Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko
The Story so Far: The last day of Yuriko's second week arrives.
Abe-sensei has disappeared, Yuriko owes the kids in class a tour of the studio, and the
writing club an interview. At the moment she couldn't care less.
Volume 1, Issue 18
"One Down, Two to Go"
"Yes!" Yuriko held the paper triumphantly, waving it in
"Yes what?" The girl tried to glimpse what was written on
the paper, But Yuriko was moving it around too fast to get a clear view.
Aya put her hand out to intercept the sheet as it passed and
wrenched it from the blonde's grasp. She looked at the score and wrinkled her face up.
"This is what you're happy about? Ugh. I wouldn't be able to show my face at home
with a score like that."
Yuriko stuck her tongue out at her tutor. "Hey I passed.
That's great in my book."
Sayaka took the paper from Aya. "A 76. Well, at least it's an
improvement..." she said consolingly.
Aya made a rude noise. "Give me three more weeks and you'll be
getting mid-80s at least."
Yuriko stared at the girl in some surprise. "You're confident,
"Well, sure," Aya shot back at her. "You're not
stupid I can teach you anything, as long as you work at it. If you stick with
me," Aya elbowed Yuriko in the arm, "you'll be getting A's in no time."
Yuriko's eyebrows rose. "You really think so?"
Aya nodded vigorously. "Definitely!"
Yuriko sat back down and looked at her Japanese test. A's, really?
Then mentally slapped herself on her forehead. What the *hell* was she thinking?
The substitute for science class was an unremarkable middle-aged
man, who felt that the best way to imbue young minds with a love for science was to drone
endlessly on about scientific advances made by people he knew personally. He didn't seem
to have noticed a camera filming the class, or when Namba gave it up as a bad job and took
Yuriko stifled yet another yawn, clamping down on it hard enough to
make her jaw hurt.
Okay, this was what she remembered high school as being
personal crises punctuated by intensely boring classes. She spent a moment feeling
nostalgic, snorted and moved on.
The crowd today had grown to seven. Class leader Sato and a friend
had joined the five girls for the lunchtime ritual. Sato's friend blew a fanfare into his
fist as Yuriko unveiled today's offering. Neatly layered yakitori, a row of tamago and
several decorated rice balls. The girls ooohed, while the boys tried to affect a trade.
Yuriko declined, however on the grounds that someone was going to a lot of trouble to feed
her and who was she to deny them the pleasure?
She penned her usual note of thanks and tucked it inside the empty
bento box. She and the other girls were heading back towards the school when they heard
As they rounded the corner, they came across a crowd milling about
two girls - one on the ground, apparently unconscious. Yuriko forced her way through the
crowd, accompanied by Sato and Mikan. When Yuriko kneeled down to take a look at the girl
on the ground, she was surprised to find that it was Mie, her uber-fan from the writing
club. Mikan took charge of Mie's friend who appeared to be incoherent, soothing her with
comforting words. Yuriko felt for a pulse and listened for breathing - both seemed to be
fine. She turned to Sato and asked him to run to the clinic and let the doctor know she'd
be bringing someone in. The boy ran off quickly. Yuriko lifted the fallen girl in her
arms, and Mikan accompanied the other girl, who continued to babble hysterically.
As the four women walked to the clinic, Mikan was able to get the
girl to tell them what had happened. Apparently she and Mie had been standing there
laughing at something when Mie simply swayed in place and fell. Yuriko glanced down at
Mie's pale face and reassured the girl that it was probably anemia or something like it.
At this the girl began to cry again, and Mikan put her arm around the girl's shoulders to
Yuriko carried Mie into the clinic and was met at the door by the
doctor of the school. She was an older woman, not inclined to panic, and Yuriko relaxed
immediately. Seeing that Mie's breathing and blood pressure were steady, she asked Yuriko
to watch the girl while she tended to her hysterical classmate. Yuriko pulled a chair up
to the bed where Mie lay and watched the pale face for any signs of change. She could hear
the doctor's deep voice, Mikan's solid tones, and the girl's own high-pitched wails, which
eventually calmed, then stopped. She still sobbed, but her hysteria seemed to be receding.
Yuriko was glad for that, at least.
After a quarter of an hour, Mikan appeared in front of Yuriko.
"I have to get back to class. Asashi-sensei says that Chieko-san will be fine. She'll
rest here for a while." Mikan looked down at the unconscious girl on the cot and back
to Yuriko. "Should I let your teacher know where you are?"
Yuriko thanked Mikan profusely. "And let my PA know too - she's
probably wondering where the hell I've gotten to."
"Namba-san has already told her." Mikan smiled. "He's
a nice person, when you can get him talking."
Yuriko looked surprised. "Yeah, I guess so," she agreed.
"But how did you get him talking? He's always so...professional with me."
"Oh, I asked him about his son." Mikan shot Yuriko a
triumphant grin. Yuriko knew she was being set up, but played along.
"And how did you know to ask about his son?" Yuriko gave
her the lead-in.
"He went to this school. Graduated two years ago...."
"That figures. And?" Yuriko could see that her
"sempai" had yet another bit of insider knowledge.
"And," Mikan winked, acknowledging that she was cheating,
"he went out with my sister for a year."
Yuriko nodded. "You learn something new every day." Mikan
gave a little wave and left the clinic.
The doctor pulled the screen back and bent down to examine Mie more
thoroughly. Yuriko stood and walked away, so the girl could have some privacy. The doctor
spoke, while she listened to heartbeat and took the girl's pulse.
"Are you her friend?" the doctor's voice was low and a
little gruff. "What is her name?"
"I'm not really a friend, her name is Mie, but I don't know her
family name...or what class she's in. You might want to ask the other girl that came in
with her - she's closer than I am, I think."
The doctor grunted slightly as she stood. Her eyes were sharp as she
took in Yuriko's tall form. "You're not a student here - why are you in the school
uniform?" She smiled to take the sting from her words.
Yuriko hastened to introduce herself and explain her situation.
The doctor smiled brightly. "Oh-ho! So you're the one that's
causing all the ruckus," she chuckled to herself. "Hmph - I'm surprised we
haven't had more fainting cases."
Yuriko smiled, uncertain if the doctor was making a joke or not.
"I'm Asashi, the school doctor. It's nice to make your
acquaintance." The doctor introduced herself with an odd mixture of formality and
familiarity. Yuriko bowed.
"Well, now," the doctor peered down at the sleeping girl.
Some color had come back to her face. "I suppose I should go have the office call her
parents. Would you mind terribly if I asked you to watch her until I get back? You don't
seem the type to get hysterical if there's an emergency." The doctor's bright eyes
flashed as she looked up towards the blonde. Yuriko had a strange sense about the woman,
as if they'd met before.
"No," she reassured the older woman, "I'm not likely
to get hysterical."
"Good." The doctor turned away brusquely and slid the
screen back into place behind her. "If the other girl, um, Chieko, wakes while I'm
gone, send her back to class. She just needed to relax. A little high-strung."
"Okay." Yuriko said, but the doctor had already left. She
looked down at Mie and thought how very, very young she looked like that. Fragile and
vulnerable like a doll. Yuriko sighed and turned back to the window to wait until the