I Do Desire We May Be Better Strangers

Disclaimer: I do not own Disney's Mulan or any of its characters.

AN: Hello anyone reading this, I'd like to thank you in advance for paying attention to my story and if you have the time to review I would really appreciate it. Now I know as well as you do, that usually the first chapter is just backing info, and mine follows that oh so familiar pattern.

So bear with me, because when you reach the second chapter you are in for a big surprise seriously, it's so big I don't even know what I'm doing with myself ^.^ ok, so some people may not think it's that big, but to me, it's really odd to have a plot have a twist like that so early on.

Now I am fairly aware by now that my writing, though improved, still needs refining…big time (you know, seeing all the talented writers towering over me with their epic writing skills) so if I'm constantly using the wrong tense for something, or you find a mistake that obviously isn't a typo (I keep making the same mistake) please gently leave the correction in a review; as, evidently I was under a misconception on how to use that word or punctuation, if you don't leave a review for any other reason, at least leave one just so that I don't keep making the same mistakes.

I'd like to say now, at the school's I've been to, there has been no teaching on how to use grammar, and I was rarely there for spelling tests, this is due to a medical condition that keeps me off from school for long durations of time.I am well aware that my writing is not perfect, I am here to improve and share idea's I get really excited about (and usually, I cannot do my ideas justice, which saddens me) so do not make me feel worse about the writing than I already am. I'm looking for kind people who will help me learn.

Sorry that was kinda heavy…so, read, review, enjoy XxX

Sasha

Chapter 1

Mulan rode the back of Khan with mild discomfort, her knees shaking as she passed the trees and undergrowth that grew beside the road. Mulan had been riding for hours on end and she was sore and stiff. Exasperated sighs often left her as she gazed drearily skywards.

She was coming up to her village; the cluster of buildings could be seen on the horizon at the end of the red dirt track road she was riding on.
"I'm going to be killed" she muttered bitterly but with fear lacing her words.

The news of what she had done would not have got to her town yet, it had only been a day; and even if it had, they wouldn't believe it. If they saw her come back in armour...they would slay her. She had to change out of the dress she had worn at the palace. It was worn and torn and the hem had mud and all other kinds of dirty substances on it, so she changed back into the armour at one of the villages on her way.

The armour was definitely more comfortable to ride in, but Mulan was debating the decision. The sun was above head and baking the road; Khan trotted his hooves on the spot to keep them from coming into contact with the heated ground for too long.

It was unusually warm for late spring but Mulan didn't mind. This was the magnolia tree would be in full bloom.

Mulan leaned forward and patted Khan's neck,
"C'mon Khan, we better get this over with" Khan looked at her sadly but did as he was told and sped off towards the small village.

To her surprise, no one seemed to recognise her. That could be due to the fact that she used her hands to cover her face, directing Khan with her knees. But you never know. Mulan just hoped no one was in Khan's way, he was a proud horse and if he thought someone was treating Mulan badly or were directly trying to aggravate him...well, the last thing they'd see would be the bottom of Khan's hooves.

Mulan panicked as she thought of that and parted one of her fingers to look out, she turned her head and saw all the villagers smiling proudly. Yup, didn't recognise me. She slowly removed her hands, lowering them at a snail's pace; a cautious expression engraved on her face.

They all began to bow,
"Thank you for protecting China, honourable soldier" a young woman said, about Mulan's age with a giggle as Mulan was handed a basket of fruit.
"Um...thank you" Mulan should have just used 'Pings' voice but no, she had to go and use her voice. The female one, that could consequently get her killed.

Soon the fruit basket was snatched from her lap and murmurs broke out, but then a single frail man wobbled forward-barely reaching the height of Khan's leg. The man raised a single wrinkled arm unsteadily and lay it on Khan's neck (to which he snorted at but did not bite him).
"You have done well to protect this country, are you the warrior woman who is the heroine of China? The woman who single handily defeated Shun-Yu?" everyone had fell silent to hear her answer, Mulan twitched uncomfortable.
"Well...yes, but I didn't do it alone. I was trained by the most-" She never got to finish, the old man made a noise resembling a cheer, but Mulan wasn't sure.

The men were mainly pleased they were safe, and most were fellow soldiers-so knew the horrors she faced during war and admired her.

