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Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko Issue 45

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  • atheniag
    [For Issue 1-39: http://www.yuricon.org/snb/ For Issue 40: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/20564 For Issue 41:
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 23, 2006
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      [For Issue 1-39: http://www.yuricon.org/snb/
      For Issue 40: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/20564
      For Issue 41: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/20135%5d
      For Issue 42: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/21166
      For Issue 43: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/21303
      For Issue 44: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/21303%5d

      Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko

      The Story So Far: Yuriko is becomingly increasingly convinced that
      the tour has been cursed. Her own personal problems pale in
      comparison to the idea that a multi-million dollar production might
      never get off the ground unless the problem is solved.


      Volume 3, Issue 9

      "Spotlight"


      "Yes, fine," Yuriko muttered into her cell phone. "I'd love to. You
      have no idea how much I'd love to." She smiled at nothing, and
      nodded. "Right. We'll bring dessert. See you at eight." She rang off
      and folded the phone away in her pocket, turning to her companion.
      "That was Hachi, Mariko bought him a new pasta maker."

      "Mmmm," Midori answered dreamily. "Fresh pasta. I can't think of
      anything better."

      Yuriko smiled at that, pulling the other woman into an embrace.
      Smiling broadly she leaned down and whispered into the author's ear,
      "I can."

      ***

      When they were once again dressed, the two women decided to walk to a
      local bakery for an appropriate dessert. The evening air was sticky,
      pregnant with moisture, but the streets were packed solid with people
      heading home from work, or out from their homes.

      "So," Yuriko asked, as they stood on line at the bakery. "Please tell
      me about your day, because I don't want to think about mine."

      Midori set a hand on the blonde's arm. "You've been saying that a lot
      this week. What's going on?"

      "No," Yuriko forestalled her with a raised hand. "I'm not even going
      there. I'll tell you what," she interrupted her lover's protest.
      "I'll tell you the whole story over dinner. This way we can see if
      Mari's heard anything and I don't have to slog through it twice."

      "That bad?" Midori mused. "Well, then let me tell you about my day of
      researching students at one of our leading universities." She paused
      dramatically. "It was boring. Utterly, mind-numbingly dull.
      Apparently college students at our prestigious school come in two
      types - those who really wanted to get in and learn, and those who
      really wanted to get in so they could get out. The first stay
      forever, the second leave as early as possible. The worst were all
      the young women who go to college just to meet an eligible young
      executive wannabee. Absolutely appalling."

      "Sounds depressing," Yuriko agreed cheerfully.

      They stepped up to the counter and placed their order, after which
      Midori continued her rant.

      "The lowest point was as I interviewed a lovely, bright young woman
      in the history department. She's studying Kofun art, and was very
      knowledgeable about Korean influences on ceramics and sculpture. When
      I asked her what she planned on doing with her degree you know what
      she said to me? She said that she planned on getting married and
      having a child and staying home, because it wasn't like there was a
      job out there for her anyway." Midori's expression was grim. "It just
      made me so mad to think of all that knowledge going to waste."

      Yuriko opened her mouth to answer, when the sound of her name being
      squealed brought her to a crashing halt.

      "Oh my god!" a young girl cut the line and ran up to the two women.
      "You're Yuriko!"

      Yuriko smiled broadly, despite her irritation at the interruption.
      She glanced out the corner of her eye at Midori, hoping that the
      writer would take advantage of the moment and escape. But Midori
      stood firm as the onslaught began.

      "Can you sign this, please?" A book was thrust into Yuri's chest.

      She took it and searched the faces around her for the owner. "What's
      your name?" she asked the girl.

      "Risa," the voice came back, shrill over the noise of the small crowd
      that had surrounded the singer. People in line for the bakery began
      to grumble as the number of people in the shop grew, blocking the
      entrance.

      Yuriko handed the book back and took the next object offered,
      inscribing that carefully. She glanced at Midori, whose expression
      was pleasantly bland, then back at the crowd, which now included
      several young men and more girls.

      While Midori finished filling their order, Yuriko smiled and signed
      and shook hands with her fans. One or two took a surreptitious
      photograph with a cell phone, but Yuriko didn't begrudge them – after
      all, this *was* what she did for a living, right? She smiled brighter
      at a shy girl who hung back, leaning forward to take possession of a
      hesitantly offered autograph book.

