A/N: Hello there fellow readers and writers. I've seen Kung Fu Panda 2 about a week and a half ago as of the time of me writing this, and I loved it just as much as the first movie. It had three great things every animated movie should have in my opinion: Great artwork, a more personal story, and great character development. This mini-series is my version of bridging the gap between after the final battle and the gang returning to the Valley of Peace; which will in turn set the stage for any future stories I'll have until KFP3 comes out whenever that will be.
There will be four arcs, involving the characters we all know and love. Some stories will be emotional, others laugh out loud funny. Two of them will be romance stories; but neither are Po X Tigress (sorry TiPo fans, but I'm still not sure how to write them yet. I am a huge fan of the pairing never-the-less). But I'll do my best on them, being that I've always been more of a comedy writer than an emotional or romance writer. Finally, one of the stories will be a five-part parody of another movie that came out the same day KFP2 came out. Here's a hint: Think of another kind of wolfpack…XD
EDIT: Okay, I went and saw the movie a second time, and I did notice something in the ending of the movie that I didn't notice before: Po still had his old stuffed toy with him when he was at Mr. Ping's restaruant. So... my story had a bit of a continuity error. My bad. So I'm replacing the leaving of the toy and replacing it with something that's also touching. And I was notified that I had scattered my tenses, either in the past or present; so I fixed that too.
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN THE KUNG FU PANDA SERIES IN ANY WAY, THAT JOB GOES TO THE BOYS AND GIRLS OF DREAMWORKS. ANY CHARACTER THAT IS NOT PART OF THE CANON KFP UNIVERSE BELONGS TO ME, AS WELL AS THE STORIES.
SPOILER ALERT: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR KUNG FU PANDA 2. IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE NEW MOVIE YET THEN DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING STORIES UNTIL YOU DO! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED…
Spartan-Guy 88 Presents:
Chapter One: Closure
The battle was over. Lord Shen has been killed during the final battle, Gongmen City has been liberated, those terrible weapons that have taken the life of the late Master Thundering Rhino and nearly taken the lives of the Dragon Warrior, the Furious Five, Grand Master Shifu, and Masters Croc and Storming Ox have been destroyed, and China has been saved from the peacock's plans for domination.
As for the Wolf Boss and the surviving members of his pack, the minor wolves have surrendered and the Wolf Boss would make a recovery from Shen's blade. Apparently, Shen was so desperate and crazed to kill Po and his comrades that he missed the vital parts of his neck when he threw the blade. To everyone's astonishment, the Wolf Boss said that when he goes to trial for the war crimes he and his pack committed, he said he would plead guilty and accept whatever punishment the courts would give him. He explained how Shen ordered him to fire the cannon at his own troops to kill the warriors, as well as how the wolf leader refused to follow that order. He then went on to say that while he was loyal to the deranged peacock, his loyalty to his pack came even before that. Tigress told him that while it was admirable to protect his pack, it wasn't going to excuse him for the various other crimes they committed and that they will have to answer for it; the Wolf Boss replied that he wasn't surprised.
He and his men were placed in the prison the Jade Palace warriors found Croc and Storming Ox in until, two days later, a regiment of the Imperial Army arrived to take them into custody, as well as act as a temporary security force until everything can be sorted in the city; for there were certainly looters and vandals taking advantage of Shen's defeat to suit their own purposes. Speaking of said regiment, the leading general, a lion named General Hao, was warmly greeted by Shifu, and Hao was thrilled to see him. The red panda explained that Hao was also a student of the late Grand Master Oogway along with Shifu in their younger days, and were very close friends. After introductions were made, General Hao relayed a message from the Emperor, saying that the Lord of Ten-Thousand Years gave his most sincere apologies for not reacting fast enough to provide assistance; and also gave his thanks for stopping what could have very well have been the end of his dynasty, and the warriors were all in his and the Empire's debt.
