Tigress was laying on her cot contemplating what has happened lately. especially after what happened with lord Shen. seeing Po get hit by the cannon shot in the factory had scared her. she thought he was gone. he was fine after the seer helped him, but she couldn’t shake the feeling she always got when he was in danger. with Shen and Kai dealt with, it was, for now, peaceful in the valley and she wanted to take advantage of the extra time. she knew she’d need to hurry tonight as training started early in the morning if the teacher didn’t sleep in again.
but she was interested in seeing if po was awake right now. she tries to quietly exit the palace unnoticed but is spotted by viper. tigress notices the little green snake slither quickly next to her. “where are you going this late, tigress?” she didn’t want to give away what she was doing. “can’t sleep. i have a lot on my mind. just the other day, i was forced to fight you and the others because you were all being controlled by kai. with this happening right after shen’s attacks.” viper understood. “you and po were right in the middle of it all, weren’t you?” tigress gives a small smile before nodding. “yeah. we were” she tried to hide the tone in her voice, but her friend knew her better. “i know you do very well at staying focused on the task at hand and masking your emotions…” tigress gives viper and pseudo serious expression. “what? i don’t mask my emotions!” the snake sighs. “you’re missing the point. after all we’ve been through and what’s happened specifically between you and po, i think you’ve developed feelings for the panda! we all saw that hug after he defeated Shen.” tigress pretends to laugh it off. “what? that idiot?” viper nods. “while he is an idiot, you like that about him. he keeps things interesting, but can be serious when he really needs to be.”
a cold wind blows by, but the hardened martial artists are unaffected by it. well, viper isn’t. tigress has been through a lot lately and her thoughts of po had really distracted her. the others had noticed her nervousness and she couldn't focus one hundred percent when practicing. po didn’t notice because he was pretty ignorant sometimes. she shivers slightly, worrying viper. “do you want to go see if he’s awake? it’s unlikely, but you never know” tigress looks at viper like she was crazy. “what? he’d never get what i was trying to say and everyone would find out because he never keeps his mouth shut!” viper nods. “well, if getting all this stress you have built up over him is worth that, why not? whatever happens, i won’t say anything” tigress smiles. “thanks. you should probably go back to sleep” the snake shakes her head. “so should you, but you aren’t.”
the tiger doesn’t respond to that and heads towards po’s quarters. he slept away from the others partially because of his snoring, but also his status. this would make things easier for her as she didn’t want the others to find out. she trusted viper as they had known each other for a long time. She notices when she makes it to the panda’s quarters, viper had returned to sleep. She was actually glad. She needed to vent a little bit. “why am I doing this? I’ve been getting distracted and nervous over him! When he first arrived at the palace, I couldn’t take him seriously at all! He was such an idiot and always tripping over everything. But…” she rubs her paws down her face, bracing herself for this. She knocks on the door, waiting to hear if he was awake. When she gets no response, she was half tempted to bust the door down and force him up, but wanted to talk to him, not scare him. ‘at least not this time…’ she hoped he’d take her seriously. Whenever she needed to talk to him, he’s always afraid she’s going to hurt or kill him for some reason. Tigress quietly opens his door to find he was indeed asleep. She noticed something leaning against the wall in his room. She’d noticed it before, but hadn’t taken any mind to it until now. This was the plank she was on after she knocked him out of the way to avoid getting shot by the cannon again. He must’ve thought she was dead at first. But she wondered why he’d keep something like that.
She hears him muttering in his sleep and listens up against the wall. He sounded distressed. “tigress… why’d you take the hit for me? I don’t want you to die…” she had noticed whenever fireworks went off since then, he always flenched a little bit. She could tell the fireworks reminded him of the cannons. But had he really been that bothered by the thought of her get hurt? The idea of him really caring for her made her a little uneasy. She wasn’t even sure how to describe how she was feeling about po right now. She’d never experienced it before and it confused her. It felt similar to how she saw him as a friend but it felt stronger to the point she couldn’t stop thinking about him now. She sits the board down and turns to leave, not realizing she accidentally scratched the board while holding it. She had to go somewhere to think on this.
