The Power of Love: Chapter Eleven

Disclaimer: I don't own Disney's Mulan.  I'm not making any profit by writing this story.  I do own Ta-Ni, Yi-Pek, and Ma Ti.

By: Susan

Summary: Mulan is kidnapped from her wedding in order to save the honor in Shan Yu's family. Can she show Shan Yu's brother what true love is? Will she still marry Shang?

A/N: This is a sequel to my story, After Dinner, although you don't really need to read it in order to grasp the concept of the story ;)  Enjoy. ;)

xxx

Mulan awoke slowly, she stretched, loving the feeling of the soft blankets beneath her. Shang wasn't beside her; he hadn't woken her up before he left. It was smart of him not to, she told herself. She knew she would have made him feel horrible until he decided to stay. If it was what he had always wanted, she shouldn't feel jealous. He hadn't wanted a wife until he met her, but he'd always wanted the strength and courage his father had. She knew it was the same for her, but she had chosen her family over a position in government.

She stood from the bed, trying to remember Shang's tender touch and his kisses on her bare skin. Why did it seem like she was forgetting how it felt to be with him already? She shook her head slightly, then bent to pick up Shang's robe, and placed it over her rumpled nightgown.

Mulan started to the kitchen. An eerie silence seemed to have settled over the house as she walked through it. She had expected her grandmother to be bombarding her with questions about the pleasures of the night before, her mother to be treating her like a full fledged woman, and he father to be silent, sadly realizing his daughter had grown up.

The kitchen was clean. Nobody had eaten there before her. There were no drying dishes on the counter, no crumbs of food, no delicious aromas. Where was her family? She looked into her parent's room. Both were asleep, her father's arms wrapped around her mother's body. She smiled at them, glad they were finally happy with each other. Her grandmother's room was empty, Mulan suspected she was either outside with the emperor, or praying to the ancestors. The emperor had probably left with Shang earlier so the latter was more likely. Sighing, she knew it was her job to start the morning meal. Everything seemed so bleak without Shang here. How had she lived without him?

Mulan started a fire below the clay stove, and poured some water in a bowl. Thank goodness her grandmother had collected the eggs and gotten water from the well, otherwise Mulan wouldn't have bothered with breakfast. She waited for the water to boil, sitting on the floor by the table, daydreaming about Shang. Smiling, she remembered how last night, Shang had suddenly began to get nervous when she started kissing him. He had backed away and turned red, making her laugh. Then, he had squirmed when she had kissed his chest, suddenly frightened of the intimacy that was to come. He eventually gave in to her touch, but Mulan still had time to make fun of his outside strength and courage, but inner fear of women, which he too had to laugh at. She certainly couldn't wait until two weeks from now, when she'd see him again.

"Mulan?" Her grandmother's voice interrupted her thoughts. She'd come in from outside. "So dear, how was it?" She said, winking at her granddaughter.

Mulan had to smile and play innocent, "How was what, Grandma?"

Her grandmother eyed her, "You know what I'm talking about."

Mulan couldn't hold it in any longer. "Oh, grandmother, it was unbelievable!"

Her grandmother began to laugh. "I'm glad you're happy! Now, the water's overflowing, why is that?"

"Because I can't cook." Her grandmother laughed, then filled the pot with ground meal and started to stir it.

"I have to get dressed, stir this, Mulan? And fry some eggs also."

"Sure."

"Thanks dear."

"Grandma? Where's the emperor?"

"Mulan, he went home."

"Don't you love him?"

"Ah, but I love my life here more than anything."

Mulan reached to give her grandmother a hug. "I love you, grandma."

"I love you too, Mulan. And don't worry, he'll be back to visit."

xxx

Shang had saddled his horse early that morning and left before Mulan had awoken. She was so upset the night before about his leaving after the wedding, and he couldn't bear to confront her tears. He had kissed her forehead and pulled the covers tighter around her, told her he loved her, then left.

