A/N: I do not own KUNG FU PANDA or any of it's characters, locations, etc. I can only claim my OC's. (Sheesh, didn't think I'd miss saying that!)
**NOTE: If any of you readers haven't already read my fic "Obsidian Blade" stop right now! I highly recommend you read that story first. (You can find it on my profile page)**
The wait is over! I told you readers I'd be back! :D
Wow! Can you believe it's been a month since I posted the last chapter of "Obsidian Blade?" Yeah, I can't believe it either! But I promised I'd have this new story up in a month, and so I shall deliver!
These short stories will be delving further into the world of "Obsidian Blade" you readers will be able to follow the story from the very beginning from when Shifu and Qiang were cubs, all the way to the point during Tigress's orphan years at Bao Gu Orphanage. I myself am still unsure of how this fic is going to end, so this'll be interesting for all of us.
This story is going to be covering nearly 70 years of Kung Fu Panda history (My version of it anyway) so there will be instances where several years will be skipped over in order to get to the important points. I will do my best to go in chronological order, I've been really busy this past month so I haven't written several chapters in advance like I have done with "Obsidian Blade" so we'll see how this goes. These stories are something that I'm going to be doing on the side in my spare time, and I've already got a lot of projects ahead of this one, so I can't guarantee that I'll be able to update as regularly as I have in the past, but I will do my best.
Once again, I WILL NOT be referring to the TV series in any way, shape or form. There will be no Taotie, no Junjie, no Fenghuang, no Master Chow, no Shirong, no Scorpion, etc. I personally DO NOT consider the TV series as KFP Canon in any way whatsoever! So If I write something that contradicts with the TV series, don't go hating me for it and tell me I'm wrong, because I will completely ignore you. I am only following the continuity that has already been established in the official films and shorts. NOT THE TV SERIES!
Anyhoo…On with the story! :D
The noonday sun was peeking out from behind the soft fluffy clouds in the bright sky; its warm rays bathing the rice fields and farmlands of the small village that was nestled in the valley below. A towering waterfall spurted from the overhanging mountains and into a deep blue lake while mist sprinkled the air, producing small rainbows of light.
Farmers and merchants were going about their daily business; either tending to their fields or selling their goods to potential buyers. A group of young boys played in one of the vacant roads, bouncing, kicking, and hitting a leather ball towards each other; all laughing as they did so.
They were carefully being watched by two figures that sat in the shade of an overhanging roof of one of the many houses facing the street. The two women sat on opposite sides of the porch, each one keeping busy. The raccoon wore a dress of deep indigo with silver trimmings on her sleeves. Her hazel eyes were focused on a painting of a cherry tree that she was working on. Her gaze would travel to the road from time to time to make sure that the boys in the road weren't roughhousing too much.
"What do you think Zhin?" The raccoon asked her friend who sat in the rocking chair a ways from her.
The red panda looked up from her knitting. Her lime-green eyes gazing towards the painting as she fixed a wrinkle in the folds of her yellow dress. "Very nice Lin. I must say that your skills are improving immensely."
This seemed to satisfy the raccoon, and she made a small gesture with a nod of her head towards the small piece of fabric within Zhin's grasp. "How is the knitting going? Think you'll have it done in time?"
Zhin gave a small smile in response, "Oh yes, I do believe it'll be finished before the baby comes. The red panda then readjusted the knitting needles between her thin fingers and she started to humm a little tune to herself as she weaved the thin string of green yarn into a sturdy blanket. She figured that with winter coming up, her new baby would need all the warmth she could give it.
She suddenly felt a strong kick from within her, and she quickly placed a thin hand over her growing belly as her unborn child gave another strong kick. Her lime-green eyes sparkled and a smile stretched across her lips. She took a few deep breaths to calm herself.
Lin looked towards her with worry, "Everything alright Zhin?"
The red panda gave a slight chuckle towards the raccoon, "Its fine Lin." She gave off a sigh, "It's almost time." Zhin then turned her attention to the boys in the street towards one in particular, "Qiang! Please come here sweetie!" She called to the little red panda of the group. His large ears perked towards the sound of his mother's voice and he obediently ran from the street and scrambled his way up onto the porch.
"Yes Mama?" The six-year-old asked as he came to a stop next to her.
She smiled, "I want to show you something." Zhin then took a hold of her son's tiny hand and placed it over her growing belly. Qiang's eyes widened suddenly as he felt the baby move within.
"Is that the baby?" He asked in an astonished voice.
His mother nodded with a growing smile on her lips. "He's ready to come out soon."
"How do you know it's a boy? What if it's a girl?" Qiang asked, puzzled.
"Mother's instinct." Zhin answered, while Lin gave off a small chuckle from across the porch. "I was right about you when you came along." She patted the boy on his head.
Qiang smiled, his steel blue eyes brightening with wonder, "I hope it's a boy, I'd like a baby brother!"
"I'm sure you would." His mother answered.
"Hurry up Qiang!" A little raccoon called from the street.
"In a minute Rui!" Qiang answered before he turned his attention back to his mother, giving her a puzzling look, "Mama, where did this baby come from?" He asked.
Zhin's eyes widened suddenly in surprise, "Um…well—"
"I mean, how did it get in your tummy?"
"You should go play with your friends now sweetie." Zhin quickly stated, giving her son a gentle push towards the road. Lin was stifling a laugh.
"I'll tell you when you're older." She intervened.
This seemed to satisfy the cub and he gave a quick nod of his head before running back into the road to play with his friends. Zhin gave off a sigh of relief, grateful to have avoided that subject. Her large ears perked towards the sounds of Lin's suppressed giggling, and she shot a glare towards the raccoon. "Oh, like you would tell Rui where he came from at his current age!"
