Harem Today, Gone Tomorrow
By: Brenna Dawkins and VampireNaomi
A Jackie Chan Adventure Fanfic
Rating: PG-13 Disclaimer: Jackie Chan and subsequent characters belong to Jackie Chan and associates. It'd be pretty useless to sue me since I have nothing! I've made no profit nor will see any from this fic.
Summary: A collab by Snakelady Frohike1 and VampireNaomi! Finn suddenly and mysteriously has the power to bring still art to life. Tarakudo orders him and the Dark Hand to build him an invincible army. But, as usual, Finn gets other ideas. This can't turn out well!
Author's Note: (This happens right after Captain Black's Oni mask episode. Technically, I haven't seen it yet, shrug. This story was done round robin style. VampireNaomi would do a few paragraphs, then I would do a few. Hope ya'll enjoy it! More to come soon!)
"What wasn't your fault?"
Tarakudo stared at his lackeys and enjoyed the short moment that they used to come up with something to say. They were amusing in their own way, especially after failing.
From their story, he figured that their plans hadn't worked. They had found the mask, yes, but had lost it to Chan.
Or had they, really...
"Well, carry on," he stated.
"What? You can't leave us here! Who knows how long we'll drift here!" Finn objected.
"But I don't have any need for you at the moment, right? I will find you again once you have hit the shore. Right now I have other things to do..." he said and the air shuddered once before he disappeared.
"I can't believe that he left us like that. It could have taken hours to reach the shore!" Chow said angrily when they had managed to find dry land. He brushed his wet hair and polished his glasses.
"Yeah. It wasn't even our fault this time," Finn stated while trying to get his jacket at least somehow dry. The water had been dirty and cold and he didn't feel good at all.
"Stop complaining. Being punsihed because of failures builds character," Hak Foo said.
Finn rolled his eyes.
"Come on, Hak. No one wants to hear any warrior talk after that," he said and glanced around himself. Tarakudo had promised to find them when it suited him, but the oni was nowhere to be seen. There were only green trees and the sky was filled with grey clouds. He scratched his neck in thought. His hand stopped and he froze for a moment.
"What? Where is it?" he exclaimed and fumbled his neck and chest like a maniac. No, no, no! It couldn't be gone!
His friends turned to stare at him.
"What is it, Finn?" Chow asked.
"Yeah? Did that pole put a curse on you or something?" Ratso commented.
Finn looked at them in shock.
"My lucky medallion! It's gone!" he said in desperation. He looked at himself once more and the truth hadn't changed; there was nothing hanging on his neck.
"Oh, you mean that disco trinket?" Ratso asked.
"Yes, that's it! Have you seen it?" Finn asked.
"Last time when it was on you."
"What does it matter? You can get a new one in rummage sale, or something," Chow said.
"No I can't! This medallion is special! John Travolta gave it to me when I was small! It means so much to me," Finn said. He seemed to be on the edge of panic and Chow and Ratso glanced at each other in worry. Hak Foo was just sitting and watching the show, but didn't seem to be interested.
"Oh, I see..." Chow said. "Maybe it was swept away while we were in the river?"
Finn stood still. His eyed widened.
"No! That can't be possible! Please, don't let it be true!" he exclaimed and rushed at the shore where the fallen totem pole still rested. "It has to be somewhere in here..."
His gaze flew over the shore and he bent down to see if the medallion was in the water. There was no sign of it.
"I don't believe this..." Finn muttered and collapsed next to the totem pole. He didn't mind that his clothes became wet again.
A flash. He paid no attention to it.
Another flash. Now he turned to look at it.
"What?" he asked and frowned. There was a nasty looking snake creature decorating the pole. Its mouth was wide open and the fangs and tongue were clearly visible. And there was something shiny in the mouth.
Finn slipped his fingers inside the mouth and drew out something. His heart jumped.
"Hey, I found it!" he announced in victory and held the medallion high above his head.
"Whee," Chow said dryly.
"Hey, this means a lot to me," Finn said slightly irritated. He tried to polish the medallion with his sleeve and glanced at the snake figure once more. "What a stroke of luck that it got stuck there. Otherwise I would have never seen it again."
