Tags: Dark, Abuse, Healing, Depression, Ushi-Oni, "Industry Work"
Most people think being a pornstar in a demon realm is a dream job. "Oh you get to have sex with mamono all day long? And get paid for it? How could anyone hate that?"
The answer is simple: When you're already broken, you don't get to do all the cutesy boyfriend-experience POV or handholding films. You get saddled with the kink-heavy stuff. Things like getting gangbanged and utterly dominated until you're lying broken in a puddle of sexual and other fluids. The more aggressive and kinky-minded mamono love that sort of thing, as do some men. And they pay tremendously well, to the point that I had enough money saved up to never need to work another porn set.
You might then wonder why I'd stick around in such a job if I hated it so much. Why I kept coming back for more and more dangerous/kinky scenes. As I said: I was utterly broken. The kind of broken where the only time I could even do so much as pretend I had value was during scenes. The kind where I actually started to believe I was worth anything when I nearly OD'd on Manticore venom or when a Hellhound tongue-fucked my throat. But as soon as the scene was over? Back down to less than nothing. My life had no joy in it. I was quite literally just waiting for death.
I suppose that's why I barely thought anything when I signed up to star in "Poor Little Ushi Bait". It was your typical Ushi-Oni-focused smut with nine Ushi-Oni breaking through walls and raping a man in a train until his pelvis was broken. Or so the viewer was made to think. As violent and painful as scenes could be, they never actually went too far and permanently injured anyone involved. Even if I wished they did to me. My pelvis certainly felt like dust on the wind when the director finally called a wrap on filming after two days.
"Great work girls!" he cheered as all of the Ushi-Oni actresses gathered round with the rest of the film crew. "I can tell already that we're going to dominate this year's MVN Awards! And not just because my wife's one of the major sponsors!"
Everyone laughed at that, paying no mind to the fact that I was having trouble getting to my feet and dragging myself towards the locker room. A less-broken man might have yelled back at the director to shut the fuck up and that he only got to live this life because of his Danuki wife. That no one actually listened to him on set and that everyone was carrying his talentless ass.
But me? I just hobbled past without a word, wincing with every movement. There was no point in yelling at him. There was no point in much of anything. I was a nearly-lifeless piece of meat that barely had anything resembling a soul remaining. I couldn't even cry any more. There was no point to that either. I wasn't in a scene. No one would ever come and comfort me. Or, rather, the tears would just mean further domination and abuse.
So there were no tears as I sat beneath the cold water of the locker room showers. Just stark numbness, even in my aching pelvis. I stayed there long enough to no longer reek of sex before moving towards my locker. Inside was a baggy, comfortable set of clothing that was somewhere between a workout outfit and PJs. Yet I might as well have remained naked for all the comfort they brought me.
I was halfway through pulling my sweatpants on when a small, pink envelope fell out of one of the legs. I stared down at it and noted that it was sealed with a red heart sticker. It was probably just another prank by the Cheshire crew-women. But I picked it up and opened it anyways. As the faint scent of roses wafted from the paper, I read:
"I know we're not supposed to get attached as pornstars, but I couldn't help but feel a connection during that final scene. Wanna maybe get drinks later tonight? My treat. Just come to the Dark Dog Bar around 10 PM."
It was signed by "R", and no names immediately came to mind. Nor had I ever been to the Dark Dog Bar. It was likely a prank. Yet at least a more involved one than the usual Cheshire antics. There was no real reason to not follow up on it. All I was going to do anyways that evening was sit in the dark drinking whiskey. I might as well meet this "R". Even if it turned out to be a joke or just another actresses wanting a little extra action. I couldn't sink any lower than I already was.
So I went. I instantly began to question my decision when I realized the Dark Dog Bar was a major Hellhound hangout. Not because of all the Hellhounds licking their lips and eyeing the fresh piece of meat willingly walking into their domain, but because experience had taught me I was about to be "gifted" so many drinks that I would have a god-level hangover in the morning. Still, I went inside. From the pool tables to the dim lighting to the copious amounts of bottles behind the bar it was clear that this place was a dive. "R" hadn't left instructions of where to sit or who to look for. I ended up sitting at the bar, thinking about how there must be some Cheshire nearby recording and giggling about what was a Hellhound gangbang in the making.
Strangely, though, none of the bar's patron's approached me. Sure, they undressed me with their eyes, but only at a distance. Even the bartender, an older Kitsune with gray in her seven tails, only stayed around long enough to get my order and deliver me three fingers of her strongest whiskey. It was a welcome change, albeit it a short-lived one. For not half-a-drink in I heard (and felt) someone taking up the spot next to me at the bar. Turning to look, my heart sank even lower. It was the largest Ushi-Oni I'd ever seen. How she even fit inside was a small mystery. Much less how she squeezed into that form-hugging, red-velvet dress. Worst of all was the fact she was looking right at me.
"I guess you're 'R' then," I murmured, closing my eyes as flashbacks to the filming earlier in the day filled my mind's eye.
"Rashi, yes," she answered in a voice that would coax an erection out of an Alp-to-be. But it didn't even get a quiver from me. "I'm happy you decided to come tonight. Truth be told I was worried you'd be a no-show."
The pieces clicked into place at mention of her name. "You were the last Ushi-Oni to enter the scene. The biggest and meanest of them all. The one that took the cake when humiliating and degrading me. One of the three that actually got a creampie."
"Yes, that was me," Rashi admitted. "Though I hope you know I was only mean because the script called for it."
