A/N : Aw, guys, you made my day :D Your reviews mean a lot to me and everything you said made me happy :) Thank you.
And of course, to Salunatic, I owe you many thanks (read his story, it's pretty awesome).
Warning : I do not own Kung Fu Panda
Chapter 2 : A Revealed Story
It had been three years ever since the pandas found a new place to settle down. It was located deep in the mountains, far from their old village. The new place was almost as pleasant and peaceful as their previous village. The ground was fertile, allowing them to work as farmers, planting and harvesting paddy as their daily staple.
"Bao." Fei called out his son, a usual routine he practiced every morning ever since they settled in the new village. "Where are you?"
He walked around the house in search of the little panda, but his efforts were in vain. There was not a single sign of the little ball of fluff.
"Where is he?" He muttered to himself.
"Missing him again, Fei?" Someone greeted, snapping him out of his train of thought.
Fei titled his head. "Mei?"
"It seems like your little Bao is an active kid."
"You can say that. He's always missing." He grumbled.
Mei smiled in amusement and continued watching him.
"Wanna help me?" Fei asked.
They searched all over the place, eventually passing by some pandas who were working in the paddy fields.
"Have you see Bao?" Fei asked a panda that was currently hoeing the ground.
"Nope." He answered. "He's probably in the flower garden again."
"I guess so?"
Fei palmed his forehead. "Oh boy."
He headed towards the garden, Mei trailing his footsteps.
"What could he be doing alone in there?"
"Playing?" Mei guessed. "Why not just let him be?"
"Leave him alone? Are you crazy?"
"He's a kid. Kids love playing, don't they?"
Fei ignored her and continued walking. As they neared the garden, a little panda was seen running, blissfully ignorant of the outside world while he chased a couple of butterflies around, a wide grin plastered on his chubby face.
"Bao!" Fei called him as he rushed toward his son.
"Baba?" The little panda stopped chasing to look at him.
"What are you doing alone in here?" Fei asked in a half scolding, half worried tone.
"Playing." The little panda answered brightly. "Look." He pointed his little finger at the colorful butterflies fluttering in the air above him. "They're so beautiful."
Fei sighed. "Bao. You know you shouldn't be alone in here. You could get lost."
"But it's fun in here." Bao pouted.
"I know. But—" He picked up his son. "You're too little. You shouldn't be playing outside." He turned to Mei. "Right, Mei?"
"Nope. You're just being over protective." Mei disagreed. "Our village is safe enough even for a three year old to play alone all by himself in the open in the middle of the night."
Fei growled. "You should be affirming what I said, not contradicting me."
"Oops, sorry." Mei laughed.
"Alright Bao, time to go home." He deposited his son into Mei's arms. "You won't mind taking him home would you?"
"I can watch him play if you want."
Mei gave a shrug. "As you wish. Hey wait a minute. Where are you going?"
"The altar to pray. Where else do you think I'm going?"
"Oh yeah. Have fun."
She turned and started walking away.
"Don't forget to give him a bath." Mei heard Fei shouting at her from afar.
Mei didn't bother responding. She knew that she would have done it even without being reminded.
Arriving at Fei's house, Mei placed the little panda down on the terrace steps and sat down beside him.
"Did you have a fun, Bao?" She asked cheerfully.
"Yes, Aunt Mei. I was playing with the butterflies."
"Oh. Yes. Your father should let you play more."
"Why doesn't baba let me play? He doesn't like it?"
Mei smiled. "He does, Bao, but he's worried because you're still young." She replied as she rubbed his head affectionately.
"But it's fun."
"Yes I know. If I am your mother, I would have talked your father into letting you play more."
She gazed into the distance as her thoughts swirled around her leader who she knew was now sitting in front of an altar, searching aimlessly for a path to peace. She was well aware of the reasons behind Fei's protectiveness. He was too afraid of losing little Bao. Three years ago, his wife gave her life to save their son. Fei was still mourning her death and he didn't want her sacrifice to be in vain.
Bao shook her paw to get her attention.
Oh. Mei was momentarily taken aback when she heard that question.
Ever since Bao learnt to speak, he has been asking the same question frequently and every time he did so, they would find a way to brush it aside, either with a story or with some fun and games. Neither of them had given him any definite answers yet. They hadn't told him of his mother's death.
But how long time can they continue hiding the truth?
"Bao." Mei said softly as she placed her paw on his shoulder. "Your mother is gone."
"Why didn't mama take me with her?"
Mei smiled. "She couldn't."
"When will she be back?"
"She can't come back, Bao."
"Why? Mama doesn't miss me?"
"No. Your mama really loves you. But... she's… she's… " Mei squeezed her eyes shut and swallowed. Taking a deep breath, she looked deep into Bao's eyes, his curiosity and eagerness fueling her resolution to continue. "Your mother has passed away."
"What is passed away?"
Mei didn't realize that tears had started rolling down her cheeks. "It means that she won't come back."
"Can I visit mama?"
"No, Bao. You can't. Mama… Mama wants you to stay here."
Bao's expression was one of bewilderment. He clearly didn't understand the meaning of passed away. "When can I see her?"
"Don't worry, Bao. You will always be able feel your mother's presence." She placed her paw on that little panda's chest. "In here."
"In my heart?"
"Yes. She lives in you."
Bao placed his paw on his chest. "Mama is here." He mumbled with a smile.
Mei wanted to cry just by seeing Bao like that. He had his mother's eyes and smile.
She knew that she shouldn't tell Bao about his mother. Fei had warned her explicitly not to tell him anything about Shen's massacre. As she thought about it, she realized that sooner or later, Bao would find out the truth. The only difference is whether what he found out is the true facts from them or the distorted version from others. Mei wiped away her tears and looked at Bao once more before making the decision.
"Yes, Aunt Mei?"
"I have a story for you."
Bao grinned delightedly. He loved stories. "Tell me! Tell me!"
She knew that Fei would be furious, but her mind was set.
"This story happened three years ago. It's about you, your mother and an evil peacock named Lord Shen."
A/N : I bet you know what story Mei will tell to Bao aka Po.
The next chapter will take place twenty seven later, where we'll see what happens to The Furious Five as Po aren't there to save The Valley of Peace from Tai Lung and China from Lord Shen.
Oh, and don't forget to check out my new one-shot 'When A Farewell Comes', guys. I hope you'll like it :D
Would you mind giving me your review to this chapter? It's easy and free :D Everything you say will mean a lot to me even though if it's only 'update soon' ;)