A/N: Hopefully this brief little short will tie you guys over till either tonight or friday ^^. Is it short? Yes. But then again the chibi things are usually only 2-4 minutes long so i think the size is reasonable compared to the main fic.
Lessons with Roman: Shoplifting
Shoplifting was an art that even the most uncommon of thieves were familiar with. It was a process easier to pull off, whether or not you were actually successful at it. All you had to do was pick up an item from the store and walk out the door with it!
of course, there was the whole manner of actually getting it past security, armed forces, finding ways to conceal the item without anyone noticing, disabling security, and a whole bunch of stuff. But regardless of the aftermath, the main idea was simple. Just take the item, anything you wish, and then run out the door with it. And the mall was the perfect place to bring the eight-year-old Ruby and fourteen-year-old alleged big sister, both in "disguise" along with the head honcho of this operation who was about to teach Ruby one of the most common forms of thievery.
And by disguise, this basically went down to what they normally wore with the addition of a copy of Roman's hat.
"Now this is one of the oldest forms of stealing squirt," Roman lead the way to the front of the store, twirling his cane with excitement, "as well as the most rewarding! Why bother stealing money for something you want when you can just take what you want!" Neo nodded at this with a smile while holding up the following sign.
-YOU CAN STEAL BOATLOADS OF COOKIES! ^^-
"Oooh cookies!" The child Ruby cheered, Roman rolling his eyes to it. He would've preferred hitting a bigger joint like a jewelry shop or some technical store with a bunch of new scrolls and new tech, but, considering this was Ruby's first shoplifting attempt (followed by fiery verbal threats from the mother to do what her angel wanted), his choices were limited. Perhaps it was better this way anyway, at worst you get nothing more than a slap on the wrist for stealing a simple cookie or pastry, and with it being Ruby's first time, chances of success were a little under average.
"Now, the first thing you need to learn are the three R's!" His announcement was followed by Neo holding up another sign, this one with three colorfully painted pink letters all with R's on them.
"The three R's?" Ruby asked poking her chin.
"The three R's! Research, Rob, and Retreat!" Like before, Neo began holding up various signs with each step that Roman announced. The first one showed a picture of a simple stick figure typing around a computer wearing poorly made glasses to look like a scientist. "First, you need to research what you're stealing!"
"Cookies!" Ruby cheered again.
"Yes, yes, in this case cookies. When you're going to steal from some place, you need to research everything about it. You need to know what you're stealing, how tough the security is, the inner workings, entrances and exits, everything to pull off a successful heist."
"Like trying to pull a prank on Mama?"
"Yes! Exactly! Great example! Now for the second R..." He paused waiting for Neo's second sign, this one displaying a devious-looking individual, who for some reason was dressed up like Roman, checking to make sure the coast is clear while he carefully swiped several miscellaneous objects from the store. "Rob! You can't shoot someone without a gun, and you can't pull off a robbery without actually robbing someone. When you're shoplifting any sort of store, you always want to make sure that the coast is clear," Neo flipped the sign backwards as it now displayed the same individual freaking out after being spotted by a security camera, "and make absolutely sure no one is watching. All it takes is for one prying eye and you're busted!"
-OFF TO THE BIG HOUSE FOR YOU :( -
"Mmh... I dunno about this..." Ruby mumbled with a frown, rubbing her hands nervously. This was going to be her first ever crime, at least one that targeted someone's building. It would've been one thing if she was doing anything else, like riding a motorcycle, skydiving, going on the world's biggest roller coaster, but all those things didn't have a chance of getting arrested for it. She was still trying to get used to the idea of stealing for the right reason, and despite all the coaxing, it's still taking some getting used to.
"Ah don't worry about it squirt, you'll be fine. Neo will help you." Roman said with a calming smile, followed by Neo smiling with a nod as she held the next sign.
-I'LL PROTECT YOU ^_^! -
"Which brings me to the last R," the final picture Neo showed displayed the very same robber dashing out the front door of the store, carrying a hefty bag of riches, "Retreat! It doesn't matter how stealthily you steal something, eventually someone's going to notice something missing. If you don't get out of there in time before they question you, you're history."
-RUN AWAY WITH THE COOKIES!-
"Ok...I think I'm ready!" Ruby nodded enthusiastically. This was all going perfectly. If Ruby managed to pull this off, there was no telling what end there was to the future heists she could help him pull off! First it was stores, tomorrow it'll be the bank, then after that, THE WORLD!
"Thatta sport!" Roman gave her the thumbs up. "Now, hurry on in there, and remember everything I taught you!"
"Neo, you go in and help her just in case. I'll stand guard to make sure nothing suspicious happens." And with a solid salute to the head of all stealing operations, Neo took Ruby's hand as the two made a mad dash into the store. "Ha, perfect! And now all I have to do is wait!"
