A/N: I do not own KUNG FU PANDA or any of it's characters, locations, blah, blah, I only own my OC's, blah, blah, you get it.
*Please read my Author's Note at the end, Enjoy!
Chapter 4: Thunder
Shifu's steel blue eyes snapped open, and he bolted upright in his bed as the bone shattering sounds of thunder resonated against his large ears. The red panda cub's breathing came in short panicked gasps, and he suddenly sprang from his bed as a flash of light invaded his small room; followed by another rumble of thunder.
He scrambled to the door and shoved it open, all the while keeping a tight hold on the green blanket that wrapped around his shoulders. The cub ran out into the hallway with the intent of seeking protection from the storm in his father's arms, but he came to a skidding halt upon remembering that his father wasn't there.
Shifu wasn't even at the place he called home. He was in the barracks where the students of the Jade Palace slept, and his father had left earlier that same week to go off to fight in the war against the Mongols. The cub's ears lowered flat against his small head, and he gripped at the folds of his knitted blanket as if it would shield him from the relentless storm.
The rain pounded against the rafters above his head, and he suddenly jumped with fright in reaction to another roar of thunder as if it were a hungry beast searching for its prey. The six-year-old cub rushed to the bedroom next to his own, and he pounded his tiny fist against the wooden framing of his brother's door in desperation. "Qiang, Qiang, Qiang!"
"AAHHH!" Shifu screamed and he shot straight through the thin paper barrier and barreled his way into the room as if his life depended on it. He jumped from the ground to get into the bed, only to find that he had landed right on top of his elder brother.
"What the—?" Qiang woke up suddenly as his eyes caught sight of his little brother who was practically shaking like a wilted leaf, with his blanket pulled over his head.
Qiang gave a rub to his sleep deprived eyes before giving his brother a stern look, "What'd you wake me up for Fu? It's the middle of the night for crying out loud!"
Shifu didn't answer right away; instead he gave another jolt of panic and buried himself beneath his brother's blankets upon hearing another boom of thunder. "Why is it s-so loud?" Shifu's voice was somewhat muffled by the blankets over his head.
Qiang rolled his eyes, "Don't tell me you're afraid of a little thunder? We get lots of storms back at home."
"B-but its louder h-here!" Shifu piped up in a tiny voice.
"That's because we're higher up the mountain." Qiang answered.
Shifu peeked out from under the blankets, staring wide-eyed towards his brother before another blast of thunder caused the tiny cub to burst into tears. He hugged his brother around his middle in a death grip, continuing to shake in fear as he did so. "I-I want t-to go home!" He sobbed.
"We can't go home Fu!" Qiang answered as he tried to get his younger brother to loosen his hold, "We have to stay here!"
Shifu only cried harder, "I miss Baba!"
Qiang paused a moment, his thoughts wandering to the words his father had spoken to him before his departure, "Qiang, you're all Shifu has right now, protect him. Be an example to him. Let him know that he can always count on you."
Qiang's steel blue eyes traveled back to his brother before he wrapped his arms around him and pulled him into a hug. "I miss him too, but he said that he'd write to us, and he's gonna visit us once he's on military leave.
"W-when will that b-be?" Shifu asked in a quavering voice.
"Sooner than you think!" Qiang smiled as he patted his little brother's head. "Besides, we're gonna have a lot of fun here!" He added, "I mean, we're gonna be learning Kung Fu from the guy who created it! How cool is that?"
Shifu sniffled a little, but his sobs had subsided, "I guess that's kinda neat."
"You bet! And Rui should be arriving here by tomorrow! It'll be just like old times!"
This seemed to cheer up the six-year-old. He wiped away his tears with the back of his small hand. Of course he quickly buried himself beneath the blankets as a rumble of thunder met his ears. "C-can I stay in h-here with you?"
Qiang was about to protest against it, but he stopped himself, giving off a defeated sigh and rolling his eyes as he did so, "Okay Fu, you can stay. But if you kick me off the bed or take my blanket, you're going straight to your own room, got it?"
Shifu rapidly nodded his head in response. "I'll be good! I promise!"
"Then please, go to sleep." Qiang said as he pulled the blankets over the pair of them.
Shifu curled up into a ball, pulling the blankets around his shoulders, "G'night Qiang."
"Night Fu." He turned his head slightly, catching a glimpse of the hole in his bedroom door. "Hey, what happened to my door?"
Qiang looked annoyed, "You're fixing that tomorrow."
A/N: Again, another brother bonding moment. Aren't they just too cute?
*Just so you all know I will be unable to post another chapter to this story for quite some time. I will be out of town for 18 months and will be unable to update this story while I'm away. However, I have not forgotten this story, and I still have a lot of ideas brewing in my head. So don't worry, I WILL continue this story when I get back! If you readers would like to know why I'm leaving and what I will be doing, you can check out my profile page where I've explained the reasons of my prolonged absence. I thank you readers and reviewers for your support of this story as well as the others I've written. Thank you, and farewell.