• Published 12th Apr 2016
  • 14,954 Views, 12,558 Comments

Three More Things! - Tatsurou



Uncle Chan tries to balance running an antique shop, fighting demons, and being a Chi Wizard with being a loving Uncle to his nephew, his somewhat removed niece...and three little ponies who drive him straight up the wall.

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Star Shine

As Valmont and Bai Tza began to explore the lot with film crew in tow - post a very enthusiastic interlude in a broom closet that required the services of a makeup artist to 'un-muss' Valmont - he kept his eyes open for any sign of Ratso - who once again had the Pan'ku Box - and for the Chans. As innocuous as his travel here had been, he knew Captain Black too well. The Chans would be here with whatever cover story meant Valmont wouldn't have grounds to press 'police harassment' charges against Captain Black and Section 13, and they would be looking to confront him. Still, he was prepared with a rather unique counter to the Chans' usual tactics if they showed up before his Enforcers found Tchang Zu's portal.

"Valmont!"

"And speak of the devil," Valmont murmured under his breath as he saw the Chans approaching, Jackie in the lead. Turning towards the film crew following him, he gave a discreet nod. "Chan," Valmont spoke out, loud and calm as he pitched his voice to fill the room. "I should have known I would encounter you here this day."

"Then you know why we are here!" Jackie declared defiantly.

"Honestly, no," Valmont responded graciously. "I simply am unsurprised to find you dogging my steps as you always have. But I have no fear this day, for nothing I do here could possibly be to your interests...and I'm sure you wouldn't want to cause problems for your own visit by throwing accusations around without proof." He gestured obliquely to the cameras all around them. "I'm rather big in this town...and the police here don't take kindly to slander unless the Press is doing it." He smiled as he saw Jade and the fillies struggling to hold back snickers, and even Viper and Tohru hiding smiles.

"We don't need to say anything!" Uncle proclaimed defiantly. "We are prepared for everything!"

"A wise state to be," Bai Tza offered pleasantly. She then turned to Valmont. "Dear, why are these people bothering us?"

"Business associates, dear heart," Valmont responded immediately. "Nothing to concern your pretty little head."

Tohru stepped forward, his face conflicted. "I once called you Master," he spoke, his voice calm and collected. "Though I have no personal rancor towards you, I am now firmly allied with these people, my new family. And we are allied against you, and I will hold nothing back."

"I would expect nothing less," Valmont confirmed with a smile. "I hope your mother is proud of you."

Tohru managed a smile. "She is."

Nodding, Valmont turned back to Jackie Chan. "So...is this your choice of battlegrounds? Will you throw down here? Or is this where you withdraw?"

Jackie frowned for a time...then smirked, his face transparently cunning. "Why should we?" he asked calmly. "You say you are doing nothing that would bring a conflict...then I see no reason why we can't traverse together. We have no true schedule of our own."

Valmont chuckled darkly, lightly tapping his cane against the ground. "You think to catch me in a compromising situation? Cleverer men than you have tried. I welcome the challenge."

"And cut!" the director proclaimed, catching Jackie and the others off guard. "That was brilliant! This film is going to be amazing! Okay, makeup and effects, we're going to start getting things ready for an actual fight scene! Somebody find me those weapons!"

A small horde of effects people and makeup artists rushed in, placing the entire group in folding chairs - even one large and strong enough for Tohru - before getting to work on them. While Valmont and Bai Tza lay back to let it happen, Jackie spluttered. "W...what is this?" he demanded angrily.

"Exactly what it looks like, Chan," Valmont offered dryly. "We're making a movie."

"You really expect me to believe-"

"Hey, save those confrontations for on camera!" the director called out. "You've got a great rival chemistry going, don't waste it!"

Jackie stared at the director in shock.

"It's really quite simple, Chan," Valmont explained. "Tabitha here wanted to break into movies, and I'm afraid she's charmed me so thoroughly that I'm willing to do anything to please her. But I didn't want my name attached to a bad movie or one that didn't do well, so I had to make certain it succeeded. And what makes a good movie better than real action, real tension, and real drama? I knew if I made a big fuss about coming here to Hollywood with an entourage, you'd all come after me here at Captain Black's directive. All I needed then was to make sure you confronted me in front of cameras, and I can make all of you stars."

"Why would you want to make us stars?" Viper demanded incredulously.

"Really, Viper, I expected you of all those here to understand," Valmont chided patronizingly. "I am a businessman, pure and simple. Everything between my organization and your group has been simple business. We're just in competition on objectives, but there was never anything personal in it. Why shouldn't I let you all reap the rewards of a project I'm getting your help with? Not only is that simply good manners, it might just make the lot of you look a bit more favorably on me should our competition end in your favor, and you won't take it personally."

"Not take it personally?" Uncle demanded angrily. "You are trying to free ancient demon sorcerers of China! They tried to conquer world in ancient times!"

"Thousands of years ago, yes," Valmont confirmed. "But it's just a contract. I free them, they pay me. Again, nothing personal." He then crossed his hands on his cane as he smirked at the group. "Besides...are their crimes really so bad that they should be sentenced to an eternity in the magical equivalent of sensory deprivation without any chance of appeal or parole? That's just cruel and inhumane. Even prisoners facing a life sentence get basic cable."

"But they're not..." Jackie's voice trailed off as he actually thought about what he was about to say. "I mean...but..." He rubbed the back of his head. "The Eight Immortals wouldn't have enacted such a sentence without reason!"

"Wouldn't they have?" Valmont countered. "I admit they were known to be wise and benevolent...for their era. But that period of time was far more savage than our modern era...or so we'd like to believe, at least. Surely we have become enlightened enough as a civilization to give these ancient 'evils' a chance to choose a peaceful life, and judge them by their actions and choices today?"

Jackie fell silent, now completely uncertain what to say or do...just as Valmont had planned.

"I think we should go for it!" Jade suddenly spoke up.

"Wha-Jade!" Jackie declared angrily. "Do you know how dangerous-"

"He's got a point!" Jade pointed out. "Let's judge him based on his actions. If he's lying, we're right here when the Demon gets out, and fully prepared to send whichever one it is packing. If he's telling the truth, we get to be movie stars! It's win-win!"

"Out of the mouths of babes," Bai Tza purred playfully. "What do you say? Care to help me break onto the big screen?"

Jackie leaned back in his chair with a groan. "I am not a movie star...I am an archaeologist!"

"Oh, we absolutely need to work that line into the film somehow!" the director declared excitedly.

"Can we, Jackie?" Apple Bloom asked eagerly.

"Please?" all four girls pleaded together, turning their most winsome expressions on their uncle.

Jackie groaned as he put his face in his hands. "Bad day..."

Valmont chuckled softly as he watched that interchange. Oh, the profit I could make just weaponizing that look of theirs, he thought to himself.

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