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Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 12:01 am
I love my job (mostly) and I definitely love it more than any other job I've had but the constant travel makes it hard to write fic. I have started to write a fanfic for Once Upon A Time for the Mulan/Aurora ship. I really couldn't help it, I love them too much. It occurs after episode nine where they search for a way to restore Phillip's soul to his body.



It had taken a week of traveling before Mulan's silent looks and slight smiles, the ones that barely tugged at the corner of her lips, caused Aurora to grudgingly give into the need to acquire appropriate traveling clothes. They discovered an abandoned castle at the edges of the Enchanted Forest, gray and desolate, and when they arrived at the room of what appeared to be the young master of the castle, Mulan immediately searched the premises. She soon returned with a pair of brown breeches which she held up, a subtle twinkle of amusement in her gaze, and Aurora sighed.

"Very well," she murmured, taking the pants from Mulan and heading into the dressing chamber.

"I'll find you a shirt," Mulan said, sounding almost gleeful, although forever understated in her tone.

"Must you?" Aurora replied, slowly undoing the laces of her dress and already mourning the loss of the pretty material. Though she now throroughly agreed with Mulan, her outfit was entirely impracticle for hard travel, she still thought it lovely and would miss it all the same. Moments later a neatly folded white shirt and a black leather belt were presented to her. She took them, secretly entertained by Mulan's resolve to not enter the dressing chamber in order to preserve Aurora's modesty. Really. They were both women, after all, why did she worry so? "Thank you," she said and she swore there was a hint of humor in Mulan's returning you're welcome. Heaving another sigh, Aurora slipped into the clothes. It felt strange to be wearing pants. She had never done so, having been raised entirely sheltered by the faeries who were her guardians.

At least, that was until Maleficent reared her dragon's head into her family's life again.

"Aurora?" Mulan sounded worried and Aurora snapped out of these depressing thoughts immediately.

"How old do you think the boy was?" asked Aurora dryly as she walked out of the dressing chamber.

"Fourteen at most," confessed Mulan, her lips twitching again, and Aurora huffed.

"I find it insulting they fit so well," Aurora complained and Mulan did laugh now, handing over a pair of thick wool socks and some sturdy black leather boots. Frowning at them, Aurora said, "Can I not at least keep my own shoes and socks?"

"You could," allowed Mulan carefully, "but they would not be at all suited to the rough terrain we are bound to encounter."

Studying her slippers with a woebegone expression, knowing Mulan was correct yet again, Aurora sat on a chair and slid out of them. Pulling on the thick socks and boots, she wiggled her toes. "They're a bit too large," she murmured, rising to her feet and offering Mulan a smile. "At least I don't have a young man's feet."

Mulan chuckled and turned to search the chamber further. "You need a coat," she said. "The weather is going to turn for the worse very soon. We should prepare for the coming winter." She looked over her shoulder and added, "You must learn to ride for your own sake. It will keep you safer."

Nodding her head, Aurora bit her lip and worked up her courage. "I should like to learn how to defend myself," she offered and when Mulan turned to look at her, eyes widening enough that only those who truly knew her could tell she was surprised. "I don't expect to ever place myself at your level but I would like to stop being such a burdon. For you to be able to leave me and not fear the worst to happen."

"Aurora," said Mulan solemnly, immediately stopping her search and standing in front of the other woman. She paused and her jaw clenched before she seemed to give in and held Aurora's hands in her own. "I will never leave you."

"You can't promise that," said Aurora softly and sweetly, shaking her head. "Things are bound to happen and we might need to separate, however temporary," she added when she saw Mulan was about to protest, "and I don't want you to be filled with worry for me when you should be concentrating on your own safety. I should learn to protect myself, Mulan. After all," she said, ducking her head to meet their eyes. "Didn't you say our realm has become far more dangerous than what I recall?"

"It has," Mulan breathed and she stared at the ground, her jaw set hard, and Aurora puzzled at this. She thought her request would bring Mulan comfort and instead it seemed to stymy her friend.

"What is it?" asked Aurora, concern overwhelming her and without thinking, she reached out to touch Mulan's cheek. When dark brown eyes met her own, she saw the emotion Mulan always sought to bury underneath the surface, and somehow, like those times before, she managed to dig it out. "Please," she murmured, "tell me."

Mulan looked off to one side, her jaw clenched and her leather gloves creaking as her hands formed fists. Finally, she looked up at Aurora, her gaze steady and calm. "I chose this life," she said slowly and deliberately. "You did not. I would not have you change who you are simply because you feel it is a necessity for our quest. It would be a great sadness indeed for Phillip to wake only to have you changed enough that he no longer recognizes you."

