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This story is based on Master of the Dawns' story, A monster. Some of the sentences are taken from that story. Thank you so much for the inspiration! :D

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First of all: the characters are HUMANIZED! I can imagine them better this way. It's more natural to me.

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I know I mix many cultures and beliefs here, but please, give the author some freedom! :D

So… I would imagine that they have tattoos and characteristics of some kind of animal. There are "tribes", divided by which kind of animal they resemble. It would be genetic, so these characteristics would be strong in every person of the tribe.

If people from different tribes have children together, the child would take after one of his/her parents. One or two characteristics could be inherited from the other parent too, but they are few, and it's more likely that they get the weak points, so that's why it is rare (and slightly frowned upon) to mix the tribes.

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I imagined the characters like this:

- Tigress has reddish-brown hair, red eyes and golden skin, with black tattoos like her stripes in the movies. And of course, she is like a tiger: fast, strong, amazing with gymnastics and her eyes and hearing are sharp.

- Po is not the slimmest person, he can easily get fat, but with training, he can get muscular. Not as much as a Tiger, he will always be "softer", but not fat. :P In the panda tribe, they have white hair, but thick, black eyelashes. They are big, can suffer through many beatings, but not particularly strong or have great stamina. That's why they are so unlikely to be warriors. This is why Po's situation is so special.

- Viper is elegant, slim and fast. Her reflexes and agility make her really unique. Her tribe has the tattoo of a snake curled around them.

- Crane is tall and light on his feet. His balance is the best out of the group, and he is not afraid of great heights.

- Mantis is quite short, but he is the fastest of the masters, and he is rather strong, compared to his size.

- Monkey is great in acrobatics, strong, and has many great ideas.

It's not a complete list, of course, but I think you can fill in the holes. :)

Also, they sometimes refer at each other as their tribe animals. So if Shifu yells at Po, calling him "panda", don't be surprised! :)

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It's set after KFP 2. English is my second language only, so I'm sorry for any mistakes. Also, you are free to point out my mistakes. :)

R&R

And of course, I own nothing. :P

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A monster

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"A monster, that's what you are! I wonder why you're even a warrior" the woman from the Panda Village yelled and Tigress was slightly taken aback from the venom in her voice.

"I'm not a monster!" she shot back. 'I won't allow her to win, not again!' Though this has never happened before, the woman, Lin, has been hostile towards Tigress since they have arrived to the village.

"Look at you," she snorted "Look at your claw like nails, your teeth, you are a killing machine!" These words were too familiar, too close to home – 'Not again!'

"Shut up!" She was desperate now. Images of her childhood were flashing before her eyes. The name-callings, the hurtful words, the fear in everyone's eyes…

"And look at how you dress; I confused you for a man." Lin cackled. "No wonder Po has no interest in you."

'THAT'S NOT TRUE!' cried Tigress in her mind. 'No, no, no, it can't be true! Po must like me! He even kissed me!'* But she began to doubt it.

"If you know what's good for you, SHUT UP!" Tigress yelled in anger, clenching her fists. Her breath came out in short puffs and she was close to fainting.

"And kung fu? For a woman?" Lin laughed. "You're a joke."

"Stupid panda." Tigress hissed under her breath exhaling through her nose, trying to calm down. The other women didn't understand her. At least not here. Among the pandas, women's rule was to be the perfect wife. They were the manifestation of beauty and goodness. In exchange, men treated them like fragile dolls, cherished and indulged them like they were their only reason to live. With the recent tragedies, this suited everyone just fine. But Tigress… She felt so out of place here! People were looking at her with a frown on their faces and whispers followed her wherever she went. Even Viper was accepted with her ribbon dancing and all. But not she. First it didn't bother her. But when she's found Po flirting with those women who have said all those things about her…

It was almost a week ago. Since then she felt… trapped. Out of place. Alone. And it was driving her crazy.

Lin was the worst of them all. She would deliberately sit next to Po at every meal, touch him like she owned him, leaving Tigress sitting at the end of the table looking as miserable at the outside as she felt inside. Trapped. Out of place. Alone.

"And your group, what are they, the Stupid fiv-"

That was it. She could take anything, but no one insults her family! Tigress suddenly lunged forward, wrapping one hand around Lin's throat while her other hand was in the air, ready to strike and scratch out her opponent's eyes- only to be stopped by a rather large and surprisingly strong grip on her wrist.

"Tigress?"

The female kung fu master let go of the other woman's neck, who quickly stepped back.

"A monster, that's what you are," she whispered in a hoarse voice. "A monster!" she yelled at last, before backing away completely and running out of the hut. The silence, which she had left behind, was broken only by Tigress' harsh breaths.

Po let go of her wrist, making her drop to the ground with both of her hands on the floor. Tigress stared numbly at them. Her hands were hard and strong, not elegant or delicate like most of the girls'. There were several scratches and white scars on them from punching Ironwood trees, standing out sharply on her dark, golden skin. There was nothing beautiful about them.

"I'm a monster..." she said, her voice barely above a whisper. Trapped. Out of place. Alone.
Po slowly got down on his knees, and put a comforting hand on her shoulder.

"Tigress, what happened?" he asked softly.

"I'm a monster!" she turned suddenly to face him. "A monster no one wants..." she frowned, remembering all the horrible memories from the orphanage. She wanted to scream, tear down the world around her, make Lin bleed and suffer till she begged for death – but she couldn't. She was trapped in her own façade, a silent mask, radiating unemotional calm, while her soul was screaming in agony. She felt detached from her own body.

Po, upon seeing his friend's empty look, placed one of his hands at Tigress' cheek and wrapping the other one around her waist, he pulled her towards him until their noses were almost touching.

"Tigress you're not a monster," he said slowly when he was sure the other kung fu master was listening. "You're brave, COMPLETELY awesome, and you're crazily beautiful… I mean, not that I like you or anything, not that I wouldn't, I mean I would, err-" he stumbled, blushing, but didn't remove his shaking hands from her body.

"Thank you Po." Tigress grabbed his hand softly and took it off her cheek, holding onto it tightly. By now both of their cheeks were red, their gaze still on each other.

"I've meant it. You are not like the other women, yeah. But that just makes you more special. And besides," he chuckled "no other women can kick my ass like you do." Still smiling, he looked up into Tigress' eyes, before leaning slowly closer and placing a soft but lingering kiss at her lips. Before Tigress could even realise what happened, Po was on his feet. As he opened the door of the hut he looked back to the still blushing woman on the floor. "Are you coming? The dinner is ready."

Tigress quickly jumped up and went after him before she could change her mind. Her racing heart skipped a beat when a strong hand slipped into her own, scarred one.

End


*Reference to my other one-shot "Truth or Dare"

Again, a big thank you goes for Master of the Dawns! I wouldn't have been able to do this without her story.

Please Review!