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Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko, Issue 60

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  • atheniag
    [For Issues 1-54: http://www.yuricon.org/snb For Issue 55: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/23835 For Issue 56:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 21, 2008
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      [For Issues 1-54: http://www.yuricon.org/snb
      For Issue 55: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/23835
      For Issue 56: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/24279
      For Issue 57: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/24564
      For Issue 58: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/24899
      For Issue 59: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/25103%5d


      Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko

      The Story So Far: Yuriko and Midori have, temporarily, moved in
      together. Yuriko steels herself for a heart-to-heart talk about some
      very important issues.


      Volume 4, Issue 8

      "The Awful Truth"


      The front door closed with a quiet "snick". Yuriko, her hand still on
      the handle, took a deep breath. The loud exhalation that followed was
      not hers, however. She turned to find her lover leaning tiredly on the
      low table against the wall.

      "I know it's ungracious of me," the writer said. "But I'm glad to be
      alone, at last."

      Nodding, Yuriko moved into arm's reach of Midori and pulled her into
      an embrace. The writer laid her dark head on Yuri's chest and sighed
      again. They stood like that for a long few moments, letting the quiet
      in the apartment relax them.

      "I'm sure you're as tired as I am," Yuriko began, speaking into the
      other woman's hair. "And we both have long days tomorrow, but, I think
      we need to talk first."

      Midori lifted her head, her dark eyes burning. "Yes," she agreed.
      Taking Yuriko's hand in hers, she led the blonde to the sofa and sat
      her down. Seating herself by Yuri's side, Midori curled herself into
      the crook of the singer's arm. "Now. Tell me."

      Yuriko looked down at the writer and smiled. "Yes, ma'am." But the
      words, now that there was time and space for them, wouldn't come. Her
      chest felt tight; she seemed bereft of the right words.

      "I've been avoiding talking about this, because it feels like, if I
      actually say it, it'll be true," she managed eventually.
      "Kishi-san…well, Kishi-san is sick." Her words petered out lamely, but
      Midori seemed to have understood the meaning behind the uncertainty.
      The writer sat up and faced her lover, her eyes searching Yuriko's face.

      "How sick?"

      Yuriko's gaze slid to the floor. "Very," she said, sounding like a
      child. "She was going for tests…."

      "When was the last time you spoke to her? Have you called her?"

      "I don't know….I don't remember. No."

      "Yuri!" Midori was clearly shocked. "Why not? Oh my god, poor
      Kishi-san…" Her mouth tightened for a second, then she seemed to come
      to a decision. "Call her. Right now."

      "What?" Yuri's eyes were wild now, worried and scared. "I can't do that!"

      "Yes, you can," Midori said calmly. "You have to. She's – she's
      important to you, right? You have to let her know you care." Seeing
      Yuriko's hesitation, the writer got up from the sofa, walked over to
      the table where Yuriko's cell phone sat and lifted it. Opening it, she
      hit the fast dial code and handed it to the blonde without a word.

      Yuriko took the object with obvious reluctance and put it by her ear.
      Midori leaned close enough to hear the ring of the phone on the other
      end. The phone rang three times, then a gruff voice spoke.

      "Kishi."

      Yuriko looked up at Midori, her eyes watering slightly. She cleared
      her throat, but did not speak.

      "Hello? Yuriko, is that you?" the older woman used no honorific.

      "Uh, hello, yes. Yuriko here. I'm sorry to be calling so late." Her
      voice faltered, followed by an awkward pause on the line.

      When Kishi spoke again her voice was soft, almost gentle. "I was going
      to call you in the morning. I'm…I'm sorry I didn't call you sooner."

      Tears flowed onto Yuriko's cheeks at this. One of Midori's hands
      covered her mouth and she gripped Yuriko's shoulder tightly with the
      other.

      Yuriko protested weakly past a tight throat. "No! I mean, I'm sorry I
      didn't call. I…."

      There was a deep breath on the other side of the phone. "The test
      results came back. They say it's treatable."

      Midori pressed both hands to her mouth, trying to suppress a sob.
      Yuriko pulled her glasses off and pulled out a handkerchief with her
      free hand.

      "I'm really glad to hear it," she managed after a breath or two.

      Throat clearing grated against her ears, then, "It's late – you have
      an early day tomorrow." Kishi's voice had returned to its normal
      business-like tone. "There's someone I want you to meet. We'll be by
      at noon."

      "Great, okay," Yuriko did her best to sound business-like as well. She
      wiped her eyes with her handkerchief, cleared her own throat once and
      straightened her back. She took a deep breath and said, "I'll see you
      tomorrow then."

