|snarky_panda (snarky_panda) wrote in mulanficspace,|
@ 2007-07-21 00:26:00
|Current music:||The Replacements|
30 Kisses: Mulan and Shang, Part Two
Written for the 30_kisses challenge.
Title: Brief Repose
Pairing: Li Shang/Fa Mulan
Theme: #6, the space between dream and reality
Disclaimer: All characters, etc. from the Disney movie belong to Disney.
A warm tender breeze blew over him, caressing his cheeks lightly and ruffling his tousled hair before it subsided and the air became still again. He felt himself relaxing as he lay there in the grass, relishing in the feel of the wind’s quiet touch and the warmth of the sun’s rays kissing his skin. Soft sounds surrounded him; the chirping of birds, the whisper of the leaves as the air stirred them gently, a splash of water in the stream nearby.
He’d left her alone at the stream so she could bathe in privacy while they were stopped for lunch; she never did get up in time to do much in the mornings. He always had to wait for her; they were complete opposites as far as waking habits. Whereas he had been up since before the sun, she only had time to do the bare minimum of what she needed to in order to prepare for the day’s journey, scrambling out of her tent and rushing to get ready to go as he teasingly threatened to move on without her if she didn’t hurry.
She’d already let her long, thick raven hair out as he began to walk away from the bank of the water, but not before he glimpsed it cascading down around her face, tumbling down over her shoulders, still covered by the tunic that she wore.
His lips curved into a small smile as the image of her flitted into his mind. There was another splash and in his mind’s eye he could see her moving around in the water, her wet hair clinging to her lithe, sinuous body, bright droplets glistening on her smooth pale skin and bare breasts…
The bright sun beamed directly against his closed eyelids as a cloud moved off and Shang drifted awake, his daydream fading momentarily. He twisted his head to the side, away from the glare, and rolled onto a side, burying his face in the crook of an arm to shield it from the sun.
It was rare for him to have quiet, meditative moments such as this ever since his promotion. He never imagined how daunting the work load of a general could be; and his was less than the other generals! The Emperor had gone easy on him, taking into consideration the fact that he was less experienced than most men were by the time they attained the rank. Still, a brief spell of dozing in the grass, his mind lost in pleasant soporific reverie in this way, was a luxury he could rarely afford these days.
They had been traveling at a brisk, steady pace and making good time so far. The Emperor wasn’t expecting them until two days from now. Even at a relaxed trot they would arrive by the next day and Mulan had been as eager as he to relax for a spell and enjoy this sunny, beautiful afternoon. He couldn’t remember when he’d seen such a deep blue sky, dotted here and there with soft white clouds that slowly floated by, allowing the sun to play hide and seek behind them.
His thoughts drifted from wondering about their new as yet undetermined assignment to Mulan and how he’d met her. For months he knew her as a young boy named Ping in his camp; a weak, annoying and useless soldier as far as he was concerned who, to his great astonishment, proved himself otherwise. Now he’d come to know her as Mulan, China’s heroine; honored and respected not only by him but by the Emperor himself. And her accomplishments as a soldier seemed even more incredible to him.
He had never known any woman who was so intelligent and exuberant, so open and trustworthy. And beautiful. After seeing her in a dress Shang couldn’t believe that he’d ever thought her a young man.
Awkward Ping. Memories of that time drifted into his consciousness and his mind wandered as he lay there, lulled into a half-dreaming state by those recollections, the sounds around him, the soft grass and the gentle kiss of the wind. Images of her that would never leave him danced through his head in random sequence. The way she looked when she knelt in the snow before him after he found out the truth of who she was; dark hair framing a pale oval face like the moon, cheeks flushed a rich pink from her rising fever, dark eyes wide and trusting, pleading not for her life but for his understanding and forgiveness. The boy soldier with the quirky smile staring down at him from the top of the pole, weights slung around thin shoulders. The slim, nimble figure sliding down a string of lanterns from the roof, landing on his back with a crash, causing them both to tumble down on the platform together. He remembered how he felt when he turned and saw her sprawled on the ground beside him, gazing back at him with her quirky crooked smile, safe and alive. How he felt when he watched her ride away from him; and then when he went after her and saw her again at her home…
The muscles in his face twitched against the feel of cool drops of water that dripped onto his exposed cheek. Wondering vaguely about where it had come from Shang brought a hand up and absently rubbed at it, his eyes still closed. He settled down again, slipping back into his reverie as another gentle breeze ruffled his hair.
