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17212Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko, Issue 27

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  • atheniag
    Feb 12, 2005
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      [For Issues 1-23 http://www.yuricon.org/snb/index.html
      For Issue 24 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/16731
      For Issue 25 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/16948
      For issue 26 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/17044%5d

      The Story So Far: A beautiful summer day brings Yuriko insight into
      many things. Now she's gearing up to enjoy a picnic in the sunshine
      with a few of the Yumi family women, while the rest of the family
      enjoys time at the beach.


      Volume 2, Issue 11


      "Truth or Consequences"


      "So, where shall we start?" Yuuka lowered herself to the ground with
      some difficulty.

      "With the salad, I think," Youko joked, knowing perfectly well that
      that wasn't at all what the other woman meant.

      "You two seem get along so well," Yuriko commented. "How long have you
      known each other?" She figured that this, at least, was a neutral
      topic of conversation.

      "Well, let's see," Youko mused. "I started dating Masaki when Yuuji
      was four, so about six years ago. And Yuuka-san, you were already
      married a few years, right?"

      "Three, almost four." Yuuka said complacently. "Youko and I hit it off
      right away."

      "Yes," Youko agreed. "I have no sisters of my own, so it was nice to
      marry into a family with so many women."

      "I have one sister myself," Yuriko offered. "Fumie. She's got a
      daughter, Momoka."

      "Pictures?" Ritsuko leaned forward. "You can't just say that and not
      have pictures."

      Yuriko pulled out her wallet and rifled through the contents. "Um,
      it's not a good one," she handed over a small print of herself, Fumie
      and her family. "This was taken at an amusement park."

      "The bad picture is my fault," Midori said pleasantly. "I have no idea
      what all those buttons on a camera are for."

      "Me neither," Yuuka commiserated. "I really don't understand the
      appeal." She sighed heavily. "But Satoshi just loves photography -
      all those F-stops and calculating the light, and those heavy old-
      fashioned cameras. Inexplicably, he finds it relaxing." She grimaced
      at the thought.

      "What a fascinating group you all are," Youko reached for a sandwich.
      "When Masaki first introduced me to the family, I felt so embarrassed,
      I almost wouldn't come." Her voice was easy, the panic of those years
      long gone now.

      Yuriko nodded. "I can relate to that." She smiled at Ritsuko, cutting
      off the tart comment that Midori clearly intended. "Ritsuko-san, what
      hidden talents do you have? I know what everyone else does...but I
      don't think I know what you do for a living." She gestured at Yuuka,
      Youko and herself, "I don't suppose you do something dull, so we can
      stop feeling like underachievers?"

      "Very dull," Ritsuko laughed. "I make pottery."

      "Another artist," Yuuka said with amused resignation. The three women
      groaned in protest.

      Ritsuko grinned, not at all offended by the comment. "It's tough being
      the last in a long line of super-geniuses. I'm half expected to
      revolutionize ancient techniques and change the field completely!"

      "Ritsuko-chan works in porcelain," Midori said proudly. "She does
      Kutani-yaki."

      Ritsuko ducked her head modestly. "I'm fascinated by the work of
      Tokuda Yasokichi. His use of color was simply breathtaking. Of course,
      I'm nowhere near that level of work...but I can't stop trying."

      "Maybe one day you'll show us some of your work?" Yuriko asked
      hopefully.

      "Isn't there an exhibit in Aoyama right now?" Midori asked her sister.
      "Yafuku Gallery, right?"

      Ritsuko nodded, but declined to comment. Midori laid a hand on
      Yuriko's arm. "We'll go when we get back. I know she won't say it
      about herself, but her work has already received critical attention."

      "Yafuku, huh?" Yuriko mused. "I think I did a something or other there
      – charity event, or something. It might have been a PR thing...." she
      thought about it, but shook her head. "They all kind of blur after a
      while."

