|snarky_panda (snarky_panda) wrote in mulanficspace,|
@ 2007-07-21 02:37:00
30 Kisses: Mulan and Shang, Chapter Twenty-Seven
Pairing: Li Shang/Fa Mulan
Theme: #19, red
Disclaimer: All characters, etc. from the Disney movie belong to Disney.
They rode behind a large, ornate carriage, flanked on all sides by soldiers astride their horses, who were charged with protecting the young woman inside. Every once in awhile, as if on cue, she pulled the red curtain aside to peer out the window; but for the most part she remained unseen.
In the evening the three of them watched from the shade of a large willow tree as the Imperial guard defeated the remaining bandits from the horde who, certain that a royal personage traveled in the luxurious sedan, had attacked the entourage.
As they observed the scene, Mulan uttered a silent prayer that the girl in the carriage would be alright.
“She is my servant,” the princess had told them.
What she was doing, or was being forced to do, would draw attention away from the real princess, but at a great risk to herself.
A red herring, she thought and suppressed a sigh.
Then again, the princess didn’t have it easy either. Trading the comfort of the plush sedan for her safety, she rode atop Shang’s horse. Mulan was sure that she wasn’t used to being on horseback, nor was she accustomed to sleeping out of doors. It would be a long, hard journey to the northern border for all of them.
The guards returned to their formation and they took that as their signal to move out again, taking up their position behind the large party. It was necessary to travel further, away from the place where they had been attacked, before settling in for the night. The royal entourage went to an inn for shelter. Mulan and Shang inconspicuously made camp and tried to make the Emperor’s daughter as comfortable as possible in their circumstances.
“I hope this works,” she remarked softly as they sat before the fire, her hand clasped in Shang’s.
He nodded agreement. “I know. We’re so vulnerable, even with this elaborate decoy.”
That decoy was still somebody’s daughter. Mulan couldn’t help but think of everyone that way now, as some mother’s child. And then her mind immediately went to the loss that those mothers would feel if something happened to those children.
“Are you alright?” he asked suddenly.
“Yes.” Her voice was low and gruff as she answered. “I hope that girl will be alright.”
Shang squeezed her hand and lifted it to his lips, kissing it tenderly. “What’s wrong, Mulan?”
“Nothing. It’s just…” she hesitated.
“Come on,” he coaxed gently. “We promised that we wouldn’t keep anything from each other.”
She inched closer to him and leaned her head against his shoulder, softly exhaling contentedly as he let go of her hand and slipped his arm around her shoulders, squeezing them affectionately.
“It’s just that she’s someone’s child,” she whispered, feeling the sadness in her heart lift a little as she spoke the words to him.
He began to stroke her gently. They sat together in comfortable silence and watched the crackling flames, each following their own train of thought.
“She’s surrounded by Imperial guards, at least,” she mused.
“Yes,” he agreed, tenderly running a hand through her hair. “I know it’s hard not to think about the other girl. But remember, we can’t worry about everyone. Our job is to protect the child that’s been placed in our care. She’s our responsibility.”(Link here to continue)