Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko
Volume 1, Issue 1
"Just once more and were
done. Yuriko could feel the cool slime of cold cream pass across her cheek,
followed by a vigorous circular rubbing motion. Her skin became warm, and the slimy
feeling changed to a slightly tacky sensation. She sighed impatiently and crossed her
arms. The sensation ceased.
Youre done. The hairdresser was tall, scandalously
thin and exceptionally effeminate. He put his hands on his hips and looked at Yuriko
condescendingly. That wasnt *that* bad, was it? He leaned forward,
peering at her closely. Oh wait, I missed
She slapped his hand away and
Thats it! Im done here! Sheesh! Yuriko
ripped the smock from around her neck. Thanks, sweetie, but I have to go home.
She slammed the smock down onto the chair she had vacated and was at the door in three
As she left the room, she could hear the hairdresser saying
petulantly, Fine, but dont complain to me if you have dry skin! Yuriko
bared her teeth in what might have passed for a smile and slammed the door. Stopping in
the hall, she sagged back against the wall and took a deep breath.
A woman laughed, the voice musical and girlish. Yuri-chan, did
the widdle hairdwessers abuse you again? Yuriko looked up to see her best friend,
Mariko, waiting for her.
Yuriko smiled and straightened. Yes, theyre really too
much. In fact, she gestured broadly, this is all insanely over the top.
Its only a commercial, for pitys sake, not that youd know it from the
way Andre is acting. She caught up to Mariko and the two women started down
the hallway. I mean, weve been filming for three days already!
Mariko laughed again. You are such a whiner, Yuri. Most women
in your position would be thrilled.
Im not most women, Yuriko commented unnecessarily.
Glancing up at her friend, Mariko enquired, You seem in a
rush. Got another date tonight?
Grinning sardonically, Yuriko shook her head. No. Im
I think Ill just go straight home tonight.
Mariko watched her for a moment then stopped where she stood.
Pointing at Yuriko, she laughed behind her hand. You didnt get any offers
today, did you? Yuriko looked down at her friend, startled, then flushed slightly.
No, as a matter of fact.
Mariko leaned against the wall, almost doubled over with laughter.
Poor, Yuri. How are you going to stand it
after all, youve got
needs, she giggled until Yuriko closed in on her, pinning her to the wall.
Yuriko glared down at her friend, and bared her teeth once again.
I guess Ill just have to rely on my friends, then
forward, moving her face close to Marikos.
Mariko gasped, then blushed, then flushed dark red and pushed Yuriko
away. No! I cant
wait, thats not what I meant
flushed again as she realized that Yuriko was laughing at her. She turned away angrily and
began walking down the hall again. She could hear Yuriko catch up, but ignored her.
Sorry, Yuriko apologized.
Mariko softened, then smiled. Its okay - after all, I
was teasing you first. She paused. You didnt mean it, right? she
Yuriko took Marikos arm and threaded it through her own.
It depends. Mariko turned to look at her friend, open-mouthed, then realizing
the Yuriko was still teasing her, slapped the blonde with her free hand.
Laughing, the two women left the studio.
Ladies and Gentleman, Id like you all to welcome the
hottest thing to come down the pike this week
Yuriko! Ouch, that hurts
Applause, teenyboppers screaming.
thanks for coming.
Thanks for having me.
Mutual bowing, shaking hands, sitting.
Wow - I see youve got quite a fan club here.
Shy smile. I cant help it, apparently. More
laughter, more screams.
Well, lets see - youre doing modeling right now,
Ah, yes. I have a new series of commercials coming out. We
just finished filming them. Um, theyll be on the air in a month or so.
"What our viewers really want to know is about you, personally.
Do you have any hobbies?
Cross legs, place hands on knee. I like to dance.
Screams interrupt, wave at fans a little, grinning.
Your fans seem to know that already. Chuckling.
Look down at paper. How about boyfriends? Anyone special in
your life right now?
Grin, look into the camera, Theres no one special person
or a boyfriend, either. Screams again, increasing in volume. Nervous
laughter from the host.
twenty-four you've already made a name for yourself in music, modeling and acting.
Whats next for you?
Hand behind head, look embarrassed. Im not really sure.
Another acting role, if a good one comes along
maybe a new album. I guess well
The host nods, catches the signal for commercial. Well, thanks
for coming by today - everybody, lets hear it for Yuriko! Gesture, applause,
shrieks. Standing, shake hands, bow. Host turns away, looking a little discomfited. Walk
off stage, grinning.
At the back door, fangirls press up against the barrier. Lean over,
place a kiss on one cheek, press another hand, sign a few autographs. One little girl, all
brown eyes and nervousness, passes over a rose. Break the stem, tuck the rose into lapel,
then slowly, carefully, kiss the back of her hand. She nearly passes out and her friends
practically climb over the barrier.