      After a quick grab at a few more autoraphable objects, Yuriko sensed
      that the bakery was getting far too crowded. She excused herself, but
      the crush of people was too thick to move through. She smiled and
      nodded her way towards the door, but got no more than a few feet. She
      gave the employees behind the counter an apologetic look, but they
      were too busy to notice.

      "Alright girls, that's enough," a commanding voice spoke, breaking
      through the crowd noise and startling Yuriko's fans into momentary
      silence. "Yuriko's always glad to sign a few autographs, but she has
      somewhere she has to be right now. Can you make some room for us,
      please?" This last was spoken sweetly to two large boys who stood by
      the door. Having been deputized by a ravishing dark-haired beauty,
      they cleared a path efficiently for the two women.

      Midori took Yuriko's arm and led her towards the door. She smiled
      beatifically at the gathered fans as they passed.

      "Who is that?" One girl asked another as they walked by.

      "Must be her manager," the other answered.

      Yuriko paused in front of them and pinned the two girls with a look.
      "She's not my manager," she smiled, putting her arm around Midori's
      slim waist. She leaned in close, but let her voice be heard clearly
      throughout the small space, "This is Yukano Midori...my girlfriend."
      And the two women passed out of the bakery into an atmosphere no less
      humid than the store had been.

      Behind her, Yuriko could hear someone say, "Her girlfriend? I thought
      that whole lesbian thing was hype..."

      Yuriko smiled at Midori, who laughed behind her hand, as they walked
      quickly through the growing crowds.

      ***

      "Your fans never cease to amaze me," Mariko said with her usual
      clairvoyance, as she opened the door to Hachigoro's house.

      "Funny, I was thinking the same thing," Midori quipped, with a
      squeeze for Yuriko's arm.

      "Funny," Yuriko echoed, "I was thinking the same thing about you."
      She smiled down at her lover.

      "That my fans never cease to amaze you?"

      "No, that you never cease to amaze me." Yuri turned to include Mariko
      in the exchange. "Midori is not only an accomplished writer, and a
      fine public speaker, she's also my personal bodyguard."

      "Ah," Mariko said with a nod to the author. "Beating them off again?"

      "No!" Yuriko insisted. "She's seducing them away from me, if you can
      believe it."

      Midori just laughed. "We were mobbed at the bakery - I just asked a
      few of the young men to help clear a path to the door."

      Hachi joined them with welcoming smiles for both women. He wore an
      unfortunate apron decorated with anthropomorphized vegetables. "Well,
      then, I imagine that they jumped at the chance to ingratiate
      themselves with you!"

      "It wasn't anything!" Midori protested. Turning to Mariko in an
      effort to turn the attention away from herself, she said, "So, you
      were saying?"

      "Oh," Mariko waved her hand. "I was just listening to a call-in radio
      show. A top ten kind of thing...there were an inordinate number of
      dedications of your music, and several declarations of love - to you,
      mostly. All very stimulating," Mariko lead them into a spacious
      living area, where she served them drinks, while Hachi retreated into
      the kitchen to continue with dinner preparations.

      "I'm learning how not to be jealous," Midori commented. "It's much
      more difficult than I imagined. Especially when Yuri is so
      very...friendly...to her audience." The author shot a sly look
      towards her lover, but Yuriko seemed miles away and didn't respond.

      "Yes, I went through something similar in the early days, Mari
      grinned, leaning forward confidentially. "Eventually I learned to
      use my position as her best friend for personal gain, if you know
      what I mean."

      The two women laughed, but grew quiet when they saw that the idol
      wasn't listening.

      "Okay, spill it." Mariko demanded, then smiled up at her fiancée' as
      he brought in a tray of drinks. "What's eating you, Yuri? You look
      positively glum."

      Yuriko jumped slightly at her name, apologizing hastily. "I'm sorry –
      it's been a tough week."

      "You keep saying that!" Midori announced testily. "Are you going to
      let us in on it, or have you taken up being a martyr?"

      Yuriko shot the author a pained look. "No, I just didn't want to be
      accused of being a whiner." She took a deep breath and let it out
      audibly. "Okay, then," she looked each of her companions in the eye
      in turn, then said, "I have two announcements. One," she gestured
      towards Midori, "I hereby announce that I concede our contest – you
      win. And two..." she picked up her glass of wine and took a long
      drink from it. "Two, she said with another sigh, "this tour...is
      cursed."

      To Be Continued
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