"Mulan," Aurora laughed, shaking her head, holding the Mulan's face in her hands. She was sure she was beaming now and she hoped her friend didn't become insulted because of it. "Wearing a pair of pants, teaching me to ride, and not shriek like a quailing maiden in the face of danger will not effect who I am other than to make me a better, more versatile, person."

"Still," muttered Mulan, still looking unhappy with the thought of forcing Aurora to change.

"If I continue to practice needlepoint and sing in fields of flowers will it soothe your worries?" questioned Aurora playfully. A short bark of laughter escaped Mulan at this and Aurora grinned. She saw a question on Mulan's lips and she bumped their hips and continued, "Go ahead. Ask."

"Did you really do such things?" asked Mulan, a smile once again tugging at her lips.

"Frequently," Aurora nodded, moving around Mulan to search for an appropriate winter coat. "I also made myself crowns out of flowers and became friends with the forest animals. Although the birds didn't love me nearly as much as Snow I'm told."

"Foolish birds," Mulan proclaimed and Aurora smiled, ducking her head in pleasure. Grabbing a dark woolen coat, with thick upturned sleeves that were buckled, she presented it to Mulan. The warrior tilted her head thoughtfully as she studied it then she dipped her head and allowed, "That is suitable."

"Lets hope it fits," said Aurora wryly, shrugging it on. Of course, it did, and she sighed, mumuring, "I really do protest that I am apparently the same size as a young man of fourteen. It seems entirely inappropriate for a Princess."

Mulan scoffed quietly and she led the way out of the room. "We should check for armarments," she stated.

Hurrying after Mulan, trying her best to get used to the black boots which felt clunky and oversized on her feet, Aurora asked, "What should I learn? Surely not the sword. I don't have your strength."

The warrior paused at large wooden doors, pushing them slowly open to reveal a small wealth of weapons. Mulan surveyed them slowly, considering each one, and pausing at a fine sword, not nearly as grand as the one she once possessed with its power to repel magic but a worthy enough blade. She claimed it for her own and returned to her observation. Stopping at a line of longer weapons, she paused at the one steel tipped and pointed with an axe along its side.

"This," said Mulan decisively, picking it up and setting it loud on the floor. "This is your weapon, Aurora."

"What is it?" asked Aurora, frowning and walking closer, taking it in her hands when Mulan presented it to her. It was surprisingly lighter than she expected and she quickly thought perhaps that was why Mulan had chosen it.

"A halberd," Mulan replied easily, "it's similar to dagger-axes in my own land. This is a very useful weapon for both ranged and close attacks. You can also use it while riding a steed. I think it would be easier than most for you to master."

Nodding her head, Aurora held the halberd tight in her hands, and Mulan had a look of approval on her features that warmed Aurora's heart. Mulan swept past her, gathering knives as she went, and murmured, "We should look for maps."

"Maps?" inquired Aurora, chasing after Mulan.

"To better know this land we are in," supplied Mulan. "It is far from both our realms."

"I was thinking," Aurora murmured, catching up with Mulan and regaining her breath, "that perhaps we could see if my godmothers managed to remain behind. If I was protected in my castle, despite being under Maleficent's curse, there's a chance they're still here. I know they would have tried to stay near me."

"Aurora," said Mulan slowly and there was a lingering pause there, as if she couldn't bear to hurt Aurora's feelings and the Princess quickly realized why. Phillip wasn't the type to bandy about personal details, after all. Even with a comrade. Mulan must have thought she wanted to see them solely for sentimental reasons.

"My godmothers are faeries," said Aurora with a smile. "Powerful ones. They could help us."

"You were raised by magic folk?" asked Mulan, trepidation showing on her features. It was quickly replaced by a frown and she questioned further, "What of your parents? They are not magic folk, are they?"

"No," said Aurora, shaking her head and giving a soft laugh. "I never really knew my parents. My mother died giving birth to me and my father..." She trailed off sadly, a lost look on her face. "He became obsessed with protecting me from Maleficent. She became rather fixated on me after mother died, blamed me for it I suppose. Maleficent never hated my mother. She just loved her too much and it twisted and changed her in a terrible way."

"But she put your mother under the sleeping curse, the same as yourself, isn't this true?" Mulan frowned, her brow furrowing in confusion. "If she loved her, how could she have done such a thing?"

"To protect her," said Aurora, a sad smile pulling at her lips. "Maleficent was her faerie godmother and she took her duties too far and became too close to my mother. Needless to say, it didn't end well."

-----

I had to get rid of the dress. lol. It's not proper adventuring attire! Anyway, I'm still working out plot points but I have all day off tomorrow and I hope to write a ton more. Maybe I might get this done before Christmas or shortly after the new year. Here's hoping.