Thanks for the prompt anon(s)! :)
“Wait.” Mulan gripped Aurora’s wrist and drew to a sudden halt, effectively stopping the Princess with her.
Aurora frowned at the tight grip on her wrist but after spending two months with the protective warrior she’d stopped complaining audibly about the occasional roughness Mulan accidentally incorporated into the job of keeping her safe.
“What?” Emma asked, glancing warily around. Snow and herself had been walking a few steps in front of Mulan and Aurora but they’d stopped almost as soon as Mulan had ordered them to wait.
Mulan lifted her finger to her lips, silently telling them to be quiet and released Aurora’s wrist to reach for her sword. Slowly withdrawing it from it’s sheath she took a stealthy step forward and braced herself for any kind of attack. Nothing happened however and after a few long moments of tense silence Mulan relaxed slightly, confusion covering her features.
“I could have sworn I heard something.” she muttered, slowly lowering her sword. She glanced to the left and to the right but there was no sign of whatever she’d heard.
“Maybe you…” Emma was interrupted by a sharp cry from behind them and she spun around in time with Mulan and Snow. She inhaled sharply when she found none other than Cora before them. Her forearm was pressed tightly against Aurora’s throat, effectively drawing her back against her and she held some kind of circular emblem in her free hand.
“That may have been me.” Cora smirked at Mulan. “You were easier to distract then I thought you would be.”
Mulan lifted her sword and made to take a large step forward only to be promptly stopped by Cora’s voice.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” Cora pressed her forearm even tighter against Aurora’s windpipe causing her to release a choked whimper. “You know how easy it would be for me to disappear with her. Now lower your sword dear.”
Mulan locked eyes with Aurora who stared back at her through fear filled eyes. Slowly, Mulan lowered her sword to her side but kept a firm grip on it should the opportunity to use it arise.
“What do you want?” Snow practically spat, gripping the sleeve of Emma’s jacket in a vice like grip. Emma had attempted to move forward with Mulan but Snow wasn’t about to risk her daughter being hurt at the hand of that vile woman.
“What do I want?” Cora’s cheerful expression quickly soured. “I want to see my daughter and Grandson. But for now I think I’ll settle for some poetic revenge.” She locked eyes with Mulan and without another word she reached down to grab Aurora’s wrist, tugging it up so that her hand was at eye level.
Mulan realised what was about to happen two seconds before it did and she sprang forward as Cora pressed the circular emblem against Aurora’s palm. “NO!”
Cora merely had to nod towards Mulan to send her flying back through the air. She landed with a sickening thud on her back. She instantly got back to her feet however, winded but standing steady.
Cora removed the emblem from the struggling Princess’s palm and gave her a solid shove forward sending her to her knees on the ground. Dropping the emblem next to Aurora Cora gave them a sickly sweet smile.
“Until next time.”
Cora disappeared in a puff of purple smoke and Mulan instantly dropped her sword and rushed forward. She dropped to her knees next to Aurora and took her hand in both of her own, closely scrutinising it.
“I have it, don’t I?” Aurora looked up with tear filled eyes. “I have the mark.”
Mulan looked up in time to see Emma bend down next to the emblem. “Don’t touch that!”
Emma sprang back as if she’d been burnt. “Why?”
“Because it’ll mark you.” Snow spoke, bending down next to the emblem. She gingerly picked the emblem up by the chain and held it away from her.
“What happens if it marks you?” Emma asked apprehensively, glancing between Aurora and the emblem. “The wraith?”
“Yes.” Aurora whispered, glancing down at her marked hand. “The wraith will come and…”
“We’ll fight it.” Mulan decided, ignoring the voice that told her the effort would be futile. “I’m not going to let anything happen to you.”
“Yeah,” Emma agreed, quickly echoed by Snow. “We’ll think of something.”
Mulan stared down at the dozing Princess. She’d dozed off only a few minutes ago after hours of fretting about the Wraith coming for her. Mulan had again reassured her that nothing was going to happen to her but now that Aurora was asleep her own doubts had overwhelmed her. There was no way for Aurora to avoid the curse. The Wraith couldn’t be killed and it wouldn’t stop until it had taken Aurora’s soul.
Mulan glanced away from the Princess and slowly removed her gloves laying them down next to her. She stared at her hand intently for a moment, glanced at Aurora and then looked back to her hand. There was only one way she could be sure that Aurora would be safe. Mulan looked down at the ground in front of her and reached down to carefully unwrap the fabric from the amulet. She tentatively picked it up and with a glance at Aurora pressed it firmly against her own left palm. She held it there for a moment before drawing it away. She rewrapped it in the fabric and tucked it into her armour before she looked at her hand to see there was a pale outline of the symbol burnt into her skin. Mulan reached for Aurora’s hand and lifted it, breathing a sigh of relief when she saw that Aurora’s palm was one again mark free.
