WMatsui | AU, dark, smut | implications | 8,802 words (high-res of that pic)
Let’s see how deep this rabbit hole goes.
The girl sat nervously on a bench, alone in the large foyer at the theater’s entrance. She twiddled her thumbs in palms folded neatly on her lap, glancing about the space as she did so.
The old wooden floorboards had creaked beneath her feet when she first entered – leaves and dust dancing about her when the wind from opening the first set of doors had picked them up in its wisps. The only standout feature of the dull, gray room was a large geared clock that hung above the doors, marked with gold-etched script that read, “UZA48”. The clock echoed a haunting clicking pattern as it worked…constantly disturbing what would have otherwise been peaceful silence.
As a research student, the girl had never been to this theater before; and when her request had been approved she had no idea what to expect when she was informed to come to the main foyer and wait for an escort.
The other students had often gathered in their own theater after lessons, gossiping about what this place really looked like — Rumors of this and that, casting constant mystery upon the show that they trained, almost religiously, to become part of. Their instructors never told them anything either…just teaching them the skills needed to one day be just good enough to be invited past those doors.
Bringing her out of her thoughts, the research student suddenly heard a noise and looked over to see a small girl pass through the frame of a much smaller door, which – unless one had known – just looked like another part of the wall.
The student stood up from her seat, eager to set a good first impression as the other girl walked over to her briskly. As the new girl got closer, the trainee noticed she seemed more engaged in observing the face of the pocket watch she held in her hand, than in the fact that she was about to run the other over if she didn’t stop walking anytime soon.
“Uh…excuse-“ the trainee began, but held back when the theater girl stopped abruptly, perfectly in time before stepping on the research student’s toes; however, clearly in violation of any sense of personal space between them.
She looked up, pocketing her pocket watch and observing the other girl’s face for a few moments before speaking, “Matsui?”
“Yes…Rena. I’m Matsui Rena.” The taller girl responded under the uncomfortable scrutiny.
Oblivious to the oddity of standing that close to someone else without apparent reason, the other girl briefly checked over the clipboard in her hand, marking something off with a steel-feathered pen, “Perfect, you’re on time.” She finally stepped back a few inches.
The girl was notably short, with auburn hair tied back and held neatly in place by a single bow. She was outfitted in a simple white blouse, black tailed overcoat, tie and skirt – with a corrective monocle worn over her right eye. The way she held an air of intention around her, Rena got the idea that she was someone of significant importance.
The girl swiveled on one foot, ushering for Rena to follow with a finger. “I was surprised when our stage-masters approved your request for an audience so quickly.” She unconsciously checked her watch “The head stage-master is usually very picky when it comes to meeting our recruits but…when she saw your application…” She smiled, “Well, I guess she took quite the liking to you.”
Rena hurried after the girl – who seemed to have a bit of an issue with tardiness – and nearly tripped when the other girl stopped abruptly, turning around.
“Takahashi Minami, by the way.” She mentioned rather offhandedly before glancing at her pocket watch yet again.
Rena gaped in realization, “Takahashi…Minami?!”
“In the flesh and blood.” Minami smiled and made an exaggerated sweeping bow.
“No, no! Please, I should be the one.” Rena held her hands out in front of her, suddenly feeling embarrassed for possibly not showing enough respect for her senpai. “I’ve heard of you before…b-but I never imagined…”
Minami watched the girl with amusement, as she proceeded to give a respectful bow. “It’s quite alright Rena. Come now, we wouldn’t want to be late.” Minami continued and led Rena through the door.
As she was escorted through the theater, Rena quickly realized just how prompt Minami really was – the girl moved with ease through the maze of hallways they walked about. Rena kept up as best she could, but it didn’t help that the space was crowded, bustling with movement in preparation for the night’s show. Chairs, couches, lamps, and wardrobes were strewn haphazardly throughout the hallways, as if they had never properly finished moving into the area. And it was often confusingly twisted and narrow, large corridors off-shooting into dark, crooked hallways – like certain practicality wasn’t taken into consideration during the theater’s construction.
While walking, Rena looked up at the tall, arched walls where large portraits of girls, members of the show, framed the interior.
“It must be strange finally getting to see them…people who’s names you’ve only heard of, never seen.” Minami’s voice broke the silence between them. She stopped to let Rena catch up.
“Y-yes…it’s all so amazing.” The girl was in awe. Itano Tomomi, Oshima Yuko, Shinoda Mariko, Kojima Haruna…they were all people whose names Rena had only heard mentioned in passing by the patrons of her previous theater.
“Amazing…” Minami reached out to touch the frame of her own portrait, her eyes lost as if reminiscing on a cold past memory, “I remember the days when I would describe it as that. I don’t think any of us really knew what this would become when we started.” She pulled her hand back slowly, examining the dust on her fingertips from the old frame; with a frown, she quickly wrote something down on her clipboard.
Rena stood quietly, an expression of concern on her face. Minami had sounded almost remorseful.
Minami looked over at the younger girl, and shook her head with a bitter laugh, “Don’t mind me. Let’s just say…this certainly is quite the show.”
Minami led them around another curved bend and as they neared another open space, Rena heard the sound of a piano being played. The closer they got, the more Rena began to feel a sudden painful tightening of her chest – there was something about the melody echoing through the space, that felt like it was searching for something or someone that it couldn’t reach.