He wondered if she had awoken, thinking about him. He wondered if she was angry that he had left without waking her, without saying goodbye. He hoped she wasn't. All he wanted was for these two weeks to be up and to be back with her again.

He was a mile or two away from Mulan's town, following the emperor's procession, still thinking about her. He wondered if the emperor had any misgivings of leaving Mulan's grandmother behind. Probably not. As a young man he had his choice of every woman in the country, and he still did, even as an older man. Besides, he had his duties, and she had hers.

Shang knew how badly he wanted to have recognition as a strong, courageous general all his life. He hadn't lied to Mulan, he hadn't always been the strong, brave, and muscular man Mulan thought of him. Years of insults from other children at school hadn't hurt him, they just made him want to prove himself. It was so hard to explain, even to himself, let alone to Mulan. If he really wanted this so badly, then why was every thought of Mulan, and none of the military training that was to come?

xxx

Mulan was working in the kitchen tirelessly. She fried eggs, made porridge, and cut lots of fruit, while her grandmother dressed and woke her parents up. Her grandmother sauntered into the kitchen, her parents behind her, both with very tired expressions on their faces.

"Good morning Mulan? How do you feel?" Her mother said softly, giving her a hug.

"Fine mother, thank you." She carried the food to the table, where her parents and grandmother sat, and cracked another egg and placed it on the pan to fry.

The eggs were burned, the porridge runny, the fruit was mushy. She sighed and lay her head in her hands.

"Mulan, darling, Shang has his duties. You have to accept that."

"Mother, I know. I just wish that he thought I was more important than- Mother, did I ever tell you that the emperor offered me a job with him? I declined because I love my family too much. I wish Shang loved me more than the military."

"Mulan, Shang loves you very much. This is a big chance for him- I know how he feels. I left my new wife for the same reasons." Fa Zhou glanced at his wife.

"Shang loves you more than anything, Mulan, you've seen the way he looks at you. He'll be home in two weeks, dear. Be strong."

"Actually," a deep voice started, "I'm home now. And I'm going to be home with you forever."

Mulan looked up to see Shang in the doorway smiling at her.

She eyed him cautiously. "Shang?"

"Mulan-"

"What are you doing here? You're supposed to be-"

"I'm supposed to be setting up a camp, to train extra troops. But I'm not."

"Why are you- Shang what are you doing?"

"Mulan- I wanted to be strong leader in the army since I was 5 years old. I thought it could give me everything I ever wanted, fame, recognition, strength, respect. That was everything I ever dreamed of. But Mulan- I was a child then. And now that I've met you- I've become a man. I don't need the army any longer. I'm who I am because of you. As soon as I left here- Mulan, I knew that everything I've ever wanted is right here, what I left behind."

Mulan looked at him in shock, her eyes wide. She loved how he used Ma Ti's speech to Yi-Pek on her, and it gave her the same indescribable feeling it had given Yi-Pek. He held out his arms, and she happily crawled into them, welcoming his loving touch.

"I can't believe you! I really can't believe you. Why did you do this?" She wrapped her arms around his neck, but he suddenly pulled away and stared behind her. Dark smoke and a horrible smell was coming from a pan with an excessively fried egg inside.

"Well, someone had to keep you from burning the house down," Shang said laughing. Mulan smiled and kissed him soundly.

"Thank you so much," she said, burying her head in his chest, "Thank you for coming back."

"I couldn't leave you," he whispered in her ear. "I love you more than anything. No job, no request from the emperor, nothing can take me away from you. I promise I'll never leave you."

"Get a room," Grandmother Fa said, snickering. "Or at least get out of this kitchen!"

Shang and Mulan began to laugh as she shooed them out. Shang grabbed his wife's hand, and ran outside onto the antique bridge. He pulled her close to him and kissed her lips softly, and she melted in his arms. The bright sun beamed upon the two lovers as they shared a tender, loving kiss. Nothing would ever come between them, and they would be together forever.

xxx

A/N: I hope you enjoyed the story ;)  Thanks for reading.  Check out my Shang website at