I grunted, taking a large swig of my drink. "So, what, you want to do more of that off the books? Take me back to yours and rape me until my pelvis is actually powder? Not like I can stop you if that's the case. I almost wish you didn't go through all this theater and just got on with it.
The bartender walked over in the resulting awkward pause, setting down a fresh drink for me and one for Rashi. The latter carefully took several sips before offering a reply.
"I actually don't want to do any of that, if you believe it."
That got my attention. I turned to study her face and found no obvious signs of her lying. Still, I was callous in my answer, "What do you mean? The only reason anyone from work ever invites me out for drinks is to sleep with me after feeling 'a connection' on set."
Rashi grimaced and looked away towards the rows of bottles behind the bar. "That's actually why I wanted to meet you off-set. Not because I want to sleep with you, but because I can feel your pain."
"My pain? So we're going with the savior angle?" I scoffed. "I guess you get points for originality."
She turned back to meet my eyes. And even with one eye obscured by her seal I could recognize the look she gave me. It was the same look I gave myself in the morning whenever I woke up and didn't pass away in the night. The look of someone who'd been to the edge of the abyss and barely walked away from it intact.
"Not that, no. I just... I just thought you could use someone to talk to. That I could talk with someone who was also broken."
The numbness I had been feeling vanished as my heart sunk through the floor. This wasn't a booty call. It was still a call, yes, but one of help. I had to look away into my glass as I replied, "Well now I feel like a jackass. Which is saying something considering I don't feel much these days."
"I don't mind. I don't know your story, but I imagine you're used to people using and betraying you. Anyone would be defensive after that."
"Yeah, you got that right. But you? I mean, I can see it in your eyes that you say what you mean. But I don't get how an Ushi-Oni could end up broken like me. Not to trivialize whatever you've gone through. I just... Fuck, I don't know what I'm trying to say. I'm just digging my hole deeper."
Rashi weakly smiled back at me before turning to her own drink. "No, I think you're just unsure how an Ushi-Oni could even be broken. I mean, we have legendary resilience and regeneration. We have power in spades. We are one of THE apex predators among mamono. And yet..."
"And yet?" I prodded gently.
"...and yet there's the problem. I wasn't born an Ushi-Oni."
The weight of that statement hit me harder than any mamono ever had across any scene I'd ever been in. The bar around us might have still been full of loud music and patrons, but in this moment the silence between Rashi and I was deafening. I started to connect the dots as I asked, "How old were you?"
"I was sixteen when I got turned," she mumbled. "But it wasn't like an accident or anything like what happens to most women who get turned via blood exposure. Well, maybe a freak accident in terms of genes. To put it simply, my choice was either to accept an Ushi-Oni blood transfusion or end up passing away within a few months. At the time, the former seemed like a no-brainer."
Rashi paused, took a swig, then continued, "But the more time went on afterwards, the more I felt I wasn't myself any more. That I was a stranger in a body that could heal any wound that wasn't emotional. That my former friends and family were scared of the new me. I hadn't done anything to warrant it. Yet when I went through the final bits of my teenage growth spurts, I lost pretty much the last true connection I had. Everyone saw me as some dangerous beast that could destroy them in an instant if they wanted to."
"Which is why I'm guessing you got into porn," I offered as a point of connection. "The industry loves snapping up emotionally-weak and vulnerable actors and actresses. That's how they got me, anyways."
"Something like that, yes," she responded. "I wasn't able to form connections with anyone else outside of filming smut scenes. But during those scenes, I felt like..."
I picked up the line as she trailed off, "You felt like you actually were a part of a real relationship with someone that, no matter twisted or kinky the scene was, actually cared for you. Or that you could pretend as such."
She looked at me with a note of sorrow behind her eyes. "Like I said, when I saw your eyes today mid-scene I thought I finally found someone that would get it."
A deep sigh passed from me as I waved the bartender back over. "Fuck it. We're not drunk enough for this shit yet. Let's fix that."
Rashi and I spent the next few hours talking about more pleasant things. The kind of inane bullshit that doesn't mean anything major, but still held value in a friendship. Things like favorite colors, favorite type of weather, good books they've read, and so on. We talked for so long that we hardly noticed the bar had cleared out by the time the granny Kitsune kindly told us she was closing for the night. We paid our tab then walked out into the night. Not a soul was around. We were alone in silence.
"Will you be alright getting home?" Rashi questioned gently.
"Probably not, between being drunk and the fact my pelvis almost broke today," I admitted with a slight slur. "It'd be a miracle if I made it to my bed intact."
"Would you like me to escort you then? I promise I won't stick around if you don't want."
Drunk as I was, I replied, "Eh, fuck it. No one's ever actually given enough of a shit about me to ask me my favorite color. Ushi-Oni or not, if you want to stick around you can."
That's about where my memory for that night ended. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in my bed sometime around noon. Waiting for me on the bedside table was a pitcher of water and another pink envelope. Thankful for the former in its ability to aid with a hangover, I carefully opened the latter while drinking. It read:
"Before you worry, we didn't do anything lewd last night. I did, however, program my number into your phone as well as make you a sandwich for breakfast/lunch from what you had in the fridge. I don't think we have another scene shoot until next week, so if you want to hang out again..."
My eyes fell upon my phone. Sure enough, Rashi's number was in there. One of only a handful of contacts I bothered keeping. I stared at it for a bit before stumbling out of bed to go check the fridge. Sure enough, there was a sandwich waiting for me on a plate inside. It wouldn't pass muster at Hellhound's Kitchen, but damn if it wasn't the most filling meal I had had in years. Which is probably why I texted Rashi a short, simple, sickly-sweet message.
"I wish I had met you earlier."