“Beautiful…” Minami whispered as they rounded the bend and came into view of a large grand piano, raised on a small platform. A tall girl sat at the piano’s bench, her fingers gracing the black and white keys before her with such familiarity that Rena could only describe as complete mastery of one’s element.
The girl’s eyes were bound by a long red ribbon, preventing her from visually seeing the keys as she played.
Minami leaned closer, not wanting to disturb the performance, “She plays like this every night before a show. Funny enough, she shares your family name. Matsui Sakiko.”
“Why are her eyes bound?” Rena asked quietly, “…is she…”
“Blind? No.” Minami responded. “Look closely.”
Watching the girl’s face, Rena could swear she saw thin lines as crimson as the ribbon itself, trailing down the girl’s face. Blood? Rena covered her mouth before a sound could escape, no, it couldn’t be – it must have been styled make-up of some sort.
“Real or illusion…I wonder.” Minami replied as if reading and toying with the girl’s thoughts. “This is her monologue. As a credit to her contribution to the show, Her monologue allows her to create such beautiful sounds, able to make even the strongest of men fall to their knees – But not without the cost of those painful tears.” Minami whispered, taking a moment to blink away her own emotions that threatened to build.
“We don’t always understand what our monologue tries to tell us; all we know is that it’s something that we must embrace and accept as having chosen us to give it’s message in this show. That’s part of what gives this show it’s allure – the mystery of understanding.”
Rena was taken aback, was that what it meant to have a monologue? Rena had never fully understood what the instructors back at the her old theater had been talking about when they mentioned the word, or the importance of finding one if they were ever finally chosen.
The tall girl felt a hand on her shoulder, bringing her attention back the present. Minami gave Rena a sidelong glance with a grin on her face that made Rena slightly worried. “Let’s go shall we? You’ll have plenty of time to have all your questions answered very, very soon.”
The research student nodded. She glanced back over her shoulder at the pianist as they turned to continue down the corridor, Rena thought she saw an equally as mysterious smirk on Sakiko’s lips – her face turning to Rena as if she had heard and completely understood what Minami had said, over the drone of her music.
The two eventually came to a narrow crossroads, where a group of men were arguing over a large decorated box they were trying to move. It should have just been simple enough to walk around them, but the commotion was sufficiently blocking the direction that they needed to head down. In the middle of the shouting, there was a girl, dressed in an array of colorful frills that often marked a jester’s attire.
“Look, I’ve told you guys a hundred times! This is supposed to be stored in the wings, stage left at all times. So why it’s sitting here on the other side of the theater is something I’d like to know!” The girl’s arms flailed with a slightly overdramatized urgency as she spoke.
Minami motioned for Rena to stay put, and walked over to the fray, “What on earth is going on here?!”
“Finally! Someone else with a brain has arrived.”
“First show starts in one hour…what’s the problem Yuki? I thought you’d be all set up by now.”
Yuki sighed, rubbing her temples, “Mayu told me earlier that everything would’ve been settled by now, but clearly…” She gestured to the dumbfounded men, “…these fools have something different in mind.”
“I told them, I told them this would be a bad idea.” Minami turned to the movers, and began to sternly remind them the directions of what they were supposed to be doing.
Rena had only been half-listening to the exchange for her eyes had been captivated by the silhouette of the costumed girl’s shadow cast on the far wall, by the corridor’s light. The angle of the lighting caused Yuki’s shadow to stretch far up the high wall, but the longer Rena stared at it, the more it seemed to move independent of its owner’s movements. The casted shadow moved melodically, its long torso fanned much like that of a looming jack-in-the-box.
So lost in what her eyes were seeing, but her mind unbelieving, Rena hadn’t noticed another group of men coming up behind her, carting a huge mural down the already narrow passage.
“Excuse us.” One of them said as they made their way through. The girl had to practically dive out of the way – and as to not be run over, she quickly ducked into a nearby side hallway. She waited patiently for them to pass, but the chaos caused by the earlier hold up prevented them from moving any further, and thus blocking the girl from coming back out into the main hall.
Hearing Minami’s voice from the other side, asking why the mural wasn’t already set up as well, Rena sighed. It would be easier to just wait until they had the whole thing cleared up. The research student turned around and noticed another girl leaning against a wall parallel to an open door further down – she hadn’t seemed to notice Rena.
“So let me guess…you were just going to show her how to properly ‘warm up’ for her routine right?” the girl folded her arms across her chest, clearly not impressed by whatever she had just seen. She was tall, lean and toned, with long sweeping hair – the very image of powerful femininity.
“I’ve told you a hundred times…” a voice from the door started in a joking tone, “…I can’t help it if there are so many cute girls here.”
A girl with much shorter, light brown hair stepped out into view. She was nearly as tall and physically built as her companion; they were dressed in similar fashion, as if they were to perform together.
The long-haired girl scoffed, “Then why don’t you just take one of those ‘cute girls’ for your partner instead?”
The words only received a sly grin in return, “Aww, you’re angry at me now?”
Minami and Yuki watched as the workers finally started moving the equipment to the right location. “Why we have men working here is beyond me. I bet our research students could do a better job.” The shorter girl shook her head, watching them go.
