okay so i LOVE mulan okay. as far as i’m concerned it’s a Perfect Movie and doesn’t need any fixing. but i was thinking today and -
- what if mulan didn’t go to war to save her father?
say her father is dead, okay, killed by the previous war. so she’s raised by her mother and grandmother, women who’s complacency and softness has been worn away by necessity. she needs to marry well, for her family’s sake, because her mother has refused the hand of every man who offered. but mulan is even more rough around the edges than before, is educated not only in books (her mother said men wouldn’t find smarts attractive and grandmother pointed out that men aren’t always around and off to school mulan went) but in the sword too, taught to her by her classmate, ping.
mulan is considered in the lower end of the upper class, coming from a family of military men and scholars and successful merchants. ping is near the top, the son or nephew of an advisor to the emperor. his family is very rich and very important, and the reason they become friends is because mulan manages to notice something about him that he’s been hiding from everyone else - he’s going blind.
not totally blind, enough to get around, but blind enough that reading is difficult and swordplay is even worse, although once he has it down he has it. ping is no fool, he’s not weak or bumbling. his eyes just don’t work. so mulan notices and confronts him about it. she promises to keep it a secret, and hey, she’ll even help him with his assignments by reading the books out loud and helping him study. but in return he must teach her the sword, must teach her about military and tactics. he agrees.
ping and mulan become very good friends and there’s some raised eyebrows about it but they are TOO far away in class for it to be inappropriate, so they make tutting sounds and disapproving faces and let it go.
then the draft happens. ping can’t go to war, he won’t survive it. not with his eyesight like it is. so mulan offers him a deal - she’ll go to war for him, in his place. in return, if she survives, he must marry her. if she dies he must take care of her family.
ping can’t make this kind of family decision on his own, so he goes to his mother and tells her everything, about the eyesight and how he’ll die if he goes and mulan’s offer. his mother says he must keep it a secret from his father, but agrees - if mulan fights in her son’s place and survives, a wedding will be arranged. either way, mulan’s family will be taken care of. ping will be sent to live with some cousins in the meanwhile.
“you’re not in love with me, are you?” ping asks, helping mulan saddle her horse in the middle of the night. she scoffs and rolls her eyes, “not even a little. but marrying you will make my family happy, and besides, you’re my best friend,” she says, smiling, “better you than some grabby old man.” he smiles and hugs her and says, “i’m not in love with you either. but don’t die out there. we have a wedding to plan.”
so mulan goes to the camp, pretending to be ping, and she’s a little bit less lost but things still go as they go. she’s educated and trained, so it’s not hard for her to pass as ping. shang is keeping a special eye on her, thinking that she’s the son of an advisor, one of his father’s friends. and he sees how easily she excels, how quick thinking and smart she is, and starts giving her more and more responsibilities. by the time they’re called out, shang considers ping ie mulan to be his right hand man, and possibly his best friend.
he’s also a little bit in love with ping, and he’s long known he’s attracted to both genders, so he watches ping laugh and smile and the crease between his eyes when he frowns and does his best to let his feelings chase away the best soldier he has. every time shang looks at ping his heart clenches and he things to himself: i wish i could have you, i wish this was a time and a place where one man could have another, i wish you were a girl, is wish i was a girl - i wish we could be together. he’s literally a step away from doodling ‘li ping’ with little hearts over his battle plans.
so the battles happen. shang and ping lead their men together, respected and loved. they each get promoted, and promoted, and promoted. it’s been years, and it comes to a point where they’re both generals in their own right. they trust each other, care for each other. and are both secretly in love with the other.
mulan is so conflicted. because she wants this war to end and to go home and settle back into life and become ping’s wife, so she can have an easy life spent studying and learning with her family taken care of. that’s what she’d wanted. but now what she wants is shang, her best friend, her brother in arms, her fellow general. she wishes to be everything to him, aches to be the woman on his arm and in his bed, but knows it’s the one thing she can never be.
then that final battle happens. mulan’s quick thinking saves them all and ends the war - but she’s injured.
shang finds out the ping has been a girl all along. he demands explanations - so she tells him everything, that she traded places with ping to save him, to become his wife.
and the lies should sting the sharpest, but they don’t. she’s still the same person, after all. it’s that she’s promised to another man, for one second he’d thought he might have her, but no. so he agrees not to reveal her but he’s furious and furious at himself for being furious and they’re not the same now, broken and splintered and neither of them know what to do.
the war is over. they leave. mulan returns home, and thanks to her ping is now known as a respected general. she’s done her part and survived, and now she gets her reward - ping’s hand in marriage.
but she sees ping for the first time and flings herself into his arms and starts crying. she tells him everything, because he’s still her friend, her very best friend besides shang, the man whom she lied to and betrayed and loves. and ping listens and takes her by the shoulders and says - i’ll uphold our bargain, if that’s what you want. you can be my pampered wife, you’ve more than earned it. but if you want to go to shang, i won’t blame you. you deserve your happiness.
and mulan goes back and forth, but ultimately she decides she has to try. if shang rejects her she’ll return and marry ping and uphold her family honor. but if shang wants her - he’s not as high up as ping, but he’s high up enough to satisfy her family, and also she would love him and want him if he was no more than a farming peasant so it doesn’t matter much anyway.