      Youko shot a wounded glance at Yuuka, "I see we mere housewives will
      have to find comfort in our own company." She sighed melodramatically
      for effect. The two women giggled conspiratorially together. Yuriko
      found herself liking their gentle ways – even if she wasn't sure she
      had much in common with them.

      "So," Yuuka turned to the blonde. "We know so much about you from the
      news and television - it's almost not fair really. What would you like
      to know about us?"

      Yuriko shot them both a grin. "I don't know, really – I'd never make a
      good journalist. How about, what's your favorite food?"

      "Strawberries," Youko said firmly and popped one in her mouth.

      Yuuka took a moment longer then laughed. "Anything I don't have to
      cook myself."

      "See?" Yuriko gestured at Midori. "I'm not the only one!" They all
      laughed at this.

      The sun shone brightly on the quintet as they ate lunch and chatted
      about inconsequentials. Yuriko was grateful for the interlude. Midori
      seemed to have relaxed considerably and it gave her a chance to learn
      more about the writer's family. The more she learned, the more she
      realized that there was a huge portion of her lover's life that she
      knew nothing about – and definitely she wanted to know more.

      "I probably should know this already but," Yuriko began, "how did you
      two meet Satoshi-san and Masaki-san?"

      Midori laughed, "Yuuka-san, I would have told her, honestly, but you
      do such a better job, I thought I'd wait until we got here."

      Yuuka smiled. "I don't know if you're aware of it, but I used to play
      soccer."

      Yuriko nodded. "Satoshi-san told me when we jogged together this
      morning."

      "Well," Yuuka continued," Our team was playing in the Regional finals,
      against a long-standing rival school. We were tied, the clock was
      ticking down and the pressure was on. I was on defense and had some
      luck when I was able to steal the ball, which assisted our team in
      scoring the winning goal. It was a wonderful moment for us. Our school
      had never been able to defeat our rivals in so high level a game
      before. We were very proud. We were doing a victory lap around the
      stadium and some of the boys were holding out flowers for us. One boy
      was leaning way over the barrier and as I passed, I took the flowers
      from his hand...only, he didn't let go. As I was running, he came over
      the barrier - flowers and all - and fell on me. And, so, I met
      Satoshi." She smiled beatifically. "We went out on our first date that
      night."

      "Wow," Yuriko said. "What a dramatic way to meet someone!"

      "Really," Midori teased, "telling people I met you at work isn't
      nearly as good a story."

      "I'm afraid my story isn't very interesting, either," Youko grinned.
      "Masaki and I met in school." She turned and addressed Ritsuko. "How
      about you, Ritsuko-san? Do you have any exciting tales of fateful
      meetings?'

      "Um, no, sorry," the younger woman flushed hotly, but changed the
      subject immediately. Yuriko couldn't help but note the faraway look
      that flashed through Ritsuko's face and wondered what it meant, but
      the conversation moved on and Yuriko put the thought aside.

      The sun was getting hot on their backs and the women decided to go
      back inside before it got much later. Ritsuko excused herself after
      clean up to work on her project. Before she left she spoke quietly to
      Yuriko.

      "If you're genuinely interested and not just being polite, drop by
      later and I'll show you some of my completed pieces. My studio is off
      the East Wing. You'll see the shed in the back."

      "I will, thank you!" Yuriko agreed happily.

      "I'm sorry to have to say this," Midori slipped her hand into the
      crook of Yuriko's elbow. "But I think we'd better get going. The
      studio is expecting us in an hour."

      "Studio?" Yuuka asked. "I remember you said something about that.
      Yuriko-san, are you performing?"

      Yuriko smiled at that. "Yes, today I'm playing second fiddle."

      Midori slapped her lightly on the arm. "Very funny. I've been booked
      on Osaka Teruo's show and Yuriko is supposed to be a `special
      surprise.'"

      "The truth is, Yuriko confided, "that neither of our managers has had
      a vacation in fifteen years and can't stand the idea of us having one
      either."


      To Be Continued

      Saiyuu no Ryokou, all characters and situations copyright E. Friedman.
      All rights reserved.