“Just tell me Mayu will be ready soon.” Yuki sighed.
“Don’t worry, I’m heading over to the main office to drop off a new student now. I’ll let your stage-master know she’s late as usual.” Minami glanced at her pocket watch, starting to get a little agitated at the small distraction she had just dealt with.
Yuki glanced around confused when she saw no one else around, “…New student?”
“You know I love it when you’re all fired up like this…” Rena watched as the short-haired girl stepped close to the other, her hand toying with the other girl’s buttoned shirt. Without hesitation, she leaned forward, teeth attacking collarbone and neck as it was slowly exposed underneath her fingertips.
“We…only have one hour until the first show…” the long-haired girl whispered, pressing herself against the other girl, who reached down and lifted one of her thighs up.
“And I’ll have you done in half that.” The short-haired girl grinned, pressing her lips to the other’s as her free hand traveled downwards.
Rena gasped; realizing late that she probably shouldn’t have been standing there gawking at the two. She made to turn away, but had already been noticed.
“Enjoying the show?” the girl with longer hair turned her profile to Rena and smiled.
Embarrassed, the research student turned away, apologetically.
The short-haired girl made a show of the situation, pulling away from her partner and sauntering over to their audience. “Well, well…look what we have here.” She leaned forward, hands in her pockets, to get a better look at Rena’s face, “What a cute girl. Are you new?”
The girl’s partner just rolled her eyes, taking the time to button up her shirt again.
“Sorry, I really didn’t mean to watch. I just stumbled down this way and…” Rena shied back meekly when the girl in front of her brought a hand up to brush strands of hair away from Rena’s face.
Just then, another voice cut in before anyone could comment further, “Sae, don’t terrorize the poor girl. We already have enough of them dedicated to your little fan club.” Minami stepped over to them, having apparently solved the other issues from before.
Defeated, Sae stood upright and backed off as if hurt, “But of course, your greatness.”
The other girl joined them, punching Sae in the arm as a warning.
“I see you’ve met Sae and Sayaka…although here, we just call them Twin Tower. They’ve got the most intense adagio act you’ve ever seen.” Minami eyed the two as she made introductions.
“Perhaps I could show you a few things sometime.” The short-haired girl winked at Rena.
Sayaka glared, “Yeah or you could not.”
Minami stepped forward, placing a protective hand on the Rena’s shoulder, “We should be going.”
She turned to head back to the main hall, but glanced behind her once more, “You two…there’s already been enough madness going on today, and I have enough of a headache as is. Please don’t add to it.”
“We’ll be good!” Sae saluted as they watched the two disappear. Once alone again, she turned back to her partner with a wide grin, “Now, I do believe I was in the middle of something before we were interrupted…”
Only a few short twists and turns later, Minami and Rena found themselves in front of another large set of doors, adorned with a magnificent inscribing of a butterfly and flower.
The shorter girl knocked twice, counting exactly three seconds before pushing the heavy doors open and stepping forward.
Rena walked in cautiously behind Minami who didn’t seem to be too bothered for practically barging in. This room had a short, and narrow curtained passage that led out into a much larger space, which was quite like all of the others in the building. Outfitted with simple lamps, discarded chairs and couches scattered about in its corners and mismatched geared clocks adorning it’s walls – except at its center was a large curved desk at which the room’s occupants were seated. The two stage-masters, Rena was sure.
One was seated behind the desk, in a tall chair of leather and brilliant red velvet; papers scattered across the table were being carefully scrutinized and organized in some fashion. And the other, was leaning against the edge of the table just to the side, with her back to them, getting dressed as if they had just finished—
Rena shook her head, not wanting to let her mind visually complete that sentence. She could swear after all that she had seen that day, her thoughts were just imagining crazy situations at this point.
The large stain-glass window behind the desk showered the room with a wash of coloration from the moon’s illumination yet effectively silhouetted whoever would occupy the room from the point of view of the person entering. The research student was starting to believe that most of the theater had actually been designed with detailed purpose.
Minami cleared her throat rather audibly to get the two stage-master’s attention once more and the one in the chair spoke first, not bothering to look away from the papers in front of her, “As punctual as ever Minami-san.”
“Well, I try to make a habit of it…being the general manager and all. And for the record, I’m exactly 5 minutes late.” She replied, clearly not happy with that fact. She gestured to the girl she escorted there, “This is the girl who’s appointment you approved last week.”
The girl finally looked up, and smiled a smile that made Rena somehow feel weaker – There was something intensely dark about it.
“Yes, yes.” She retrieved a piece of paper from the desk, scanning over it, “Matsui…Rena.” The stage-master leaning against the desk sighed and stood, bringing her leg up to rest her foot on the edge of her companion’s chair, “I guess I’ll leave you to your vices then.” She said as she finished buttoning her vest.
Amused, the seated girl reached up to latch the clip of the suspender onto the other girl’s garter belt. “Mayu, don’t tell me you’re angry because I’m kicking you out early today.” She kissed the inside of the girl’s thigh somewhat apologetically.
Mayu shook her head, even though her tone remained indifferent, “I’ll live. I believe I’m taking the first show anyway.”
