Chapter 8: A Promise Kept
When they arrived at the Jade Palace it was late at night. The rest of the Five and Shifu were awoken from dreams to see Tigress with two leopards. One was Sandra and the other was a male leopard they did not recognize. Yet, once they saw the Gem of Transformation and saw the flash of light. All of them stood in shock minus Sandra and Tigress that the male leopard was Po. He was alive and standing before them. Shifu stared at Po trying to control his temper. "You better start explaining yourself panda and I suggest you do it now," he said firmly. Po and Sandra looked at each other and began their tale again. The rest of the Five and Shifu listened with intensive ears as they learned the reason why Po faked his death. Soon their anger turned into understanding for they knew Po kept his word and that he would do anything to protect the people he loved. They were a bit angry but his friends and Master understood why he did what he did.
"Look guys I am so sorry I lied to all of you. It was wrong but you don't know what Scorpio is capable of and I did. I couldn't have you guys risk your lives for me. In my mind being the Dragon Warrior I thought I was replaceable and you guys and Shifu were not. But Tigress reminded me in her own special way that no one is replaceable and in time I hope you all can trust me again," Po said looking away from his friends. This was the moment of truth if his friends could not forgive him then he would not bother them anymore and become Angel permanently. Viper slithered over to him and looked him in the eye. Her expression was unreadable and Po hated seeing her this way. Viper was like his little sister the one who encouraged him to do better but always teased him whenever he did something funny. She smiled at him with that same sweet smile as she always did.
"I forgive you brother but never scare me like this again," she told him gently but firmly.
"I promise I won't my sister," Po told her smiling at her. Crane smiled at him as did Mantis and Monkey. In their own way they were saying what Viper had just said. They forgave him but wanted him to never do something like this again.
"Hate to break up this little love fest but we do have a mission to complete," Sandra reminded them.
"You are right Sandra let's get Scorpio," Po told her.
"What is the plan?" Tigress asked. Po told them all to come closer as he whispered what the plan was. The next night was the final tournament of the fights. Angel stood in the dead center as he was finally going to compete against the last champion. The other fighters stood with hushed breaths for they knew how good Angel was but could he defeat the champion. The steel door opened and standing before Angel was the champion, Scorpio.
"Well did not see this coming," Angel admitted.
"Hope you won't back out of our match," Scorpio said with a smirk.
"You should know by now I never back out of anything," Angel said getting into his fighting stance. Scorpio just gave him a cruel smile and silently chuckled.
"I sssshould tell you ssssomething asss well," he hissed.
"What is that?" Angel asked not liking the look on Scorpio's face.
"Thisss," Scorpio said and lunged at Angel wrapping his tail around him and squeezing hard. Angel was gasping for air as he struggled to get free. "I know who you really are Dragon Warrior," Scorpio whispered in his ear. Angel was shocked beyond belief. He and Sandra had been so careful how did he know that Angel was the Dragon Warrior. "You and that Sssandra girl thought you were ssso clever. I knew who ssshe wasss by her face. Jussst like her daddy and it wasss only a matter of time before I found out who you were," Scorpio hissed. "Now I am going to kill you both in the mossst ssslow and painful way. Look to your right Dragon Warrior," Scorpio said. Angel did as he was told and froze for their stood Sandra with a knife held to her throat being held by a vulture. "I am going to make her watch asss I kill you and then I will kill her," Scorpio said coldly. "So, Dragon Warrior what do you have to sssay now," Scorpio asked.
"I say the charade is over," Angel said and transformed back into Po. He broke free of Scorpio's grasp as Sandra stepped on the vulture's foot and knocked the dagger out of his wing. Scorpio watched in horror as Po grabbed the metal rod and banged it against the cage as loud as he could. Soon the entire place was swarmed with prison guards. "You are finished Scorpio it is over," Po barked.