"Is it broken?" Ratso asked. Finn suspected that he was the only one of his friends who was actually interested in the fate of his lucky medallion. Chow and Hak Foo would never understand its value.
He paid a close look at it. There didn't seem to be anything wrong.
"No, not even a scratch. I just need to get a new chain, that's all. The old one is gone," he said.
"Let's head back to the city. You can get a new chain and we'll find somewhere to eat," Chow said.
"I like that plan," Ratso agreed.
"Me too. There's no sense in standing here in the middle of nowhere," Finn admitted. He shoved the medallion in his pocket and the four headed back to San Francisco.
Tarakudo hadn't contacted then when they arrived in San Francisco. Finn demanded that they'd go to buy a new chain before eating anything.
"I think you are taking this a bit too seriously," Chow stated as they stepped in a cheap jewellery store.
"You are only saying that because you are hungry," Finn said. He ran his fingers through different kinds of chains trying to find one that felt good. The medallion was special and deserved a certain kind of chain.
"I'm hungry too. Can't we go yet?" Ratso asked.
"Whatever. I'll just pay for this first," their Irish friend said and the others blinked.
"Come on, Finn. The shopkeeper looks so old that he could be my grandfather. And he is also as blind as a mole. Since when have you bothered to pay in situations like these?" Chow asked.
Finn glanced at him in annoyance.
"This is a special case," he said. No one said anything, it was much easier to let Finn do what he wanted. It was the fastest way to go.
Finn threw a few coins at the counter. The chain wasn't expensive at all. And yet it felt strong and looked good.
"Where are we going to eat today?" he asked as he slipped the medallion in the chain.
"Any place is fine as long as we can get something edible there," Chow stated.
Finn snorted in agreement and slid the medallion around his neck. For a short moment it felt like something was wrong and he stopped.
"Now what?" Ratso asked.
"I... don't know," Finn said and blinked. "Nothing I guess." He shrugged and they continued their walk. Ratso said that he knew a good coffee bar a couple of blocks away and they headed there.
And again they were interrupted by something.
"Oh, look at that!" Ratso exclaimed and stopped to point at an advertisement on the wall. It had a picture of a dog that was dancing on a ball and wearing a stupid hat.
"Dante the Dancing Dog?" Finn said with a lifted brow. "Someone is in a desperate need of money if they bother to try that."
"Ditto," Chow said.
Hak Foo was silent, as usual. No one really paid any attention to it anymore. They would have been much more surprised if he had started to talk all of a sudden.
"Well, this one next to it is just as odd," Finn said and turned his attention to another poster. It was old and the colors had started to fade away, but anyone could still have recognized a strange surrealistic picture of a screaming human. There was text "The greatest artists of Northern Europe in the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco".
"Hey, isn't that the painting of that Norwegian guy? Edward something?" Chow asked.
"Yeah, I guess it is. A horrible painting, if you ask me," Finn said. He tapped the forehead of the screaming figure. "It always seemed so... alive... to me."
"Well, even if it was alive I doubt anyone would hear its screams under the growling of my stomach. Let's go," Chow said. No one had anything against it so the off they went.
They turned to leave when they were stopped cold by a shrill scream coming from behind them. It caused Chow's spine to shiver and Finn winced and Ratso dug a finger into his ear.
"You guys hear that?" Ratso asked.
"The dead could've heard that!" Finn said crossly. The three Enforcers turned to see who was screaming.
"Aw, crap!" Finn backed up, Chow and Ratso did likewise. "You gotta be kidding me!"
They stared, wide-eyed at the figure before them. The swirling brush strokes were disturbing enough features, but the thing was emitting the bone-chilling wail that had caught their attention.
"Since when did paintings come to life?" Chow wanted to know and took another step backwards.
"Who cares! Let's get the Hell out of here!" Finn said gruffly and turned and ran. The others followed until they had covered a couple of blocks. Heaving from the exertion, they stopped and tried to catch their breath.
"Did we lose it?" Ratso wondered hopefully.
An answering wail nearby told them 'no'.