“The show which starts in 30 minutes I might add.” Minami impatiently checked her pocket watch once again.
Hearing the stress in Minami’s voice, Mayu raised her hands in defeat “Sounds like someone’s in a good mood today.” She walked over, stealing a glance at the research student. As she passed, Rena got a glimpse of the stage-master’s brilliant attire. Unlike Minami, Mayu was dressed entirely in hues of slated black – a large top hat and intricate cane tucked within her grasp.
“It’s been a bit of a hassle…but nothing I couldn’t manage.” Minami started, “Oh, and your beloved was looking for you.”
Mayu groaned, placing the top-hat firmly on her head before continuing out of the room with Minami, “It was the movers wasn’t it….I swear I told them everything they were supposed to do.”
As the two left, the door closed quietly.
Now, the two left in the room regarded each other – near opposite reflections of one another. One’s gazed tested the other…as if taking the moment to read something in eyes of the innocence that stared back at her; the other, wanting to avert the contact but not at the risk of seeming rude, gazed timidly, confused and somewhat apprehensive.
Almost as if finding what she was looking for, the stage-master finally spoke, “Welcome.” She crossed her fingers underneath her chin, crimson painted lips curling into a childlike grin, “I hope the train ride over wasn’t too…long. We’ve been trying to speed up the process.”
Rena shook her head. Even if it were – which it had been – she’d never say otherwise.
“Well then…you might as well make yourself comfortable.” The stage-master gestured to a single chair in the middle of the room. Slowly, Rena walked up to it and sat down – She rubbed her arms, feeling a sudden chill in the air but dismissed it as nervousness.
The stage-master observed Rena a few moments longer, before continuing, “Matsui Jurina, fifteen years old. As you’ve probably already guessed…I, along with Mayu, who left with Minami-san, are both stage-masters of the UZA Theater.”
“-teen years old. Yes, you heard right.” Jurina finished Rena’s question before she could ask it. She leaned back in her chair with an amused grin. “Does that surprise you?”
Rather embarrassed at her forthright, Rena shook her head, “Ah! Sorry, I didn’t mean to…I mean, no it doesn’t.” As the older girl apologized, the stage-master reached into a drawer and pulled out a small notebook.
Rena blinked away bewilderment. Wherever Rena had walked within the hallways of her old theater she had heard this girl’s name. Always half whispered…like she was some sort of goddess. Rena would have never thought that she would be so young, yet finally sitting before her even now, the girl held an aura of someone much older…much more experienced.
“You’re really bad at lying, you know that Rena-chan?” Jurina opened the notebook, flipped a few pages and marked something down. “You’re from…”
“…Sakae, Nagoya.” The older girl answered promptly and watched with slight confusion as the other girl’s gaze became distant. Almost similar to the loss that Rena had seen in Minami’s eyes earlier.
“Sakae…” the stage-master spoke as if the word was foreign to her tongue. “That’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time. But…” the girl laced her fingers, stretching her arms in front of her, “…now’s not the time for nostalgia, is it Rena-chan?”
She stood, rolling her neck and shoulders to crack stiff vertebrae and muscles. “So, you audition for an idol group…and make it. Spend years training and performing at your theater – all that time just to be chosen to reach a show that you’ve only ever dreamed of. UZA…a vague, distant idea that your heart longs to reach.” The stage-master stepped around the desk, walking over to where Rena sat.
“They tell you nothing; you only ever hear words whispered from within the crowds you perform for…” she continued, voice inquisitive with curiousity, “…yet that mystery pushes you on. Even after everything you’ve seen on your way here – away from all that you’ve ever known, to this very room – you still haven’t turned away. Or perhaps by this point…you already believe that this just might be some odd dream you’re stuck in?”
The research student sat quiet.
“Either way, you’re at the point in this dream where they’ve told you to find a ‘monologue’. And they say that if you cannot find it on your own, then you need to seek me out to do so. So tell me Rena-chan…how can I be of service?” the girl cocked her head to the side, an innocent smile playing on her face.
A low crack of thunder could be heard in the distance, as trickles of rain began to make their presence known against the large stain-glass window. Rena tried to calm her nerves, “I-I guess I was wondering what exactly a monologue is.”
Jurina shrugged, “I don’t have an answer to that. Sorry.” She replied simply. “Next?”
Rena’s eyebrows furrowed – how was she supposed to take that response? “Well then…umm, how do I find one?”
“You don’t. It finds you.” Came another vague reply.
Rena scoffed, this wasn’t really how she planned this conversation would go. In fact, she hadn’t planned for this whole experience to go how it had been going since she got here. She felt like she was being tested even now that she had supposedly already proven good enough to be invited there.
Jurina chuckled, “Come on Rena, you want to be part of the show right? Cause you’re going to have to be a bit more creative than that…I don’t like making it easy for people to get things out of me.”
The other girl bit her lip, feeling a bit annoyed and thinking of what exactly she could ask to find out what she was looking for.
“Angry? Sorry, I hate explaining things with words…” Jurina spoke, “It’s much more exciting to show people, right?”
“What is your monologue?” Rena asked simply.
“Ah…there’s the money question.” Jurina grinned and turned on one heel to face away from Rena. As she did so, she reached into a pouch strapped to the side of her belt, palming its contents, “My monologue?” When she turned back around, she simple held out her left hand, palm upturned.
