Yours To Hold by Skillet

It was a bright morning in the Valley of Peace. Birds were singing, the wind swirled gently through the Valley and allowed the puffy clouds in the sky to pass from the sun's view. It seemed to be a peaceful morning. But sadly, for one panda, the only panda left in all of China, it was a morning of torture. Of pain. And though no one else knew it, of heartache.

Tigress screamed at Po, her fury unyeilding at his stupidity. Po had spent all night in the kitchen making an eight teir cake for Tigress' birthday the next day. It was easily thrice his height, so he had to get on a ladder to finish decorating the top. The cake was beautiful. It was a normal yellow cake since he didn't know her favorite flavor, but the icing was white with light green trim, and in golden lettering he had spelt out in kanji 'Happy Birthday Tigress' on three seperate teirs. There were rows of red roses along the edge of each teir that he had made out of icing. There was only one thing missing. Po studied it and decided what it was. He got his Tigress action figure from his room and put it on top in a cool Kung Fu position. But just as he was about to set the wooden figure on the top, Tigress came in.

Po panicked. This was supposed to be a surprise. So, being Po, he failed miserably at trying to cover things up and ended up making things worse. It happened in about five seconds. Po yelped and tried to jump over the top of the cake to block Tigress' view of it before she figured out what was going on, he himself was actually on the other side. Unfortunately, Po ended up knocking over the cake when he jumped, sending it toppling onto an unsuspecting Tigress. Po, who was in midair, did his best to land on the wooden floor, but to no avail. He landed right on top of the now cake covered Tigress.

Her roars could be heard throughout the entire Jade Palace, and ended up earning the audience of the rest of the Five, who stood in the doorway watching the scene.

"You idiot! What's wrong with you? Why were you even in here in the first place? Were you just making yourself a 'light breakfast'? Oh I'm sorry, I guess this wouldn't even fill half of that bottemless pit you call a stomach! What are you trying to eat breakfast for the rest of your extinct people? You make me sick you disgusting slob! Do me a favor and stay the hell away from me for the rest of the day!", she snarled and stormed out of the kitchen.

Silence filled the room and Po did his best to keep his tears from falling infront of the others. So he stood up and ran out of the room trying to keep his head down to hide his tears, heading in the opposite direction as Tigress. The other four walked in to survey the damage.

"Damn, that was...harsh. Even by Tigress' standards.", said Mantis.

"What was Po doing in here?", asked Monkey, looking at the cake covered floor.

"It looks like he made a cake. But why?", pondered Crane.

No one had actually known just what day it was, because no one ever bothered to ask. Tigress had always kept to herself. And She liked to keep it that way. The only ones who knew when Tigress' birthday was were Master Shifu, who had to go out of town on a peace mission to settle a war before it broke out, and Po, who had long ago asked Shifu when it was and told Shifu about his plan to surprise Tigress before he left.

Viper tried her best to slither around the icing and cake until she felt something wooden and jagged press against her, it was sticking out of a soft pile of the ruined cake. She picked it up and cleaned it off to look at it. She stared at the Tigress action figure and looked at the piles of cake all around her. After a minute of contemplating it finally hit her. She gasped and said in a wavered tone," God. Guys, today is Tigress' birthday."

Everyone stiffened and looked at the mess again as the evidence pieced itself together in their minds. They saw the smashed flowers and parts of the kanji Po had used on the cake. Monkey let out an impressed whistle as he realized just how much work Po had put into this.

"Damn, Po must be devastated right now...", he said sadly.

Viper huffed and hissed,"Okay, it's time Tigress and I had a little girl talk. This is inexcusable.", she slithered out of the kitchen, still holding the action figure.

"Sooo, who's going to clean up this mess?", asked Mantis.

Crane sighed."Mantis, get some rags. Monkey, some sacks to put the cake in so we can throw it away. I'll get the mop..."

Viper slithered fast towards the bath house where Tigress would no doubt be. She came in without knocking and slammed the door behind her. Tigress was in the bathtub trying to wash out the icing that was sticking to her fur.

"Viper, what are you doing? I'm bathing! Get out!", Tigress snapped.

