to say but trailed off. Taka went back to the cave. The sound of approaching footsteps drew Mufasa's attention away from the back of his retreating brother.
"Father?" he gasped. Sure enough, Ahadi was standing there but what surprised Mufasa the most was that he looked…nervous.
"Son, perhaps I should do this," he said.
"He won't listen to you."
"I'll have to try though won't I?"
Mufasa nodded and backed up to where Sarafina was standing.
"How'd you convince him to come?" he whispered to Sarafina.
"I didn't," Sarafina shook her head. "It was mainly your mother."
Mufasa thought for a moment, then he nodded. "Yeah, that makes sense."
Ahadi, it seemed, was having as much difficulty breaking through Taka's walls as Mufasa did.
"Taka," he called out. "Son?"
Silence. Mufasa was starting to worry his brother had passed out from blood loss. He was a young cub after all and that was a huge wound for a cub his size.
"Taka, come out please," Ahadi tried again. "Your mother and I would like to talk to you back at the cave."
Another bout of silence but then Taka came out. The blood was beginning to get matted down into his fur and his eyes were bloodshot from tears. Mufasa looked at his father, and he was shocked by the surprise his father wore on his face.
"Come," Ahadi said and picked Taka up in his mouth. Only Mufasa noticed the sudden change in his brother's demeanor as he did this. The walk back to Pride Rock was an awkward one.
"Taka!" Uru sighed in relief. She began to clean his wound by gently licking the area around his eye with her tongue.
"How could you think that Father wouldn't want you?" Mufasa asked.
"How'd you find out about that?" Taka asked in surprise, pulling away from Uru.
"Sarafina told us," Uru said and Taka glared at his best friend.
"They needed to know, moron," Sarafina rolled her eyes, not even phased by Taka's glare.
"You're our son Taka," Ahadi said. "We love you."
"Funny way of showing it," Taka muttered under his breath, the wound his father had inflicted on him still bleeding freely.
"Taka," Uru said gently. "Your father didn't mean to do what he did. He got caught up in what he was watching that he forgot that you hadn't done it yet."
"Exactly," Ahadi nodded. "We love you Taka, and we'll make sure that you won't ever become that monster."
"But how can you be sure?" Taka asked in a small voice, staying as close to Uru as he could in case Ahadi swiped at him again.
"We're your parents," Uru said with a smile. "Haven't you heard? We know all."
Everyone chuckled and Uru went back to cleaning her son's wound. Ahadi tried to catch Mufasa's eye but saw that his older cub wouldn't look at him.
"Can we watch the rest?" Sarabi asked.
"I think that would be a good idea," Uru nodded.