• Published 12th Apr 2016
  • 14,952 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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Ruby yawned and stretched as she watched the water flow by as the cruise ship sailed its course, the sunlight beaming down on the deck. It hadn't taken long with the promise of a vacation cruise for the group to finish taking inventory and packing, and now everyone was enjoying the cruise in their own way. Idly, Ruby decided to investigate how everyone was handling things. Leaping off the railing where she had been balanced, she stalked across the deck to investigate her people.

Though several of the other people on the cruise bent down to pet her as she passed by them, she mostly ignored them unless they offered treats. Those she would stop momentarily for if they were good enough quality. Still, it didn't take her long to find the first of her people. Jade - her human - was playfully flaunting herself in front of her familiar, who looked to be in a war with himself over whether his blood would rush up or down based on the brightness of his cheeks and the pheromones his temporarily human body was putting out. While the green tankini Jade was wearing wasn't anywhere near as skimpy as what some of those around were wearing, it showed far more skin than she normally did and showed off where she was starting to develop quite nicely. That, and it was stretchy enough that if - for whatever reason - Jade suddenly rapid-aged to late adolescence, it would just barely stay on her. Ruby doubted that Jade - or anyone else present - had the magic to make that happen, or if they did would be reckless enough to make it happen...but Ruby could easily see Queen making it happen on Jade's shoulder just to torment the demon, much to his and Saint's chagrin.

She didn't have anything personal against Hsi Wu, as he was certainly a good boyfriend for Jade-

He's not my boyfriend! Jade snapped at her mentally.

That's not what your pheromones and that stretch say, Ruby teased back.

-after all, he'd coached her in how to shape her thoughts so she could speak in animal language, which made conversations with Ruby much more efficient. Still, Ruby couldn't help but think that she would have made an excellent familiar for Jade if Hsi hadn't already had the job when they met, so it was only proper she take pleasure in his torment. It wouldn't be proper for a feline to do otherwise. Still, she needed more of a distraction for Jade and Hsi to keep things from getting too awkward between them...or too unawkward. She didn't care if they were in international waters now and Jade remembered what it was like to be a teenager, even the eldest Siren child would agree they were too young to go further.

Water balloons proved effective distractions, courtesy of Scootaloo and the middle Siren. Spying them in matching purple leotard-style swimsuits (the fillies wore swimsuits to protect parts of their undercarriage that got sensitive to contact in cold or wet, to avoid cramping or injury), Ruby felt she should have known they would team up as pranksters. Seeing Jade and Hsi Wu take off after them - Hsi using magic to shape water into balls to throw - Ruby knew they would continue to have fun.

Nearby, Uncle and the giant's mother engaged in one game they'd discovered that they could match each other in and thus have the outcome of the games in doubt...Pai Sho. They certainly seemed to enjoy the competition...even if several other older passengers glanced curiously at the table any time either player grabbed a particular tile with a white flower on it. Ruby decided that wasn't her problem, so she went on to seek out others.

Apple Bloom was playing amongst Audrey III's vines, along with several dozen other children of various species who were also passengers aboard the cruise ship. While sea water didn't agree with Audrey, the sun and sea breeze most certainly did, and he'd happily expanded enough to let all the children use him as a living jungle gym. Various parents watched with attitudes somewhere between curiosity and amusement, depending on how aware they were of Audrey's nature.

Jackie and Viper were enjoying the sun as they lay back in chairs, though despite Viper's rather revealing and flattering black bikini, she couldn't help but glare daggers to her left and envy to her right. The daggers to her left was understandable, as that was where the eldest Siren child was also sunning in her feline form...after having used a combination of flirtations and magic to get a fellow passenger - a man she didn't know - to liberally apply sunblock to her back. His wife had then stormed up angrily...only to fall under the Siren's spell and apply the sunblock to her front, much to her husband's entertainment. After letting them go on their way, Adagio - then fully sunblocked - had discarded her swimsuit and taken her cat form to enjoy the sun and envious glances.

To the right was the giant and his minotaur females, who dominated the buffet table that had been laid out. All four of them had enormous appetites, and if the table hadn't been enchanted to replenish itself automatically it would have been emptied long ago. While Tohru eating easily his weight in food wasn't a surprise - his metabolism since actively tapping his chi had drastically accelerated - the three minotaur girls got more than their share of shocked looks from the men on the boat, and envious ones from the women. This was hardly surprising, if unfair. Minotaurs by nature had a much more efficient metabolism than other races, which rarely collected fat and what fat was collected was far more easily distributed pleasantly.

