A short three or two shot (not sure which yet) about one of my new, favorite cartoons! The 2011 series is rather impressive. I wish we had more on Lion-O and Tygra's relationship, so here's my little attempt at some. I hope you all enjoy.
Lion-O glared ahead at Tygra, watching as said tiger spoke with Cheetara, complete with grinning, winking, and moving a little too close to her whenever they had to crouch through some branches. They had been walking through this new forest for several hours now, and Lion-O's fur felt matted and dirty, bits of mud caught and tangled in his arms. Twigs poked out of his small mane and as they turned a corner, a branch struck him in the face.
He snarled and ripped it down, blinking when he saw Tygra smile and wave at him before turning around and patting Cheetara on the back. For her part, Cheetara was being rather stoic about the whole thing, shaking her head occasionally or stepping away. But more than once Lion-O had caught her smiling at Tygra's antics, and seeing her flash a smile at him just...
"What's wrong, Lion-O?" WilyKit asked from beside him. WilyKat popped his head around the other side, while Snarf jumped up onto Lion-O's shoulders. Lion-O closed his bright teal eyes and took a deep breath, letting his chest loosen.
"Nothing," he mumbled. "I just want to get back to Panthro and be done with this. We barely found any usable firewood, and not one bit of scrap. I don't know why he thought there'd be some here."
"Someone sounds grumpy!" Tygra called from ahead.
Lion-O scowled, but paused when Cheetara looked back at him, smiling. "It's all right, Lion-O. He said he was here before, and that there might be scrap. But we have some firewood, some food, and after a good night's rest, we'll be more than ready for tomorrow. All right?"
Lion-O found himself nodding before she even finished, and his eyes lit up when he saw that they really were almost out of the forest. Soon he'd be done with clouded skies and wet tree branches, sitting next to a fire or inside the tank instead. He caught a glimpse of the Thundertank through the trees, and could have sworn he saw Panthro working on his baby again.
Then he looked down and caught Tygra patting Cheetara's ass.
"What are you doing?" he shouted, startling Snarf. The small pet scampered toward the ground, giving Lion-O a reproachful look before climbing up WilyKit instead. Both of the Thunderkittens moved away from him, exchanging glances and trying to look as small as possible.
"Lion-O, it's all right," Cheetara soothed as he marched up to them. "I tripped was all, and he was helping me back up. I told him I could do it and tried to push him away. That's all-"
"What's wrong, little brother?" Tyrga said, sneering at Lion-O. "Have a problem with me?"
"I don't care, Ceetara. Even if he was helping you, he's been bothering you the entire time we've been in here. And that branch!"
"Someone's a little jealous." Tygra smiled, teeth showing, but his eyes were hard. "I didn't know you were so touchy, Lion-O. So I'm being a little playful, I didn't know what was a crime."
"That's not the point!"
"Then what is the point?" Tygra countered. "I'd like to know. It's not like she was pushing me away or anything like that. I even got a few laughs out of her." Lion-O felt the skin under his fur warm and Tygra's eyes lit up when he saw Lion-O avert his eyes. "So that's really all this is. You're tired from a day of searching...and watching me have fun with her? What's wrong, little brother? Afraid of coming in second again?"
Lion-O's mouth fell open and he clenched his paws, blinking hard as Tygra just stared him down, that smile still on his face. Lion-O's chest tightened, his head buzzing and burning, and his fist flew at Tygra before he could stop it.
"Lion-O, no!" But Tygra shook his head at Cheetara as he sidestepped the swing, the smile gone from his face.
"You really want to try that, Lion-O? You may be king, but the last time I checked, I bested you at your last little challenge. Or is your memory shot too?"
"Shut up!" Lion-O swung at Tygra again, putting all the force he could into his tightening muscles, but all he struck was air as Tygra stepped back and around him. Lion-O snarled and whipped around, swinging again. This time Tygra jumped away, then struck back with a balled paw. Lion-O barely moved away in time, Tygra's knuckles grazing his armor.
"You think you're so much better than me!" Lion-O shouted, eyes darkening. Lion-O kicked at Tygra but the feline saw it coming and braced himself, catching Lion-O's leg and yanking him forward. Lion-O's eyes widened as Tygra's fist connected with his jaw, sending him to the ground. Briefly he heard the kittens' cries and Cheetara shouting something, before he closed his eyes and sighed.
Leaves crunched near his head and he opened his eyes, meeting Tygra's face as he loomed over Lion-O. "Because I am, Lion-O. So stop messing around." Lion-O gritted his teeth and rolled over, pushing himself into a sitting position and avoiding Tygra's gaze.
Cheetara glared at the two of them, although her eyes lingered on Lion-O. For a moment, she and Lion-O locked gazes, but she shook her head, and Lion-O pushed himself up.
"Feeling better?" Lion-O said nothing to Tygra, looking away into the trees that they had struggled through for the past few hours. Tygra rolled his eyes and growled, shaking his head and waving toward the Thundertank. "Let's just go then."
"Go ahead," Lion-O muttered. "I need to think."
Tygra blinked, surprised by the comment, only to glare and shrug. "Whatever then. Come on, everyone." Lion-O closed his eyes and waited for the others to follow Tygra out of the woods and leave him with his thoughts and burning heart. He felt the Thunderkittens pause in front of him but shook his head, asking them to take Snarf as they walked by. Cheetara clasped his shoulder once before following Tygra out of the woods as well, and finally, Lion-O was alone.
"Always second, huh?" Lion-O shook his head and rubbed the bridge of his nose, tilting his head up to the sky.
"Whatever." His head felt heavy though and he didn't want to go back to camp, despite the gray overcast and mud that covered him from head to toe. He glanced back at the Thundertank, catching glimpses of the others as they moved about, before looking back into the forest.
Ignoring his aching feet, Lion-O started toward it, determined to walk until his head was clear.