Po grinned to himself as he stepped back into the Valley of Peace.
Not even a few hours have gone by since he had stopped Shen and his weapons from taking over all of China that the Valley was now adorned from the tallest house to the smallest tree with decorations to celebrate the victory over the former Lord Shen. Under normal circumstances, Master Shifu would have thought the act entirely unnecessary. But after Po saved China, obtained his Inner Peace, and ridding the Palace of Shen, Shifu gave a small nod to his students and waved a hand for his Students to take part in the event.
Po smiled at his friends, and everyone mirrored the expression and then ran off with the Panda to forget the recent troubles that they had endured.
All except Tigress, whom was busy lost in thought. No one else took notice as she stood thinking to herself, all except Shifu. Her Master knew that she wasn't really a fan of crowds, but something about her expression made her seem… troubled. And that was enough for him to worry.
"Is something wrong, Tigress?"
"Is there something wrong?" Master Shifu repeated.
"No, Master," Tigress replied.
Shifu gave her a small look, that old 'I-just-caught-you-with-your-hand-in-the-cookie-jar-even-though-I-told-you-not-to' look.
Tigress was silent before answering. "I need to talk to Po later, that is all, Master."
Master Shifu nodded, respecting her privacy by not asking what about and began to meditate. Tigress sat down next to her Master, joining him in the meditation, blocking out the noise. For a while, Tigress tried to meditate. But her mind would just go back to those two moments between she and Po.
"Tigress!" Viper exclaimed as the feline leapt towards the Panda, a familiar glint in her eyes. But what happened next surprised even Crane, whose beak fell agape at the scene before the Five.
Tigress wrapped her arms around Po, hugging him.
"The Hardcore do understand…" Tigress said softly, pulling back to look into his eyes. "But I can't watch my friend be killed."
Friends… She had given him an open statement that they were friends. Even though they had become closer as time grew on, they remained friends. It was obvious that he felt something for her, but she was unsure how to bring that subject up without making their current relationship awkward. But she had almost lost him once, she needed to tell him how she felt. If she could get him alone, just to talk, she could tell him there.
"Tigress…" she heard, but decided that it was probably a voice from a forgotten memory…
"Now that was pretty hardcore." Tigress gave a small smile to Po as she offered a paw to help him out of the water.
Po did something that completely numbed her mind. He wrapped his arms around her in a bear hug. She was shocked at his sudden action, too shocked to neither say anything nor hug him back. She would've if the Five hadn't suddenly greeted them, and they both jolted back apart, acting as if nothing happened. But out of the corner of their eyes, they looked back at the other, giving the other a small smile.
"Tigress…" she heard again, but thought nothing of it…
Trying to think of a way to bring the subject up, she decided to just ask Po for a word. They would start a small conversation, and then Tigress would ask him what would happen to them. It was simple, yet it was going to be hard for her to keep her voice from knotting up to ask him.
The feline snapped her eyes open, knowing that the voice was definitely not from a hazy reminiscence. Looking up, she saw Po standing in front of her, and when their eyes connected Po rubbed the back of his neck with an apologetic grin.
"I'm sorry that I disturbed you, I mean, I didn't know if-"
"What is it?" Tigress asked, not unkindly.
"First I wanted to say sorry for-"
"It's alright. I wasn't really concentrating hard enough to go as deep as Master Shifu, I've had a lot on my mind." Tigress assured.
"Well, don't we all?" Po laughed, and Tigress just gave a small smile. "Well, Tigress, I was wondering if… Well… See I know that I had you worried and all that and I was wanting to know if you wanted to-"
"Are you asking me to a dance?" Tigress asked, genuinely surprised.
"Well…" Po fidgeted for a second, then regained his confidence. "Yeah, I am."
He gave her a big grin, bowed and held out his hand. "Would you care to dance, Master Tigress?"
Tigress didn't hesitate in the slightest.
"I would, Dragon Warrior." she said, taking his hand.
Po led them to the center of the dancing, where everyone stared and made a large circle around them. The Valley whispered amongst themselves as Po wrapped his arms around Tigress' waist and the feline circled her arms around Po's neck. The rest of the Five, watched in awe at the scene before them, even Master Shifu ceased his meditation to watch the dance.