It was just a whisper but it caused a myriad of feelings to swirl inside of him. In his half-dozing, twilight state he turned his face toward where the voice was, waiting for her to speak again.
Soft, warm lips settled on his and lingered there, kissing him and sending a thrill through his body. A cloud of silky hair fanned across his face, caressing it teasingly, enticing him with its lovely floral smell. Reaching up, he embraced her and pulled her down onto him, entwining his legs around hers. They met full on in a long, passionate kiss. He felt a stirring in his groin as she shifted and her lips moved away from his mouth, to his neck and then lower, tasting and exploring his chest and his torso, working her way down slowly…
She spoke his name out loud now and he was jarred back to reality where he became aware of the hard ground that his body lay upon, the smell of the grass, the tickle of a bug crawling across his arm. A small hand rested on his shoulder, shaking it.
Had it all been a dream then? Her touch, her kisses seemed so real. How long had he been asleep?
Somewhere in his still-hazy consciousness he realized that she had asked him something and was waiting for an answer now. He attempted to stir but found that his head and limbs seemed weighted and too heavy to move.
“Hmm?” he murmured dreamily, eyes still closed.
“I’m sorry to disturb you from your repose, General. But shouldn’t we be going soon?” her soft voice was full of mirth, teasing, playful, especially when she uttered the word General. “Unless you want to camp here and leave in the morning.”
He mumbled incoherently, reluctant to stir from his inertia. The sun’s rays still enveloped his body in warmth and he was much too comfortable, and groggy, to move.
“Are you still sleeping?”
“Mm. No,” he managed to say, the word still thick with drowsiness.
She began to tap his shoulder insistently and his eyes fluttered open finally. Rolling onto his back with a sigh he rubbed his eyes and fixed his gaze on her, blinking against the brightness of the sun. She was sitting beside him, shiny ebony hair still wet. Golden rays seemed to envelope her in a glowing haze, giving the vision of her an almost supernatural appearance. She looked like a goddess and he had to suppress a dreamy sigh as he stared up at her lovely face, remembering how she touched him in his dream, overwhelmed by a wave of desire that swept through him and feeling a burning in his belly.
“Need a hand?”
The small hand reached down toward him and she leaned over, casting a shadow across his face. A blush began to creep up into his cheeks as he became consciously aware of her closeness and the stiffness between his legs. Images from his dream were still vivid in his mind and he felt his face begin to flame. He blinked and shook his head, rolling away from her and onto his side, placing his palms on the grass to slowly help himself up to sitting. Still sun-dazed and in a stupor from the lingering effects of his slumber he remained where he sat for a few moments, trying to clear his mind.
He tugged his tunic down, making sure that it was covering his groin. That wasn’t something he wanted her to see. At this point she was merely a comrade and, dare he say, a good friend. And he was supposed to be a man of dignity and control.
“Did you have a nice nap?”
“Yes,” he answered vaguely, turning back to her once he felt the heat in his face dissipate.
“You must have been tired. It’s because you get up so early. The sun isn’t even up as early as you,” she teased, poking him gently.
Usually he would rise to the occasion and tease her right back; but now he was only vaguely aware that she had made a remark to him. The feelings and sensations from the dream were still in his body’s sense memory, intoxicating him as he gazed at her. She smiled at him. How he loved to see her smile. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her lips or stop the soft sigh of longing that passed through his own as he imagined his mouth covering hers in a passionate kiss.
She was staring at him quizzically and Shang snapped out of his daydream, realizing that he’d momentarily drifted away again and was now gawking at her.
“Are you awake yet?”
He rose to his feet, having quickly made up his mind. What he needed was a dip in the cold stream. They could afford to linger there for a little while longer.
“I’m going to take a swim. We’ll be in Chang’an by tomorrow night even if we don’t leave until morning. I'll be back in a little while and we can move out. We’ll ride until sunset.”
She grinned mischievously and saluted him playfully.
Retrieving a towel from his pack he made his way back to the stream and peeled his clothing off. He waded in and, with a sigh, immersed himself in the badly-needed cooling water.(Link here to continue)