Yessiree, the only thing he had to do was wait. A solid shoplifting scheme could take quite awhile for the first timers. There were multiple things you needed to figure out from what you wanted to steal, how you were going to sneak it onto your person, and how to get away with it without triggering the alarms or alerting security. By his estimate, this could take well into a half-hour, maybe a full one, two tops! The limit to this waiting game was endless! Thus, he needed to remain vigilant. He needed to persevere! He needed to be there at the ready to congratulate the two when Ruby came out after her first successful heist!
And so he waited!
...Waiting some more...
...Any day now-
Ok seriously what was taking so long? As the hours ticked by, so too did the sun in front of him. At first he was confident and pleased with how long it was taking. It proved she was taking her work seriously and following the rules carefully. After the next two hours, he wondered why it was taking so long, but didn't push for it. After all this was her very first attempted robbery, and with Neo needing to watch everything she did carefully, possibly coax her some more that it was okay, it could've been any second then.
After watching the sun begin to set within the sixth hour of this long wait, his arms drooped to his side as a look of complete boredom filled his face, he began to question what was actually taking so long-
The familiar sound of the front door's chingling bell rang through Roman's ears as the two FINALLY stepped forth. To his surprise, and confusion, both Ruby and Neo had smiles plastered on their faces while walking out with Neo wearing a green colored white-polka dotted party hat, and an entire garbage bag's worth of cookies! What made the scene so confusing and worrying was the fact they were doing this right out in the middle of the open, with several hours to go before shops started closing and people stopped walking around! How was she getting this done so easily?!
"Bye Nancy," Ruby waved with another cookie in her mouth, "have a good night! Congratulations again!"
-YU DA BEST \^o^/ ! -
"What the-? Girls! What the heck's going on?!" Roman stammered, too lost for words to process what he was seeing. Both girls just looked at him with mild curiosity and surprise.
"Oh, hey Roman, we forgot you were still here." Ruby apologized, offering one of life's many delicious tributes. "Cookie?"
"What? No! Not now! I mean what happened in there? How are you walking out with all that stuff?"
"Oh that?" Ruby smiled gobbling down another chocolate chip cookie. "It was employee appreciation day! All the treats in there were free today!"
-WE EVEN HAD A BIG PARTY!- Following Neo's next sign, she blew a party horn right through Roman's ears, the horn matching the same color as her hat.
"What? Wait a minute. Everything in there was free?" Of course it was, why wouldn't it be? The laws of the universe seemed to adjust to whatever convenience Ruby needed at the time, so this sort of thing didn't really surprise him anymore.
"Yeah! She even said everything is free around the block! It's Free Day!" Ruby added.
"Everything-!" Roman's eyes widened with glee.
That was too perfect! Oh for once he was ever so grateful for Ruby's near-endless luck! Every store within this block was free! FREE! There was no telling what he could take and where he could take it from! There was an electronics store down the street, a jewelry store right next to this one, and weapons store along the other end of the street! Oh what perfection! He could take anything he wanted and everything he wanted for once and nobody would stop him, nobody could! He was on top of the world!
"YAHOOOOOOOOO!" The chibi Roman cheered jumping into the air, making a mad dash down the streets as the two girls watched. Staring off to the side for a few seconds, Ruby suddenly blinked as she looked up in thought again.
"Oh no, wait. Maybe she said everything was free around the clock..."
Ruby nearly jumped as the sound of gunfire started going off in their direction, the sound of it all chasing after a terrified Roman who was running away flailing his arms while wearing a colorful diamond necklace, at least a dozen pairs of different-looking watches, and dragging along an unloaded hunting rifle by his feet from the strap. It was impossible to say this man wasn't afraid of the oncoming gunfire and his utmost confusion.
"AHHHHHHHHHH! BUT IT'S FREE DAAAAAAAY!" He screeched running past the girls. As the two curiously watched him run away, they were greeted with the buffed Police officer they met the last time they did this.
"Do you know anything about this?" The two looked at each other thinking the same thing. They must resort to Roman's many lessons he taught them the last time this happened!
"Officer, that man said he wanted to make us cryyyyy!" Ruby whined tearfully, Neo nodding with a frown on her face with an equally sad sign following this.
-I NEARLY WET MYSELF BECAUSE OF HIM!-
"Grrrr that scoundrel! I knew I shouldn't have let him off death row!" RIght before the girls' eyes, the buffed man ripped off his shirt, showing off his incredibly ripped abs that somehow doubled in size after ripping it off his shirt. "His spine is mine!" He roared, leaping off from the scene and crashing down on Roman given the sounds of pain that followed.
"AHHH MY SPINE!"
And the only thing the two chibi girls could do was watch curiously as the beating took place off screen, the sounds of Roman's cries for help never ending. Despite being the ever pleasant teacher they came to know him to be, he found himself at the wrong end of the law and someone's fist. Clearly, there was only one way to respond in his matter of crisis!
"... Wanna shoplift more free cookies?"
And with that, much like before, the two sisters held hands casually as they walked back into the wonderland of free cookies, all while Roman's screams of torment continued as his hat was scene rolling away from the view.
"WHY ISN'T ANYONE HELPIIIING?!"