Madagascar 3 (c) DreamWorks SKG

A/N: What is this? I just keep popping this darned things out like there's no tomorrow. I apologize for this little blurb.

Enjoy, and review please!

Alex led Gia to a simply decorated circular table, clothed in a plain white tablecloth and lit by the glow of two thin candles. The jaguar appeared elated as Alex pulled out her chair before he seated himself opposite her. They looked happy.

But the Siberian tiger in the shadows didn't.

Vitaly growled as the pair began speaking to one another, Alex making some joke or another that had Gia in stitches. His paws itched for his throwing knifes, but he restrained himself.

"Are you-a spying, Vitaly?"

The tiger's throat rippled in a subdued roar but he did nothing more as Stefano joined him in the gloom. "Net, not spying," Vitaly disagreed, folding his massive arms over his broad chest, "just keeping eye on lion."

Stefano shook his head in exaggerated disappointment, mimicking his friend's frightening stance. "Is still-a spying," he replied in a singsong tone.

Vitaly huffed under his breath, glaring daggers at Alex as he called the penguins over and they cut a fish up into sushi with several impressive swipes from a pair of katana. "I do not trust lion," he muttered, verdant green eyes narrowed.

"And why not?" Stefano inquired curiously, fiddling with his Italian themed Elizabethan ruffs. "Eez a good guy."

The tiger only snorted in the rapidly cooling air, his breath coming out in a small cloud of vapor. Stefano shook his head with a sigh.

"You so protective of-a us, Vitaly." As the tiger whirled around to face him, Stefano swiftly raised his flippers in defense. "Is-a true! Ever since nuovi padroni come!"

"I do not trust lion, that is all," Vitaly grumbled.

Stefano rolled his eyes with an amused smile, settling back into a calmer stance. "But you trust Alis when he and Gia aren't on date?"

"Net, is not 'date'," Vitaly hissed, watching Alex and Gia as they ate their sushi, the penguins having gone, when their tablecloth suddenly caught fire because of a fallen candle, "Gia is still detenysh. A child."

Stefano followed his friend's line of sight, and in moments he was sniveling when he saw Gia and Alex struggling to put out the fire together, "Ah, Vitaly, she is all-a grown up! Not little cub you find lost in woods anymore!"

Vitaly jolted, looking down at his smaller, silently sobbing companion, then back at Gia. The smallest of smiles appeared on his rough features as the pair succeeded in extinguishing the flame. "Da. Perhaps you are right." At Stefano's hopeful expression, darkness fell upon the tiger's features. "But does not mean I distrust lion any less."

Stefano groaned, shuffling his flippers in the brittle grass. "Fine, fine, Vitaly. Be-a mean. I am going to bed." The sea lion turned but whirled around just as quickly. "Ah, there will-a be no throwing of-a dee knives, sí?"

"No promises," Vitaly huffed, the fold over his chest tightening as Alex and Gia forwent their dinner and lay down on a blanket over the grass.