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A Midday Swim

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First in pool
A Midday Swim
Hey everyone!  I hope you are all enjoying this holiday season!  I want to apologize for another long absence, but I've been working hard to finish writing the plot for Chapter 5.  I'm excited to report the story is now complete and it's time to post Part 1!  The plan is to roll out the next part every 2 to 3 weeks, but don't be surprised if there are a few delays, especially as the scenes get more complex.  And if you're not here for the plot, be sure to check back later - this chapter is going to get steamy!

Chapter 5: A Date to Remember
Part 1: Recovery

“Ugh, I’m soooo bored!” Nala groaned in frustration as she roughly flopped onto her side.  To demonstrate her point, the cub slowly stretched her paw across the cool, smooth stone of Pride Rock and began to lethargically twirl a random leaf between her toes.  The warm afternoon sun beamed down onto the young lioness, and a gentle breeze caressed her soft, cream-colored fur.  It was a beautiful day in the Pridelands – much too nice to be stuck back at the den all day.  “Mooom, can I please go play?”

Sarafina languidly raised her head from where she was sunbathing nearby and subtly rolled her eyes at her daughter’s persistent question.  This was the fifth time Nala had asked in just the last hour, and each time the answer had been the same.  Nevertheless, the adult lioness did her best to maintain a gentle tone as she patiently replied, “No, dear.  You heard what Rafiki said.  You have to stay up here and rest so your leg can heal properly.”

“But it’s been, like, ten days!” Nala retorted with a huff.  “I feel fine!  Really!”  

In actuality, six days had passed since Nala first regained consciousness following her and Simba’s intense battle with the hyenas.  The girl’s injuries were extensive, and the first night was a long and scary one for all involved.  Even after she had awakened from her coma, the girl’s condition remained serious enough that Rafiki worried she might not ever fully recover.  Fortunately, Nala’s young body quickly healed with the help of the mandrill’s herbal potions, and it wasn’t long before a small scar was all that remained of the gash in her rear leg.  Learning to walk again had been more of a challenge, but thanks to her strong determination, Nala eventually regained the ability to run and jump nearly as well as she could before the incident.  Now the young lioness was full of energy and desperate to get back to fun adventures with her best friend.

“Sorry, Nala,” Sarafina shook her head in resolution.  “You have to stay up here for the rest of the day.  However,” the lioness paused dramatically to capture her daughter’s attention, “if you promise to be careful, I think we could go play down at the waterhole for an hour or two tomorrow.”

“Really?!” Nala quickly sat up and flashed a toothy grin at her mother’s offer.  “I promise!  I’ll do anything to get off this boring rock!”  The girl abruptly hopped to her feet and began skipping gleefully around Sarafina, unable to contain her excitement any longer.  “Oh!  I should go tell Simba!” Nala giggled.  “He’s probably going crazy by now!”

“I am not!” a sleepy voice suddenly echoed from within the den.  After a moment, a golden-brown lion cub slowly emerged from the shade of the cavern and into the bright sunlight.  Simba paused as his auburn eyes adjusted to the afternoon sunshine before lazily padding over to Nala’s side.  “By the way,” the cub yawned nonchalantly, “did you know there are exactly one thousand two hundred and fifty-three pebbles in the den?  I counted them all.”

“Simba,” Nala sighed in amusement before playfully batting the prince’s shoulder with her paw.  “I told you, you don’t have to stay up here with me.  Didn’t Rafiki say you were back to normal like four days ago?”

“Yeah,” Simba nodded sheepishly, “but… I couldn’t just leave you up here all alone.  And besides, playing by myself isn’t any fun.”  The cub gently reached out his paw and rested it on Nala’s shoulder in a reassuring gesture.  “If we have to be bored, we might as well be bored together, right?”  

“Thanks, Simba,” Nala blushed beneath her fur as she sidled closer to her friend.  The girl found it difficult to express just how much she truly appreciated everything the prince had done for her during her recovery.  In fact, Simba had barely left her side over the past week.  He had kept her warm at night and comforted her when she felt scared.  His company was the only thing that made the long, boring days bearable, and he never once asked for anything in return.  One thing was for sure – Simba had changed since their fateful trip to the elephant graveyard.  He was no longer the selfish, arrogant prince who just couldn’t wait to be king.  Nala closed her eyes and began to tenderly nuzzle Simba under his chin.  “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

