A/N: Basically just an introspection Tigress piece, I was in a bit of a writer's slump and introspections are good practice during those. Thanks!
They say if it's not broken, don't fix it.
If something is working as it should, as intended, as requested, no one should mess with it, even if something could be better. Those who are impatient, ungrateful, and uncaring wish to fix things that are not broken.
Tigress eyed Po across the village. He caught her gaze, and even across the heads of the dancing villagers, crowded citizens and laughing friends, between the mist and under the clouds, his shamrock eyes sparked like a comet at her. He smiled and waved. She offered a brief smile and a nod back. He continued playing with a group of children.
All her friends had a wide array of emotions. Happiness, sadness, love, anger, hate, betrayal, vulnerability, guilt, everything up and below the clouds. She had a limited palate of color to choose from. Every other emotion had run screaming from her, terrified of the wall she had built and the sword the held.
Perhaps she was overreacting. Of course she was. She felt happiness. She felt friendship. She supposed, on some level, be it deep or shallow, she felt love. For her work, for herself, and for her family.
They had more.
As Po's laughter echoed around the village, a sick stirring rolled across her frame. She would never laugh like that. She would never, in her lifetime, know what it was like to bellow with laughter in a crowd. It was her own fault, her own foolish fault. She had built a wall around her heart and now all she wanted to do was tear it down and rip it to shreds until she could laugh like that…
She could do that.
This wasn't even an emotion she wanted to feel. It was still in her stilted palette. Fear, anger, regret. A common selection. She imagined Po and Viper chose daily between happiness, giddy energy, and elation. Monkey and Mantis probably decided from jovial laughter and mischievous slyness. Crane usually chose calm serenity or easygoing fun. Where were her choices?
Again, the wind ruffled over her arms, and she breathed in the sweet scent of pollen, a constant in her too-steady inner world.
She was not broken. She felt. She felt happiness, she felt love, she just wanted more. Was that too much to ask?
The shout, however boisterous and intrusive, brought a smile to her face, and Po made it through the crowd over to her side, panting as he did. "You…you wanna join? We're playing a game Viper came up with, of course she's he only one who's winning." A snort followed his words.
"No, thank you Po." A respectful rejection.
"Aw, come on, please? Pretty please?" A merciless begging.
His paw cradled over her shoulder, and for a brief flash, she was thankful she had trained herself not to blush. "It'll be so much more fun with you! Besides, if we team up against Viper, she won't stand a chance!" Po paused, a flicker of the type of deep-thinking a child partakes in crossing his face. "Well, unless she gets Mantis on her team…whatever, we'll do it!"
If it's not broken, don't fix it.
Don't fix it. There's no reason it.
Tigress took in a dissatisfied, regretful intake of air. She would berate herself for this later.
"Alright, I'm coming, but only one game." A smirk crossed her lips as Po's elation exploded.
"YES! Thanks Tigress, you're awesome!" His paw slipped into hers, warm and caring, gentle and sure. She gripped back tighter, like a challenge.
As her feet nearly tripped twice and his thrice, as they ran and weaved through the crowds and across the village, as her feet got muddy and her laughter echoed in her ears, Tigress knew that her emotions weren't as broken as she had first thought.