The women however, were disgusted, mortified, and slightly disturbed. Not to mention the disapproval on their faces. Mulan shrugged and accepted the men's thanks and praise with a dignified nod and a small smile. She even heard them arguing over who she gave the biggest smile to, though, in truth she gave them all the same smile. That awkward small smile that only graced ones features when under praise they didn't think they deserved.

I would be nothing without Shang, a disgrace. I would have got myself killed in war...

Mulan reminded herself that she was the one who decided she would fetch the arrow, and how she would do it. Even after Shang said he wasn't fit for war, and that she should go home. But then she also remembered it wasn't only wit that aided her to climb the pole; it wasn't just wit that let her create the avalanche or kill Shan-Yu. No, she had been physically trained so that she could accomplish those feats...if combined with brains.

Mulan stopped day dreaming and carried on riding through town as quickly as possible. She wanted to get home. The emperor's crest lay heavily on her chest under her plated armour and she had two swords at her side. One of which she cringed at the sight of when she thought of how many lives had been slayed with it.

Mulan shuddered, sending a cold chill down her back. Keep it together she thought to herself. Mulan bid her goodbyes to the last few villagers that waited on the outskirts of the village and then it was just an hour to her home.

The sun had lowered slightly but not enough to make Khan any less fidgety. She began reflecting on the abnormality of the heat once again, but Mulan soon realised that they would have a storm soon. The towns crops would be devastated, this year would be hard for them all.

Mulan urged Khan faster, he compelled and they found themselves home in little time at all.
"Good boy" Mulan said, rubbing his neck and then leading him into the pen.

She heard a scream and turned to see grandma Fa rushing out with her father's walking stick.
"You!" she pointed the curved stick at her. Grandma Fa's brow lowered in warning, with every other word she whacked the soldier on the shoulder,
"Just because my granddaughter saves china does not give you permission to stride in here...without a horse...in my sons armour...with Mulan's face..." grandma Fa had begun shouting, emphasising the 'n' in China, but then slowed as she realised that it was her granddaughter who stood in front of her.

Well, stood isn't exactly the right word, Mulan was cowering with her arms shielding her face as she turned away on one leg. Secretly, grandma Fa was impressed with her new and improved balance.

Fa-Zhou stumbled out of the house with the aid of his wife and demanded his stick back from his mother. The old war veteran only then noticed the armoured soldier in his courtyard,
"And who are-" Mulan lowered her arms from her face and looked down, she knelt of the floor and presented her father with the sword,
"The sword of Shan-Yu-" she quickly removed the emperors crest from her neck and laid it atop the sword,
"What are these?" her father asked, not to dismiss them, but to wonder how his daughter obtained them. Surely she had not fought, no, she would have hid...wouldn't she?
"The sword to show...what I did for china...and the crest, to show what I did for the emperor. They'll bring honour-" Mulan was encased in her father's arms before she could continue.

"Your safe, that is all that matters to me. And the greatest honour is having you as a daughter" Mulan shed a single tear of happiness at her father's words.

Later that evening, the whole family sat round the dining table and ate. Mulan was back in one of her simple hanfu's. They ate in silence until grandma Fa muttered teasingly,
"You brought home a sword...why couldn't you have brought home a man?" Mulan looked up, unfazed by the joke at her extent and nodded,
"Why couldn't I indeed" she said as she moved the food around her plate absently. Fa Li looked at her husband with a knowing look on her face.
"Was there a man that you wanted to bring home Mulan?" instantly she blushed and shook her head,
"No, I was just thinking that now I'll never be married. All the men will probably have nightmares about me killing them with fireworks, or Shan-Yu's sword" or a little red dragon, she added thoughtfully.

So, that's the end of the first chapter. I know, I know, not much going on….but I promise to fix that! Truly! Now, if you would please kindly review? Pretty please ^-^ hehe.

READ PLEASE!

Next chapter will start off as a little more of background, as I have to vaguely go over what happened in this story for the few weeks that aren't involved. It will mainly consist of little tid bits that happened before we get to the part where the foundation of the story really lays itself down :D anyway, if nothing else, please hang in there until the end of that chapter? Then you can give me a good grammar lashing ^-^ thanks for reading if you read this far XxX

Happy reading! Please review!

Sasha XxX