• Published 12th Apr 2016
  • 14,955 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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Time On Our Side

"Are you sure I should go, Uncle Jackie?" Jade asked worriedly as she turned back towards him before leaving their rooms in Section 13. "I don't mind skipping a day if you're still upset."

"Jade, that's the fifth time you've asked me that," Jackie groaned, shaking his head to hide his smile. "Trust me, I will be fine. You get to school. You need your education."

"Apple Bloom's staying," Jade pointed out logically.

"Apple Bloom has a stuffed up nose, and every sneeze causes her magic to go haywire," Jackie countered. As he spoke, a loud sneeze echoed through Section 13, followed by an explosion from the greenhouse. "Do you really want to see what that would do to the school?" Noticing Jade's mischievous smirk, he spoke up, "Don't answer that."

Jade managed a giggle. "Would be fun to see, but you're right that it wouldn't be good for Apple Bloom. Besides, what if she's got some sort of magic-powered germ that will infect humans and turn them into magic powered zombies?" Her eyes lit up in excitement as her imagination ran away with her. "Oh, that would be so cool! Dangerous, but cool!"

"Apple Bloom has been sick before," Jackie pointed out. "Each of them has. They tend to recover quickly."

"Aww!" Jade pouted. "And here I was hoping maybe the magic germs would give me super powers!" Jackie only rolled his eyes. "So...you're sure I should-"

"For the last time, Jade, yes!" Jackie insisted. "Go to school. Study. I'll be fine here. Captain Black and I are going to take some time to talk about things from a long time ago. That will help too."

"Alright," Jade agreed finally. Glancing around, she grabbed her book bag and lunch box, making sure she had everything. She then glanced at the clock. "Oh no! I'm going to be late!" She started towards the table where the small box the Rabbit Talisman was sitting in, only to pause, then retract her hand.

"Jade?" Jackie asked curiously.

"I was thinking of using the Rabbit Talisman to get to school on time," Jade began contritely, "but...that wouldn't be a very disciplined use of magic, would it? Besides, what if the Dark Hand were out there with that thing they use to detect Talismans?"

Jackie smiled widely. "Very good, Jade," Jackie praised, reaching out to muss her hair affectionately, even if it did simply fall back into her preferred style. "You are quite right that you shouldn't use the Talisman so recklessly like that. I'm proud of you."

Jade grinned happily, pleased that her following the lesson she took from the previous day had cheered Jackie up. "Still going to be late, though," she murmured softly.

Jackie chuckled. "How about I write you a note saying you stayed back to take care of Apple Bloom? I'm sure Mrs. Hartman will excuse that."

Jade shrugged her shoulders helplessly. "Doubt it, but thanks anyway-"

At that moment, the green column of light in the corner of the room flared, and Scootaloo stepped out. "Hey, Jade! Need a lift to school?"

Jade grinned widely. "Oh yeah! Forgot you had a cloud ride that can break the sound barrier!" She waved happily as she raced into the column of light. "See you after school, Jackie!" With that shout, the pair vanished in light.

Jackie chuckled to himself, shaking his head as he made his way out of the little apartment. Stepping back out into the main area of Section 13, he began to stroll around, taking the time to look at everything for once. The walls were still plain metal, and the people were still the same, but he'd never really taken the time to see it before...as much for his own sense of reality as out of any rush. If he took in too much here, he was afraid he'd start wondering if he was still just an archaeologist, or if he'd really become a secret agent. That was the last thing he wanted to actually happen, but at this point the change over felt inevitable...and beyond that, he couldn't deny that part of him enjoyed the race against the 'bad guys' to the artifacts, in the same way part of him had always enjoyed dealing with booby traps. The thrill of it wasn't something he'd ever escape enjoying, no matter how much he disliked the part of him that actively sought out those thrills.

He let out a thoughtful sigh as he finally made it to where Captain Black was waiting for him, two cups of coffee and two rice bowls on the table. "Hello, Augustus," Jackie greeted as he took a seat.

"Hey Jackie," Augustus replied, taking a sip of his own coffee as he glanced through some papers. "Glad to see you doing better. You've gotten better at recovering from these episodes."

Jackie shrugged his shoulders. "I am not entirely certain that is a good thing," he countered as he picked up his chopsticks. "Then again, I have more people in my life wanting me to be better. That could explain it."

"It probably does," Augustus agreed. "Your nieces are determined young ladies, and frighteningly resourceful."

Jackie chuckled softly. "Don't remind me..." He began eating the prepared food. "You've gotten better at making these," he pointed out happily.

"Thanks," Augustus replied as he picked up a fork to eat. "Why so great a sigh earlier, Jackie?"

Jackie shook his head. "I'm just...unsure of where my life is going now. All this...given a choice, I'd avoid it like the plague...and yet part of me revels in it." He looked thoughtfully at an old scar on his arm. "I remember what it was like when I listened to that part more..." His voice trailed off as he stared at the scar.

"Something bothering you, Jackie?" Augustus asked.

"You ever get the feeling something was supposed to happen, but didn't?" Jackie asked cautiously.

"All the time in this job," Augustus answered readily. "You get lots of weird feelings like that when you work unofficial law enforcement. The problem is sorting out which actually mean something, which are paranoia, and knowing you can't really do anything about it either way."

"How do you deal with it?" Jackie asked, hoping for some help to deal with his own issues.

"I just accept that my life is going to be weird," Augustus explained.

At that moment, Audrey III began to dance his way across the doorway, swinging his roots up as he waved a top hat and cane, towing a highly amused Apple Bloom behind him in a little wagon, wrapped in a blanket and sipping from a thermos of soup as her nose almost glowed red from stuffiness. As usual, Audrey was singing.

"Hello my baby
Hello my honey
Hello my ragtime gal..."

"Meeting your nieces has made that much easier," Augustus observed idly as he flipped a piece of chicken at the plant before digging into his rice.

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