Author: RowenaR

Rating: T

Category: het

Disclaimer: Mulan isn't mine. Otherwise, it never would have gotten a G rating. Sorry.

Summary: No one ever told her anything about the morning after the wedding night.

A/N: Holiday Fic Request Meme. Eh. I'm going to go to Disney hell for this, I'm sure of it. It's not really smut but this is Disney. Anything not perfectly G rated will get you straight to hell. 'nuff said.

Anyway, as always: Not a native speaker, so please excuse any weird grammatical constructions, run-ons and typos. Feedback will earn you a cookie, flames will roast my marshmellows.

Whispers in the Morning

"The whispers in the morning
Of lovers sleeping tight
Are rolling by like thunder now
As I look in your eyes

I hold on to your body
And feel each move you make
Your voice is warm and tender
A love that I could not forsake."

Jennifer Rush, "The Power of Love"

She's a married woman now. A married woman that survived her wedding night and should be getting up to get tea for her husband and breakfast. Not trying to disappear under the covers. She's trying to tell herself that she's buried under the covers, all up to the tip of her nose because it's a little chilly in the room. It's a lie, of course.

Because next to Shang… it's nearly impossible to feel chilled. Even back at Wuzhong, she couldn't help the strange warm sensation pooling in her stomach, whenever he took off his shirt and was walking around all bare-chested and glorious. Being here, next to him, more than just half-naked… that feels like more than one woman is able to bear. It's also what she blames her unnatural early awakening on. Really, it's impossible to sleep with this man in her bed and his infernal… heat and nakedness.

She risks a glance across the bed. Shang seems to be still sleeping, on his stomach, his face turned towards her, his hair spread out across is back. Granny Fa would probably say that she's being ridiculous, having gotten the hardest part behind her now, after the wedding night and everything. And she's pretty confident that she didn't disappoint Shang. It wasn't really comfortable for her but it wasn't half as bad as some of the horror tales the village girls told her. No one ever said anything about the morning after the wedding night, though, and now she wishes they had.

No one ever told her about the fact that in broad daylight, it was a lot harder not to feel… embarrassed by the sight of your naked husband. And your own nakedness. Oh how she wishes Mushu were… no, probably not. Probably, that would end in chaos and even more embarrassment and… "Good morning, wife." Gods almighty!

How could she forget about his ability to be fully awake from one moment to the next? "Good morning… husband?"

Mh. That sounded… weird. Even to her. She retreats back behind the covers but he doesn't let her, pushing the covers away from her, and one or two errant strands of hair. He smiles and she feels the familiar surge of heat. "Needs some getting used to, doesn't it?"

She's surprised about the slightly... bashful tone he used. It's not like Shang to be bashful. But then again, it's not like her to be bashful, either. Bravely, she lowers the sheet and tries a smile. "Yes. But I got used to getting yelled at, after all."

It makes him chuckle, a rare and wonderful sound. "No, you never got used to getting yelled at, Mulan." He reaches over again to gently push the sheet down a little further, exposing her naked shoulders and she knows she should feel mortified. It's getting harder, though. It must be the smile, she thinks and the hand lying in the crook of her neck and maybe also the fact that he just leaned over and adds in a whisper, "Took me a while until I realized yelling at you won't get you to do anything."

That... is certainly true. She grins while he gives her a little kiss on the cheek, followed by another one in the crook of her neck, substituting his hand. Mh, this is... that is a rooster crowing. And Shang growling, "We'll have chicken tonight." What... "A nice, fat..." And then there's a suppressed curse. "We have to get up, Mulan." She blinks. Huh? "Visiting the temple and the Ancients?"

Damn. "Oh no, oh no, oh no..." Suddenly, the fact that she's naked is entirely negligible, seeing as she very much does not want to be late for the very first duty as the new mistress of the household. Scrambling up she nearly falls over herself in search of just any clothes at all... when something stops her. The sight of Shang getting up that is. She dimly remembers saying "I never want to see a naked man again." but... she's revising this now. She doesn't care about other men but Shang... Shang is just...

Shang is half turning around and smiling at her at first and then... staring in a way that makes her want to grab one of the sheets self-consciously and quite honestly... "You know, I just had this thought..." he starts.

"That the Ancients surely won't mind sleeping in a little themselves?" she finishes and he looks like he wants to say something chiding but in the end he just... grins.

"Exactly." Strangely enough… that's all he has to say.

In the end, they arrive an hour late at the temple. Instead of apologizing, they just remind Shang's mother and the Ancients of the necessity for a Li heir. They sure did their best this morning. Much better than on the wedding night. She smiles to herself and is resolved to keep that little secret to herself. It's so much more fun if no one spoils the surprise in advance.