Harem Today, Gone Tomorrow
By: Brenna Dawkins and VampireNaomi
A Jackie Chan Adventure Fanfic
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!
Finn was ushered out of the shop once Uncle declared he didn't need the thief's assistance any longer. Finn didn't really know what he should be doing at that moment. The old goat didn't give him any instructions, just said, in his whiny voice that grated on his nerves, "Okay, that's all. Goodbye!"
He felt like he had to be doing something. Chow and Ratso would be worried about him. Who the Hell cared what Tarakudo was thinking at the moment. Should he go back to the hideout and just wait to see if Uncle's magic would work? He really didn't feel like facing the oni at the moment. But he had no money and no interest in going anywhere else. So with mounting anxiety, Finn turned around and headed towards what he called home with the other Enforcers.
He sighed to himself and stopped after only a few paces. The girls would be waiting there for him. Finn's chest clenched tightly. They'd only serve as a visual reminder of what he'd lost. They wouldn't understand his feelings had been for just one girl, and she... she was gone.
Finn had a suddenly intriguing thought. Could Venus... could she have gone back to where she belonged? Back into the painting? Hope sprung anew and he turned around again in the direction of the museum. But wait, he thought to himself. The guards would know him! There was no way he could go back in and just check to see if she was there.
A cab pulled up to a stop in front of the shop and beside Finn. The door opened and Jade found herself staring at the Irishman in amazement.
"What... are you doing here at Uncle's shop?" She demanded after a long moment of staring.
"Helping your Uncle. Go on, ask him to see if I tell the truth or not." Then he got another idea. "Hey, kid. I was wondering if you could do me a favor, that is, after you find out I'm telling the truth about helping your Uncle out."
Jade didn't trust him one bit, "Why should I help you even if you ARE helping Uncle?"
"It isn't anything difficult or dangerous... I just want you to go into the art museum and look at a certain painting. That's it."
Jade snorted. "Just look at a painting."
Finn nodded, "And tell me what you see in it. That's all. I promise!"
Jade crawled out of the cab. Jackie had gone back to Section 13 and had the cab drop his niece off at Uncle's shop.
"Uncle!" Jade called out to see jut how much of the truth Finn was imparting.
When there was no reply Jade decided to step in and take a quick look around. Who knew if Finn had hurt Uncle somehow, and the old man was unable to respond?
"Uncle? Tohru?" she asked as she walked in. She didn't close the door behind her, she wanted to be able to keep an eye on Finn. "What are you doing?" she asked as she noticed both her old uncle and his apprentice bent over books.
"Research!" Uncle exclaimed and Jade rolled her eyes. Well, duh. "But why? What's going on?" she asked eagerly. Aww, she would die if something cool had happened while she had been gone!
"Our Irish friend has been cursed! I have cast a spell on him so that we can interact with him without fear. No we need to find a way to remove the curse!" the old man said, not lifting his eyes from the book.
"Cursed? Cool! What's happening to him?" Jade asked. Wow, Finn had been telling the truth after all. This was probably why he was with them now. But... why would he want her to check a museum? What was so special about one old painting?
Maybe it was valuable. Maybe Finn wanted to know about the security so that he would be able to steal it. But somehow Jade doubted it. Something had been different in the Irishman's voice and face when he had asked her. It was almost like... desperation?
This is all too weird, she thought to herself.
It looked like Uncle and Tohru were pretty much occupied and wouldn't mind if she wasn't around. So, without another word, Jade returned outside.
"Okay, I'll do what you want. But if I find out that you have some strange motive..." she warned. Actually, it would be pretty fun to do something dangerous on her own again.
So the two walked down towards the museum. Well, this was definitely not her ordinary adventure. Usually she was adventuring with Jackie, now it was... with Finn.
"So, what about this painting? Why the sudden interest?" Jade wanted to know. "And, where are Chow and Ratso?"
Finn snorted, "Those two are back at the hideout with that... that oni." She heard the hatred in his voice when he mentioned Tarakudo and wondered about that. "As for the painting, let's just say it's personal, kid."
"C'mon, Finn. Tell me. You know what? Uncle Jackie gave me a cell phone temporarily. If I suspect ANYthing rotten on your end, I'm gonna let my fingers do the walking and Jackie'll be here straight away to kick your butt."
Finn scowled. Finn wasn't that bad of a hand-to-hand fighter when it came down to it. He'd broken many bones of many adversaries and even had shot quite a few people before Chan had come into his life.
"You do what you want, kid. I can hold my own when I have to."
Jade snorted disbelieving, "Sure, yeah, even when it's you AND Chow AND Ratso on just one Jackie, he can STILL wallop you and your buddies."
Finn was feeling irritated. How'd Jackie stand her 24/7? He didn't feel he needed to justify himself to a kid. "What's it to you why this painting is important to me? You said you'd do it and now you're makin' threats? Isn't that like- bad karma for your people or something, dude?"
"Whatever, let's just get this done," Jade retorted finally. Then she walked a bit in silence, her mind on her past adventures. She had to giggle at one thought to which Finn looked over at her suspiciously.