*early morning* po actually wakes up early, which was unusual for him. He also wanted to take advantage over the extra time and went to try and find tigress. He looks around the barracks and dojo, not seeing the feline. She was normally up by now sparring with someone or training. The others were already training. Crane notices po’s expression. “you’re actually up early? Is something wrong?” po nervously shakes his head. “no! Nothing’s wrong. Where’s tigress go?” Crane and monkey look at each other and then shrug. “she wasn’t here when we woke. We don’t know where she went” po nods and turns to go look for her when they stop him. “why do you need to see her, hmm?” the panda felt his heart racing, but he didn’t want the others to find out. “I train well with her? She doesn’t feel any pain after training in the Ironwood forest for twenty years and…” the two masters give him a look of surprise. “you two do seem to talk a lot and you know a lot about her and is now worried where she went…” they turn back to po and he was gone. They see him hurrying down the stairs and shake their heads.
Mantis and viper come over. “is something wrong? Where’s po going?” viper was getting an idea. “what happened?” the two shrug. “po walked in and we asked him what he was doing. He’s looking for tigress, but refuses to say why. He was acting all nervous and seemed to know a bunch about her.” viper smiles in a way that told them something. “viper. You know something, don’t you?” she nods. “I do, but tigress doesn’t want me to say anything” the other three look at each other. “so, they’re both hiding something? What’s been up with them lately?” po returns to his room to catch his breath. He notices the board was out of place and had all too familiar scratches on it that weren’t there yesterday. ‘was tigress here last night? Why would she be here?’ he had to go look for her. the four other members of the furious five watch po run around the village and several other areas without taking breaks or eating like normally did, which surprised them. he wasn’t acting himself at all today. the guys were all confused, but viper found this really amusing. she wanted to know why po was looking so hard and slithers quickly after him. he finally stopped to rest and viper finds him sitting up against a tree. he notices the snake and starts to get back up. she shakes her head. “no, you can rest. we’ve been watching you run all around the valley looking for tigress. we’ve never seen you this determined to do anything, not even eat! why are you so worried about where tigress went all of the sudden?” he sighs. “i’m just really worried about her! i can’t concentrate on training right now with her off somewhere! she could be in danger or worse! i need to find her!” viper smiles. “tigress has gone off before and you haven’t worried. what changed?” he knew she had him into a metaphorical corner here.
he sighs in defeat. “i… i love her, okay? i can’t help it. after watching her get shot by shen’s cannon and then seeing her stumble up to the panda village injured after kai had attacked, i’ve been really worried i’d lose her.” viper notices tigress had been on top of the tree po was sitting against. she had been silently following him the entire time. she had a shocked expression on her face. she knew she felt something for him, but she didn’t know he felt that way about her. po notices viper looking up and turns to look as well, but tigress had fled before he could see her. “what did you see?” viper shakes her head, keeping her mouth shut and slithers away. po gets up to keep looking. he decided to check the iron tree forest because he knew tigress trained there alone all the time. but she wasn’t there like he was hoping. he was finally starting to feel all the running around and lack of food and collapsed from exhaustion. tigress had stopped following and headed back to the palace to train. po never showed up all day and everyone noticed tigress seemed detached from the training and wasn’t concentrating properly.
master shifu called tigress to come speak with him. she knew he was noticing her lack of focus. she mentally prepared herself for a scolding, but he seemed happy almost. “is something bothering you, tigress? you look troubled about something” she knew lying to shifu wasn’t a good idea. “it’s po. i don't know. when he first started training here, you and i couldn’t stand him. we tried getting him to leave and he’s stayed and become our friends. i don’t know how to feel about him anymore” Shifu calmly nods. “i know about this. the two may not have admitted it yet, but i can see how you two act around each other lately. but he seems too shy to admit it and you don’t know what you’re feeling yet, am i right?” she silently nods. “yes. this is true. what are you trying to say?” “you already know he likes you, but you aren't sure if you feel the same way and you’re confused about it. you should go talk to him” she understood. “but he never returned to the palace! it’s getting dark” the red panda nods. “then go and find him!” she rushes out of the dojo into the evening rain and tried to remember where she saw him heading before she had returned for training. She follows the path she thought was what he took and finds him in the ironwood forest. He was asleep from what she guessed was from all the running around and lack of food.