Of course, their choice of swimwear only drew attention to that. Sofia in a strapless one-piece wasn't much of a surprise (beyond how it was staying on, magic had to be involved). Ysabelle in a backless one-piece was a bit of a surprise...

But Ruby couldn't help but wonder how under the sun Adagio had managed to get shy, mousy Lucia into a bikini!

Deciding not to dwell on that, Ruby glanced briefly back to see that Jackie was doing his part to reassure Viper, and then wandered over to the other side of the deck. The LightBearer stood staring out to sea, the MountainBearer standing behind him. He was plainly just enjoying relaxing...

...or perhaps enjoying the sight of the WaterBearer leaping from the water in her Siren form (her human form with fish-tail instead of legs...and no clothes), clearing the boat on each jump with acrobatics that dolphins would envy. The huge grins that split both watchers faces answered that question.

Ruby went over her checklist of her people, and went looking for Sweetie Belle. It didn't take long to find her, as she was in the arcade with 'Mr. Cool' and 'Mr. Old School', as Ruby thought of those two enforcers. Jade referred to them as Chao and Finn, respectively. Finn and Sweetie were in the midst of a DDR elimination dance-off, with Chao waiting to face the winner. Many other passengers were gathered around to watch, cheer, and place bets...so Ruby felt safe in leaving them to it.

She generally didn't involve herself in her people's affairs unless she was needed. Taking on more than necessary in terms of work went against what it meant to be feline, and in the long run would be bad for her people. Taking on more in terms of curiosity, on the other paw, was a completely different bowl of fish, and one frequently cooked with cream. So Ruby now went looking for the two individuals she hadn't spotted that had boarded with her people...Sonata and Ratso. Ruby felt those two deserved being thought of by name at all times, if only because trying to label them otherwise failed miserably as they proved far from predictable.

As she wandered, she found herself going below decks into the vault chamber, where valuables - like the statue they were escorting - were stored. There she found a group of four humans she could only mentally classify as thugs. One seemed to be the leader, and was completely calm. One was most definitely their tech, and had all sorts of tools and computer gear at his fingertips. The third was plainly their wizard, with all sorts of vials strapped to belts that went over his shoulders like ammo-belts.

The fourth, who by size looked to be the muscle, was pacing back and forth in terror. "This is stupid," he muttered under his breath. "This is so so stupid! We're all going to die-"

"Oh hush!" the leader snapped irritably. "Everything's under control-"

"Under control?" Muscle gasped out in shock. "Under control? Big V himself is on board! How are we supposed to pull off a heist of this magnitude right under his nose without being paste?"

"He's just one man," Tech pointed out idly. "Even if he has Enforcers with him, we wouldn't have this job if his group were targeting the Dragon-"

"Just one man?" Muscle snapped in fear, the stink pouring off of him. "Did you forget he's a Demon Sorcerer now?"

"Even better for us," Wizard pointed out dryly, his voice a breathy whisper.

"How so?" Leader asked coldly.

"Criminal politics," Wizard pointed out dryly. "Our organization does business with his. If we were a genuine threat to his well being, he would have grounds to interfere with our operation here without accruing our organization's ire." He gestured to the group with one hand, his other drawing runes as he examined the protections on the vault. "As prepared for this job as we are, we are hardly a threat to an unchained Class 2."

Leader snorted derisively. "I doubt if we'd be able to actually contain or overwhelm him back when he was human."

"Precisely," Wizard agreed. "So as long as we avoid him and make sure not to harm anyone who is his, it would be...unwise for him to interfere directly. As long as no one notices us, we have nothing but the vault to concern ourselves with."

"Hey Ratty, what do these do when you mix them together?" Sonata asked happily, holding up two of the Wizard's larger vials. The Wizard's eyes bulged in terror.

"He seems scared of the idea," Ratso observed thoughtfully. "Mix 'em and throw them at him to find out."

"YAY!" Sonata cried out excitedly as she poured the contents of one vial into the other, gave it a thorough shake, and chucked it at the thieves.

Ruby's ears went flat as she watched the multi-colored cloud of gas that erupted from the exploding vial take shape, extending foggy limbs to seize the thieves and smash them repeatedly against the walls as Sonata and Ratso ran away laughing. Well, I can see their biological father in that one, at least, she thought to herself before scampering. She'd tell someone about the fog monster in the vault chamber...

...eventually. The breakfast bar had lox, and the Giant was putty in her paws when she made effort to be adorable for a treat.

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