She giggled some more, "This is the second time you've been cursed, I just realized. Boy, you have lousy luck. Aren't you supposed to be Irish or something?"
Finn sighed, "I AM, Irish. Not ALL Irish are lucky. And, it's NOT funny."
"But it IS! Come on, Finn, you and your pals have the worst luck of anyone I know."
He really didn't want to be having this conversation. Was Jade always so talkative? Why'd he ask for her help anyway? Because he was a desperate, pathetic loser, that's why, he morosely thought to himself. "If you recall, our luck had been pretty good until
Chan messed everything up."
"Don't blame us. We're the good guys. You're a bad guy. You're still a bad guy... aren't you?"
Finn started at the girl's question. Why did she even ask? Wasn't it obvious that he wouldn't switch sides just because of this? And yet...
"Of course I'm a bad guy," he replied to avoid further conversation about the matter.
"I guessed so." Finn couldn't tell if Jade sounded relieved or disappointed. Not that it mattered that much.
"Hey, we are almost there," he noticed suddenly. They were almost in the Renaissance exhibit, and he could feel his stomach make a turn. What if...
Jade didn't reply, but led the way. Finn didn't object, it felt somehow natural that she would show the way. He wouldn't normally be taking orders from a kid, but this time he just didn't care. He would get what he wanted sooner this way if he didn't have to argue with her.
"So, is one of these the painting you wanted to see?" Jade asked and waved her hand towards the direction of the many paintings as they arrived in the right room.
With surprise Finn noticed that no one had removed the paintings that he had... altered. They were still there, only covered in white sheets.
"I wonder why they don't have more guards here," he muttered under his breath. It would have felt natural to see the museum full of policemen and guards after what they had done.
"Huh?" Jade asked.
"Never mind, kid," the Irishman replied as he turned towards the place where he remembered Venus to be. Finn stood in front of it. Now he was fearful of looking behind the curtain. What if she wasn't there? He didn't know if he could handle it.
"Just, take a peek behind the sheet and tell me if she's in there or not." Finn gestured at the painting.
Jade raised an eyebrow. "She?"
"Venus!" Finn said exasperatedly.
Jade shrugged and jauntily strode close to the painting and lifted the white drapery. Finn held his breath, waiting for the bad news. But just then, a guard wandered past and spotted them.
"HEY! Get away from there!" Then the guards eyes widened as he recognized the Irish thief. "Stop! Thief!"
"Run, kid!" Finn commanded and surprisingly, she listened and the two ran from the museum with a couple of security guards on their tails. "I know a place where we can hide!" Finn led her to that very alley where he and the Enforcers had taken Venus and the others. Was it only yesterday? It felt like eons had passed since that fateful moment when Venus had tried to ravage him.
His heart beat painfully in his chest, not from the sudden run, but from the memories the nasty place held for him. They turned into the alley and went around the corner. Finn made a point not to look at the pile of garbage that he and Venus had tried to make love in.
Both were breathing heavily and were leaning up against a brick wall. Finn gulped in a few breaths and noted he was starting to feel nauseas from the anxiety for Venus's painting. He had to know.
"Well, what'd ya see?" He asked, trying not to sound desperate.
Jade shrugged. "A painting with a nude woman with long hair on a half shell and a couple of cherubs."
Finn inhaled sharply. Could it really be true? He turned about and faced her, kneeling so he could be eye to eye with the tiny Chinese girl. "Honestly, kid? Please, this isn't something you'd lie about, would it?"
She heard the desperate plea in his voice and wondered about that. "I'm NOT lying, Finn. Venus was in there. Why were all those paintings covered? Why'd the guard recognize you?" She frowned. "You stole a painting, didn't you?"
Finn snorted. He was inexplicably happy for a change and felt his heart would burst from his chest in his joy! Venus was safe and sound back where she belonged! She hadn't vanished from this world forever! He thought he could handle it better for knowing that one fact! In his joy he hugged a very surprised Jade and laughed in delight. Then when he calmed down, he released the girl.
"I didn't steal a painting," Finn could honestly tell her. "You saw they were still there, didn't you?" God, but he felt almost giddy knowing Venus was all right!
"So, what do we do now?" Jade asked then, looking slightly disturbed as if being touched by the Enforcer had been one of the most sickening experiences of her life.
Finn hadn't really thought of that. Now that he knew that Venus was safe he didn't think he cared about anything. At least not at the moment. But eventually he would have to find a way to get her back. It would be more difficult than last time, but he knew he could do it. He wrapped his fingers around his medallion. He knew it would have to work.
"I'll walk you back to your Uncle's shop," he offered. He couldn't go back to the museum now that everyone was alerted, and he thought he needed to clear his thoughts a bit before trying anything. A walk would do it nicely.
"Uh, sure," Jade replied. "Want to tell me what was so special about that painting?"
Finn looked at her and couldn't help but grin in happiness. The result was that Jade looked at him as if he had gone mad. "It's a very personal thing, kiddo. You'll understand when you grow up a bit," he said.
It took them a while to get back to Uncle's shop, and it was way past midnight when they did. Despite that they could both see that there was still light in the windows. "Now we're in trouble..." Jade moaned quietly.
