• Published 12th Apr 2016
  • 14,953 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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Enforced Relaxation

Apple Bloom sighed happily as her hooves clip-clopped over marble. She made no secret of the fact that she loved indoor malls, especially when it was a family trip such as this one. While Jackie was off retrieving another Talisman from an auction somewhere - really sounded like more of an agent job than an archaeologist one, but what could they do? - Uncle had taken the four girls on a trip to a local mall, knowing how much they would enjoy it. Each of them had their own reasons for enjoying the mall.

Scootaloo loved the mall because she could fly around on or off Cumulo to get all sorts of places. The ornate halls between stores were among the few interior structures long enough to have enough contained weather patterns for her magic to kick in. Beyond that, she loved the game stores and sport outlets, though she rarely bought anything. Of course, the biggest temptation for her was Build-a-Bear, especially ever since they introduced the panda pattern. They had trouble getting her out of there sometimes, although they once lost track of her for three hours in a Toys-R-Us because she curled up on a display of stuffed animals and fell asleep. They finally found her at the cash register due to her not having a bar code.

Sweetie Belle loved malls because she loved to shop. Didn't matter what sort of outlet she found, she was in there browsing and probably finding something somebody needed, and she was never above splurging to give someone a thoughtful gift 'just because'. While this normally would have been problematic in terms of budget, the trio's contributions to Uncle's antique and magic business had greatly increased his profits, to the point all threes allowances measured in three figures on a monthly basis. They only still lived in the rented apartment above the shop because they liked the place and Uncle hadn't yet managed to talk the landlord around to selling him the building flat out.

Jade loved the mall for all the things she could find there that she simply couldn't find in similar places back in Hong Kong, as well as how much more open they were. Even in the middle of the day, she was able to wander around without worrying about being crushed by a rush of people, and hopping from display to display was more out of a sense of adventure than a necessity to maneuver. Today she was at the toy store, having been given permission from Uncle to buy the 'Turbo Troll' companion toy to her 'Gnomekop' action figure.

Uncle enjoyed this particular mall because of a cafe that was positioned in such a way to give him a great view of the girls favorite spots throughout the mall. Not only were the acoustics such that all four girls could hear him from there if he called out to them, but the cafe served his favorite tea, and their garlic scones were fluffy and flaky enough that they didn't cause issues with his teeth or digestion, and were made with real garlic!

Apple Bloom's love of the mall was harder to define to the others, as she would go from store to store, never buying anything and never staying in one spot for long, with rare exception. The sound of her hooves against the marble, tile, or carpet echoed behind her as she moved, Audrey getting sun back at the antique store. She never hurried, but only rarely tarried either, and tended not to look around all that much.

The truth was rather simple, though. The floors of the mall were all marble, tile, or carpet layered over stone and bedrock. What few planters were around were easily avoided, and the one type of shop this particular mall lacked was a gardening shop. This meant she could walk on her own four hooves anywhere she wanted without having to worry about her magic creating a mess. This was incredibly relaxing for her, and a wonderful way to spend a free day.

The other thing she loved about the malls were the fountains. Not only were they far more complex than similar water features at parks and the like, but they also tended to be bigger and stretched out over an entire hall, giving the sense of an indoor river almost with how the water cycled. Apple Bloom could while away hours just sitting on the marble side of the fountain, watching the flow of water.

Of course, this particular mall had greater enjoyment for her, as it had a jet of water that shot up at regular intervals to shower back down on the largest pool. She always brought a supply of pennies with her when she stopped at this pool, and would attempt to flip the pennies such that they would land on top of the jet, just to see where they would land when launched.

She was very careful not to think of any wishes when doing so, despite a lot of people treating mall fountains like wishing wells. It would be just her luck that she'd be magical enough to trigger any latent wish magic the fountain might have from so many wishes made, just for her wish to go horribly awry due to bad phrasing.

Still, as she tossed her last penny into the fountain, landing just on the jet as it was idle, she thought about how great it would be if Jackie could stay home for a while, instead of having to run off somewhere after another Talisman.

"Girls!" Uncle called out from his seat. "Time to go home!"

Apple Bloom turned to go meet up with the others, not noticing the penny becoming lodged in the jet until pressure built up enough to propel it into the air and embed itself in the ceiling, an emerald green shine briefly flickering over its surface in a reflection of the water.

Jackie sighed with relief as he stepped back into the Section 13 apartment. The Rat Talisman was safely retrieved, and was being researched. He had clean clothes here, so he could change out of those that had become filthy from running down a collapsing building, amongst other things. The girls were all here in a relatively clean place, as the girls had taken to storing their extra toys and the like in large boxes - one for each of them - to meet their responsibilities. He couldn't be more proud of them about that. He smiled widely as he turned towards his desk, ready to finally relax.

"Jackie, watch out!" Scootaloo called out.

"What?" Jackie began, half turning towards her.

And then his foot came down on a plastic panda bear which let out a loud squeak as it partially compressed before shooting out from under his foot, making him lose his balance, sending him tumbling into a pile of boxes, the twist of his body making him land badly on his leg.

Four concerned sets of eyes locked on him as he clutched his leg. "...bad day..." he whimpered softly, not wanting to distress the girls further with how much pain he was actually in.

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