Oni Sidestory: Haint Blue Part 1

A/N: I’m still working on this, but have a bit. Don’t worry, when the whole thing’s written it will be posted on AO3! 🙂

So. An oni and a cove doctor are –  well, not walking into a bar…


Kyosai leaned back, tilting his head in resignation. The tip of a golden horn showed through dark hair, just at the brim of the hat she’d warned him to keep on until they were done. “The whole ceiling?”

“The whole thing,” Rain confirmed, amused. For this she’d put off her blacks, covering up instead with the rattiest, most worn and stained shirt and jeans she had. They’d all end up smeared with paint anyway. “At least it’s just the porch overhang. Have you ever painted a whole house?”

“Yes. Many times.” He gave her a look askance. “In paintings.”

Heh. Fair enough. “Well, it’s just like that bumper sticker Diana keeps around-”

“Oh no, not another learning experience?”

“…That one works too.”

——

“I feel I should warn you.” Kyosai eyed the bucket of old-fashioned paint, ready to pour into the roller tray a bit at a time. A pale, slightly greenish blue, like a shimmer of water, or the light of the sky on a summer’s day. “Milk paint is not my preferred medium.”

And probably never would be. This was the first time he’d painted with anything caustic, and he hoped it’d be the last. Rain had said gloves were a must. He could almost feel the paint in there lazily shimmering at him, just waiting to sample unwary skin.

Blue eyes danced, their storm lightened like shafts of sun. “It’s fine once it dries.”

He poked a claw the paint’s general direction, sensing the power of stars and sky from the drops of bullaun water Rain had mixed with the milk. “I’m not worried about it drying.”

Rain spun her roller, as a movie cowboy might spin the cylinder of a revolver. Possibly as much of a threat, to an unwary youkai. “Do you want to keep spirit visitors out or not?”

Yes. Definitely yes, given what he’d already encountered. But. “We never had to worry about this back home!”

Rain waved the paint roller his direction. “Back home you have people placating the dead with paper money and food offerings and the whole works. Around here people bury them and turn right around to taking care of the living. There’s no money for most people to do more.” She looked straight at him, oni illusions powerless against her fierceness. “Now see why I want your studio to work?”