"Well, it wasn't like you went out alone, dude. You WERE with an adult." Finn said uncertainly.
Jade folded her arms and raised an eyebrow, "Oh yeah. I'm sure Jackie'd LOVE to hear how I was gallivanting about town with an ENFORCER all by myself!" She sighed.
"Come on, kid. I'm sure your Uncle told him everything. Besides, we don't even know if Jackie is there," Finn tried to sound confidant.
Jade sighed and took the lead and walked up to the door. "Just let's get the yelling and grounding over with." She opened the door with Finn right behind her.
"There you are!" Chow chirped and then got a two fingered slap on the temple from Uncle.
"Do not stop chanting! Must continue!" Uncle groused.
"Okay, okay!" Chow grumbled and continued to chant in time with Uncle. Finn and Jade stared. Chow was hopping about on one foot and holding his other foot with his hand. In his other hand, he held a snakeskin. And Jackie was nowhere to be found.
"Well," Finn began, "This is... different."
"You can say that again," Jade continued to stare at Chow who seemed to be assisting the old man with a spell or something.
"Umm, dude, where's Ratso and my entourage?" Finn wanted to know.
But Uncle gave Finn a glare that told him silently to not interrupt.
"What are they doing?" Finn asked mostly to himself.
Jade shrugged again. "Magic must defeat magic. What I wanna know is what Chow is doing here."
Finn thought he had that one figured out. The small Chinese man must have gone out looking for him. It made him feel like his life was a little less then miserable if there was someone out there who was concerned enough about him to go looking for him. And not only that, but was assisting in a spell that could help them all. Finn was amazed. Through all he had gone through the past several years, only Chow and Ratso had always been there in some manner of speaking. It warmed him, despite the fact that Chow looked utterly ridiculous.
"Old man, do you think you could hold off a bit on that spell? I... I have something I need to do first." He meant Venus. If the geezer took away the magic the medallion held, he'd never see her in the flesh again.
"Too late, spell almost fin-ished. No turning back now," Uncle replied irritated at the request. "Once spell complete anyway, all will go back to way they were before."
Did that mean Scream, the horseman, and his harem would all disappear and go back to their original state?
"Isn't there any other way?" Finn asked feeling the onset of panic once more.
Uncle didn't reply, but kept chanting something. Finn didn't like it at all.
"No wait! You can't do it yet! I want to - " he started, but stopped abruptly as his medallion started glowing. "Oh no," he muttered.
He could only watch as his trinket became greener and greener until Uncle clapped his hands once. The glow died instantly.
"Done!" the old man announced. "Now you will leave Uncle's shop!"
Finn took the medallion in his hand. It didn't feel any different. Maybe the spell hadn't worked.
He felt how Chow grabbed his arm, and the Irishman forced his legs to follow his friend. There was nothing else for him in the shop.
"What EVER made you go to them for help?" Chow asked once they were outside. Finn gave him an angry look, he knew Chow didn't approve his decision.
"At the moment it felt like the only good thing to do," he said.
"But you could have asked US to help!"
Despite that his friend was mad at him it felt good to know that at least he had friends. He hadn't really thought about it in a while. His life had been just one big mess with no time for anything.
"Later, right now I want to try something." Finn waved a hand at Chow and motioned the man to come closer.
"What?" Chow asked as Finn bent down to pick up a small piece of paper. It was colorful and had a happy picture of a cartoon squirrel in it. It was probably cut from a comic or something.
"Well, squirrel dude, come to me," Finn said and tapped the picture once.
"That's not going to work," Chow said.
And it didn't. Nothing happened.
Finn let the paper drop to the ground with mixed emotions. Well, no magic in his medallion meant that Tarakudomundo couldn't harass him anymore about creating that lame army. He wouldn't have those girls hanging on him at every moment of everyday, and thank God Scream was not going to be there when they returned home!
But... that also meant... no Venus... ever again. Whoever had coined the phrase it was better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all should be drug out into the street, beaten, tortured, and shot.
"What's Tarakudo's mood?" Finn wanted to know what was in store for him when he got back.
Chow shrugged, "He didn't miss you, if that's what you mean."
Finn frowned. "You don't think he'll bite my head off or something?"
"How should I know what the Boss has in mind?" Chow said irritably, not looking forward to returning home to a nearly empty hovel. He rather liked having all those girls about, even if they couldn't fully satisfy him. It sure had brightened up the place for the
short duration of their stay. "But you must admit, he's much more forgiving then Shendude ever was."
That much was true, for the most part. Except that the oni HAD destroyed Venus because the creature knew Finn coveted her. Of course, Shendu might have just flamed ALL the girls for his screw up. Dalong Wong would not have let him keep his harem for even a second, but Valmont would have let them all stay no matter what. Finn sighed for the millionth time that day. He missed the good old days, when he and the other Enforcers had real power. If he wanted something, he used to just take it. Now he had to fight to keep anything, even his waning self-respect.
"Let's get the yelling and grounding over with," Finn suddenly identified with Jade at that one, fleeting moment.
"Huh?" Chow didn't get it.
"Never mind," Finn grumbled. And the two headed back to an empty home where a very confused Ratso waited for explanations.