The large drums drew out a slow beat, as the Panda and Feline began to dance, neither breaking eye contact. As their slow dance intensified, Tigress had to admit that Po was an extraordinary dancer, and the Valley was in awe at the display. Po spun her in a circle, smiling that Tigress was enjoying herself.
The drums were joined with violins, creating a feeling of melancholy to wash over the Valley and Po felt tears in his eyes, but willed them away. He didn't want to cry in front of Master Tigress, but she seemed to be having similar troubles. At the beat of what seemed to be the millionth time of the drums, a choir broke out. He only heard scraps of the angelic piece of the composition, but what he did hear made him smile as his cheeks reddened. The song was about an extraordinary warrior who was fighting his way past an army of soldiers to get to his beloved, who was being held captive by his greatest enemy in the castle he was fighting towards. Himself, the darkness within the warrior's heart had been embodied and neither could live while the other survives. He had to destroy himself in the end to save the love of his life. It was a tough decision, but when faced with the life of his love, he had made that decision. He fought himself, but the legend ended abrubty, not revealing the fate of the warrior...
With the final note drawing out on a finale, Po held Tigress at arms length, the only thing keeping her from touching the ground was his hand in hers. The feline Master let out a chocked half gasp half laugh as Po helped her back up into his arms, staring into Po's eyes which held a glint of amusement and something else she couldn't identify. And then the whole Valley broke into cheers, the Five running up and congratulating the pair.
They were bombarded with all kinds of questions like 'Can you dance again?' and 'Can you show me that move again, Dragon Warrior?' and other questions of the like.
There was one whisper that caught Po's attention 'How long has this been going on?'
But he discarded that one, he and Tigress were just friends. His thoughts were interrupted by Tigress squeezing his arm to get his attention.
"Can I talk to you?" She asked, when Po nodded she added: "In private?"
Again he nodded.
Leading the Panda by the hand and away from the group, excusing themselves, Tigress led them to an abandoned alley out of earshot.
"I didn't know you could dance so well," Tigress said, smiling at him.
"Neither did I," Po admitted, chuckling. "I guess it all depends on the current situation, your partner, and your current knowledge."
"So what did you want to talk to me about?" Po asked, noticing how Tigress didn't directly ask him whatever it was.
"I was afraid." Tigress admitted, surprising Po.
"Afraid of what?" Po asked. Tigress was afraid?
"I was afraid that… that I…"
She collided into him, knocking him into the wall of the alley.
"I was afraid that I lost you!" She broke down, sobbing into his shoulder.
Po was struck dumb and shocked, Tigress was afraid? Here was Master Tigress, whom he had thought hardcore despite the soft side she had shown him. The unofficial leader of the Furious Five, the strongest, boldest and fiercest of the Five. The hardcore woman with a heart of gold he had come to know, respect and like, sobbing into the crook of his neck. He hesitantly brought his arms around her, stroking her shaking back, whispering comforting words to her.
"Hey, Hey," He said softly. "I'm here, I'm alright, Tigress. You don't have to worry about that anymore, I'm here, I'm safe, you don't have to worry, Lotus Blossom."
Tigress' crying had subsided at the nickname enough for her to ask: "Po, W-What's going to h-happen to u-us?"
"Us and the Five?" Po asked, surprised. "We're going to go back to the Palace and train, go back to our everyday lives."
"No, Po!" Tigress said, looking him dead in the eyes. "Us! You and I! What's going to happen between us?"
Po stopped talking as if Tigress had just socked him in the stomach. He looked at her, his cheeks burning.
"Us?" Po asked. "What are you- Are you saying what I think you're saying?"
A/N: Here is my Kung Fu Panda 3 fanfic. I literally thought this up right after I saw the movie. I loved the movie, and I think I'm going to go see it again. I make it a suggestion to see it more than once to all you Kung Fu Panda fans out there. They left it open for a third film, which I hope to God they do. Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed this so far, and I will have the next chapter up soon. Please review and no flames!