“Mulan?” Aurora murmured, stirring slightly. “What’s going on?”
“Nothing,” Mulan whispered, moving to lie down next to the Princess. “Go back to sleep.”
Aurora mumbled something and unconsciously curled into Mulan’s side.
Mulan inhaled slowly and closed her fist around the mark.
Mulan made her way over to Emma’s tent, her palms sweaty with anticipation. She took a deep breath before stepping out from behind the tent so that she was visible and cleared her throat. Emma and Snow who had been talking quietly in the furthest corner of the tent in order to stay as warm as possible both fell silent and looked up at her.
“I was hoping to talk to you Emma.” Mulan said to the blonde.
“Where’s Aurora?” Emma asked in concern. “Is she okay?”
“She’s fine, she’s sleeping.” Mulan answered. “Perhaps we could take a walk around the perimeter?
“Um…” Emma glanced briefly at Snow before turning back to Mulan. “Sure, we should probably make sure everything’s secure anyway.”
“Take my sword Emma,” Snow picked up the sword from next to her and handed it to Emma, “Just to be safe.”
“Thanks.” Emma took the sword and got to her feet, fastening the belt around her waist. When it was secure she followed Mulan out of the tent. They walked in silence for a minute or so until they reached the edge of the small clearing at which point they began to follow the line of trees. It was a familiar ritual they’d carried out many times over the past couple of months.
“I’ve noticed that Aurora has grown quite fond of you.” Mulan said out of nowhere.
Surprised by the rather random statement, Emma glanced at Mulan with a raised eyebrow. The truth of the statement couldn’t be disputed however, Emma and Aurora had come to be quite good friends over the course of Emma and Snow’s stay. “Well, the feeling’s mutual.”
“I see that.” Mulan nodded approvingly as they continued to walk on. “You’ve said very little about your world.”
“Seriously?” Once again Emma was taken by complete surprise. “I’m always complaining about the things my world has that this place doesn’t…electricity for a start.”
Mulan wavered for a moment, trying to recall exactly what Emma had told her that was. Getting nowhere she quickly shrugged it off and got back to the issue at hand. “What I mean is that you haven’t told us if your world is better than this one.”
Emma shrugged. “I guess they both have their advantages and disadvantages. I’m probably biased but I definitely prefer my world to this one.”
“What about the dangers?” Mulan asked as her gaze skimmed over the trees to her right. “Are there as many as there are here?”
“It’s sort of hard to say.” Emma moved her hand to the back of her neck and rubbed it lightly, her face contorting with concentration. “You could say there are more dangers where I’m from because we have guns and stuff. But we don’t have ogres, werewolves and trolls like this place has.”
“Do you feel safer in your own world than you do here?” Mulan asked curiously.
“Yes.” Emma’s answer was instantaneous.
“I see.” Mulan nodded thoughtfully.
“Why do you want to know anyway?” Emma asked curiously. “You’ve never shown much interest in where I come from before.”
“I wanted to know because I need you to do something for me.” Mulan drew to a sudden halt and turned to Emma who had stopped with her.
“What is it?” Emma asked rather baffled as to what Mulan would want from her.
“After what happened to Philip Aurora and I are all each other really has apart from Snow and yourself.” Mulan visibly hesitated before she continued reluctantly. “When the times comes that you find a portal to get home I want you to take her with you.”
“Why, where are you going to be?” Emma asked nervously. “Aren’t you her self-proclaimed protector or something?”
“I am,” The corner of Mulan’s lips turned up for a second before her expression sobered again. “I mean if I’m not here for any reason. Don’t leave her alone here.”
“Why wouldn’t you be here?” Emma frowned suspiciously at the ominous statement. “What’s going on?”
“Hypothetically Emma,” Mulan lied impatiently. “Can you promise to do this?”
Emma wanted to press the issue but it was clear to her that Mulan wouldn’t appreciate her concern. Against her better judgement she nodded in agreement. “I wouldn’t leave her behind.”
“Good.” Mulan seemed pleased with the answer and without another word she continued to walk around the perimeter obviously expecting Emma to follow her.
Emma stood there overwhelmed with confusion for a couple of moments before she hurried to catch up with the rapidly departing warrior.
A few hours later Mulan lay awake on her back staring at the dark night sky. Aurora was snuggled into her side, an arm draped loosely across her waist. Seemingly worn out, the Princess hadn’t awoken when Mulan returned to her tent from her talk with Emma, so much to Mulan’s relief Aurora hadn’t noticed the fact that the mark had moved from her own hand to Mulan’s.