The kung fu warriors were all treated for their injuries, with the city doctors ordering Tigress at least three days of bed rest and Crane refraining from flying until his burnt wing could fully heal from its burn. But just as they were getting ready to assist in cleaning up the wreckage in both the harbor and the ruins of the destroyed palace, Hao told them that he and his soldiers would take care of it with help from many of the city's workers; stating that they've already gone through enough to save the city and the country, and to take a well deserved break.
No one complained about it in the slightest. For a certain panda warrior however, it gave him ample time to do something more personal. Feeling the need to let all of his closest friends know what it was that he learned in his absence, Po took the Five and Shifu to a private room and told them the story of his parents, and what Shen did to them and all the other pandas killed in his genocide. Needless to say, they were all shocked and horrified beyond belief. It was as though he could see the other revelation he realized when he learned the truth: That up to first meeting the would be Dragon Warrior, they have not met a single panda in their travels. Po reassures them that he had already come to terms with his dark past, knowing that if his parents didn't sacrifice themselves to save him, he would never have become the Dragon Warrior, the son of a noodle chef, and have six of the greatest friends… no… six of the brothers and sisters he never had. He then received more hugs and pat on the backs from them all, albeit less energetic than after the defeat of Lord Shen.
However, Po then says that even though he had attained Inner Peace through his past, he still felt that he needed additional closure from it all, and that the best way he can do that was to go back over to the area that was once his village and give a proper ceremony in honor of his parents and the other pandas killed in the massacre. The others had no objection to his plan, but also asked if they could accompany him for that ceremony, which he immediately agreed to. Po had asked Croc, Storming Ox, and the Soothsayer if they would like to join him and his comrades; but they politely declined, saying that they had to make preparations for a memorial service of their own. Indeed, they had already removed the hammer that once belonged to Master Thundering Rhino and had planned on giving him a proper burial service within a day or two.
So, it was one day after the regiment arrived to Gongmen City, that Po, the Furious Five, and Grand Master Shifu all set off for the panda warrior's former village; with a cart containing what they would need for their service. Po also carried something in a bag that was strapped onto his back. What it was his bag contained, the others didn't know, but he explained that they would find out soon enough.
For about two hours they all walked in silence until they finally arrived at the destroyed village. Stopping in front of what was once his family's house, Po took a deep breath, then turned and nodded towards the others; the silent signal for getting to work. Taking the tarp off of the cart; Po, Tigress, Monkey, and Shifu took out several wooden pillars and shovels. Together, they dug up a reasonable hole, and then planted the wooden pillars into place. Then, Mantis and Viper took out a medium sized tablet and placed it onto the pillars with help from Tigress. The tablet read:
"In loving memory of those who have moved on to a better place."
Crane then placed a picture containing the characters: Peace, Harmony, and Love; onto the pillar below the tablet.
Finally, Po took out two incense sticks, lit them, and placed them onto a holder which he then in turn placed onto the ground. After a brief but thoughtful prayer to the gods, Po then stepped forward to the memorial site and began talking to the air around him, as though his deceased parents were listening in to their service.
"Uh, hey. It's me… all grown up. We never really had time to talk and stuff, mainly because I had more urgent things to deal with at the time. So uhm… here we go then."
" How uh… how have you guys been up to? I'm sure the afterlife is treating you well; I heard it's got a nice vacation plan…" he joked; "As for me? I'm several things now; two of the most important are being the apprentice of a well known noodle chef in the Valley of Peace, and the other is the Dragon Warrior. Yes, THE DRAGON WARRIOR. Pretty awesome, eh?" Po said, allowing himself to smile.
Po then lost his smile, but remained composed as he then continued; "Look, I'm not sure if you've heard or not, but that peacock, Shen… he's dead. But I assure you it wasn't by my paws; during our last fight, he attacked me and I stayed on the defensive. He eventually cut the ropes holding up his main cannon and it fell on top of him. There's no way he could have survived that." He takes another breath; "I'm going to admit, a part of me did want to kill him for what he's done. To you two and all the other pandas he's killed."