Simba smiled as he returned Nala’s affection, but after a moment, his gaze fell to the ground.  The past week had been particularly hard on the young lion, and he now found himself full of emotions that he didn’t know how to express.  A strange combination of anger, guilt, and fear all seemed to rage within him, each fighting for control of the cub’s mood.  He had tried to ignore them, to push them aside as he cared for his injured friend, but they were always there threatening to escape.  Worst of all, Simba was ashamed for feeling this way.  He was supposed to be brave; the one Nala looked to for support and strength.  How could he tell her about the horrific nightmares he seemed to have every time he closed his eyes?  What would she say if she knew that he’d been lying awake each night for hours, clutching her in his arms for fear that the hyenas might come back and finish the job?  How could he tell Nala that he was terrified of losing her again?

“Simba?” Nala asked worriedly as the young lion gazed silently at the ground.  Nala had sensed something was off about the prince over the past couple of days, but only now did she truly notice the haunted look in her friend’s tired eyes.  “Are you alright?  You look…exhausted.”

“Huh? Oh, uh,” Simba shook his head as the girl’s voice snapped him out of his gloomy thoughts.  “Yeah, I’m fine.  Just a little sleepy.”

Nala gently shook her head, unconvinced by her friend’s response.  She hadn’t seen him this troubled since the day they encountered the python in the jungle.  Clearly something was wrong.  Leaning forward, the young lioness tenderly pressed her soft forehead against Simba’s with a gentle, reassuring smile.  “Hey, you, uh, know I’m here for you,” Nala whispered. “If you ever want to talk…”

“Thanks, Nala,” Simba sighed.  “Maybe… Maybe later.  I, uh…”

“Alright you two,” Sarafina suddenly called out, abruptly interrupting the cubs’ intimate moment.  “That’s enough cuddling.  Simba, your mother will be back soon with the rest of the hunting party.  Why don’t you go watch for them while I give Nala a bath.  You two need to get plenty of rest tonight if we’re going to go down and play tomorrow.”

“Oh, right!” Nala nodded excitedly.  “So, what kind of games are we going to play?”

“Well,” Simba suddenly perked up with his characteristically mischievous smile, “I might have an idea.”

Keywords
male 936,565, female 820,658, cub 200,183, cute 128,914, feline 114,860, male/female 69,789, feral 61,137, young 44,083, mammal 36,645, fanart 35,836, lion 34,225, love 21,559, sfw 19,153, disney 16,802, sitting 13,662, digital art 11,164, story 10,679, duo 9,368, blue eyes 8,900, open mouth 8,510, smiling 8,188, cuddling 5,638, the lion king 4,334, lion king 4,015, felid 2,569, simba 2,548, fandom 2,202, nala 1,885, tlk 1,837, orange fur 1,781, brown eyes 1,760, looking down 1,102, lion cub 1,092, multicolored fur 846, story in description 807, pantherine 743, leaning 605, nuzzle 604, tan fur 540, lioness cub 497, nuzzling 494, simba/nala 132, loving couple 62, companions 39
Details
Type: Picture/Pinup
Published: 1 year, 4 months ago
Rating: General

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Drakenor
1 year, 4 months ago
Yay welcome back! I look forward more to the stories instead of the pictures now. you should consider writing a full on fanfic about these two in there younger days in more detail.
LionStorm
1 year, 4 months ago
Glad you like it!  Before I started drawing, I wrote almost a full series about these two but never published anywhere.  Chapter 4 was actually just a modified version of one of the stories from that series, and chapter 5 has several elements from my past work as well.  Maybe one day I'll post the series in its original form...
SNLFan
1 year, 4 months ago
I would be happy to read the original form of your story. :)
rex4444
1 year, 4 months ago
great story I'm curious what's to come;)
FaithFull
1 year, 4 months ago
You’re back finally! Love it so much!
magicat
1 year, 4 months ago
Very cute, I can only imagine where this is going . . . 😼
Sfan01
1 year, 4 months ago
Such a lovely chapter, bro! I wanna read the next one soon! BTW... Congrats for the story  xD
renawarrior
1 year, 4 months ago
Awesome start to another chapter. can't wait to read more ^^
SpyroBeddingCynder
1 year, 4 months ago
A sweet story.  ^^  

Are the adult(s) finally gonna catch those 2 having some kind of sexual fun ???   Oo.  
NightTiger
1 year, 3 months ago
How cute.
DreamGod
10 months ago
Y'know, a long time ago I commissioned almost exactly this. Seeing your version warmed my heart like you wouldn't believe.
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