"I don't think ssso," Scorpio hissed angrily. He lunged at Po as the fight began. Jaws opened wide as Po blocked Scorpio's attacks. Still he had to be careful with his tail too for if Scorpio stung him with that poisonous tail it was game over. Sandra was knocking the hell out of Scorpio's goons trying to get to Po. Po rolled over as he grabbed Scorpio by the tail and threw him into the steel cage. Scorpio yowled out in pain as he grabbed a metal chain and then knocked Po to the ground. Wrapped the chain around his neck as he pinned him to the ground, Po gasped for air as he fought to get loose. The more he struggled the tighter the chain got. "That'sss it Dragon Warrior, fight sssome more it isss musssic to my earsss," Scorpio cackled. He could feel Po taking his last breath as Po was seeing spots and all sound was becoming deaf. Soon he was starting to black out and Sandra sensed Po's distress. She raced into the cage and dove at Scorpio scratching and growling like a demon cat from hell. She picked him up and threw him into the steel as she dragged his body along the steel. Cutting into his flesh and when he fell his stinger fell off causing his venom to dry up. Scorpio looked up at Sandra beaten and shocked beyond belief. He lost his poison and now he lost everything.
"I will not allow you to claim my friend's life. And this is for my parents you cold blooded serpent," Sandra hiss as she scratched Scorpio across the face leaving behind an ugly scar. Tigress who was tying up the rest of the bad guys saw Po in the steel cage unconscious. Her eyes widened with terror as she ran into the cage. She held her panda in her arms and looked down at him. She quickly removed the chain around his neck and waited for him to open his eyes.
"Come on Po wake up," she told him. He remained motionless as she held him. "Po wake up," she said firmly shaking him a little. Sandra looked behind her and saw Po still unconscious. Tears fell from her face for she thought Po died helping her. This was all her fault she never should have asked for his help. She looked away too ashamed to see Po this way for she had done this to him. This time he really was dead and it was her fault. Tigress's tears fell from her face as she couldn't believe it. She just got Po back only to lose him again within a few hours. Gently bringing him closer to her she kissed his lips as a tear fell onto his face. "Po I love you," Tigress whispered softly. Just then she heard Po wheezing for air as his eyes opened up and he sat up breathing. Tigress and Sandra looked at Po with shock and delight. "You are alive!" they both said together. As they hugged him tight as tears fell from their faces.
"Hey guys what did I miss?" Po asked smiling as he hugged his friend and girlfriend. Scorpio was led away a beaten and broken snake as all his power and fear was gone. Sandra smiled knowing she brought her parents' killer to justice. Po held Tigress tight as he smiled at her. "Come on kitten let's go home," Po told her. Later that day Sandra stood before her parent's grave and she placed a white flower on the ground.
"I did it mom, I did it dad. With Po and his friends' help Scorpio is locked up for good. It is finally over," she said shedding a tear. A paw was placed on her shoulder and she looked up to see Po standing before her. He gave her a small smile and she returned it.
"So, are you leaving?" Po asked her as they walked back to town.
"Yeah I heard there is a bounty on some of Scorpio's goons that got away. Figured I could use the money," Sandra said as they went to Mr. Ping's Noodle Shop. Mr. Ping was just as happy to see his son alive but in all honesty knew he was Angel. After all his son could change his form but a parent would always recognize their child. "You want to come with me?" she asked him.
"Sorry Sandra but my bounty hunting days are over," Po said sadly. Mr. Ping smiled as he allowed Po to say goodbye to Sandra. "Well here is some food for the trip and take care," Po told her.
"Thanks I will," Sandra said as she rushed into Po's arms and he hugged her tight.
"I couldn't have done all this without you and your friends' thank you," she said softly as tears fell from her face.
"Anything for my little sister," Po said shedding tears of his own. "Bye Sandra come and visit me anytime," Po told her as they released each other from the hug.
"Good bye Po, I hope to see you soon take care brother," Sandra said and with that she waved goodbye disappearing into the horizon. Po went back to the Jade Palace and life returned to normal. It was late at night and he went to his room when he was pulled into Tigress's room.
"You are staying in my room tonight," she told him. Po just nodded as she curled up to him. "Promise me," Tigress told him before she went to sleep.
"Ti I promised you over a hundred times," Po told her.
"Promise me again," she said firmly.
"Okay, Tigress I promise I will never fake my own death again and if I need help in bringing a bad guy down I will tell you and the rest of the Five so I don't get myself killed," Po said softly.
"That is my sweet dumpling," Tigress purred as she kissed his lips. Then she snuggled into his fur as he held her tight and they fell asleep. They both knew they would always have each other's backs, and would always protect each other from harm.
Author's Note: Hope you all enjoyed this story and please review. Till next time my friends.