Mulan lifted her hand to look at the mark in question. It was darkening, that much was obvious. It was time. Reluctantly Mulan gently gripped Aurora’s wrist and lifted the arm from across her waist. Shuffling to the left she managed to move to her knees without waking the Princess up. She carefully set Aurora’s arm down on the floor of the tent and took a moment to watch her sleeping. It had been difficult for Aurora at first, getting over her fear of sleeping but eventually she’d worked out a way to reassure herself. As long as she had Mulan’s comforting presence at her side she would always feel safe enough to allow herself to drift off to sleep and she would inevitably end up snuggled against the warrior. Mulan was sure that it was an unconscious realisation on Aurora’s part. She certainly didn’t wake up earlier than Mulan to find out about the position she maneuvered herself into during the night.
“Goodbye Aurora.” Mulan whispered, lightly brushing a strand of light brown hair away from Aurora’s peaceful face. “Be safe.” She picked up her sword from next to her and slowly got to her feet. She stared at the sleeping Princess for a long moment before she forced herself to turn and walk out of the tent. As she walked towards the trees she silently sheathed her sword. She wouldn’t take anything else, she wouldn’t be needing anything when the wraith had finished doing what it was summoned for. It would come, the question was only when. Mulan swallowed heavily, nausea rising in her gut as she reached the edge of the camp.
Mulan froze at the sound of the soft, unsure voice behind her. She stood still for a moment before slowly revolving on the spot. Aurora was standing behind her, her arms crossed in front of her chest as she shivered against the cold night.
“Princess.” Mulan greeted, forcing her voice to remain steady despite her rising nerves.
“Where are you going?” Aurora asked, stepping forward until she was standing right in front of Mulan.
Mulan forced herself not to shrink back and clenched her left hand into a fist to conceal the mark.
“I’m patrolling the area.” She answered steadily. “Go back to the tent Aurora.”
“You’re leaving me unprotected to go patrolling?” Aurora wasn’t complaining, merely pointing out an anomaly in Mulan’s behaviour. It wasn’t like the warrior to leave her when she was in potential danger, never mind real life threatening danger.
Mulan momentarily averted her eyes. “I won’t go far.”
“You’re lying.” Aurora said observantly.
“Aurora, please just go back to the tent.” Mulan glanced over her shoulder towards the woods, itching to get as far away from Aurora as possible.
“Are you leaving?” Aurora asked in a small voice. Mulan didn’t answer but her silence was all the answer Aurora needed. “W-Why? Where are you going?”
“Aurora, please.” Mulan pleaded, stepping forward to grasp Aurora’s arms. “Go back to the tent. You’ll be safe now, I promise.”
“How could I possibly be safe when you’re leaving me?” Aurora asked, her bottom lip beginning to tremble ever so slightly. “You’re supposed to stay with me.”
Mulan found herself momentarily at a loss for words. “Aurora…”
“Where are you going?” Aurora demanded again, her voice suddenly thick with emotion. “To fight Cora alone?”
Mulan shook her head numbly. “No.”
“Then why are you leaving?!” Aurora asked, growing progressively more upset. “You told me you wouldn’t leave. You promised.”
“You’ll still have Emma and Snow.” Mulan reasoned even as she felt herself choking up at the prospect of never seeing the Princess again. “You’ll be fine.”
“How can you say that? I’m marked!” Aurora threw up her hand to show Mulan the mark but did a double take at the sight of the spotless skin on the palm of her hand. “I’m…I’m not marked. Mulan why aren’t I marked anymore?”
Mulan smiled sadly but she didn’t have time to answer before a low roar from behind her cut through the silence. Instinctively she swung around to face where the sound was coming from, threw an arm out across Aurora’s chest and staggered back taking Aurora with her.
“Mulan?!” Aurora clutched the arm in front of her chest. “Why is there a wraith if I’m not marked?”
Another roar sounded, this time closer and Emma and Snow came running from their tent, their hair messed up from sleep.
Aurora grasped Mulan’s left hand and turned it over, gasping when her eyes landed on the mark on her palm.
“Mulan, what have you done?!” she exclaimed over the din of the wraith. The wraith appeared overhead and began to soar down just as Emma and Snow reached them.
Obviously expecting the Wraith to be targeting Aurora, Emma and Snow tugged her back and positioned themselves protectively in front of her. The Wraith reached Mulan’s level and Aurora tried to dart past the two women only for Emma to grab her around the waist and tug her back.
“MULAN!” Aurora yelled, struggling to get away from Emma. “Give the mark back to me!”
