Bambi searched the forest intently, making sure to pay attention to where he was going. Simba had not gone far and Bambi found him quickly, looking very shame faced.
Bambi approached him cautiously. ``Hey.''
Simba looked up. ``Hey.''
``Are you okay?'' Bambi ventured.
Simba shook his head. Bambi, wisely, chose not to push it.
``I did mean it,'' said Simba at last.
Bambi was puzzled. ``Mean what? Leaving Nala?''
Simba shot him a thunderous look. ``No, NEVER!'' he bellowed, ``That was hardest thing I've done in my whole life! Do you think I like leaving everything behind?! DO YOU THINK I LIKE LEAVING HER BEHIND?!''
Bambi was taken aback and shook his head. ``No, no, no, of course not.''
Simba breathed deeply. ``I'm sorry,'' he said, ``You didn't deserve that. No, I meant that I wanted to help the kingdom. She was right. I am the son of Mufasa and I have a duty to the kingdom.'' He looked at his hooves. ``But what can I do?''
Bambi seized his chance. ``Rafiki might be able to help.''
``We already tried that.''
``No, I mean, he's been doing research and he thinks he can help us now.''
Simba was intrigued. ``He really thinks he can turn us back to normal?''
Simba quickly stood up. ``Alright. Lead the way, then,'' he said.
Nala quickly and carefully made her way across the Savannah, unaware of what she was about to run in to. All too casually, Scar strolled out in front of her.
``Hello,'' he said. Nala stopped dead in her tracks. In her hurry, she dropped the coconut. Luckily, it didn't spill. She tried to keep her cool.
``Hello,'' she replied curtly.
``I'll just cut to the chase. What information do you have for me?''
``Nothing.'' Her response was quick. Scar raised an eyebrow.
``Don't tell me your excursion was all for nothing. All that trouble and still you couldn't find your best friend?''
``Yup! A complete waste of time.''
Scar didn't respond and for a moment, it looked like she was going to get away with it. But then, ``What's that?'' he asked.
``That.'' He gestured to the coconut.
``Oh that... Its nothing! Just something I found.''
``Oh I see,'' said Scar, coming closer, ``So I guess it won't matter if I...'' He was about to tip the coconut over.
``No!'' Nala protested.
Scar stopped. ``A lot of fuss over nothing. It is nothing, isn't it?''
She was doomed. ``Its just... something Rafiki needed.''
``What does he need it for?'' Nala didn't answer she just glared defiantly. ``It wouldn't happen to be for my nephew, would it?'' Still nothing. Scar stared her down and her expression began to betray her. It was all Scar needed.
He gestured his head and a couple of hyenas appeared. ``Take her back to the den,'' ordered Scar.
``Alright, I think we are on to something!'' Rafiki could hardly contain his excitement. ``All we need is one last test.''
``It better be,'' muttered Timon. Rafiki had been testing the elixirs and Timon was now sporting rabbit ears, buck teeth and a deer's tail and was very grumpy. Rafiki poured an elixir on Timon's head and deer antlers sprouted.
``Yes!'' exclaimed Rafiki, ``I think the deer elixir is ready! Now to test the lion's.''
``Have him do it!'' said Timon, pointing to Pumbaa, ``I've had enough of this.''
``Well, Pumbaa?'' asked Rafiki.
``Sure, okay,'' agreed Pumbaa with a hint of apprehension.
Rafiki poured the elixir on Pumbaa's head. Almost immediately, he grew a lion's mane.
``Uh...'' was all he could say.
Rafiki was ecstatic. ``Yes! Ha, ha! I did it!''
``Wait, wait, wait. So I go through several tests and I get horns, buck teeth, freakish ears and this stupid tail. He only does one test and all he gets is a cool mane?'' Timon was very upset.
``Forest creatures are a newer concept to me than those here,'' answered Rafiki cryptically.
``Right,'' said Timon annoyed, he had his suspicions that it was deliberate.
``I don't know,'' said Pumbaa, referring to his mane, ``I think I like it.''
``I said it was cool, didn't I?'' Timon turned to Rafiki. ``You'll change us back though, right?''
``If you are done complaining,'' said Rafiki, ``I think we are ready for the real thing.''
``That doesn't answer my question,'' said Timon with concern.
``Oh yes! You must always have a fail-safe in case things go wrong.'' He tapped his fingers together. ``Of course, it is not ready yet.''
Timon and Pumbaa stared but Rafiki just laughed.
``But do not worry, it will be when you get back,'' he said.
``Yes, I need you to find Bambi and get him to find Simba.''
``What, like this?'' asked Timon. Pumbaa and Rafiki glared at him. ``Ah, why not like this?'' Timon quickly corrected.
The pair left and Rafiki immediately went back to work. It seemed like no time at all until he heard the clatter of a coconut.
``Ah, Bambi! Back so soon?'' Rafiki didn't bother to turn around. ``Ah well, I think I can change you back now. I cannot be sure if you will be the exact same deer as before but at least...'' He turned to face him and was stunned into silence. Instead of Bambi, standing there was Scar.
``So that's what he meant by `a new lion','' he said sinisterly.
Simba and Bambi soon arrived at the tree, themselves. ``Rafiki?'' said Bambi, ``I found Simba. Did Nala...?''
He broke off. Everything was in a terrible mess. Various containers and liquids were knocked over, not a lot seemed salvageable. In the middle of it all, lied Rafiki, looking worse-for-ware. It wasn't exactly a comfortable scene.
``Rafiki!'' gasped Simba. Both and he Bambi helped him up. ``What happened to you? Where's Nala?''
The baboon groaned.
Simba grew serious. ``Rafiki,'' he asked, ``Where is Nala?''
Rafiki took a moment to catch his breath. ``Scar...''