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Saiyuu no Ryouko: The continuing Adventures of Yuriko, Issue 30

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  • atheniag
    [For Issues 1-25: http://www.yuricon.org/snb/index.html For Issue 26: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/17044 For Issue 27:
    Message 1 of 1 , May 20, 2005
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      [For Issues 1-25: http://www.yuricon.org/snb/index.html
      For Issue 26: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/17044
      For Issue 27: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/17212
      For Issue 28: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/17531
      Fore Issue 29: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/17857%5d

      The Story So Far: Yuriko and Midori have escaped from a very
      unpleasant experience. They've decided to treat themselves to a hot
      bath and a nice meal with the family for fun.

      Volume 2, Issue 14

      "Dinner for Eighteen"

      "Old movies." Yuriko said, rather abruptly. She finished drying her
      hair and cast a look over at Midori. The writer stood by the bedroom
      door in terry robe, with her hair piled on her head. "Bath's free, I
      think – unless someone got there first."

      "Thank you and, what?" Midori moved past the blonde with an
      appreciative glance at her long linen-clad legs.

      "Old movies," Yuriko repeated, combing her fingers through her hair.
      "That's what you were into in high school." She watched a smile break
      out on Midori's face. "I'm right, aren't I?"

      "Not even a little close...ice cold in fact." Midori slid the door

      Yuriko made a face. "Cooking?" She called out as the door began to

      "No!" Midori's laughter disappeared down the hall.


      Hayao was waiting for them when the two women joined the rest of the
      family for dinner.

      "It's a veritable feast!" he said happily. "I can't wait – as the only
      bachelor in this crowd, it's not often I get home cooking."

      "Oh please," Midori protested, "you come home all the time!"

      "True, but Aoi doesn't cook and Dad....well, you remember what happens
      when he gets it into his head that he'll cook."

      Midori rolled her eyes. "Yes, yes I do."

      "Why? Is it bad?"

      "Oh, no!" Hayao laughed. "Dad can cook like no one's business – he was
      an assistant chef a long time ago, but he's temperamental, a real
      prima donna. We'd be cleaning up his mess for days." Midori and her
      brother shared a laugh at the memory.

      Yuriko watched her lover, pleased at the change from this afternoon.
      Midori's outburst had, apparently, been cathartic. Whatever had been
      eating at her for the last day seemed to be gone – or had taken a back
      seat for the moment. Yuriko felt herself relaxing a little at the
      thought of dinner. She hadn't been looking forward to shepherding a
      tense Midori through a family meal.

      "You coming?" Hayao looked over his shoulder at the singer. "You'd
      better hurry – with all us hungry guys at the table, you women might
      have trouble scoring some food."

      Grinning, Yuriko said, "I don't know – I'm pretty fast at grabbing at
      a platter myself."

      The three entered the large, formal dining room together. Yuriko
      whistled at the sight that greeted them. Platters of food covered the
      table until there was little tablecloth visible.

      "I feel like I've just entered a novel," Yuri breathed to Midori.

      The writer grinned up at the blonde. "Funny, I was about to say that I
      feel like I've just walked into a television show." They both laughed
      and headed for the seats reserved for them. They could tell which
      seats these were, since they were conspicuously located near Mishima,
      and several pairs of hands waved them in that direction.

      "Please don't tell me we're Guests of Honor," Yuriko whispered into
      Midori's ear. "Please."

      "I don't think I can," Midori replied without moving her lips much.
      "Just pray they don't actually want a speech."

      In fact, dinner was delightful. Mishima was an excellent host, keeping
      the conversation light and lively. The food was unreasonably
      delicious; almost everyone in the family had contributed to some
      portion of the feast. Yuriko ate until she thought she would burst,
      then managed to have just a little more of the fresh fruit pie that
      was pressed upon her.

      They sat over coffee and brandy, sharing stories of their day. Yuriko
      found herself watching herself, as she enjoyed the warm, homey
      atmosphere. A year ago, she might have run from this – terrified by
      her own family memories. Even now, when she allowed herself the
      leisure to think about it, to realize that this was what a family
      could be, she found her eyes beginning to smart.

