17212Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko, Issue 27
- Feb 12, 2005[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
"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
"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
"Pictures?" Ritsuko leaned forward. "You can't just say that and not
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
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
"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
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
"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
Yuriko nodded. "Satoshi-san told me when we jogged together this
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
To Be Continued
Saiyuu no Ryokou, all characters and situations copyright E. Friedman.
All rights reserved.