The thing was hurrying after them, hands perpetually placed upon either side of his face Home Alone style with it's jaw agape. It's disturbing eyes followed them and it walked along in a hurry after them awkwardly, since it was still kinda in it's highly stylized form.
"What are we gonna do now?" Chow wanted to know.
"How am I supposed to know?" Finn asked. The thing was getting closer and it was obvious that it was not going to give up any time soon.
"Well, you usually have ideas," Ratso said. He looked at the thing that had now got right in front of them. "On second thought, it's kinda cute isn't it?"
"No!" Finn and Chow replied in union.
"Aww, but look at it. It must be lonely. Why else would it have come after us?" Ratso asked.
"I dunno. Maybe it's a cannibal," he guessed.
"It sure looks cannibal to me," Chow added.
The thing blinked and it's continuous scream became louder and higher.
"Now look what you did. You hurt its feelings," Ratso tried his best to give the thing a friendly face while Finn and Chow just stared at awe.
"Don't tell me you really like that freak?" Finn asked. The thing turned its attention from Ratso and stared at the Irishman with its horrified eyes.
Finn was pretty much sure that he had heard a word in the middle of that screaming. And it was a word he didn't like.
"Can we keep it?" Ratso asked hopefully.
Chow and Finn cast Ratso a glance that deflated Ratso's wistfulness.
"Come on, guys! I think we're responsible for releasing it in the first place. The least we can do is take care of it," Ratso persisted.
Finn scowled, "No, Ratso, the least we can do is leave it here, go home, and not tell anyone. Besides, what makes you think it was US that brought it to life in the first place?"
Ratso thought about that one, but after a time, he gave up and shrugged. "Dunno. But it only came to life after you looked at it."
"SO?" Finn demanded feeling perturbed. He was NOT going to be saddled with this... thing that seemed so attached to them. And he pretended not to hear that word that the thing seemed to keep calling after him.
"Besides, since when do paintings come to life after someone just looks at them?" Chow demanded reasonably. He did NOT want this creepy thing around. It was still making this continuous, low wailing sound and Chow winced when the keen hit a high note. Hak Fu just looked on in silent amusement. He rarely talked unless it was strictly called for.
"It's NOT coming home with us, Ratso, and that's final!" Finn replied with all due authority.
"Then you get to be the one to tell it that it's not coming with us," Ratso said and backed up, wondering how the thing would react to such news. It was obvious to him that it wanted desperately to be with them.
Finn and Chow looked at the living painting.
"Well... Here goes," the Irishman said and kneeled next to the creature. It blinked and looked slightly happier for a while. Of course happiness was an awkward feeling on its face, and it vanished soon.
"Be careful, it might bite," Chow said.
"Thanks, that's just what I needed to know," Finn turned his attention back to the painting. "So, little buddy... Why don't you head back to where you came from and leave us for now?"
The painting shook its head violently and its wail grew louder and higher. Finn backed away.
"I don't think it likes that idea," he said.
"Told ya," Ratso commented.
Finn looked around. There weren't many people, but he was sure someone would come around sooner or later if they didn't silence that creature. And soon too. He wasn't very enthusiastic about the idea of people starting to ask too many questions.
"But what can we do about it? We can't just take it with us, can we?" he asked.
"We don't even know what it eats," Chow said.
Ratso took a step forward and picked the creature up. Finn and Chow winced, but nothing happened.
"I bet it likes ice cream. All children do," Ratso said.
"Ratso, it's not a child," Finn remarked.
But the thing struggled against Ratso's hold. It wriggled and writhed in a strange serpentine-like manner and finally slithered out of his grip. It moaned and reached out to Finn who backed up again and brought his arm up in front of his face instinctively.
"Da!" It wailed in a most heartrending tone as it reached for Finn.
Finn's eyes widened and he looked back and forth between Chow and Ratso for possible help.
"Hey, don't look at me." Ratso waved Finn off. "You're the daddy. Not me."
Wild eyed, he turned to Chow who stepped back with both hands raised in a gesture that clearly said you're on your own.
"I'm NOT that thing's- dad!" Finn shouted flustered.