With a wave and a smile, climb into the car. Lean back and loosen
the tie. Heavy sigh. One more down, only a thousand to go.
Yuri, do you have any white wine? Mariko asked,
her head buried in the refrigerator.
Check in the rack.
I did, there isnt any.
You are a such a pain sometimes. Yuriko turned on the CD
player then stepped towards the kitchen. She opened the closet, dug her way into the back
and pulled out a bottle with a bow tied to its neck. Mari took it from her and smiled at
the bow. Soft strains of a cello concerto filled the apartment.
Gift from another admirer?
Mari! Yuriko snapped. Gods, you are bad
gift from a friend, if you must know.
Mari chuckled and opened the bottle. She poured two glasses and
handed one over to Yuriko, who sipped at it.
The two women sat, without uneccesary chatter. Mariko watched her
friend recline on the sofa, her eyes closed. Her lean form was complimented by the suit
she wore, the tie insouciantly loose, her gold wire-rim glasses giving her an academic
look. She looked like a young college professor from a novel, Mariko thought. The kind
that is always having advances made towards him by the students.
Without opening her eyes Yuriko asked, You seeing Hachi
Mari swallowed her wine and placed the glass on the table at her
side. Yes, hes coming here to pick me up - is that okay?
Oh, sure. Yuriko sipped more of her wine. What
time is he coming?
Mariko raised an eyebrow. What time do you need me gone?
Yurikos eyes opened and she gave Mariko an innocent stare.
I dont know what you mean.
When is she coming? Mari choked on her words as soon as
she said them. I mean, when is she supposed to be here?
Yuriko gave her friend a wry grin. About eight.
Ill be gone at 8:05, then. Mari winked.
Checking my date out? Yuriko laughed.
You know Im always looking out for you.
Always. Youre the best, Mari. Yuriko leaned
forward and held her glass out. Mariko tapped hers against Yurikos and they both
The doorbell rang at 7:55; Mariko got up to answer it. Her fiancée,
Hachigoro, gave her a smile and entered, kissing her shyly on the cheek. Waving past
Mariko at Yuriko, Hachi stepped up into the apartment.
I hope were not being too inconvenient. Hachi
said, his voice almost soft enough to cover his slight lisp.
Mari slipped her arm through his. We have to go
Hachi laughed in Yuriko's direction. Got a hot date
tonight? He slipped an arm around Mari and looked at her fondly. Me too.
Mari slapped his arm lightly. You hope.
Yuriko grinned at her friends. Yeah, me too. They all
The doorbell rang again. Yuriko jumped up from the sofa. If
its alright with you, Ill get this one. She opened the door to a petite
woman whose short, dark hair swung lightly at her temples. She was wearing a short
cheongsam that on another woman might have looked flashy - on her it looked natural. She
bowed slightly to Yuriko and stepped into the foyer. Glancing up, she was surprised to see
Hachi and Mari.
Uh, Hachi said hastily, we have to be going.
Yuriko closed the door and introduced her friends to her date.
This is Faye. Shes from Hong Kong.
Greetings were made, then Mari grabbed Hachis arm. We
really have to be going now.
Yuriko waved brightly as Mari winked behind Fayes head. The
door closed once again.
So, how was Faye? Mariko asked the next day. Yuriko sat
in her trailer, waiting for the camera call.
You mean how was my date with her, dont you?
Yuriko asked pointedly, glaring as best she could without cracking the makeup on her face.
She was dressed as an Edo-period samurai, with almost Kabuki-like heavy white makeup lying
thickly on her face.
No. Mariko said lightly.
Youre really twisted, you know?
Hachi and I thought she was cute. Mari continued, as if
the blonde hadnt spoken.
Me too. Yuriko grinned, then immediately thought better
The door shut behind Yuriko. She walked over to the desk and seated
herself on the corner, grinning down at the harried form of her manager.
Get off my desk. The cigarette dangling from
Kishis mouth punctuated her comments by wagging up and down as she spoke.
Yuriko didnt move. Your chairs are uncomfortable.
Then sit on the floor
or stand. Get your butt off my
desk. Kishi looked up and glared.
Yuriko stood, laughing. Okay, okay. She held up her
hands placatingly and backed away from the desk. Seating herself in one of the chairs,
Yuriko put her hands behind her head and lounged while her manager ignored her pointedly.
At last the older woman pushed the papers on her desk aside. Taking
a deep drag from her cigarette, she blew out the smoke and ground the stub out.
