PLEASE READ THIS FIRST
What follow are the adventures of a fictional (ie. made up by me) Card Captor working approximately in the 70s. You'll see a lot of the Clow Cards (hopefully in interesting ways), Keroberous, and various other aspects of the Clamp setting. DISCLAIMER: they belong to Clamp; no profit is made by me in this enterprise.
You will also see OCs: Osaka Joe the Captor in question and his assistant Honourable Secretary Jade Platter, a high-kicking Chinese dame, and various other original bits and pieces. If you're looking for another iteration of Sakura and Syaoran's romance, health to you but best read something else on the site.
That being said: Cheers! Enjoy! Reviews aren't expected, but undeniably make me happy!
from The Wham Bam Adventures of OSAKA JOE, PSYCHIC DETECTIVE
Title: Osaka Joe: Ink
Fandom: Card Captor Sakura
Summary: Ever wanted to get lost in a picture?
Characters: You, Osaka Joe (OC), Jade Platter (Yue), Keroberous
Warnings: Artistic Wank
Cards Appearing: the Create, the Erase
Osaka Joe: Ink
Old still pond,
Frog leaps in!
Sound of water
You have a new book, a book of paper made for ink painting. With restrained glee you open it and carefully detach a sheet of the fine yellow stuff. In a high cramped apartment, surrounded by whirring restless traffic noises and the smells of damp and the neighbours' cooking, you kneel before a low table covered with blanketing. You lay the paper on it, and secure the corners with four pebbles: one round and creamy-white, two jagged grey, and the last a lump of white-swirled green. To one side, a baby's peevish wail scratches your ears; to another, someone's illicit cat defecates and the smell sneaks through the walls. But you smile: you are about to enter another world.
The page rests like cool untouched water under your lightly held, upright brush, and you hesitate - any stroke you make cannot be unmade. A drop falls moistly from the brush; you grin fiercely and turn the ink into circular ripples opening out in the water, sketch lightly a pair of loose-limbed frogs gliding through water plants, smell the breathing green of your picture.
Puzzled, you turn. Could you always hear the river from this high apartment? Scolding, cooing voices try to quiet the baby; nearby two people make love. Your breathing slows and your spine straightens to fall loosely away from the nape of your neck: you make shy vermilion fish to join the frogs.
The shadow of your sleeve brushes the page and they flee to the shelter of waterweed. Eh? You bring out a bird, a little hopping sparrow – it whirs across the room and squeaks at your window.
Excited, you make a horse, valiant and rearing, let the roughness of the brush suggest shaggy fetlocks and surging hindquarters. It breaks through your fragile door and dashes indignantly down the corridor. You touch the ragged edges of the frame thoughtfully. Perhaps there will be trouble with the Residents' Association. Already querulous voices are raised. You narrow your eyes and use a wide dry brush to suggest heavy oak uprights, an uncompromising barrier between you and everywhere else.
You bring out more animals – a sharp-eyed fox, two gently hopping rabbits, cool squirmy fish and eels and watercress for the pond. Footsteps sound in the hall and someone knocks on your heavy door, calling. You paint wind in grass to blow away the voices, almost lose yourself in the exquisite dotting of wildflowers and tiny insects.
A scratching at your window, and a stranger's careful friendly voice: "Hey, hey friend, can I come in? We need to-"
Scowling, you begin a landscape of water and high mountains in the classic style, away from any city you know. The great rough rocks loom over you and around you, supporting gnarled pine trees in friendly crevices; the stippled lichen growing on the stone flakes under your fingers. Calm slow water laps against the shore.
Then a narrow-hulled boat piled with undetermined baggage, propelled by a short, wide boatman, drifts across the river between the high mountains. A passenger sits in the stern, with a hat pulled down over his eyes and a long staff with a red-eyed bird's head leaning against his shoulder. He looks up and smiles.
You didn't paint him.
Panicking, you take a wet brush and draw a flock of black birds wheeling in the sepia skies of evening between them. They circle and scream – you hear a human cry, and a thud, draw more birds. Something roars and pads heavily towards you; you rip out more birds until they fill all the air with their frantic beating, scream your fear and anger into black, black ink. Through the cloud of dark feathers you see the passenger swinging his bird-headed staff and clearing away your created birds, moving ever forward. You drop the brush and cover your head with your arms.
A smell of tobacco and you look up. It is the passenger, his wide-brimmed hat cocked back over his forehead. Scratchy ink-work in sepia shows crow's-feet around black eyes in a nice little character portrait, but some fool has been careless in the studio and splattered vermilion carelessly about the picture. Warm hands cover yours. "Hey, friend," he burrs in an Osakan drawl. "Can you draw a blank page for me?" He puts the brush in your hand and looks at you expectantly.
The page is bare. Or it is a paste-board card covered with elaborate patterning. It is both. It is neither.
The passenger kneels by the prone figure of the boatman, a woman, and brushes hair from her face. She opens her eyes, says, "Is fix?" and he nods. Some kind of winged cat that you never drew licks the blood off his face and looks at him mournfully, black streaks coming down from its eyes like tears. The passenger smiles at you.
"Hey," he says, "if we take you out to dinner, will you tell us about your painting?"
NOTES: Most of the painting technique comes from The Chinese Brush Painting Studio, by Pauline Cherrett.
(Giant winged cats don't fit the style of traditional Chinese ink painting, so Kero hid in the bottom of the boat while they were sneaking through the painting.)
Oh yes, the Osaka Joe Adventures are in direct continuity with my prequel fic "Faces of the Moon".