"You are some piece of work, you know that?", hissed Viper. She was used to watching Tigress, her sister, beat and abuse Po, her brother, on a daily basis. But this was the last straw.

"What did you just say to me?", growled Tigress as she gripped the side of the tub.

"You were completely out of line! Do you have any idea how much work Po put into that cake?"

"Who cares? He was just going to eat it like the fat idiot he is-"

"Shut your mouth, missy!", Viper hissed. Shifu wasn't here to keep Tigress in line, and that normally wouldn't be a problem, but given the current situation Viper would have to step up.

Tigress looked at Viper confusedly. She had never seen Viper so mad. She was always so nice. But if something or someone ever made her mad, she had good reason to be. So Tigress decided, against ever drop of pride that she had in her body, to stay quiet and listen. Though she continued to growl.

"Po was up all night making that cake for you! I remember him saying he had to work on something when we left for bed after dinner. That was sixteen hours ago!", yelled Viper.

Tigress' eyes widened as Viper said the cake was for her,"W-what do you mean, the cake was for me? Why would it be for me?"

The snake hissed in frustration,"Come on, Tigress, even you aren't that thickheaded! What day is it?"

Tigress sat in the water in thought for a few minutes. It was the fourteenth of March. She gasped inwardly and covered her mouth with a paw,"Oh my God..."

Viper let out a venomous and sarcastic chuckle,"Yeah, that's right. Let it sink in. Keep thinking about every word you just said to Po.", she put the action figure in Tigress' other paw.

Tigress looked at the figurine that was covered in icing and crumbs. It was in her usual Kung Fu stance, and it was imitated perfectly. Like he had taken the time to study her stance. She blushed as a few tears filled her eyes."I...I messed up, didn't I?", she said with her head bowed as she now had taken the figure in both paws and looked down at it.

Viper sighed and nodded,"Yeah, big time. I'm going to go help the guys clean up. You'd best start thinking of your apology to Po.", she began to slither out the door, but stopped when Tigress spoke up.

"Where is Po now?"

Viper looked back at her, squinting her eyes slightly."I don't know. After you left he ran out of the room crying.", she slithered out of the door and closed it before going back to the kitchen.

That last sentence drove a stake into Tigress' heart. How could she have been so cold to him? Then as her thoughts continued to pound the back of her head, tears began to drip into the water of the bath tub. Ever since they had left for Gongmen City a few months ago, Tigress noticed that she began to harbor feelings for Po. But she could never let him know how she felt. When Po was murdered before her eyes, her spirit was crushed and she felt no reason to live anymore. But when he showed up at the harbor, it was like her feelings for him bloomed into...something even more. It filled her to the brim and gave her the strength to fight again. And as she laid almost lifeless on the driftwood, she promised herself that if they got out of this alive, she would tell Po how she felt for him.

But alas, every time she was alone with Po, she couldn't do it. She was so scared that he would reject a monster like her. Someone that could actually hammer into an ironwood tree and feel no pain. Someone who could catch a canonball with their barehands and hold it down until it hit the bow of a ship.

Tigress stopped crying, wiped her tears, finished cleaning herself up along with her miniature, got dried and dressed and decided to go talk to Po.

She searched high and low all over the palace. She winced when she decided to check the kitchen to see if he went back to help clean only to be greeted by four glares. Finally she deduced two possibilities. Either Po was watching her and moving around to make sure she didn't find him, or he wasn't in the Palace at all. The latter seemed more likely, and less heart wrenching to her. So she made her way down the Thousand Steps in a sprint.

When she reached the bottom, she saw an old goat carving some wood on a stool he was sitting on. he seemed to be really enjoying himself. Tigress stopped infront of the man and bowed.

"Sir, may I ask if you have seen the Dragon Warrior and if you have, do you know where he is?"

The old goat stopped and looked up at her with a frown through his glasses, then went back to his carving,"He mumbled something about drowning his sorrows, the poor boy. I've never seen anyone so crestfallen. I'd imagine that he's at the new bar that opened up not a week ago."