Po paused, then continued; "But all the other parts of me reminded myself that I wasn't going to stoop to his level; and that I'm not a murderer. Yes, I have taken lives; but that's only because they gave me no other choice, not because they were simply in my way."
"And despite what he did, I refuse to believe that I'm the last of my kind. I just know that has got to be other pandas out there, somewhere in China. I'll find them, and I'll bring them here so they can pay their respects to you. I know him dying isn't going to bring either one of you back, but at least you guys and everyone else can finally rest in peace."
The panda then stepped up to the monument, closed his eyes, and placed a paw onto it.
He then added, "Mom, Dad; I will always miss you both, and I wish I got to know you both better. But I'm going to do what I'm sure you'd want me to do: Not dwell on it and move on with my life."
Po opened his eyes, took his paw off of the monument, and stepped back. He sighed once more, and concluded, "Well… I guess I'll see ya when I see ya."
The panda turned around to see the Five and Shifu, all with soft and understanding looks on their faces. Tigress then stepped forward and placed her paw on his shoulder; where she then said in a quiet voice, "That was a beautiful speech Po."
Po gave her a small smile, then turned to the others and said to her and them, "Come on; let's get back to the city." And with that Po led the way, back the way they came, never looking back, having finally put the past behind him.
Yet as they walked back to Gongmen City, an hour later, Po was several steps ahead of everyone else. They could all sense that his mind was going through many thoughts. No one said a word; the whole trip back seemed a lot longer than the trip to the destroyed village.
Eventually, Po slowly came to a stop and kept staring forward. Everyone was on edge, ready to rush forward in case their friend would collapse and have an emotional break-down on the spot. So it was unexpected when Po turned around and walked towards them while taking the bag off of his back.
"Hey guys, there's something else I want to show you. I actually bought this before we got that message about the takeover of the city. I was going to show you then, but then we had to set out on the mission so… yeah. I say we test this bad boy out when we get back to our suite." He untied the straps on the bag and reached in to grab whatever was in there. "Alright guys, you ready for this?" They all nodded, and he pulled out a large, rectangular box that read:
THE JADE PALACE WARRIORS: THE ROLE PLAYING GAME
Want to have your own adventure with the Dragon Warrior and the Furious Five? Now you can!
Fight bandits, pirates, warlords, and more in the comfort of your own home!
You'll be playing for hours to come!
Po looked excitedly up back at his friends for a reaction. They were all so flabbergasted at his sudden change in attitude; yet at the same time they all had relieved looks as well, for now it was confirmed that he had put his past behind and went back to being that kid-at-heart, goofball panda they all came to love like a brother.
Despite the levity of everything that had just happened, it was Crane who broke the silence in a deadpan tone, "Okay… now I KNOW we're over-rated."
A/N: And there you have it! The first chapter done. Let me tell you guys something, watching KFP2 is what I needed to get back into writing for this series again. And I am very much aware that in the surprise ending to the second movie that Po' biological father is still alive; but keep in mind that this was in Po's POV; which means that he's unaware of that revelation. I'm sure it'll have a huge influence in the third movie.
One thing I really liked about the Po's Past storyline in the sequel was that when he finally found out the truth about his parents and Shen's role in it was that the guys at Dreamworks didn't send him down the easily predictable path and have him try to avenge his parents' death then at the last second realize that killing him won't bring him peace. But instead he (with help from the Soothsayer) came to realize that what happened in the past, no matter how bad it may have been, doesn't matter anymore, and there's nothing he can do to change it. And he also comes to see that he's already got a great life as the Dragon Warrior and the son of a noodle chef who had the heart to adopt him as his own son. I really liked that they did that. It's also a great example of what Oogway said in the first film:
"Yesterday is history; Tomorrow is a mystery; and Today is a gift… that's why they call it the Present."
Next time on Aftermath: While playing with Po's new board game, Crane learns that an old friend of his from his own early years has arrived at Gongmen City. What will transpire between the two?