she rides to the capitol. she finally meets ping’s father, running into him while looking for shang. “ah mulan,” says this man who was never supposed to know of her until she became his daughter-in-law, “i didn’t expect to see you here. how fortuitous. walk with me.” she does, wary, and that’s how she discovers - he and the emperor had discovered her deception a year in, but at that point she’d already proven herself too skilled and valuable to lose. he tells her that he will uphold his son and wife’s deal and gladly welcome her to his household - but that she’s earned her rank as general, and that he and the emperor have no problem with letting her keep it.
she says thank you, shocked and joyful, but that she has to talk to someone first. “ah, yes, young general li,” he says, eyes twinkling, “i do believe he’s around here somewhere.”
she has no idea how he seems to know everything, but she finally tracks down shang who’s ecstatic to see her and hates himself for it. she confesses - says she loves him, that she’s engaged to ping but willing and able to break this engagement for shang. who is dumbfounded and elated and says yes, of course, finally and forever.
and mulan accepts her rank and marries shang, and they become the literal power battle couple of the general li mulan and general li shang. ping becomes a scholar and marries a very nice young woman who loves reading and is happy to read aloud to her husband with his failing eyes.
This has nothing to do w/ anything and I know people have talked about it before BUT I want to as well. Usually my metas tend to be angsty af and then end on a hopeful note, and this will probably be no exception. But anyway, a delve into Victor’s love of fairytales!
I can recall on 2 occasions Victor specifically comparing Yuuri to a fairytale.
Which may not seem like a lot but we have 12 episodes and if something is pointed out twice in a story, it has some amount of significance. Anyway, I just think it’s so damn cute that Victor considers Yuuri prince-like. Even the visuals and story of On Love: Eros is like a fairytale!
We go on about how extra Victor is (and he 200% is…that 50s pink cadillac tho) but I wanna here more about how much of a true romantic Victor is.
This entire thing is like an hc-palooza courtesy of me. Here we go!
I like to think of a little Victor, watching all these fairytale movies–Disney or otherwise–and dreaming of one day finding a prince of his own.
A 12 year old Victor with his first real crush, staring at a pretty boy with darker hair and kind eyes in one of his classes or at the rink. Victor thought he had found his prince, until one day the affection faded and his mind focused on other things.
A teenage Victor, going through various relationships like others would go through clothing. He’s a busy young man after all, and no one seems to want to look beyond the Victor Nikiforov on screen, one the ice, and actually date him. Victor starts to wonder if there is a prince out there for him.
Victor as a young adult, still a romantic at heart, but has pretty much entirely lost hope on finding his true love. No one sticks around, and he hasn’t found anyone he cares deeply enough about to chase. Victor’s lonely, to put it simply. He sits up at night sometimes, and watches all those fairytales from when he was a child. Victor smiles sadly at the end of them all, and dreams of a prince of his own.
And Victor in his late 20s, as we see him pre-series. He’s frosted with depression and loneliness; the never-ending cold discs of metal, the isolation from other skaters, people kissing up to him left and right. Everything is predictable. He’s running out of motivation, out of ideas. Victor knows people only want him as what they see when he performs. It’s a saddening thought, that Victor is not lovable as himself. Some people were not meant to find a true love, he supposes.
Until one night, a night we all know well.
The Sochi GPF banquet. Victor is intrigued by this attractive man flitting through the room, clearly intoxicated, but with this charming energy no one can resist. Not even Yuri Plisestky, himself pulled into a dance with Japan’s Yuuri Katsuki.
Victor manages to escape from his sponsors to laugh and point and take pictures from the sidelines. Yuuri whirls past him and the way the light shines on his hair and eyes makes Victor’s breath catch and his heart skip.
Victor watches as Yuuri dances with Chris–and wow, is that a show and a half. Yuuri strides over to Victor and holds him in place, hips shaking and Victor can only stare on in wonder. This beautiful, energetic, charming young man is staring up at him, like he’s the only person in the room. Victor can’t understand Japanese, but that doesn’t matter–what matters is the warmth of Yuuri’s body, the sparkle of his eyes, and the earnestly fond tone he speaks with. Victor’s heart is beating out of his chest and he can’t imagine this moment getting better until-
Be my coach, Victor!
Victor’s face flushes with a little gasp and he can’t find it in himself to refuse the request or the next dance they share together.
As Victor laughs spins and smiles like he hasn’t since child, looking at Yuuri all the while, he can feel it in his chest.
A prince. A prince is with him!
And oh, when Yuuri dips him low, the lights above framing his face and hair like a halo, Victor knows that his prince has finally come for him.
“what is love? how did you know you were in love with him?”
“i guess i knew i was in love with him when his bad days became my bad days. when his good days became my good days. i don’t know, i never met anyone like him before. i guess i knew i was in love when i wish it would storm so i could see him become excited about something he loved. so i could see him smile. i guess i knew i was in love with him when the thought of him leaving scared the hell out of me. i guess i knew i was in love with him when i would roll over to the other side of the bed and reach for a hand that wasn’t there anymore. i guess i knew i was in love with him when losing him felt like losing a friend, best friend and boyfriend all in one. i guess i knew i was in love with him when i use to dread the morning but somehow wanted to wake up to it everyday. i guess i knew i was in love with him when my days suddenly became more quiet. i guess i knew i was in love with him when the thought of him never left my mind even though it’s been a year. i guess i knew i was in love with him when i wasn’t the best version of myself the way i was with him. he made me feel like i knew what love was. he made me feel like i was worthy of a type of love they talk about in movies and fairytales. the closest thing we have to magic is love and with him.. magic was our love. magic was us. magic was him. it’s always going to be him.”