Mulan glanced momentarily over her shoulder, her expression softer than Aurora had ever seen it. “Be safe my Princess.” She turned back to the Wraith just as it threw its hand out.
“MULAN!” Aurora screamed at the all too familiar sight of the Wraith sucking its intended soul. Mulan dropped to her knees and Aurora struggled frantically against Emma’s grip on her. Emma was stronger than her however and despite her own horror at the sight she held fast.
Finally the connection between the Wraith and Mulan was disconnected and Mulan fell to the ground.
The Wraith disappeared just as Aurora finally managed to land a solid elbow to Emma’s ribs. The blonde let out a pained ‘oomph’ and instinctively released the Princess. Aurora scrambled to Mulan’s side and dropped her knees. “No, no, no…Mulan? MULAN!” she gave the warrior a solid shake but Mulan was completely still. She looked up at Emma and Snow as tears flowed freely down her cheeks. “Why didn’t you do something?”
“I-I…” Snow struggled to answer. She’d been so shocked at the sight and everything had happened so quickly that she hadn’t really had the opportunity to do anything to help.
Aurora didn’t wait for Snow to answer, instead turning her gaze back to the unconscious warrior in front of her. She reached down to grip Mulan’s hand with both of her own and pulled it to her chest. “How could you, youstupid reckless warrior? How could you think I could…” she choked on a soft sob and briefly closed her eyes, her lips lightly grazing Mulan’s limp hand. “How could you think I could go on without you?”
Aurora opened her eyes and removed one hand from Mulan’s to move to the top of the warriors head. “I didn’t have a chance to…” she trailed off and shook her head, causing unshed tears to spill from her eyes. She moved her hand to Mulan’s cheek and tenderly rubbed her thumb over soft skin. “My warrior.” She was completely unaware of Emma and Snow watching her as she leaned down and lightly pressed her lips against Mulan’s. Tears rolled down her cheeks and she had just enough time to recognise the taste of salt before she felt movement beneath her. She pulled back quickly and Mulan inhaled sharply, her eyes fluttering open.
“Mulan?” without thinking about what she was doing Aurora leaned back down and kissed Mulan fiercely. When Mulan realised what was happening she returned the kiss without hesitation, her hand shifting to Aurora’s cheek. Aurora pulled back and laughed tearfully, her relief overwhelming her.
“Did you just…?” Mulan trailed off unsurely.
“I saved you.” Aurora beamed tearfully. “I did it.”
“You did.” Mulan whispered, lightly grazing her thumb over Aurora’s bottom lip. She slowly sat up and drew Aurora towards her, kissing her sweetly.
“Well that was unexpected.” Emma muttered as she watched the scene before her in shock.
Snow had to agree with that conclusion.
I saw a Swan Queen post that made me want to gag myself. It said that if they make Mulan and Aurora bisexual and have them get together, it would be like a second choice to Swan Queen and like the writers saying “Here, we gave you a lesbian couple, what more do you want?” and someone actually said Swan Queen or nothing.
And I actually cannot.
You want to ship Swan Queen, that’s fine, but NO, it is NOT Swan Queen or nothing. You see, there are some of us that are queer women and want to see ourselves portrayed in the media correctly i.e. not for the male gaze, which we’ve gotten a lot of. If the writers have Mulan and Aurora embark on a relationship and it is done in a loving and convincing way, then that is a GOOD THING. Just because your ship may not become canon does not mean that every female x female ship cannot become canon.
If they give me a female x female couple that is portrayed convincingly - and better yet, one of them is a WOC - and written because there is chemistry and a good storyline and not for the male gaze, honestly, that is all I could want out of a couple. That is all I have been looking for in a female x female couple, and that is all I have not found in nearly every female x female couple. Giving me Sleeping Warrior is the writers hearing me say that I would like me and my love to be represented in a show about true love conquering all and showing that true love is true love no matter what and that yes, it can conquer all, regardless of the fact that the true love in this case are both women. Giving me Sleeping Warrior is not settling for second best, it’s reaching for gold.
A Land Without Magic, 01x22
As ironic as it would seem, Henry’s face in the last GIF is the only reason I didn’t flip my absolute shit. Do you see his face after Regina tells him she loves him? That, my friends, is internal conflict and oh — a realization dawning. That face is why I have the biggest hope for Regina’s happiness because it says “oh my everloving fudgeclusters she’s telling the truth.” If there is anyone who can help redeem Regina in the town’s eyes, it’s him. In my opinion, at least.
I just want all the True Loves that died and shit to fucking come back to life, and Cora was an abusive piece of shit and I fucking hate her, and dammit Pinocchio better become flesh again, too. I swear to God.