      Dinner in her home growing up had never felt like this. There was no
      intimacy between herself and her parents. They had always been cold to
      her, to Take and Fumie. As children, they had all learned that stories
      of their day should be confined to listing achievements in school, or
      to remain silent. The silence had surrounded them each day, cutting
      themselves off from each other, filling up the spaces where other
      families had warmth and love.

      But for all that, this didn't feel strange. Yuriko did not feel out of
      place, or awkward...and she knew perfectly well that this was not just
      her polished social skills in play. These people were different from
      any she'd ever known. They were a family - a thing she had never
      really had, even when her parents had been alive. She watched Midori,
      eyes sparkling, head thrown back with laughter at something Masaki had
      said and her heart practically hurt from being overfull with joy. It
      was more than she could have ever asked for, or imagined.

      "Yuriko-san," Mishima refilled her glass as he addressed her. "I was
      going to ask you to make a speech," he grinned as panic flared in her
      eyes, "but I've been told that I'd be divorced if I did."

      Aoi glowered from her place at the table. Yuriko covered the smile
      that sprang to her lips. Aoi looked exactly like a child trying to
      stare down a bully.

      "No speeches," Aoi slapped her palm on the table for emphasis.
      "Including you," she pointed a stern finger at Mishima. "Let's just
      all drink and relax and not bother with formalities."

      A hearty "yea" of announced the younger generation's agreement with
      the sentiment.

      Dinner wound down with Gin and Mihoshi announcing their desire to
      retire for the evening.

      "It's been a long day," Mihoshi apologized, "and we're all worn out
      with sun and activity."

      "Kirika and Akane challenged Mom to a sandcastle building contest,"
      Misono joked. "She lost."

      "It's been a long time since I've built a sand castle, you know,"
      Mihoshi protested good-naturedly.

      "Well," Yuriko announced, "since we weren't here to help make this
      fabulous meal, I hereby volunteer myself and Midori for cleanup

      "Hey!" Midori complained. "You can't do that!"

      "Yes, I can." Yuriko grinned crookedly. "And I have."

      "We'll help too!" Sakura jumped from her seat. "Misono and I want to
      hear all about the interview today."

      "Absolutely!" Misono agreed, grabbing platters at random. "We heard
      that you two cause quite a stir..."

      Yuriko blinked at the girl. "You heard? How on earth...?"

      Misono offered a toothy grin in the idol's direction. "My secret
      network of informants, of course!" She skipped off to the kitchen,
      eminently pleased with herself.

      "She's got a friend who's got a summer job at the studio," Sakura
      informed Midori and Yuri, as they followed Misono, with arms full of
      dirty dishes.

      Cleanup took very little time with so many helping hands. In no time
      at all, Yuriko found herself alone with Midori and her two nieces. She
      had successfully put off the topic of their interview until now,
      hoping to avoid it entirely.

      "Spill the dirt," Misono said remorselessly. "Himi-chan tells me that
      your interview caused total chaos on the set today."

      The four walked out the back of the house and strolled in the cool
      evening air.

      "It was awful," Midori said. "That woman was unpeakably rude, and I'm
      amazed anyone watches her show."

      Sakura snorted in derision. "Auntie Midori, you might want to find
      yourself another manger...Osaka Teruo is *known* for being rude."

      "Really?" Yuriko couldn't imagine people watching someone like that at

      "Absolutely!" Misono's voice was full of glee. "Himi-chan tells me the
      most horrible stories about guests being ripped to pieces by Osaka-
      san, and the audience. She's seen people leave in tears...broken
      shadows of the people they were when they came in."

      "You don't have to sound so happy about it," Midori said sternly.
      "It's not so much fun to be on the other end of that kind of

      "But that's what makes this so delicious!" Misono would not be
      quashed, "Himi-chan called me up to tell me that whatever you said had
      Osaka-san in absolute panic today! After the show, she stormed off the
      stage in tears, and screamed bloody murder at her Producer for thirty
      minutes." The girl was clearly relishing this as she recounted the
      after effects of their appearance. "So you've got to tell me, what was
      it that you said to her?"

      To Be Continued
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