So, she said, giving Yuriko an acid look. "Where
the *hell* have you been? Ive been calling you for two days! Kishi slammed her
hand on the desk in frustration.
Yurikos slow smile was maddening. At a love hotel.
Kishi sneered. Uh-huh. She reached for a pack of
cigarettes and lit a new one. For two days.
Yurikos smile broadened. Yup.
Gods, Kishi muttered, you are such a
Tomcat, a male voice interceded neatly. The owner of the
voice entered from the front door and bowed slightly to Yuriko.
Kishi sucked on the cigarette, but said nothing further. Yuriko
bounced to her feet and bowed deeply.
Good afternoon, Miyamoto-san. Yuriko could be charming
when she wanted, Kishi admitted to herself, but the girl really got on her last nerve.
Good afternoon, Yuri-kun, Kishi-san. The agency manager
beamed at them. Weve just got news of a great new opportunity for you,
Yuri-kun. He handed over a sheaf of papers to the manager, who ground out her
finished cigarette and leaned over the desk to receive them.
Yuriko nodded. What kind of opportunity?
Miyamoto smiled avuncularly. Well, apparently one of the major
studios wants to do a reality series about High School, about the pressures,
the joys, the difficulties of being a teenager
and they want you to star in it.
Yuriko looked thoughtful. Am I playing a boy or a girl?
Youre not playing anyone. Miyamoto put his hand on
her shoulder. Youre playing yourself.
Weve enrolled you in Mitsukawa High School as a senior.
Just be yourself. The film crew will try to stay out of your way as much as possible,
remain in the background. Weve already made arrangements with the administration.
You have nothing to worry about. Miyamoto reassured her. With a comforting pat, he
removed his hand from her shoulder.
Just remember to do your homework! Laughing at his joke,
he turned away from the stunned blonde and headed towards the office door.
Kishi-san, if you have any questions, give me a call. Kishi bowed as he
finished, and didnt straighten up until Miyamoto had left the office.
The manager gave her client a nasty grin. Sounds like fun,
Yuriko made a face. Oh, great. Because high school was so much
fun the *first* time around
Volume 1, Issue 2
Back to School
Yuriko lifted one hanger to her chin, then the other. She tried to
imagine each outfit on her body, but the images just didnt work. She looked at
Mariko in the mirror, pretending not to see the evil grin her friend was giving her.
Which one do you think I should wear on my first day?
Yuriko asked, switching hangers once again. Boys or girls?
Mariko put a hand to her chin thoughtfully. "Try them on,
lets see what they look like.
Yuriko shot her friend a suspicious look and entered the dressing
room. When she came out, she was wearing the girls uniform. Yuriko clapsed her hands
in front of her waist and waited for Marikos verdict.
Mariko looked her up and down and nodded. You know, you look
better in that than I would have suspected. She grimaced. I forgot that about
you always make your clothes look good.
Yuriko smirked a bit and pulled gently at the hem of her skirt,
lifting it slightly. You dont think my legs will be too distracting?
Mariko stuck her tongue out. Probably. Lets see the
boys now. She shooed Yuriko back into the dressing room. When the blonde came
out a second time, Mariko gave a low whistle. Dont do that, its bad for
my heart! she laughed. The stiff, military-style uniform looked splendid on Yuriko,
and Mariko could tell that her friend knew it.
There is something to be said for custom tailoring,
Yuriko commented, turning to the mirror and smoothing the jacket across her hips.
"Okay, Mariko rendered the verdict at last.
Im saying start with boys, but wear the girls the second day, so
they dont get any chances to make assumptions.
What? Yuriko asked with a grin. Like that I might
be a cross-dressing lesbian or something? She laughed. Wouldnt want them
to get any funny ideas like that.
Mariko protested, No, I didnt mean that
okay, yes I
did. Forget it. Wear the boys. She smiled at Yuriko admiring herself in the
mirror. You always were a little vain.
Mari, thank you. Yuriko took both her friends
hands in her own and looked down at the brunette fondly.
Whatever for? Mariko looked puzzled.
For saying *exactly* what youre thinking. Yuriko
leaned down and bussed Mariko on the cheek. Im going to need you more, while I
do this stupid project.
Mariko blushed prettily. Ive been your friend a long
time, Yuri. I dont plan on going away anytime soon.
The nightmare starts early, Yuriko thought. She was pretty much a
morning person these days, since most shoots began earlier than people think, so getting
ready for school wasn't an issue. She smiled brightly as she combed her hair, thinking of
how her old homeroom teacher would have laughed to see her now. She had so many
"tardy"s on her school record it almost wasn't funny.
