Five days after that day in Po's home village, Po and Tigress hadn't really talked to each other, not even since getting back to Jade Palace. Due to Tigress's standard silence, it wasn't something the rest of the masters noticed but it was starting to bother Po. It was bothering Tigress just as much as she really didn't know how to approach him.
On the afternoon of the fifth day, Tigress went back to the iron-wood trees and she began punching them again. She needed to test a theory. She trained for hours; starting in the afternoon and going well into the night, hitting the trees over and over again. The moon was high in the sky when she was finished. She caught her breath and stared at her fists. Her theory was correct.
She felt nothing.
She could barely feel the impact, if at all. She couldn't feel the trees when she hit them. She couldn't even feel the pain. But, when she opened her paw and looked into it, one feeling was still there.
She could still feel Po's touch.
Tigress bowed her head, a little disappointed. Not at still feeling Po's touch but at how to go about dealing with this. She really did want to feel it again. But it was more. Something deep in her heart when it came to Po. But she knew the kind of person he was. He'd never see her in the way she was seeing him.
She heard a leaf rustle behind her.
Tigress turned around to see Po standing there.
"Hi," Po greeted.
"Hi," Tigress said. "How long have you been there?"
"About an hour."
"You watched me for an hour?" Tigress asked.
"Well, I saw you earlier." Po shrugged, "But… well, I got hungry."
She almost laughed at that.
He shrugged, "I figured you'd still be here when I got back."
"Oh," she said. "Did you need something?"
"Yeah," Po said. "When you followed me to my old village, you wanted to say something else to me. What was it?"
Tigress stood completely still. "I…" She shook her head. "Nothing. It was nothing."
"Come on, Tigress," Po said. "You've never had any problem telling me what was on your mind. So, come on. What did you want to talk about?"
"It was nothing, Po," she insisted.
He studied her for a second. "How about I make you a deal? If I guess what it is, will you tell me if I'm right?"
She wasn't sure how to respond to that. What if he guessed it correctly? How would she handle that? But, she wanted to see if he was feeling even remotely how she was. So, with no visible hesitation, even though her heart was racing, she nodded.
Po smiled. "When we were fighting against Shen, things got super crazy. We were fighting as hard as we could, knocking those wolves away left and right, up and down. Then… he aimed his giant cannon at me. And it fired." He stared at her. "You pushed me out of the way."
"I already watched that weapon strike you before," Tigress said, immediately. "And I thought…" She paused. "…I thought you died. I couldn't… watch that again."
"I know," Po said. "And I'm sorry. Thanks for saving me, by the way. You're the best."
"You're welcome," Tigress replied.
"When we crashed into the water," Po continued, "I was hoping everyone was alive. But… I was worried most about you. I know you took the worst of that hit. That's why I swam to you. I wanted to make sure you were okay. You took a really serious hit. Just for me."
"I just wanted to save you," Tigress admitted, quietly.
Po took another few steps closer to her. "I know."
He was close now. As close he was when she hugged her after he defeated Shen. Tigress found it hard to breathe, normally.
"Here's my guess: I'm guessing… that you actually liked how it felt when I touched you," Po said. "Because I've loved how it felt when I held your hand."
Tigress's voice caught. He just said he loved it. "Po. I…"
"We had a deal. Am I right?"
Here it was. This issue was staring Tigress right in the face. She could walk away from this and lie or she could be as honest as Po was being with her right now and face this head on.
She decided to take the same road he did.
"Yes," Tigress admitted.
Po smiled, bigger.
"I…" she looked at her paw, "I felt something after Shen's attack. Maybe even before. Ever since I met you, you've done your best, putting forth your best effort every time. I've seen how far you've come… and how you haven't changed who you are to get there. Even with all of the pain you've just gone through, you still smile. You make everyone around you smile." She paused. "I even smile."
"I just like being me. But me doing my best? Came from wanting to be like you."
"I berated you to no end when you were chosen to be the Dragon Warrior," she pointed out.
"And that made me want to try harder," he said. "And… oh, heck, I can't blame ya for making fun of me. I make it kinda easy."
"You're just… jovial. It's really not a bad thing."
"And you're hardcore. And that's an awesome thing."
Tigress stared at him for a while and decided to, finally, ask the question that had been building for a while, "Po, are you trying to say you feel something for me?"
"Yep!" Po said, immediately. "Totally. What about you?"
Tigress took a deep breath. "I'll answer on one condition."
"Can I tell Master Shifu and the rest of the Five? I think I need to say it or else they won't believe it."
Po chuckled. "Good point. Deal."
Tigress took a deep breath and nodded. "Yes. I feel something for you, Po." She moved closer to him, "I feel… a lot." She hugged him and he hugged her right back. "And I… love the feeling."
Po took a deep breath. "Me, too."
A/N: So, what did you guys think? Did you like it? Love it? How about the two-shot format? Let me know! Leave me some reviews! Favorite, Follow, all that good stuff! Thanks and see you soon!