• 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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Heroes Prerogative

Jackie sighed to himself as the larger than he expected group settled in for the night at an inn in Tibet. He had been thoroughly outvoted as far as the inclusion of such backup, and now he was stuck with it. The group had two connected rooms at the inn. Jackie, Uncle, Tohru, El Toro, and Paco were in one room, while Viper, Jade, and the fillies were in the other, while Audrey had planted himself outside for the night. Jackie didn't like the idea of leaving the children in with the former thief - reformed or not, he didn't believe she was a good influence for them - but when he'd raised that objection, the response had quickly made him withdraw it.

"If she's such a bad girl, maybe you two should share a room so you can keep an eye on her?" Sweetie Belle had suggested in a deceptively innocent tone of voice.

Where did she learn to talk like that? he asked himself as he made his way to the bathroom. He still remembered the entire group laughing at his expense...or perhaps at Sweetie's shouted "Oh, come on!" when he'd retreated so quickly. He opened the door to the bathroom, praying he'd be able to just wash his face, brush his teeth, and go back to bed.

He was so preoccupied with his thoughts that he nearly walked right into the bathroom to clean up next to Finn and Ratso. He caught himself just in time, shutting the door and hiding behind it when they opened it back up to leave. Finn let out a loud yawn as he opened the door. "Glad Valmont talked Wong into going at our pace," he groaned softly.

"Yeah," Ratso agreed, stretching. "Talisman power is all well and good, but it takes a lot out of you. Just because he only needs two hours to recharge his 'Dark Chi' in meditation doesn't mean we can do the same."

"And we don't even need to stand watch," Finn yawned tiredly. "He's got his Dark Warriors taking care of that. What'd he call them? Gan, Ren, Chew?"

"Chui," Ratso corrected sleepily. "Like the Wookie, but Chinese."

Jackie pushed the door back closed, rubbing his face where he got bumped before following them to their room.

He stayed at the doorframe as he watched them enter, the door remaining open as they curled up in their beds. There were four beds, now with one occupant each. An elderly figure Jackie didn't recognize - the 'Wong' they'd mentioned, he presumed - floated in the center of the room, a gnarled scepter in his lap, his eyes closed in meditation. Scattered around the room were three orange skinned figures in black with solid black eyes and neon blue body paint. Looking at them, he felt a shiver run over his entire body. Is this what Uncle means when he gets the willies? he asked himself silently.

However, something else caught his attention. The vast majority of the 12 Talismans were left on end tables, and those that weren't were in plain sight. If he could make it past those 'Dark Warriors', he could snatch them all back. Even if that wasn't the mission priority, it would still be a huge advantage.

At the same time, it would alert the group to the fact that they had pursuers, and that said pursuers were right behind them. Of course, that was assuming he could get past the Dark Warriors to swipe the Talismans. Still, getting the Talismans away from the Dark Hand agents would give them a distinct advantage when the inevitable confrontation over whatever they had come to retrieve happened. After all, the four of them had trounced Jackie and Captain Black with the Talismans, and as effective as El Toro, Viper, and Tohru were...he didn't think it really evened the playing field. And as powerful as Audrey was, he was exceptionally vulnerable to flame...which the Talismans were naturally attuned to.

After a time of trying and failing to plan this out, he realized he was going the wrong way. He was considering a theft...and the team had a former professional thief amongst its number. All he had to do was ask for her help...without letting the girls know that's what he was up to. If they found out what was going on, Jade for certain and the others possibly would try and come along. How was he to get Viper out of that room without the girls following?

A light touch on his shoulder nearly made him leap out of his skin. Turning, he saw Viper standing there, putting a finger to her lips. He quickly nodded in relief, glad to see she was there. He quickly held up his hand to pantomime a four legged walk, indicating an inquiry about the fillies. Viper gestured back to the room she shared with them, which had an oddly sweet scent wafting out of it. She then pointed to outside, where Audrey was waving a few of his leaves in the window of that room.

Jackie relaxed. Viper was a professional, after all. And as much as he didn't like her former profession - and wasn't entirely sure he trusted her yet - her skills were invaluable here...just so long as he was able to keep his eyes on those skills, and not the way she looked in that catsuit.

In his mind's eye, he saw tiny versions of his selves that had taken shape when the Tiger Talisman split him on his shoulders. "We have to stay focused on the mission!" the tiny 'Light Jackie' insisted.

"I'd rather stay focused on that rack!" the tiny 'Dark Jackie' purred. "She takes real good care of herself!"

"We should not treat women as sex objects!" Light Jackie insisted.

"She's the one who practically drooled over our bare chest!" Dark Jackie countered. "We aren't made of stone!"

Jackie quickly dispelled that line of thought by brushing off his shoulders nervously. Seeing Viper ready to move, he tapped her on the shoulder. Once she turned to him, he motioned from the visible Talismans to the floating wizard. He then paused, trying to think how else he could silently indicate not letting the Dark Hand know they were already pursued.

Viper smiled under her mask. Reaching into a bag at her side, she pulled out 12 Talisman copies, much like the one that had been left as bait at the museum where they'd first met. She handed six of them to Jackie, pointing to the half of the room the six were on. Jackie gestured insistently to the Dark Warriors.

Grinning, Viper pulled out a small metal sphere and gently rolled it into the center of the room. As it reached there, it popped silently open and released an almost invisible mist that hugged the floor before climbing the walls. As it climbed up the Dark Warriors, the neon glow of their body paint dimmed. Viper then slipped into the room, seeming unnoticed by the Warriors. She held up her hand, five fingers raised.

Nodding, Jackie moved swiftly. Two and a half minutes later, they were back outside the room, the Talisman copies swapped for the real things. Holding out her hand, Viper let the sphere roll back to her as the light returned to the Warriors tattoos.

Jackie followed Viper outside and let out a sigh of relief. "You think of everything, don't you?" he asked quietly.

"I try," Viper confirmed. "Pick one Talisman you feel you can readily use without problems." She'd already pocketed the Snake, the Ox, and the Horse.

Looking through the rest, Jackie took the Rabbit. "Faster strikes would always be welcome," he observed calmly. "I know what to avoid at high speed."

Taking the rest, Viper walked over to Audrey, who opened his mouth wide. She promptly dumped the Talismans they hadn't parsed out into the open maw. "That's as good a place to keep them as any," she explained softly. "I'll give Ox to the wrestler, and Horse to the big guy. He's got enough extra chi he should be able to use it for a heal beam or something."

"I'll...see you in the morning, then," Jackie offered, deciding now was time to go back into hiding from the Dark Hand until they knew what they were after.

"Till then...handsome." With that, Viper sauntered off to the room she shared with the girls.

Light and Dark Jackie promptly reappeared on Jackie's shoulders. "Nnnf, dat ass!" Dark Jackie purred appreciatively.

"Stop that!" Light Jackie chided angrily.

Jackie groaned, putting his face in his hands. "Bad day..."

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