Book bag in hand, uniform neatly pressed, Yuriko had the car let her
off about a block away from school. She walked along with the other students, none of whom
appeared to know her - or even notice a new student walking with them at all. She relaxed
slightly, and was surprised to note that she was actually rather tense to begin with.
It was just after entering the main gate that it started. She was
walking briskly towards the school entrance when a harsh voice rang out.
"Hey! Hey you!"
She slowed her steps slightly.
"Yo, pretty boy! Yeah, you!" A second voice laughed
Yuriko turned to see four disheveled figures slouching along the
brick wall. She pointed at herself and asked, "Are you talking to me?"
The first voice belonged to a stocky young man, whose upper lip was
in need of a shave. His uniform jacket was unfastened and there were worn areas at the
wrist and elbows. "Yeah, I'm talkin' to you. You see anyone else here?"
Yuriko did, in fact. At least thirty students were now slowing their
progress, watching the interaction.
"No." She smiled. "No one else at all."
The ringleader pushed himself off the wall and approached her
belligerently. She found herself staring him nearly in the eyes. He leaned forward and
growled, "What are you - some kind of fag?"
She thought about that for a split second, batted her eyelashes at
him and preened. "No," she said, softening her voice and raising its pitch
slightly, "I'm a girl."
She could hear the snickers come from the students around her. She
wanted to glance over her shoulder and see if the camera crew had arrived yet, but
remembered she was to meet them in the Principal's office. She groaned inwardly.
The ringleader turned red and spluttered. "I guess we're going
to have to teach you a lesson so we get some respect."
Yuriko yawned delicately and looked at her watch. She patted the
ringleader lightly on the arm and said. "You can beat me silly, but to be honest,
you'll never get an ounce of respect out of me. Now if you'll excuse me..." she
turned away to the sound of thirty gasps of surprise.
Welcome to your first day of high school, Yuri, she thought wryly.
"Welcome to your first day of High School!" The Principal
looked like every principal since the dawn of time. His beaming smile masked his intense
dislike for youth and his fear of rebellion. Yuriko bowed deeply and thanked him for
allowing her to be a part of his school, yadda, yadda, yadda... He welcomed her fulsomely,
and introduced her to her homeroom teacher. Yuriko turned towards the young man and bowed.
When she stood upright once again, she glanced at him in some surprise.
Abe-sensei was young, probably not much older than she was. What was
more, she thought as she eyed him critically, I'd bet ten thousand yen that he's... her
thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of the camera crew.
The arrangements were simple. A single cameraman would discreetly
film her classes, while the full crew would be available for interviews with her, and
outside activities. Yuriko rolled her eyes as she realized that the only time she'd have
to herself would be in the bathroom...she hoped.
Eventually the formalities ended. It was close to the end of
homeroom, so Abe-sensei suggested that he and Yuriko make the best of their time. The two
left the Principal's office with many a bow, followed by a cameraman and a production
assistant, who looked exhausted already.
Abe-sensei looked behind him nervously. Whispering to Yuriko, he
asked, "Is that woman going to be alright? She looks terrible."
Yuriko smiled reassuringly. "She's a PA - they all look like
that." Abe-sensei nodded, but did not look happy.
They reached the room and slid the door open. Abe-sensei entered and
the students stood, then at his nod, were seated. "Everyone, I'd like to introduce to
you a new student. She'll be with us for a while..." He looked down at the folder he
held in his hand. "Please make, uh, Yuriko, welcome..." His voice was drowned
out by the buzz of voices in the classroom as Yuriko stepped in.
She bowed and smiled. " My name is Yuriko. Nice to meet
you." The buzz continued and she stood, content to wait it out.
Abe-sensei looked completely flustered until one girl, her hand
raised, stood shyly and asked, "Excuse me. Are you *the* Yuriko?"
Yuriko nodded and said, "I guess my reputation precedes me,
Abe-sensei looked from the girl to Yuriko and back. "*The*
Yuriko?" He asked, puzzled.
The girl shot him a disdainful glance, then turned back to Yuriko
with hearts in her eyes. "Are you really filming a new show here?"
Yuri gestured to the cameraman in the corner.
"Apparently." To which answer, the girls in the class practically shrieked with
delight, while the boys all muttered and wondered amongst themselves.
Abe-sensei attempted to regain order, but one of the boys stood up
and asked loudly, "Is it true what they say, did you really face down Uto and his
gang this morning?" Silence fell and Yuriko grimaced internally. Yep, just the normal life of a high school student.
"Um, not really." The buzz was disappointed.
Abe-sensei used the lull to assign Yuriko a seat. She placed her bag
on the desk and bowed briefly to the girl in the next seat. The girl giggled and turned
red from her neck to her ears. It took everything Yuriko had not to place her face in her
hands and whimper.