Deal With It.
Shang isn't a stupid man. He does suffer from a bit of being over enthusiastic, but he tries to beat that tendency of his everyday through meditation. Shang isn't stupid enough not to guess what is happening with him… and he abhors the knowledge.
He is attracted to Fa Ping.
He draws a deep breath, trying to clear the frown he can feel forming over his brow, instead smelling the soft incense sticks he put. It's still too early; unless there's a letter from the Emperor or the battle fronts, there's at least an hour before the men start to wake up.
Fa Ping will be one of the first ones to be awake, giving him that damn hopeful, happy, cheery smile of his, cheeks flushed and the boy sweating from having been practicing already and-
Shang lets out the breath he had drew in, very slowly, refusing to let his emotions take the best of him. He is not going to flush, nor imagine what other things the boy could do to get flushed and sweaty.
It's true that he has never been really interested in women, but then again, neither in men. From the moment he learned to walk (several months before the other children, he might add), Shang started following the path that would get him his father's acknowledgment and recognition; he knew he had his father's love, had never doubted that… but ever since he was a kid he ached for the opportunity of standing with his father side by side as equals, ready to fight for the Emperor and the greatness of the Chinese Empire.
There wasn't time in between studying and practicing and reciting precepts one after the other to go with the other children to try and spy over the servants' houses to see if they could see when the women bathed or changed clothes. And frankly, he never did care to learn more. Once he became a soldier, he heard far too much of just about everything: more than he would have liked.
Shang kind of never thought he'd be really interested. Yes, sure, he knows he is going to marry one day, continue with his father's linage, have sons that would be loyal to the Empire, but the thought always held the same kind of feeling duty did. Something that perhaps wasn't very pleasant but it was your responsibility to do it.
And then Fa Ping comes in for training, with his impertinence, and his smart-ass attitude, and causing troubles just by breathing, he swears, and his complete and utter lack of any kind of talent for anything resembling military strenght.
And of course Fa Ping is the son of the Honorable Fa Su, and when the kid starts getting not only better but actually pretty much amazing (his jaw still aches from the hit he received), Shang knows he should have guessed that the kid had something more in him than just clumsiness, even if he had been sure that there wasn't anything there At All (more than once, Shang wondered if there was any way that the Hunes had sent the kid as a way to sabotage their army from the inside. Even more times he asked his ancestors just what he had done in his previous life to deserve it).
Shang takes another deep breath and lets it flow through his body before letting it out, hoping it takes all the thoughts that are disturbing him. Shang wants to fool himself into believing that all the attention he seems to put over Ping is that; the fact that the boy changed completely, he wants to say it's just that he is proud of the fact that the wanna-be-soldiers he had received are now actually good enough to form part of the Chinese Army.
Remember the part where Shang isn't stupid? Yes, that part of his knowledge points, mocks and laughs considerably.
There is just something completely strange about the boy. Like the way he often smiles to him, as if he wasn't just his superior… but a friend. Shang doesn't really have 'friends', so it's the closest he comes to catalogue that smile. Of course, most of the times he pretends not to notice the turn of those lips, ignores that sometimes he feels like smiling back.
Shang wonders what his father would say, if he found out that his son is attracted to someone else who also happens to be male. Not that he is crazy enough to ever say it out loud, or even act upon that crazy idea his brain sent: Shang remembers that this accupunturist once had told him that he was carrying too much stress for someone so young and that his health could suffer from it, and Shang wonders if it'd be too much to hope that this strange infatuation he has for Fa Ping is something coming out of stress.
He also makes the mental note that, after defeating the Hunes, he is going to have to ask for some time off, as soon as possible.
So. Conclusion of his daily hour of meditation. He is attracted to a common soldier (son of one of The Heroes of China, but still), and he is attracted to a man, and he is attracted to Fa Ping. Nothing new on that front.
Shang bows in front of his makeshift altar, finally opening his eyes, letting the incense sticks burn off while he stands up to put on his clothes..
He'll just have to deal with it and…
Well, he'll only deal with it for now. The second part of his plan can wait until that.