Tigress bowed again, trying to ignore the sting in her heart at the news,"Thank you sir.", she ran down the streets and into the marketplace where so many people crowded around every fruit, vegatable and meat vendor. She did her best to sidle past all of the people. Then when she grew too aggravated for her own good, she launched herself onto a nearby rooftop and ran along from building to building until she reached the bar. She jumped down and went inside.

It was very nice since it was so new. It wasn't dark, but it wasn't bright either. The chairs were wooden, the tables were wooden, but they were sturdy enough to handle a group of drunks that may or may not start a fight on top of it. There were quite a few people inside drinking, laughing and carrying on. And there was a stage on the far side of the large room. There were various instruments for people who wanted to perform and entertain. She scanned the room and found Po huddled over sitting at the bar with a glass of scotch in his paw. She walked over to him and sat down, rubbing her arm as she avoided his gaze when he saw her sit down.

"What are you doing here?", he asked bitterly.

"I...I came to apologize."

Po scoffed,"Yeah, right.", he took a sip from his drink.

"I'm serious Po. I was...", she sighed,"look, this isn't exactly easy for me, so just accept my apology okay?"

Po growled, and she flattened her ears against her head. She'd never heard Po growl before."You really hurt me. I was trying to do something nice for you and...forget it. It's not like you'd understand anyway. Guess I'll...just have to make you understand", he got up before she could speak, downed the rest of his drink and set down his glass before walking over to the stage and grabbing a guitar. He sat on a stool and spoke loudly,"This song is Master Tigress.", he strummed the guitar to make sure it was tuned. He began to play a tune softly to make sure he remembered how to play the song.

Tigress was surprised at how good Po was at playing the guitar. The bar's regular band got up on stage as they recognised the song he was playing and manned the drums and bass, waiting for their cue. One of them actually helped with the back up vocals and manned a piano like instrument. And now Tigress would be even more surprised as she sat there and listened to his voice.

I see you standing here,

But you're so far away,

Starving for your attention,

You don't even know my name,

You're going through so much,

But I know that I could be the one to hold you,

Every single day I find it hard to say,

I could be yours alone,

Tigress blushed and gasped a bit as she listened to the lyrics. She bit her lip.

You will see someday,

That all along the way,

I was yours to hold, I was yours to hold,

Tigress' heart ached again, but she felt a little happy as Po apparently held feelings for her as she did for him.

I see you walking by,

Your hair always hiding your face,

I wondering why you've been hurting,

I wish I had some way to say,

You're going through so much,

Po looked directly into Tigress' eyes as he continued to sing, seemingly pleeding.

Don't you know that I could be the one to hold you,

Every single day,

I find it hard to say,

I could be yours to alone,

You will see someday,

That all along the way,

I was yours to hold, I was yours to hold,

Po raised his voice in emotion as he kept singing. Tigress was shaking lightly as she gripped the bar.

I'm stretching but you're just out of reach,

You should know,

I'm ready when you're ready for me,

And I'm waiting for the right time,

For the day I catch your eye,

To let you know,

That I'm yours to hold,

The back up singers began to sing with Po. Tigress could hardly stand it anymore. She stood up and slowly began to walk towards the stage, her heart stinging and fluttering at the same time.

Every single day,

I find it hard to say,

I could be yours alone,

You will see someday,

That all along the way,

I was yours to hold, I was yours to hold,

Every single day,

I find it hard to say,

I could be yours alone

(You're so far away)
You will see someday,

That all along the way,

I was yours to hold, I was yours to hold,

Tigress had now gotten up on the stage, looking straight into Po's eyes as he stared into hers.

I'm stretching but your just out of reach,

I'm ready when you're ready for me.

Her face was within an inch of his, her voice wavered and cracked as she nodded, almost whispering.

"I'm ready.", she hugged him tight as her tears flowed down her cheeks and he hugged her back,"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry..."

"It's okay. It's okay...", he whispered softly and rubbed her back. Then he broke the hug and kissed her as he pulled her waist into his body. She closed her eyes and returned the kiss as she cupped his face in her paws.

"Happy birthday, Tigress."