Lin shook her head, "No, I'm just glad he hasn't asked me about it yet!" She laughed.
"Ha, ha, very funny." Zhin said unenthusiastically; rolling her eyes and returning to her knitting.
One week later
The six-year-old red panda cub sat in one of the chairs in the main living area of his parent's home. His short legs dangled several inches off the ground as he waited in the unbearable silence. His large ears perked from side to side as he tried to hear what was transpiring down the hallway in his parent's room where his father had just gone after being summoned by the doctor. That was nearly fifteen minutes ago, but since the cub was still learning how to properly keep track of time, it could have been twice that long for all he knew.
He could feel his heart beating faster as his excitement continued to build. The baby was coming. At least that's what his mother had said earlier when she was frantically telling Qiang to fetch the doctor who lived a few houses down the road. The cub had ran as fast as he could, banging on the door of the doctor's office and informing him of his mother's predicament. Thankfully the doctor had been expecting the news and he quickly followed the red panda cub back to the house.
Qiang's ears perked towards the sounds of approaching footsteps from down the hallway and he looked up eagerly to see who was coming. It was the doctor. The pig was trudging down the hallway with his medical bag grasped tightly in his hoof. He was an elderly man with wrinkles burrowing deep into his skin, and he looked somewhat hardened in appearance, but as he made eye contact with the cub, his eyes were filled with sympathy towards him. Of course, Qiang had no idea why he looked so downcast.
The pig patted Qiang on his head as a friendly gesture before making his way out of the door. Soon after, Lin made her way out into the hallway as well. The raccoon had been helping the doctor in the other room while Qiang and his father waited in the living area. She looked somewhat frazzled and her eyes were slightly reddened as if she had been crying.
Qiang leapt from the chair and made his way towards her. "What's wrong?" He asked, tilting his head slightly.
Lin gave him a pained look and she instantly dropped to her knees and pulled the boy into a tight hug.
Qiang was completely stunned; Rui's mother had never shown him this kind of affection before, only his own mother ever did that.
"It will be alright Qiang." Lin said in a comforting tone as she patted him gently on the head. Although the little boy had no idea what she was talking about.
"What's wrong?" He asked again.
"I'll take it from here Lin." A voice sounded from behind.
Once Lin had released her hold on him, Qiang turned towards the sound of his father's voice. The elder red panda wore a robe of dark brown with black trimmings and a black belt around his waist. He looked just as weary as Lin, and it caused Qiang to look towards him curiously, "Baba, is the baby here yet?" He asked, somewhat excitedly.
Zhuang gave his son a small smile, "Yes he is; would you like to see him?"
Qiang hopped up and down on the floor, "Oh yes, yes, yes!" He said happily.
Zhuang turned towards Lin, handing her a small folded note along with a money pouch that jingled with coins as he placed it in her hand. "I would appreciate it if you gave my request to the Li's, we'll need to purchase some of their milk."
"The goat people?" Qiang asked, "Why do we need to buy milk?"
Zhuang patted his son on the head, "What else is your brother going to have to eat until he's bigger?"
"I'll be sure to get some immediately." Lin said as she made her way to the front door. However she turned to face them both before leaving. "You both will be alright?"
Zhuang gave a small nod towards her, "Yes Lin, thank you for everything."
Lin returned the nod and she pushed at the door before disappearing into the night.
Qiang's father then placed his hand atop his son's shoulder, "He's this way." They made their way down the hallway and headed into one of the side rooms that had been set aside for the new arrival. "Now you'll need to be quiet, we don't want to wake him up."
They entered the room, and Qiang's eyes immediately fell upon the crib in the far corner. The cub couldn't contain his excitement any longer and he quickly made his way to the crib, standing on his tip-toes to try to peer inside. Zhuang lifted his eldest son off the ground so that he could see into the crib.
A tiny white ball of fur lay cuddled inside the green blanket that his mother had made for him. His eyes were closed, and he was sucking on his tiny thumb as he slept.
"Meet your little brother Qiang, his name is Shifu."
Qiang's eyes widened with wonder and he reached a hand forward to pat the tiny baby on his head, whose ears unconsciously twitched in the direction of his brother's voice, "Hi Shifu." He whispered. "He's so little."
"You were about that size when you were born." Zhuang said.
"I can't wait to play with him!" The six year old exclaimed quietly.
"Well, when he's old enough, I'm sure you two will have all sorts of fun."
"Yeah!" Qiang smiled as Zhuang placed him back onto solid ground. "I'm going to see mama now!" The cub started his way for the door when he felt his father's hand rest itself on his shoulder in a firm hold.
"Wait Qiang, you can't go in there." He said with a small hint of urgency in his tone.
Qiang looked up towards his father curiously. "Why can't I see mama?"
Zhuang gave off a pained expression, but it was so brief that his son didn't catch it. "Your mother is asleep right now."
"Well, when she wakes up—"
"She's…not going to wake up Qiang." Zhuang knelt down to the boy's level and pulled his son into a hug, the same way Lin had just done a few minutes previous. "Your mother is going to be asleep for a very long time."
Qiang's steel blue eyes began to brim with tears, and he buried his face into his father's shoulder for comfort as he suddenly realized what he had meant.
A/N: Admit it! You thought Qiang was cute back in the days of his innocence! ADMIT IT! We all know what he turns into as an adult, but I can't help but sympathize for him a little bit here.
Anyhoo, I can't guarantee when the next chapter will be posted, but we'll see. Wish me luck!
Reviews are appreciated, and I do like them thorough. See ya'll next time!