A very short teaser before I rewrite my actual Mulan fanfic for the second time. Simple and concise, I hope. Feedback is loved, concrit in particular.

Disclaimer: I do not own Mulan.


He was strong.

He had trained the new recruits with clumsy hands and wandering minds, even when others thought that his efforts would be futile. That they would never become soldiers.

He bore the criticisms of those who degraded him. That he only received his position as Captain because of his father. That he wasn't worthy enough.

He defeated so many in his own training, mastering physical skill above his classmates. He worked for what he wanted.

He retained his reeling emotional horror when Chien Po came with his father's helmet at the remnants of a defeated battle. His men needed him. He refused to break down.

He faced the enemy boldly in war and watched for the safety of his troops. He didn't cower or hesitate. He stood in battle stance.

But for all this, he would trade strength for one thing.

The one thing he really wanted. The one thing he really needed.

"I – y – you fight good."

Her eyes flickered downward in disappointment and she offered a half-hearted smile in thanks. He watched as she turned around, the skirt of her traditional qi-pao twirling in a brief hypnotic fashion, mocking his frustration. His incompetence. His broken failure.

Shang wished he was brave.

Maybe then he could tell Mulan he loved her.