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Saiyuu no Ryouko, Issue 55

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  • atheniag
    [For Issues-48: http://www.yuricon.org/snb For Issue 49: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/22092 For Issue 50:
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 26, 2007
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      [For Issues-48: http://www.yuricon.org/snb
      For Issue 49: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/22092
      For Issue 50: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/22432
      For Issue 51: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/22636
      For Issue 52: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/23087
      For Issue 53: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/23440
      For Issue 54: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/23602%5d


      (Sorry this is so late – I was trying to get the next Marimite novel
      completed.)



      Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko

      The Story So Far: Yuriko's weekend began with a night of glamour and
      glitz - and a reminder that she's not the only one with problems.


      Volume 4, Issue 3

      "Pirouette"


      When Yuriko awoke on Sunday morning, the world had completely
      altered. Where the day before seasonal rains drenched man, woman and
      child, today the city stood in stark clarity of bright summer
      sunshine, sans humidity or heat. As Yuriko dressed, she smiled at the
      television newscaster who was reporting on a clear sunrise from Mt.
      Fuji, and interviewing the crowds who had arrived in time to enjoy
      it. It made Yuriko happy just to know that there were people who
      would see sunrise from Mt. Fuji – even if she herself was extremely
      unlikely to ever join them.

      She whistled happily as she combed her hair, her eyes fixed on the
      window and the bright, fine day outside. It was a startling contrast
      from the day before, when the downpour had caused the cancellation of
      an outdoor photo shoot. Dance practice had gone on as scheduled,
      however and that, she thought, had been rather...interesting.

      Yuriko ran her fingers through her hair, pulling the longer strands
      into the customary position over her right eye, then settled her
      glasses on her nose. She stared into the eyes that looked back at her
      from the mirror, pleased with herself. She headed out to the kitchen
      area, made herself a cup of tea and waited. And thought.

      With the tour becoming ever more imminent, everyone's tension level
      was notching up appreciably, When she had arrived at the studio
      yesterday, she had found Renzo in intense discussion with several key
      staff members, including the choreographer, stage director and
      musical director. The result was a few small alterations of the
      program to which she had had no objections. When the meeting had
      broken up, it had been the hapless stage director who had won the job
      of breaking the news to Mayumi. But apparently, all fears had been
      unfounded, and the stage director had been spared any backlash - at
      least this time.

      Nonetheless, after the previous day's outburst, Yuriko had approached
      dance practice with caution. Madame Sophia arrived, announcing that
      they would be working on the new arrangement, and Yuriko and Mayumi
      had taken their positions with no extraneous commentary.

      And then they had started to dance.

      Something had happened, then. Yuriko wasn't sure what it was. Both
      she and Mayumi had been entirely professional with each other – no
      more or less than two women at the height of their careers should
      have been - but something had changed and Yuriko had felt it
      immediately. The tension that had always filled Mayumi, that had
      thrummed through her skin and jangled Yuri's nerves, was...different.
      It was still there, but there was something else, some sense of
      satisfaction or glimmer of passion, that gave it a life of its own.
      Instead of lying there, coiled under the surface and ready to strike,
      Mayumi's energy had filled the room, reaching out and gathering
      everything into its orbit. Yuriko found herself warming to it, being
      drawn in by it, and staring deeply into the other woman's eyes. The
      part of her that had not been captivated, screaming shrilly that it
      was a trap.

      Yuriko drank her tea, humming a song about a spider calling for flies
      to join her and watched the clouds slip by idly.

      Yuriko knew that it would never matter what Mayumi said or thought or
      did, as long as they put on a good show. And yesterday, they had.
      When they had finished dancing there had been a long moment of
      complete silence, then Madame Sophia's stick had struck the floor
      with enthusiasm.

      "Yes!" The little, old Romanian had cried, pounding the stick into
      the floor beneath her feet in applause. "Yes, *that* is what it is
      supposed to look like."

      Once again Mayumi had not been what she appeared, and Yuriko was no
      closer to understanding what or who her co-star really was.

      It was just that today, in the light of a beautiful morning, with
      only weeks left before the tour, it simply didn't matter.

      ***

      Midori pulled away from a good morning peck that had become something
      altogether different and smiled exultantly. "I'm going to have to
      come over more often in the morning," she said, laying a gentle kiss
      on Yuriko's cheek.

      Yuriko returned the favor, then moved away to the kitchen. "Tea?" she
      asked. "Mari and Hachi ought to be here shortly."

      "Please." Midori sat on the sofa. "Before I get distracted by you -
      or anything else," she grinned up at her lover, who laid a cup and
      saucer on the table in front of her, "I wanted to ask you if you knew
      what was up with Ritsuko?"

      Yuriko cocked her head questioningly. "Haven't you heard from her?"

      "Only a short phone message late Friday night – well, early Saturday
      morning, saying that she had something to take care of and that she'd
      call me later." The writer picked up the cup and brought it towards
      her lips. "I didn't feel like I had the right to pry."

      "Mmm," Yuriko agreed noncommittally

      Midori laughed. "It's okay, you know. You can say you agree."

      "Well then, I think you're right - you don't have the right to pry."
      Yuriko smiled complacently. "Can one say 'I told you so' when one
      agrees with the other person?"

      "No, and you'd better not try," Midori said firmly. "Seriously,
      though, do you know what's up? Or, I should say, I assume that you
      know more than I can guess. I can guess that she's with her lover,
      but other than that..."

      Yuriko shook her head. "I can't really help you, I'm afraid, except
      in a general way." And she recounted her last few minutes in the
      pouring rain two nights previously, while a triumphant Ritsuko made
      her apologies and went off with the man who had been her lover.
      Yuriko was left to wait for her car, alone. "I kind of assumed she'd
      call you and let you know what was happening."

      "And I assume that her not doing so is a particularly pointed form of
      revenge," Midori chuckled. "I think that, at some time soon, she and
      I are going to have to have a real talk about some things." Her smile
      broadened, "And I think I'm coming to quite like my little sister."

      "Be sure to tell her that, and she might even come to like you too."

      Luckily, just as Midori was about to retort, the door opened and
      Mariko entered with an appallingly cheerful greeting.

      "Hi ho, my darlings!" Mariko swept into the room in a way that made
      Yuriko instantly recoil.

      "Mari!" she said, scandalized. "Have you become a gay man while I
      wasn't looking?"

      Mariko laughed and said, "No, I'm trying out being an early twentieth-
      century British mystery novel character for a change. How do you like
      it?"

      "Hate it," Yuriko grumped. "Can't you pick, oh, I don't know,
      something less cheerful?"

      "Perhaps a melancholic fairy tale princess?" Mari thought about
      it. "Midori-san, what do you think?"

      "I think something American would suit you better – a power-hungry
      business woman from a romance novel, or a something from a nighttime
      soap opera."

      "Oooh," Mariko said, her finger pressed against her lips. As the door
      opened and Hachi joined them, she whirled on her fiancée with a
      scowl. "Hachi, they don't like my new persona."

      Hachi patted Mari's arm consolingly. "I told you that Yuriko would
      prefer something Heian." He shot the other two women a knowing
      look. "I tried for schoolgirl, for myself, but she wasn't having any
      of it."

      "Well," Yuriko said, grabbing Hachi's free arm and tucking herself
      into it. "I think you're in luck today, because as were all indulging
      in Midori's terrifying hobby, I think we should *all* be high school
      students today."

      "Oh no!" Midori said, "And I just had my nails done, too."


      To Be Continued

      Saiyuu no Ryouko, all characters and situations, copyright E. Friedman
      All rights reserved.
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