• 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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Final Negotiation

Tohru, Finn, Chao, and their companion in their assault group stared from Hak Foo embedded in the wall to Chan glaring at them. Ratso was leading a couple others around the side of the shop, but it didn't seem to be necessary at this point...or particularly wise. Finn finally managed to find his voice. "So...is this a bad time?" he asked nervously.

"Not at all," Chan responded. "I have some anger to work out. Your timing is perfect."

"Not it!" Finn called out immediately.

"Not it!" Chao followed up quickly.

"Not it!" the new guy called out.

"Wait, wha-oh..." Tohru rubbed his forehead, turning to smile nervously at Chan. "I don't suppose if we asked politely-"

"I'd give you a ten second head start, yes," Chan interrupted quickly.

"Run for it!" Finn yelled out, racing for the car they arrived in.

Chan grinned as he took off in hot pursuit as the car drove off.

Ratso panted for breath as he pushed himself in pursuit of Jackie, leading his two lackeys. At the start of the day, he'd felt great since he had lackeys to push around for once. He was even happy to be assigned to the back door, since it reduced the chance he'd end up in traction by day's end. Then Jackie had popped out of the door, pushing the four girls back into the shop behind him before saying, "Fighting is not nice!"

That's where the chase had begun, with the three of them racing after Jackie after he'd run along the wall to get past them to the street. He was rather grateful when he saw a commotion ahead, which resolved itself into people watching a celebration of Chinese New Year complete with a dragon dance. It meant Jackie would stop running to hide.

When the trio did track down and corner Jackie...they could be forgiven for overlooking the thundering cyan cloud hovering over a box of fireworks.

Valmont moved down to the lower levels of his building as he saw one of his dispatch vehicles returning, certain this meant that his men had successfully captured Chan so they could extract information from him. He'd already had an illuminating conversation with Shendu regarding the recently claimed Talisman...specifically a detail that Tohru had recalled before leaving.

"The Tiger Talisman is the glue that binds the others together," Shendu had explained. "On its own, it has no inherent magic. It only reacts to magic it is used with."

Valmont stared at the image of the Talisman he'd found in the old tomes. "The design is different than the other Talismans," he observed. "The others all have the single animal etching...but this one seems to be two tigers back to back."

"The design represents the balance of Yin and Yang," Shendu explained tersely. "Surely you understand that much."

"It's just that Tohru heard the sound of stone cracking when the Talisman was bitten into," Valmont pointed out. "Can Talismans break? Or...be designed to break?"

Shendu hummed to himself for a moment. "It is feasible," he admitted. "It has not happened before, but it could be possible that should the Tiger Talisman become divided, it would divide the Yin and Yang of the one holding it, ungluing them from each other. But the odds are unlikely."

"Pity," Valmont observed sadly. "It would be a perfect way to get Chan on our side if we could separate his goody-two-shoes self from that core of fury. If he weren't so dead set on being the good guy, he'd make an excellent enforcer..."

It was as he thought these things that he reached the front door in time to see something that greatly unnerved him. Chan stood there wearing Chao's jacket and shades. Chao and Finn were collapsed just inside the door, bruised and battered and looking torn between wanting to crawl away and staying as still as humanly possible. The third thug sent with them was unconscious and bent in an unpleasant fashion. Tohru was collapsed on his stomach with Chan standing on top of him.

"You tried to hurt my girls," Chan growled, cracking his neck and knuckles as he stared down at Valmont. "You know what's coming."

Valmont's eyes quickly raced around the room, seeking any advantage. The time had come for some fast negotiations, and he needed an edge. He found one...in the edge of a half Talisman laying on the ground near Chao. I suppose it's true that one should be careful what one wishes for, he thought to himself. The powers that be always deliver it in the worst possible way. Straightening his tie, he shifted to a completely neutral stance and put a friendly smile on his face. "Mr. Chan, let me apologize for any misunderstanding in this case. My men were under firm instructions not to harm the youngsters. While I admit the threat of harming family members can be useful in my business, I've found the actuality of it far too often comes back to bite one." He shrugged his shoulders. "Whether it be from encountering one like you, or because many of ones own enforcers have young relatives of their own." He nodded towards Finn and Chao. "They'd no more harm your nieces than their own nephews. And I'm sure I don't need to explain why Tohru would never dream-"

"Hak Foo," Chan interrupted flatly.

Valmont sighed theatrically. "A freelancer. One whose contract unfortunately grants me very little oversight as far as his methods. I promise you, Chan, neither I nor my organization intend any harm to those precious angels you watch over."

Chan spit to the side. "And I'm supposed to take your word for it?" he demanded angrily.

"Mr. Chan, I'm a businessman," Valmont explained simply, buffing his nails against his suit. "Our interactions thus far have been business, pure and simple...something in the nature of a hostile takeover. So let's talk business. I want the Talismans, not for myself but for a client. Said client has promised to reward me handsomely for acquiring all 12 for him. As long as I make a profit from this interaction, I'm willing to use whatever methods are most efficient."

"...I'm getting bored," Chan growled, flexing his fingers. "Get to the point."

"The point is simple Mr. Chan," Valmont stated flatly. "Bring me the Talismans from Section 13, and I will make you rich." He watched as Chan's eyes gleamed. He could see it there, the look of someone who had been trampled over and over again by the world around him who suddenly found a way that he could do the trampling. For one without hesitation who'd lived on the bottom, nothing was more tempting than getting on top.

"...and if you or your client pulls something on me?" Chan demanded coldly.

Valmont smiled. He'd thought this side of Chan would grab the bait right off the bat. He was rather pleased to discover that even the most brutal half of Chan was still a worthy opponent. "Should that happen, you know where to find me, Mr. Chan."

Chan grinned. "...works for me. I'll be seeing you, one way or the other." With that, he turned and left.

Valmont quickly checked to make sure his men would recover without immediate supervision, then sent for the on staff medical personnel before racing back up to his office. "Shendu, how many Shadow Khan can you spare me as backup today?"

"An odd request," Shendu hissed. "Why do you ask?"

"Remember our talk about Chan being split by the Tiger Talisman?" Valmont explained quickly. "Well, it's happened...and I could use a couple thousand ninjas as backup if you can spare them."

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