She wakes him gently. Everyone else was asleep and po should be well rested after this, so she had to do it now. he blinks, realizing how long he had been asleep when he notices it was dark. he was about to yell in frustration because not only did he waste the whole day sleeping, but he never found tigress either. he was really worried about her. when he stops himself from yelling so he wouldn’t wake anyone, she could swear she saw tears go down his face. he still hadn’t noticed her and she takes advantage of this. she decided to humor herself and tapped his left should from the right and when he looked, he didn’t see anyone. she does the same on his right shoulder, but he doesn’t fall for it a second time and turns to his left. his eyes widen in happiness when he sees her. “tigress?? i’ve been looking everywhere for you!” she smiles mildly. “you should really pay more attention, unlike your ‘stealth mode’, mine actually is effective. from the moment you entered the village looking for me, i’ve been following you. i had returned to the palace before you passed out here and shifu sent me to find you” he got this look of fear on his face. “oh, he’s furious, isn’t he?” she shakes her head. “no. he was worried about you. you not showing up all day to train even just a little bit bothered him and worried me. you should really tell someone where you’re going before wandering off like you do sometimes” he looks at her in confusion. “wait, you were worried about me? i was worried about you! by the way, why were you in my room last night?” she was shocked. “how’d you find out?? did viper tell you?” he smiles and shakes his head. “no. you left scratch marks on the wooden board i keep in my room.” she nods. “i know exactly what board it is to. it was the one i was floating on after shen shot me with the cannon! why’d you keep it?”
he somberly turns away. “well i… i was afraid you had died. i’ve had a few nightmares of that day going in a different way and the furious five became the furious four” she gasps when she realizes what he meant. “oh. now i understand why you keep it” he pushes the sadness away. “come on, it’s just a dream, right?” she gives him a serious expression. “while i appreciate the concern, why do you really keep it? i also heard mr ping had you get rid of those toy figures of the five, but you kept the one of me.” he was surprised. “how’d you find out about that?” she grins mischievously. “remember? i followed you almost all day today up until you spoke with viper” it dawns on him what viper had seen earlier. but he also realizes she heard how he felt towards her. “so you heard what i said. you aren’t mad, are you?” to his relief, she shakes her head. “you may have done some pretty infuriating things in the past and if you said that when you first got here, i probably would have killed you over it, but now…”
she takes a moment to compose herself. “i know you’ve always thought of me as your favorite of the five. but that’s when you were just a big fan of us, not a member of the five. but, and i know you told viper about this, but i want you to say it to my face this time” he heard a serious yet almost flirty tone to her voice. he had to ask just to make sure. “don’t get mad if this isn’t the case, but did the others put you up to this to mess with me?” she takes a step back, offended he would accuse her of joking around on such a subject. “why would you think this is a joke?? the others would never get me to do something like this as a joke!” she raises her fists and he flinches and steps back. “i’m so sorry. please don’t hit me” she calms down and lowers her arms. “fine. but take this seriously. for me” he nods thankfully. “okay, let’s do this!” she crosses her arms impatiently. “tigress, i lo-” the words wouldn’t come out. he was starting to feel really nervous finally realizing he was actually telling her this in person. she could tell he was suddenly really nervous about this when he was just fine a moment ago. she reasoned he almost said it. “close enough. now get over here!” she said this angrily on purpose to get him to flench again and grins when he does and takes the moment. but instead of getting lunged at or struck like he was expecting, he feels her lips up against his and opens his eyes. she breaks it quickly, but it was enough to tell him she felt the same. she actually felt much better after getting that off her chest. she smiles at him. “you fall so easily for that. i’m actually glad we’re doing this alone at night without the others here to bother us. i don’t know if i’d feel comfortable doing this in front of all of them. she gets up. “come on. we should head back before the others think i’ve gone missing again” he happily gets up and follows her up the hill.