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Saiyuu no Ryouko: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko, Issue 19

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  • atheniag
    [For Volume 1 (Issues 1-15,) visit http://www.yuricon.org/snb.htm. For Issue 16 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/15268 For Issue 17
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 19 4:34 PM
      [For Volume 1 (Issues 1-15,) visit http://www.yuricon.org/snb.htm.
      For Issue 16 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/15268
      For Issue 17 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/15480
      For Issue 18 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/15817


      Saiyuu no Ryouko: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko

      The Story So Far: With a week to go before serious practice begins,
      Yuriko and Midori have decided on a vacation together. They'll be
      spending time with Midori's family. Not surprisingly, Yuriko's
      nervous, but surprisingly, Midori is far more worried than she.


      Volume 2, Issue 4

      "Welcome"


      "Your mother?" Yuriko blurted out before she could stop herself. She
      immediately regretted it when she saw Midori blanch. "I thought," she
      amended quickly, "That when you said, 'doesn't look her age,' you
      meant she looked great for a 50-something year old. Not a..."

      "I know, I know." Midori agreed impatiently. "You didn't expect
      someone who looks 18."

      Yuriko shared a quick glance with her lover. "Am I being predictable?
      I'm sorry – I'll try not to be."

      Midori gave the blonde a pained smile. "You won't have a choice. Just
      remember, nod a lot."

      "Got it."

      Midori parked the car behind a small, silver Toyota, and set the
      parking brake. Taking a deep breath to fortify herself, she got out of
      the car. Yuriko watched after her for a second - regretting not taking
      a moment alone back when they were out of sight of the house, to
      reinforce her affection – it was too late now. She angled her long
      legs out of the car and found herself in the middle of a whirlwind
      monologue.

      "I was planning a large dinner for us all, you know, as a family
      reunion, but then Mishima called and you know that I can't refuse him
      anything, then I was called away to work on that art installation, so
      by the time I came back there wasn't any time to get started on dinner
      and Youko was going to help, but with the children, its so hard to
      keep them out of the way, and so I've decided that we should just all
      go out tonight and do Karaoke."

      The speech ended so abruptly that Yuriko practically gasped for
      breath. She could clearly sense Midori's annoyance, so she remained
      silent, sending out reassuring "pillar of strength" waves. Aoi seemed
      to take their acquiescence to her plans for granted and not notice her
      daughter's mood. Before she could launch into the next utterance,
      Midori interrupted smoothly.

      "Hello, Aoi. It's nice to see you too." The writer managed to sound
      amused, but shot Yuriko a look that she could not interpret. "Let me
      introduce you to Yuriko."

      The idol found herself smiling automatically. "It's a great pleasure
      to meet you at last," she said, bowing deeply, after introductions had
      been made.

      Aoi inclined her head perfunctorily, but with no rudeness at all.
      "We've heard a lot about you," she said, obviously sizing up the tall
      blonde. "Not much from Mi-chan, who never calls, but Sakura-chan is a
      big fan." Yuriko nodded pleasantly and glanced at the teenager in
      question. She was pleased to note that Sakura was well beyond the
      simpering stage. The girl shot her a welcoming smile.

      "Me too!" The other girl, Misono, Yuriko remembered, stepped up to be
      introduced. "I've been a fan since your first album." She spoke
      forcefully, but her voice was quiet and breathy.

      "Yes, of course," Aoi cut in, giving them no time for introductions.
      "So, anyway, as I was saying, we've heard a lot about you. Mi-chan,"
      her attention shifted from Yuriko to her daughter with an unnerving
      intensity. Yuriko found that she was able to breathe more easily when
      not pinned by the older woman's slightly too-bright eyes. She began to
      understand why Midori was so uneasy around her mother - and she
      thought she could put a name to it.

      While Midori fended off a barrage of questions she wasn't given time
      to answer, Yuriko had a long look at Aoi. The older woman looked, at
      closer range, a well-kept 40. That she was, in truth, slightly more
      than 20 years older than that was remarkable. But her figure was
      girlish and her energy remarkably, almost insultingly, youthful. The
      way she bounced on her toes as she talked gave the impression of
      someone younger even than Yuriko. Beside Midori's graceful and grave
      demeanor, Aoi looked positively childish.

      "Won't you come inside?" Aoi was addressing Yuriko again, and the
      blonde found herself the object of scrutiny once more. Aoi smiled
      brightly and Yuriko relaxed. The woman may be manic, but at least she
      wasn't antagonistic. "It's really very good to meet you." The older
      woman leaned forward conspiratorially, forcing Yuriko to bend over to
      catch her words. "I can tell that you're making our Mi-chan happy –
      she's put on some weight."

      Yuriko could see the flush cross Midori's cheeks – and so could Sakura
      and Misono. They practically leapt forward to take Aoi's hands.

      "Come on, Aoi-'baasan," Sakura said quickly, rolling her eyes in
      Midori's direction, "let's go inside and tell Mama and Papa that these
      two are here." The two girls practically dragged the older woman into
      the house, with a smile for Midori and a wave for Yuriko.

      A moment of silence passed, and Midori heaved a great sigh of release.

      "So," she began. "That's Aoi." She paused, then said, "She likes you."

      "That's a weight off my mind." Yuriko said, taking Midori's hand in
      hers, threading their fingers together. "We don't have to stay the
      whole time, you know...Mi-chan."

      Midori jerked her hand in penalty. "Oh, *please* don't call me that!"
      She smiled up at Yuriko. "I'll be fine. She was just a little nervous.
      But she does like you, so we're okay. Give her a little time to calm
      down and we'll be fine." She retrieved her hand with a squeeze. "I'll
      be fine. We should probably bring in our luggage."

      They walked back to the car and opened the trunk, pulling out the top
      bags, which were full of gifts, to reach the larger pieces below.

      Yuriko pulled out a heavy case with a grunt. "I don't want to be rude,
      but..." she gave a little laugh, "which you just know means I'm about
      to be – but why didn't you just tell me that Aoi's bipolar? It is
      bipolar? Right?"

      Midori picked up the bags that held fruits, toys for the younger
      children and gifts for her nieces, and nodded. "I don't know. I guess,
      I suppose one doesn't just do that. You know – oh and by the way, my
      mother's barking mad."

      Yuriko looked off into a middle distance. "There was a boy who was
      bipolar in high school. I didn't know it then, obviously, I mean, you
      never do know those kinds of things when you're a kid. He was hard to
      be around sometimes, but I don't think he was really insane or
      anything."

      Midori gestured dismissively. "You know what I mean. Not mad." She
      sighed heavily. "Maddening is probably closer to the truth."

      A loud "ahoy!" came over the lawn and they looked up to find two
      youngish men gesturing, as they approached the two women with quick
      strides.

      Yuriko regarded them for a second, while Midori waved back happily.
      "Based on pictures I've seen, I'm guessing that Satoshi is the one on
      the left and Masaki is the one on the right."

      "Hayao is on the right. Masaki looks a lot like him though – he takes
      after Aoi and looks far younger than he is." Midori laughed out loud
      at the look of hopeless confusion on Yuriko's face. "Don't worry,
      darling – I know you, you'll get everyone's name perfectly right first
      time around and never make a single mistake. I've seen you at
      fundraisers and awards dinner, don't forget."

      Yuriko grinned back and stepped up to be introduced to two more
      members of Midori's seemingly endless family.

      To Be Continued
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