• Published 12th Apr 2016
  • 15,168 Views, 12,616 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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Tiger, Tiger

Jackie slowly gathered the things he'd need for the expedition he and Uncle were going on for the Museum. A recent earthquake had uncovered a passage into an underground city, right here in San Francisco, and the passage was too unsteady for any Earth magic to stabilize. As such, they needed to get down there and explore and document before another tremor - however minor - caused the passage to collapse and the opportunity was lost, potentially forever. As excited as he was, however, he couldn't shake the feeling that he was forgetting something important.

And that was when he was startled from behind by Jade, who was wearing a top hat, bushy white fake eyebrows, and a cape. "RAAR!" she cried out playfully.

"WAAAUGGHH!" Jackie let out with a gasp, patting at his chest. "You scared me Jade...isn't it a little early for Halloween?"

Jade's excitement from spooking him quickly turned to a crestfallen expression. "You didn't forget, did you Uncle Jackie?" she asked plaintively.

"...forget what?" Jackie asked in confusion.

"The school play!" Jade insisted earnestly. "I'm playing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! It's my big debut tonight! You're going to be there, right?"

Jackie groaned, rubbing his face with one palm. "I'm so sorry Jade..." he offered pathetically. "The museum insists Uncle and I go check out the passage to the underground city that's opened up before it can close again." He unrolled the map to show her. "It will take several hours...there's no way we'll be able to make it back in time for the play..."

"But..." Jade whimpered sadly. "But who's going to be there to see me shine?"

"Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo will be there," Jackie pointed out. "And Tohru, and Sofia, Lucia, and Ysabelle. And Mrs. T will be there, and so will Viper." Seeing that didn't really cheer her up, he decided to try an impish notion that had occurred to him. "And your boyfriend!"

Jade 'tsk'ed dismissively. "He's not my boyfriend, he's my familiar," she insisted firmly.

Jackie smiled softly. "Either way, there will still be plenty of people there to support you."

Jade's face fell. "But...but you promised..."

Jackie winced. He hated disappointing Jade, especially in a way that taught her a bad lesson like this. He knew how she looked up to him, and it was plain she'd really wanted him to see her perform. "I'm sorry, Jade," he offered sadly. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I can't turn it down, as much as I'd rather be at the play with you."

Jade lowered her head and sighed. "Yeah...and it's not like you can be in two places at once..." Turning, she walked away sadly.

Jackie stared after her, desperately wanting to comfort her.

With a puff of not-quite-real smoke, Light Jackie appeared on his shoulder. "Oh, you did not just put that idea in our head!" he snapped out.

Dark Jackie appeared similarly on the other shoulder. "Me?" he gasped out defensively. "I thought it was you!"

"Why would I come up with an idea that breaks so many of our personal rules?" Light Jackie demanded angrily.

"Because it was a way we could be there for Jade and meet our obligations?" Dark Jackie pointed out. "Have to admit, I didn't expect something so rebellious out of you." He leaned against Jackie's ear. "Going a little bad for your role, aren't you?"

"One," Light Jackie pointed out, counting on his fingers, "we aren't good vs evil morality, we never were. We're more responsibility/optimism vs fun-loving/cynical practicality. Two, it wasn't my idea!"

"Well it wasn't my idea," Dark Jackie pointed out. "Can't say I don't like it though."

"Do you think you two could remind me what the idea was?" Jackie asked hopefully. "I...kind of forgot while you were debating whose idea it was."

"Using the Tiger Talisman to be in two places at once," Dark Jackie explained. "One of us could go to the play to support Jade, and one of us could go on the dig with Uncle."

"But which of us would go where?" Light Jackie asked. "If we're talking responsibility-"

"You go to the play," Dark Jackie stated flatly. "You're much better at being supportive than I ever could. If I went, I'd probably get bored halfway through, jump up onto the stage, and take over the play."

"...and I suppose your cynical practicality would be helpful on the expedition in case any danger occurred," Light Jackie allowed. "Just don't be too gruff with Uncle, alright?"

Dark Jackie shrugged. "If he complains, I'll just say I'm upset about missing Jade's play," he replied readily.

"...I can't believe we're in agreement on this," Jackie observed ruefully as he made his way to the vault, Light and Dark Jackie vanishing from his shoulders. It didn't take him long to find who he was looking for. "Captain Black," he began nervously, unsure how his friend would react to this, "I need to borrow the Tiger Talisman-"

"Sure, go ahead," Captain Black responded readily. "Here's your access ID and passcode for the Vault. Don't lose them or tell anyone."

Jackie blinked at the pieces of paper in his hand. "...wah?"

"I've seen what your nieces are capable of," Captain Black pointed out. "I cleared it with the superiors. It makes more sense to give you an access pass to the vault where we keep the magical artifacts so we can keep track of the inventory than have them breaking in whenever one would be helpful."

"And...you're not going to ask why?" Jackie pressed, trying to work through his confusion.

"If there's anyone without innate magic I trust to use it responsibly, it's you Jackie," Captain Black continued. "The two of you have fun. From what I've seen, using the Tiger Talisman has been good for you." He rubbed the back of his head idly. "Just don't let your dark side whack me upside the head again, okay?"

Jackie chuckled softly. "I'll do what I can," he allowed, heading for the vault.

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