Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the movie Mulan. That is owned by Disney. I own my characters, though. If you see a character in here that is not in the Mulan movies, then it's probably mine.

""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

It was dark and quiet in the ancestor temple of the families Fa and Li. The air was cool and still as a small cricket struggled to pull a small gong and hammer along the stone floor. Once it had lifted the string of the gong as high as it could, it quickly attempted to strike the gong with the hammer, only to lose balance and fall. The gong only made a thunking noise as it hit the floor beside the cricket.

After a moment the cricket hopped up and tried again, this time doing away with the hammer. It lifted the gong as it had before, and banged its back feet on the surface. The kick it had given sent the gong shooting out of its front legs and clanging back to the floor.

The sound that rang out was not as loud as the cricket had wanted, but it was apparently effective.

High above the cricket on the floor something was happening, a faint red glow and a small amount of smoke was emanating from what appeared to be a statue of a small dragon. The glow became progressively brighter until the dragon opened his eyes. Once he began to move the glowing subsided, then flashed, and the dragon yawned and stretched as if he had been asleep.

"Ugh, who ordered the wake-up call?" The dragon mumbled tiredly as he looked around. He then spotted the cricket, still on the floor.

The dragon brightened up when he saw the cricket. "Well, hey Cri Kee!" He then jumped down from the pedestal he had been on and headed towards the cricket.

The cricket chirped in fear at the dragon coming towards him, it quickly made a running hop behind an ancestor tombstone.

The dragon now looked confused as he looked where the cricket was hiding. "Hey, what's wrong with you? Come on, Cri Kee it's me, Mushu!"

The cricket leaned its head around the side of the tombstone. Then, probably deciding the dragon wasn't going to hurt him, came slowly back out into the open. Commenting on what the dragon had said, the cricket shook its head and chirped nervously.

The dragon named Mushu seemed to understand what the cricket was saying. "What, you mean you're not Cri Kee?"

The cricket nodded.

"Well then, who are you?"

The cricket chirped again.

"You're a descendent of Cri Kee?"

The cricket nodded again. Mushu looked at the cricket a little closer than he had.

"Huh, I guess I should've known. You don't look exactly like him. Your head is darker, and those things coming outta your head are shorter than his."

The cricket pulled its antennae down as if to inspect them, and Mushu asked another question.

"Ok, so what's your name?"

The cricket stopped looking at his antennae and chirruped, it seemed to be getting used to Mushu.

Mushu just stared at the little creature. "Wait, I'm not sure I got that, what is your name?"

The cricket looked up at him and repeated. Mushu looked halfway between astonishment and laughter.

""Cri Kee XXIV?" That's your name? XXIV, as in 24? What does that mean?"

The cricket began to explain, but Mushu cut him off. He was leaning more towards astonished now.

"Yeah, yeah, I know. I get that it means that you're the 24th member of your family with the name Cri Kee, but what does that mean? I mean, how far a descendant of him are you?"

As the cricket told him, Mushu cut him off again. "Whoa, whoa. That's a lot of "greats." So, if you're that far down the line, how long's it been since Cri Kee was around?" He turned and looked high up to the pedestal he had been on. "How long was I asleep?"

Completely forgetting to ask why he had been woken up, Mushu now stroked his chin and tried to figure out how long it had been.

Cri Kee XXIV seemed to be trying to help now, he chirped a question to Mushu.

"Well the last thing I remember doing was visiting Mulan after she and Shang finally had that baby. Yeah...that was it. It had been a long time coming, but they finally had a kid. A son, I think he was. But, how long ago was that?"

"About forty years." came a voice from behind them.

Mushu and Cri Kee XXIV turned around to see the transparent figure of a short, elderly woman, an ancestor spirit. She sat on her tombstone, her hands folded neatly on a lap that ended with a ghostly tail. Her voice was somewhat raspy and had a faint echo. She gave a small smirk as she looked at Mushu.

"Hey, I remember you. You're Mulan's grandmother. You came here a few years before Mulan and Shang had their kid."

"Yes, that's me. My real name is Fa Okeina Lan, but you can call me "Grandma Fa" if that suits you more. It seems to suit everyone I talk to." said Grandma Fa. "I was the one who asked little Cri Kee XXIV here to wake you."

It was still registering with Mushu that he had been inactive for forty years, so he was only half listening. He couldn't think of why no one would need him for so long, then something else struck him. "Hey wait. Don't you have to go through the head ancestor to be able to wake guardians?" he indicated the most prominent tombstone.

"Usually yes, but what that old stiff doesn't know won't hurt him. Plus this is very important, and since this concerns Mulan I thought you would want to help."

"How come they didn't need my help for so long?" Mushu asked now saying what he'd been thinking.

"I don't know why, but right now is when you are needed, Mushu. I have seen what is to come, and what must be done about it. Mulan is about to become very ill, and her granddaughter..."

"Wait, wait, hold up. "Granddaughter?" Since when does Mulan have a granddaughter?" Mushu interrupted.

"Quiet, you! Let me finish!" Grandma Fa snapped at him. "As I was saying, Mulan will fall ill, and her granddaughter will journey far to obtain the medicine that can cure her. It is not yet Mulan's time to pass into the spirit world, and her granddaughter could not possibly go alone, so that is why you must go with her. To protect her."

Mushu waited for her to finish, then chuckled a little. "Sorry, there, Grandma Fa, but ever since you got here you've been making "predictions" just like that and I've never seen any of them come true. Granted, I've been out of it for most of your stay here, but still."

Grandma Fa now looked annoyed, she was probably starting to regret waking this dragon.

"Is a little blind faith too much to ask? It is going to happen, and if you do not go and guard the granddaughter of Mulan and Shang, not only will Mulan die prematurely, but both families, Li and Fa, will cease to continue."

"What?" Mushu asked, thinking he'd missed something.

"While on her trip to get the medicine, their granddaughter will meet the man she will marry. So this event is also crucial in carrying on the families' line."

"So, you're saying that I have to tag along with this girl, or my friend will die and the families I'm supposed to be protecting will end forever?"

"That's the gist."

"Well, I'm still not that sure...but you sure do know how to motivate! I'm in." Mushu said. "So when do we leave?"

"Soon." Grandma Fa answered. "Return to your pedestal for now."

Mushu felt it seemed like a waste to be woken up just to go back again a few minutes later, but he did what she said.

He was just assuming his position when he thought of something else.

"Hey, one more thing, why couldn't they just get medicine from somewhere around here?"

Grandma Fa was looking more than annoyed now. "Because the cure is rare, no doctor would have it around these parts. Now go back to your immobile state! Wait until Shang and his son come to pray for Mulan, then go with them. That is when it begins."

"Ok, Shang and son, got it." Mushu said as he was freezing back. He attempted to stay awake this time, however, so that he could see when Shang and his son would come.

""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

Author's Note: Not the best first chapter. Mostly because I wrote it about a year ago, and it hasn't seen much revising. Hope it's still good. At least it's a start! Might start leaning more towards drama as the story goes on. :-)