"Da!" The thing called to him again and Finn jerked back as it had gotten close enough to touch him. The thing keened, higher pitched in it's obvious distress. Chow clapped his hands over his ears.
"Look, just do whatever it wants to keep it from doing- THAT!"
Finn grit his teeth, "NO! I'm not that thing's friggen dad! If I'm going to create a friggen life, then, by God, I've gotta have some fun outta it! And this hadn't been my idea of fun!"
"You're the one making it wail like that, by hurting its feelings," Ratso observed as the thing continued to elevate the hysterical wail that was grating on all their nerves.
"Yeah! Make it stop!" Chow demanded, irritated.
Finn looked at them.
"What? What could I do?" he asked uncertainly. The thing gave him sad eyes and blinked again.
"Well, it thinks you are its dad, so..." Ratso said.
"I wonder what the mother looks like," Chow pondered. Finn shot him a dirty look.
"I am NOT its dad!" he exclaimed. Then he froze when he felt something tugging his pants. When he looked down he saw that the painting was desperately trying to hug his knees. It was quite an effort since it still was still holding its head.
"Da!" it wailed unhappily.
"Ack, go away!" Finn said trying to take a step or two back.
"Aww, it just wants attention. Poor thing..." Ratso said.
"Poor thing? I am the poor thing here! Look, it's harrassing me!" Finn said.
"I think you should just give up for now. Do what it wants and then we can leave. If it causes us further trouble we can ask Tarakudo to get rid of it for us." Chow said.
"But..." Finn started. Then he looked at the thing. It was ugly beyond imagination and he wasn't enthusiastic about having it around. "Oh well..." he sighed.
The creature let out a happy screech as Finn picked it up in his arms.
"I hope you are happy now," he muttered in irritation. The thing leaned its head on his chest and sighed.
Finn carried the thing back to the direction of the car.
"Wait, I thought we were gonna get something to eat first," Ratso complained.
Finn glared at his companion, "You wanna explain this THING to the waitress?" He gestured with his chin to the painting come to life in his arms.
"Come to think of it, how are we gonna explain this to Tarakudo?" Chow wondered unpleasantly.
"I dunno," Finn honestly hadn't the foggiest and didn't relish trying to come up with a good enough lie for their latest boss.
"Well, it did sorta follow us home," Ratso suggested.
Finn cut Ratso a sideways glance, "You really think Mr. Pumpkinhead is gonna believe that one?"
"Well, I don't hear YOU coming up with any suggestions," Ratso gruffly said in his defense.
"Why do I have to come up with all the ideas?" Finn complained, still disgusted with the fact that he had to baby this horrid- thing.
"Cause you sorta are the leader, or at least act like it when it's convenient," Chow blasted back.
"What the Hell is THAT supposed to mean?" Finn growled.
But Chow clamped his jaws shut and refused to answer. Finn grit his teeth and gave the Chinese man like silent treatment. The whole painting situation strained their nerves. It was unsettling not knowing what had caused this medieval hellish relentlessly screaming painting to life. Tarakudo would interrogate them mercilessly about it too. As if they knew anything about magic crap! Magic was something that happened TO them, not by them! And on a disturbingly continuous basis at that.
They got into the car and Finn took the wheel. Chow sat next to him and the Irish man tried to make the painting sit in his friend's lap.
"Hey, I don't want it! And it doesn't want me," Chow objected.
"Dude, I can't drive if it sits on me. Take it," Finn replied. He threw the thing at Chow rather harshly and it hit its head against the door. This only caused it to scream louder and with an even unhappier tone.
"Hey, don't hurt a child! What kind of father are you?" Ratso commented from the back seat.
"It's not my child! And it isn't a child either. It's just a freaky painting that came to life," Finn said in irritation. Why couldn't anyone else understand that?
"Whatever as long as I don't have to touch it any longer," Chow said. The thing was sitting in his lap and stared longingly at Finn. The Irishman turned his gaze away. The thing had disturbing eyes. He started the car and they drove off. They didn't really know where they were supposed to go since Tarakudo hadn't contacted them yet. It would happen sooner or later though, but none of them liked waiting. It felt like they were just worthless lackeys who were called whenever some magical demon wanted.
To be continued...