Sekai no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko
The Story So Far: Yuriko has just completed recording a new album and seems
to be enjoying success in her career and personal life. Tonight she and
Midori are celebrating.
Volume1, Issue 2
"Beginnings and Endings"
"You look absolutely amazing tonight." Yuriko stepped into the apartment
after recovering her lower jaw from the floor where it had dropped.
Midori executed a slow turn designed to show off the dress she wore. "Well,
it is our 8th month anniversary," she smiled as she completed her pirouette,
"so I wanted to look especially nice."
Yuriko gathered the other woman in her arms and pressed her lips into
Midori's neck just below her ear. "You always look especially nice," she
murmured quietly. "Tonight you look edible." She spent a few moments proving
her point before she whispered, "Run away with me. Let's leave all this
behind and travel the world together." She stood upright and smiled down at
her lover. "Come on, it'll be fun!"
Midori laughed. "So the tour is really going to happen?"
Yuriko nodded. She turned away to retrieve Midori's coat from the closet.
"Yeah, it's all finalized. We kick off in just about a month. It'll be a
shared bill, the company's got a few albums it's promoting. Mine and?'' she
paused, holding the coat open.
Midori slipped her arms into the coat and waited until Yuriko had let go
before she turned to face the other woman. "And??" she inquired gently.
Yuriko didn't answer. Midori's eyes narrowed. "Yuri?" she asked.
Yuriko heaved a heavy sigh. "They've got me sharing top billing with?" she
sighed again, "Mayumi-san."
Midori watched her lover's face closely. Yuriko was, at heart, a very
sensitive person. As their friend Mariko often said, she wanted everyone to
be happy ? and took it very personally when people stubbornly refused to be
happy around her. Nakayama Mayumi was a very unhappy person by all accounts,
and as difficult by reputation to work with as Yuriko was easy-going. Midori
hadn't actually met the woman in her time at the studio, but stories about
her were legendary.
"That's absurd!" she said with some heat. "What are they thinking of? That's
woman's a?" she shook her head as she strove to find an appropriately
insulting turn of phrase. "A bitch," she said finally, her writer's grasp of
language failing her in her emotional state. "She's horrible! How can they
expect you to work with her?"
Yuriko looked down at Midori seriously. "Because that's my job," she said.
"But hey, maybe by the end of the tour we'll be friends." She smiled, making
a joke of her words.
"Mmm." Midori ground out cynically. "That'll happen."
Yuriko took Midori in her arms and kissed her forcibly. "*You,*" she said,
giving the other woman a little shake as she spoke, "are not to worry about
this for me ? I'm plenty worried for both of us, okay?"
Midori nodded as she was shaken once again. "Ye..e..e..sss. Okay! Okay! Just
stop that!" She laughed as Yuriko let her go. "Alright, I'll trust you can
handle this like the mature, gentle creature you are." She ignored the noise
Yuriko made. "Tonight, your job is to treat *me* like the goddess I am."
Yuriko swept the door open with a flourish, gesturing Midori out into the
hall. "Then, by all means, My Lady, tonight is yours and yours alone."
As it should be," Midori said haughtily as she walked past the deeply bowing
blonde, then laughed as Yuriko caught her up and swept her, quite literally,
off her feet.
By unspoken consent, they let the matter drop through a lovely and
appropriately romantic dinner.
In the taxi on the way back to Yuriko's apartment, Midori laid her head
against the blonde's shoulder and whispered, "How long will you be gone?"
Yuri could hear the writer trying not to sound desperate and she drew Midori
closer into an embrace.
"At least six months," Yuriko said at last.
Midori didn't answer, but Yuriko could feel her fingers caught in the other
woman's hand. She gave a little squeeze and received an answering one from
"You could come with me, you know."
The writer shook her head. As the streetlight reflected off her features,
Yuriko could see tears gathered at the corner of her eyes. She pulled out
her handkerchief and handed it over solemnly.
"I'm sorry," Midori said, after dabbing at her eyes. "I promised myself I
wouldn't do this ? get all possessive and grasping." She passed the
handkerchief over her face again.
"Come with me," Yuriko insisted.
"I can't. You know that," Midori said sadly. "I have that novel to
finish?and that series of articles for Asahi."
Yuriko nodded slowly. "I know. So we would have been apart for a while
"But not six months," Midori commented acerbically.
"No, not that long." Yuriko sighed. "Let's look on the bright side ? at
least while I'm not around, you'll have the impetus to finish the novel!"
Midori leaned into Yuriko with a laugh at the reference to her well-known
penchant for writing while under the influence of extreme misery. "Six
months. It's a long time, isn't it?"
"Yes, but I trust you." Yuriko laughed as Midori launched a hand towards her
The darkness in the room was thick, but not stifling. Like a warm, cozy
cave, Yuriko had always thought. She pressed her lips into Midori's hair and
was rewarded by a small moan of pleasure. She could barely make out the
other woman in the dark, but since their bodies were so closely intertwined,
it was moot. She could feel nearly every surface, every curve, every angle
in Midori's body.
They had been together eight months and no one was more surprised than they
that the relationship was as strong as it was. Yuriko, who had never been
able to see herself with anyone for more than a week or two, found herself
planning for next winter, the summer after, and five years down the road
with the woman in her arms.
"Happy Anniversary," she whispered. Warm lips covered hers in answer.
They lay together in the warm, dark night and talked of random things.
Midori spoke of story ideas, Yuriko of her music, of everything but their
pending separation. At last, Midori rolled over onto her stomach and stared
down towards the pale hair, which was just visible in the gloom.
"Do you trust me?" Yuriko asked softly.
"What?" Midori sounded startled.
"Do you trust me? I'll be traveling around the world ? maybe meeting old
Midori sucked on her teeth for a moment. Yuriko knew this meant she was
"I don't know, really," the writer said honestly. "Do you trust you?"
"Do I trust me?" Yuriko was confused.
"I mean, do you think you might be tempted to wander?" Midori's voice was
soft, but the edge had returned to her words and Yuriko flinched from the
"I don't know," Yuriko admitted. "I've never had anything to wander from."
She reached out and stroked the long, thick hair that draped itself across
her. Yuri passed her hand through Midori's hair again and laughed. "What the
heck am I thinking? Of course I trust me! You're the most delightful thing
to ever enter my life ? there isn't anyone or anything I could possibly find
worth losing you over." She shook her head at even the thought of potential
Midori shifted herself slightly, her voice muffled against Yuriko's skin.
"That's all I'm asking," she said with a smile in her voice.
"But you still haven't answered my question," Yuriko pouted a little. She
gasped as lips moved softly across her chest.
Midori's voice was once again muffled as she answered, "I trust you ? I
never had any doubt at all." Her tongue flicked out across Yuri's nipple and
once again, by common consent, the topic was dropped.
To Be Continued
Saiyuu no Ryokou, all characters and situations, copyright 2001, 2002, 2003
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