“Look closely, what do you see?”
The older girl observed intently, seeing nothing more than a single speckle of black ink in the middle of the other girl’s hand. Rena frowned, “Nothing. Just that black spot.”
Jurina shrugged, “About as accurate as any untamed eyes could see. But look closer…”
When Rena did so, Jurina blew on the palm of her hand and in an instant, black smoke shrouded Rena’s vision – finite shards of dust stinging her eyes, causing her to recoil instinctively.
She heard Jurina’s laugh echo through the room, as if she were suddenly distant, but when Rena finally chanced to open her eyes again, Jurina was still standing in front of her, unmoved – her expression unreadable.
“What did you—“
“What do you see now?” her eyes watched Rena, curious to read her reactions.
Rena gasped when the black spot in the middle of Jurina’s hand began to slowly ooze and expand to overtake the stage-master’s skin, completely enveloping it in darkness. The darkness began to extend up her arm, over her shoulder, and engulf the entirety of the girl’s form.
“You see it now, don’t you?” a voice from the far side of the room asked. And when Rena turned to the source, she was surprised to see the stage-master as she had been standing before her only moments ago, suddenly leaning over a lamp in the corner of the room. “Would you believe me if I told you this had been in the room the entire time?”
“I-I don’t understand.” Rena looked back in front of her only to find the dark form gone. “Where-”
“…did I go?” A cryptic, mocking voice whispered into her ear. Rena jerked her body around, nothing again.
“Over here.” This time when she turned back around, she was face-to-face with the obscure dark figure – albeit, the shadow was now hanging upside-down; its glowing red eyes staring through her.
“Rena, I’d like you to meet my monologue.” The stage-master spoke as she walked back over to the two. When she neared, the darkness began to melt from the ceiling, pooling itself in front of Rena’s feet only to reform itself right side up.
Jurina’s hand touched the shadow’s cheek affectionately, and as she did, the form began to change. It held out its palm, using its other hand to pull from it a long cane – just like the one Mayu had been carrying. And on its head, formed a top hat much the same. “This shadow cannot be seen by weak eyes.”
The form remained still, staring at Rena as Jurina stepped behind her chair, “When I was younger, I was afraid of this darkness; shadows sent fear through my veins. But once I came to UZA, I learned how to relinquish such weakness…and turn it into strength.” As Jurina spoke, Rena felt the younger girl’s hands running along her shoulders, sensually.
“A particular senpai of mine…one very close to my heart helped me overcome my innocence and was able to teach me that any fear can be conquered. So I got to know the shadows, and it turns out that the darkness was just as alone as I had felt – And once I learned to communicate with it, it became part of me.”
As Jurina spoke, the form’s dark hand reached out to gently grasp a handful of Rena’s long hair, letting it slip through long fingers before repeating the movement – Like a child playing with sand.
“Why do girls join UZA? What drives them…what are they looking for?”
The shadow form chuckled, seeming to enjoy the question. The hand that had been playing with Rena’s hair shifted to palm her cheek and despite the chilling touch, Rena felt a certain heat rise to her face.
“Is it freedom from the expectations that bind them, or simply an escape from their own virtues? What is their monologue? …Their expression?” Jurina’s hands continued to play against Rena’s skin and unconsciously leaning into the younger girl’s touch, Rena found herself becoming oddly entranced by both the repetitive movement of the stage-master’s hands and her voice – As if both spoke to something deep within her.
“Are they destined to become leaders? Or will they become mere followers to be tamed? Either way, as long as you cannot surpass your weakness, you cannot find your monologue.”
“That’s why they send the new girls to me. Once I had found my own monologue, management discovered very quickly, that I had a certain ‘knack’ for being able to help others find theirs.” Jurina leaned forward and without warning, kissed the nape of Rena’s neck. The older girl shivered as she felt those lips travel upwards, to stop by her ear.
“You see…” Jurina whispered, “…everyone has darkness within them.” The shadowy hand resting lightly on Rena’s cheek took cue and slid downwards, a long digit trailing down to simply rest between the junction of her collarbone.
Rena instantly felt the breath rush out of her, lungs refusing to replenish it. Her neck felt like there was frozen fire running through the veins there; like she was being strangled from the inside out. The stage-master breathed in the scent of Rena’s fear as the other girl gasped for air.
“You see? This darkness inside of you…is what chokes you. It suffocates you as your body fights so hard to keep it locked away inside, while it tries to escape.” The shadow form kept its finger still, finding the whole situation rather enthralling. It spoke with its echoing voice, “She’s so beautiful when she’s like this. Being controlled and tormented by sheer touch.”
Jurina gave the shadow a firm glare, “Enough.” – And with that, it withdrew its hand…somehow, a disappointed expression plastered on its joker-like face. Once released Rena coughed her lungs back into action, her mind racing with questions as to what exactly had just happened.
“I can feed off of the shadows in the soul – not just in myself, but in others as well. I can speak to them.”
“So tell me Rena, what are you looking for? Not even knowing what lay beyond those doors, why did you join UZA? Like so many others, you could have just quit. What did you expect from me by putting in your request for an audience?” Jurina laughed bitterly, nails crawling against Rena’s skin, “Were you just expecting for me to simply assign you your monologue?! How pitifully weak that would be. Or perhaps your heart unconsciously came looking for something more…like sex?”