      "Tomorrow at noon." Kishi cut the line without a goodbye.

      Yuriko snapped her phone closed and deflated, her eyes instantly
      filling with tears again. "I should have done that days ago."

      Laying her hands comfortingly on Yuriko's cheeks, Midori brought her
      face close to the singer's. "Of all people, she understands. Trust me."

      Yuriko closed her eyes and let her forehead rest on her lover's.
      "You're probably right, but I feel like a complete jerk."

      Laughing bitterly, Midori pushed herself away and sat next to the
      blonde once again. "Well, that was traumatic. What's next? Any other
      monstrously important things you "forgot" to share with me?"

      "Nothing more important than a pointless rant about my delightful
      co-star." Yuriko rubbed her temples with her fingertips, then reached
      out to find her glasses. She picked them up, but did not put them on.

      "Oh?" Her lover sprawled backwards on the cushions. "Can anyone join?"

      "Mmm."

      "Yuri?"

      The blonde looked startled. "Oh, sorry – I was just thinking. Bad
      habit." She squinted down at her glasses. "I…no, not I. *Mayumi-san*,"
      she emphasized the singer's name, "I think she's insane."

      Midori smiled. "Yes?"

      "No, I mean it. I mean, I think there's something horribly, terribly
      wrong with that girl." And she proceeded to recount her experiences of
      the past few weeks with her co-star, in detail. When she was finished,
      she sighed. "I'm not typically a paranoid person. And I usually just
      assume that people like me or don't based on some fairly basic issues.
      But there's some…vibe I'm getting from her - her eyes are all wrong
      and there's this *thing* I see in them sometimes…." Yuriko turned to
      looked at the writer, her face completely serious. "She scares me,
      Midori."

      The brunette looked back at her lover, completely at as loss for
      something to say.

      After a long silence, which neither of them knew how to break, Yuriko
      stood, stretched and yawned.

      "I guess we'd better get you settled," she smiled down at her lover.
      "And then, I don't know about you, but I'm beat."

      Midori smiled and reached out a hand to be pulled up. "Bed sounds
      beyond wonderful right now."

      Once more Yuriko pulled the other woman into an embrace, this time
      kissing her passionately. "Welcome home," she said, with energy.

      ***

      The rest of the evening passed in small, but somehow enjoyable, chaos.
      Finding a place for all of Midori's clothes wasn't hard, but she had a
      lot more *stuff* with her than Yuriko had thought about. Obviously,
      she needed make-up and hair care items, and it was understandable that
      she wanted to have her watch and jewelry box…but had the other woman
      really needed to bring a dozen books, three stuffed animals and a box
      of photos?

      Yuriko stared down at a group shot of the entire Yumi family. Gin and
      Natsumi were already teenagers when this was taken, but Midori was
      instantly recognizable among the pink-cheeked elementary school group.
      Where everyone else was smiling and happy, her brows were lowered in a
      disapproving glare. Yuriko thought her heart might just burst as she
      grinned at the little Midori.

      "You haven't changed a bit," she said, sweeping a picture of her own
      from the surface of her dresser and setting the picture of the Yumi
      family in its place.

      Midori glanced up from the empty overnight bag and grimaced. "It's the
      only picture of all of us."

      "I love it." Yuriko spun around, comparing the little Midori in the
      photo to the current Midori in the bedroom. "No, that's not true – you
      have changed. Your glare is much more effective now… Ow!" Yuriko put
      her hand up to block the incoming animal to the face.

      Laughing, she left the animal on the floor where it fell, the picture
      on the dresser, and turned and tackled the writer – disapproving glare
      and all - onto the bed, where she effectively wiped the glare from her
      face…at least for the time being.


      ***

      The sky was already light when the alarm went off, but Yuriko had been
      up since before dawn.

      Although she had needed the sleep, her body had just never gotten
      comfortable. It wasn't having another person in bed with her – in
      fact, she quite liked having Midori next to her – it was just that her
      brain wouldn't quiet down enough to drift off properly. After tossing
      and turning for hours, she had realized what was bothering her.

      She had gotten out of bed and slipped her feet into the newest
      incarnation of pink, fluffy slippers. As quietly as possible, she left
      the bedroom and went out into the living room. Lifting one blind, she
      fastened it half up, and sat down in her chair to watch the dawn.

      Today, she would spend an entire day with Mayumi.

      Today, she would be one step closer to leaving Midori for six months.

      Today, she would have to look Kishi-san in the face and smile.

      Today, she thought, her whole life would change.


      To Be Continued
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