I couldn't believe I did that! I couldn't believe that I hugged Tigress and she didn't kill me! What was the world coming to? Tigress was suddenly going soft, I mean what's up with that? She's supposed to be the Hardcore, Kung Fu Master. Not the Tiger that goes soft. Maybe I should say sorry. Yeah, that's what I'll do, but before I could say anything the rest of the Furious Five came and congratulated me. Tigress just stood, watching and… was that a smile?
Once they returned to the Jade Palace, everyone went to their rightful bedrooms. Everyone except Tigress. She went to the kitchen to find something to eat. She knew what she wanted and she knew the consequence if she was caught but she was willing to risk it. She was going to eat Monkey's Almond Cookies. Risky. Monkey was very protective of his cookies, if he found out that she had taken even a crumb he would lash out in anger.
Climbing very carefully to the top of the cupboards, Tigress sat comfortably next to the Cookie Jar and thought about her life. She thought about her friends and how much they meant to her even though she never said it, and probably never would. She thought about Master Shifu who had adopted her. And last she thought about Po. The Giant Panda that confused her.
Po was different to her, and she knew it. She just didn't want to admit it. He was a Giant Panda, she was a Tiger. He was too nice, she was a Monster. "I'm just a monster," She repeated to herself before she began sobbing.
Little did the hardcore tiger know that she wasn't alone. In the corner of the room, under the table, was a tiny Kung Fu Master who watched the whole time. Mantis had seen the look in her eyes as she ate Monkey's Cookies, and thought. She looked happy and sad at the same time, like she was thinking of something, or someone, that made her happy but the thoughts made her sad.
Mantis looked at the tiger again, just as a fat tear escaped her eye. Something was wrong. Very wrong. He could tell. Who could he get? Monkey? No, he would just yell at her for eating his cookies. Viper? Maybe, she was a girl after all. Crane? No, it just wouldn't be right… Po on the other hand… He would find Po. He might be able to calm her down.
Leaving the now crying Kung Fu Master, Mantis went to find Po.
A short while later, a very worried Po was walking into the Kitchen followed by a terrified Mantis. "Tigress, are you okay?" Po said. Tigress stopped sobbing and looked up noticing the Panda had walked in. Putting on a smile, she said, "Yeah, I'm feeling great." Tigress knew that he wouldn't believe her but it was worth a try. Po looked at her with a worried look. "I know something's wrong otherwise Mantis wouldn't have got me."
Tigress took a moment to realise what the Panda had just said. "Wait, what? Mantis came to get you?" "Yeah, he said something was really wrong because you were crying," Po said. Mantis came out from behind Po and explained himself. "Well, I came to get some of Monkey's Cookies but you were climbing up to them already to I hid under the table. I was about to leave when you said, 'I'm just a monster,' and started sobbing. Then I looked at you and you started crying, so I got Po."
Deciding it was time to go Mantis said, "Yeah… I'm really tired so I'm gonna go to bed now so, uh, goodnight." With that the small Master left.
Shortly after Mantis left Tigress started to cry again. "Tigress, something is wrong. You are normally so hardcore and awesome," Po said in a worried tone. He couldn't stand to look at her like this so instead he started making some noodle soup to eat. "Just go to bed and leave me alone, Dragon Warrior," Tigress said calming herself enough not to wake the whole palace. "But Tigress…" Po began. "NOW!" Taking his soup off the stove he put it into a bowl and left it there just in case, before leaving.
Sighing, Tigress looked at the door, tears filling her eyes. Why had she told him to go? She needed him, she knew it in her heart but wouldn't admit it to herself, until now. Ever since he defeated Tai Lung she had felt something for the fat Panda. He had earned her respect and trust but not just that. He had captured her heart. He had it in his paws and nothing was going to change that. She had enjoyed the hugs they exchanged and the feel of his fur against hers. "I love him," she whispered to herself as one last tear found its way out of her eye. He would never love her though and she knew it.
Slowly the smell of the soup took over her. Looking at the soup she gave in and went to eat it. Po's soup was delicious but Tigress had just noticed something. He left the soup for her. Why would he?
Finishing the soup, Tigress decided that she needed to say thankyou, or something to Po for his kindness and effort to cheer her up. For what felt like forever, the young Master just sat staring at the empty bowl in front of her. Eventually though she stood and washed the bowl before turning the light off and heading for the dorm.
Turning to face the dorm door, Tigress made a decision. Before going to her room, she would go to Po's room to check on him. Quietly slipping into the dorm, she opened the door to Po's room. There in the middle of the giant bed lay a sleeping Panda. Smiling, Tigress walked over to the bed and sat on the edge, staring at the Panda A few more tears slipped from her eye's as she realised how much she needed him in her life. Suddenly the furry shape moved and rolled over to face her. He wasn't asleep. "Tigress, what is wrong?" he whispered. Smiling, she replied, "Nothing, I'm better." The genuine smile was something Po believed.
"I know you are better now but what about before? When I left heard you whisper, 'I love him.' who were you referring to?" Looking at Po, Tigress smiled, "Who do you think?" For a moment the Panda looked deep in thought. "Monkey?" he asked, receiving an are you kidding me, look. "I guess not… How about-" He didn't get to finish his sentence. Tigress had put everything on the line and kissed him. For a moment Po was shocked but he wanted this. He deepened the kiss and much too soon, Tigress broke the kiss, smiling at the disappointed Panda. "It's you," she whispered happily. Lying down beside Po, she snuggled up to him. Her last thoughts before sleep were: We are going to have a lot of explaining to do tomorrow morning but it'll be alright.