The shadow figure smiled and Rena nearly jumped when the cane it held touched the inside of her right leg – slowly traveling up to her thigh, the black coated metal was cold against her flesh.
Rena fought to think of any sort of answer, the question had caught her so off-guard with a bluntness that she was beginning to think was perfectly normal within the walls of the theater. “N-no! I…I was just looking for help to find my monologue…” She inched back in her chair looking for a place to flee from the cane’s advance but coming up short. And although she had just said those words, she was starting to have an awfully hard time believing them anymore.
The cane traveled up higher still, coming dangerously close to a place that made Rena’s breathing begin to hitch.
“Then tell me Rena…” The stage-master asked, voice nearly above a whisper in her ear, “Why…so…wet?”
And then suddenly Rena felt as if she were falling backwards, into an endless void. She reached forward, grasping for anything but finding nothing to hold on to – the fading image of those glowing eyes haunting her.
She didn’t open her eyes again, until a cold hand touched the side of her face, bringing her out of one confusion, and throwing her right back into another. It took a moment for Rena’s eyes to focus in the dim light, but she found herself no longer in the chair she had been seated in, nor the same room. Fabrics of silk and satin framed her body on the large bed that she lay upon – like a perfectly arranged centerpiece in an elegant display.
Gazing down at her from above, Jurina looked at her with a void yet intense expression. Unabashed in its task, the stage-master’s hand toyed with the laced ribbon holding the front of Rena’s white blouse together. “Just admit that this is what you really wanted.” She tugged and the loose knot, along with the first few rungs of lacing, came undone.
The older girl hissed as newly exposed skin felt the chill of the surrounding air. She shook her head and bit her lip when the other girl’s hand pulled the rest of the lacing apart roughly. “No –it…it’s not what I wanted…”
“Funny. Your lips say ‘no’…” Jurina’s hand ran up along the pale flesh of Rena’s torso, “…but every other part of you screams ‘yes’.”
Her fingers danced across aroused skin, hand cupping the side of one breast. And as the thumb of that hand slid across an already erect nipple, teasing the taut flesh, Rena threw her head back and pressed her body up against the touch.
“See? It is what you want – It’s what they always want…” the stage-master leaned down, scarlet lips attacking the side of Rena’s neck.
Rena’s brows furrowed. How many girls in UZA had she manipulated like this? How many girls had the stage-master utterly broken like she was doing to Rena right now? But Rena shook the thoughts from her head the moment she felt the other girl’s grasp settle on the hem of her skirt, pulling the material down – undergarments and all – over her hips with well-practiced ease. Rena would have time to care about any of those implications later; right now, she could care less if the girl had slept with every other girl in the theater – because as lewd as the idea was, right now it somehow aroused her even more.
After discarding the articles to the side, Jurina situated herself comfortably between Rena’s legs, “What’s the matter? You’re blushing, Rena-chan.” She teased in a mocking tone.
“No I’m not…and don’t call me that. You’re still younger tha-“
Rena’s words were cut off when those crimson lips descended to the surface of her inner left thigh, and trailed across the expanse of skin – leaving kisses along her pelvis, up to her navel and back down again to tenderly kiss her entrance.
She looked up, “And if I say it again, what will you do? Rena-chan.” The younger girl’s tongue slowly slid along the slit before her and Rena could just feel the smile plastered on those lips as they dared to drive her passion to places that she had only ever read about.
As Jurina’s fingers spread her further apart, granting that tormenting tongue unlimited access for which to continue its assault, Rena’s mind screamed with the alarms of every siren telling her that this was wrong – that wanting this the way she did now was somehow immoral and primitive. She had come here simply to request help in finding her monologue right? Then why did her body react so acceptingly to something that she didn’t want? Why could she not even fight back these urges, desires that were suddenly swelling and overwhelming any sense of self-control? It was as if something deep inside of her had taken over; was this the darkness of which the stage-master had previously spoken?
Rena couldn’t stop her hand from combing through the other girl’s raven hair, bucking her hips upwards as Jurina skillfully sucked and nipped at her hypersensitive flesh. Finally chancing to open her eyes, Rena looked down at the sight before her – her legs spread, the other girl between them…the image alone was enough to make her world spin.
But then she noticed something that made her eyes narrow in confusion. A darkness – much like the shadows which she had witnessed earlier – pooled along the skin of the stage-master’s back that had been exposed by her own loosened shirt. It rippled over her skin like water, ghosting its way over her shoulders.
“Yes, you see it again don’t you?” Jurina whispered after noticing Rena’s momentary pause. The young girl took a moment to shrug the shirt completely off her body and now in full view, Rena saw upon the other’s back, the shadow had formed a large tattoo of butterfly-like wings. As the stage-master slowly raised herself up, the other girl watched with awe as the eerie shadows peeled away from her skin, taking into the form of real ghostly wings. Jurina groaned with effort, sweat forming on her brow, as the growth seemed to be affecting her much like she had been doing to Rena moments ago.
Now Rena knew why they always whispered Jurina’s name among the trainees and throughout the halls of the boarding houses, for from where she lay, the stage-master looked like a goddess in Rena’s eyes – the body above her silhouetted by the room’s lighting, magnificent darkness sprouting from her back like the embodiment of Erebus itself.
“Like I said before…” Jurina exhaled, out of breath, “I feed off the darkness within others.” Her hand graced the other girl’s cheek, “Your darkest desires speak to me.”
Jurina sighed, breathing in deeply once more before turning her attention to the other girl again, “Right now, you want nothing more than for me to take you, here and now…against your ‘better judgment’.”
Rena gasped, the statement sending a wave of embarrassment washing over her, “N-no!” The older girl blinked and in an instant, the wings and shadows were gone again and Rena couldn’t tell if her eyes had been playing tricks on her the entire time. Jurina frowned, her expression becoming dark.
“How twisted…you’d let me do anything I want to you right now – tie you up, defile you…painfully, even whip you, and you wouldn’t even question it.”
Rena shook her head, “No, that’s not true…” Of course she’d question it; of course she’d fight against such a humiliating intrusion.
The stage-master leaned forward whispering harshly, “How crass…”
“…Stop.” Rena didn’t want to hear any more.
But the other girl was relentless, “How utterly…fucked up.”
Against any will, Rena couldn’t help but be turned on by the words even now and in her fragility, a moan escaped her parted lips.
“Look at you now, fighting so hard to contain what your soul really wants – fighting to even acknowledge your embarrassment. How weak.” Jurina said in disgust.
The younger girl placed a finger against Rena’s lips, her hand then traveling down the column of Rena’s neck, palming it gently.
“What if…” her grip slowly became tighter and Rena’s eyes shot open in fear. “What if I decided to take your life right now, instead of your virginity? Hmm?” Both of her hands coiled tightly around Rena’s neck – she smiled wildly.
“You’d let me do it right? Look at you; even now you don’t fight to save yourself. Such weakness…in UZA, there is no room for this weakness!” Jurina laughed and after realizing that the girl might actually be on the verge of killing her, a sudden urgency in Rena kicked in – her fear turned into anger. She suddenly hated that laugh coming from those crimson lips. She loathed the eyes that bore into and read her soul without permission, and the touch that had driven her wild moments ago suddenly felt like icy death upon her skin.
With strength that she didn’t know was possible, Rena was able to pry the other girl’s hand from her neck, and reverse their position, roughly pinning the stage-master’s writs down – And with hatred she didn’t know she had, Rena sneered at the younger girl below her now. Jurina continued to laugh, delighted by the turn of events, “Oh? What’s with this scary look all of a sudden? What happened to that doe-eyed fawn that came to me ‘looking for help’?”
Rena glared, “Shut up.”
“Ah, but I think this face is much more…alluring.” Jurina smiled wickedly.
“Shut up!” Tired of the girl’s smugness, Rena’s hand found its way between Jurina’s legs, enticing a low moan from the dominant girl.
“Yes…get angry at me. Don’t wait for others to simply give you what you’re looking for; take what you want…” Jurina melted into Rena’s touch, losing herself in the moment as clumsy, yet defiant fingers penetrated her.
Rena began to feel certain strength by making the fearsome girl react like that. Fingers still working, she leaned close bringing her lips close to Jurina’s ear, “You’re annoying.” She said before biting down – and judging from the moan those simple words coaxed from the younger girl, Rena felt somewhat proud.
“Yes, I am aren’t I?” Jurina panted aloud and gasped when she felt Rena’s fingers curve deliciously, stroking a place inside of her that made her toes curl. A few more moments of this indulgence and Jurina began to feel herself dangerously close to her threshold.
Just as Rena had been enjoying this new sense of control, she felt a hand stop her own. Jurina chuckled at Rena’s expression of shock, “Trust me, it’s not that I’m not enjoying this but…” With reluctance, the younger girl pulled Rena’s fingers from their task, and brought that hand up between them. “It would be a shame if you didn’t join me wouldn’t it?” Rena watched silently as one-by-one her love-glistened fingers were taken in past lips eager to clean them off.
The stage-master took the moment’s distraction to push Rena off and top the other girl once more. She noted Rena’s confused expression with a grin and sighed, “Virgins.”
The younger girl caressed one of Rena’s thighs, and then tapped on it playfully, “Spread your legs.”
Rena blushed and obliged the command promptly. Jurina could have done it herself, but the act of asking out loud played to the vulgarity of it all. And the older girl was so close to fully giving in, that Jurina could almost taste it in the air.
After Rena did as told, Jurina smoothly slid her own legs between the other’s and when their cores sat flush against each other, she began a slow, sensual scissored grind.
Rena trembled under the movement, her nerves and muscles throbbing with a vicious burn unlike anything she’d ever felt. Jurina sighed, relishing in the feeling of their wetness molding together so perfectly. She gazed down at the other girl with a sudden fondness, “God you’re so beautiful.”
Rena shook her head, the unexpected sweetness from the otherwise imposing girl made her skin tint a few shades rosier. Jurina’s hand held onto Rena’s thigh for support, “You probably don’t remember me…we only met once, in passing during the audition…”
“W-what?” Rena said breathlessly, trying to recollect her memory.
A bitter smile formed on the stage-master’s lips before she shook away her thoughts. “Since that time, everyday I’ve watched you…from the shadows. I’ve always wanted to meet you again, to see you perform on the stage here – no one else has ever made me feel so…aroused.”
As Jurina’s hips rocked against hers, over and over, Rena fought to withhold vocalizations that were threatening to escape; in fear that if she were too loud, someone might hear.
Jurina grunted with exertion, “That’s why I want you to let go, just give in to your feelings. In UZA there is no room for weakness…and until you can learn to release the darkness inside of you, you’ll never find your monologue.” She reiterated, her breathing becoming more labored.
“In UZA, you have to be crass, unabashed and unafraid of how your actions, thoughts or desires might seem to others. You Rena…you’re too kind.” Jurina pressed her hips down, hard, making Rena squirm beneath her. “I want to hear you scream. I don’t care what you say…or what it sounds like. You can curse me to the deepest of hells for all I care. I just want to hear your beautiful voice…I want you to be able to finally see the darkness, the true light, on your own.”
Everything Jurina was doing to her was sending the older girl into a frenzy of fiery thoughts, her mind alight with conflicting emotions of holding back or letting go. Her judgment still told her to fight against it, but the way Jurina’s center moved against her’s – unrelenting in its abuse of her senses – Rena quickly found herself giving in to the need to release.
Release every thought of containment, and every urge she’d ever felt to refrain from letting her true feelings show. All of that pent up reserve was being unraveled before her just as quickly as she suddenly began to feel the tightening that signaled the onset of a passionate end.
Unable to hold back anymore, Rena allowed herself to give in – uttering a slur of words and sounds that she didn’t care if she’d regret later. All that mattered was the moment right then and there; and judging from the profanities coming from the other girl, she shared the same sentiment.
Descending their joint release, both girls remained silent, taking in the sounds of each other’s breathing as heartbeats slowed in pace and overworked muscles came to relax. Jurina leaned forward, kissing the other girl’s abdomen lovingly.
“Open your eyes, look at me.” The stage-master’s whisper burned with certain voracity and Rena’s eyes fluttered open as if on command, only to be consumed by the seductive gaze above her. Jurina leaned closer, her hand cupping the other girl’s face, and flashed a Cheshire grin, “Perfect.”
Rena watched as Jurina sat back, and found herself entranced – her eyes followed the exotic lines of a form silhouetted by flickering light. Jurina combed back locks, still slick with sweat from their passion, and Rena couldn’t stop her own body from sitting up. Her hand traced invisible lines across the other girl’s bare torso, mysterious feelings of yearning to feel that contact again swelling deep within her as she placed a kiss just below the younger girl’s navel. “…Perfect?” Rena breathlessly whispered against the skin under her lips, “What do you mean?”
“Your eyes.” Jurina cupped Rena’s face fiercely, this time with both hands, commanding the entirety of the other’s attention. “Just now, they looked so…” Jurina breathed in deeply and Rena all but purred when she felt Jurina’s nails lightly grazing her long neck. The stage-master leaned down, lips ever so close to Rena’s, “…offensive.” She sealed the fraction’s distance between their parted lips – tongue slipping in to caress her captor’s own – and slowly guided Rena back down to the surface of the bed, delicately…almost as if she were a fragile figurine made of porcelain.
The temptresses then slithered away from Rena’s grasp – her touch fading in abandon. Rena was still confused; as she watched Jurina remove herself from the bed, she didn’t feel any different from before, “But my monologue…I don’t understand—”
“Don’t you see them?” Jurina turned her back to the other girl, her hypnotizing tattoo back again in plain view, “The ropes that bind you.” She lifted her right arm slowly and Rena felt the muscles in her own begin to twitch in accordance. “You’ve already found it, your monologue. You’ve awakened.”
Jurina continued to raise her arm and Rena looked over at her own. Her wrist now bound in thick white rope that hadn’t been there before was pulled upright without will. When Jurina dropped her arm, Rena did the same, mimicking her movement. Looking over at her other arm, it was bound just the same; the rope disappearing far into the surrounding shadows.
The stage-master smirked, “The show’s starting soon.”
Rena closed her eyes as the darkness consumed her senses. She still felt Jurina close to her, within her…but she was no longer in that bed – no longer confined to that mysterious room.
When she opened her eyes again, bright lights flooded her vision. She was placed delicately upon a single chair, dressed in frilled petticoats and the long ropes still bound to her wrists, extending far above her head and into the darkness of the wooden rafters above. Her body felt limp, like a marionette without a puppeteer to guide it…but no longer weak. She felt the stage-master’s presence…and as her eyes scanned across the emotionless faces of the audience before her, she swore she could hear that thrilling voice in her ear once more.
Throw all your pride away.
Do it. As you please…
A distant, yet looming chuckle and Rena felt her heart beat faster when the rope pulled her arm upwards, offensively. How annoying.
Rena felt the same excitement now that she felt when Jurina had given her release, unlocking her potential. And with resilient reason, she smiled as a familiar mad hatter stepped out, stage left – With her wide smile and a grand welcoming gesture, the stage-master announced to the waiting patrons of the night’s second seating,
“Welcome to the UZA SHOW.”
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