Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko

The Story So Far: Yuriko is waiting in the clinic, watching over an unconscious Mie, while the doctor calls the girl's parents. Yuriko counts the hours until the end of the day.


Volume 1, Issue 19

"A Bitter Pill"


Thirty minutes had passed. The doctor had been in and out twice; Chieko had gone back to class, but still Yuriko sat, watching the sleeping form on the bed. She didn't even *like* Mie, why did she care if she was well? This question kept popping into Yuriko's thoughts so regularly she considered setting her watch by it.

"Why?" she asked the sleeping girl softly.

Mie stirred and moaned a little. Yuriko stiffened as the girl's eyes opened and she asked sleepily, "Why what?" Mie blinked, and looked around, clearly puzzled.

"Do you know where you are?" Yuriko asked, ignoring Mie's question.

"No." the girl struggled to sit up, but Yuriko held her down with a light hand on her shoulder.

"Don't try to get up. You're in the clinic, the doctor will be right back - she's gone to try and contact your parents. What's the last thing you remember?"

Mie's eyes roamed, trying to fix her thoughts. "I was standing outside...talking to Chieko-chan..."

Yuriko nodded. "Right. Good. And you passed out. Do you remember anything about that?"

"No." Mie said, then immediately rescinded the comment. "Wait, I remember talking to Chieko-chan and I was dizzy...but that's all I remember."

Yuriko let go of the breath she'd been holding. "That's alright. You remember everything, then. Can you think of a reason why you'd pass out so suddenly?" This last was more of a rhetorical question, so Yuriko was surprised to get an answer at all.

"I do, sometimes. Never at school before, though." Mie's eyes were clear, Yuriko noted, and very large. She looked more like a doll awake than she had asleep.

The girl caught Yuriko's eyes with her own, and her face colored a little. "Have you been here long with me?" she asked.

Yuriko realized that her hand still lay on the girl's shoulder and pulled it away quickly. "About an hour," her voice was sharper than she had intended.

"I'm sorry for being such an inconvenience," Mie began, then stopped suddenly. "How's Chieko-chan? She gets very excited by things happening suddenly..."

Yuriko waved Mie's concern away. "She was a little upset, but she's back in class now." She watched as the girl relaxed, then drew in a little breath. Yuriko had an unpleasant feeling in her stomach as she watched the emotions flit across Mie's face - and realized why she had stayed. Better get this over with now, she thought. But she wasn't very happy with herself at the moment.

Mie reached out and hesitantly took Yuriko's hand with her own. "Thank you for caring about me, for staying with me." The girl's cheeks flushed, and Yuriko swallowed the bile that rose up in her throat at what she was about to do.

"Yuriko-sama," Mie blurted, "I love you! I know I'm young, but I really love you - I have since I first saw you." Her voice dropped to a whisper. "I know...everyone knows you like girls and that you don't have a girlfriend..."

Yuriko couldn't stand it. "Please stop," she said gruffly, her voice hoarse. "Please." She pulled her hand from the girl's grasp. "I'm sorry, Mie-san," she wished she could remember the girl's family name, "I really am. You're a lovely child and you'll find someone to love soon. But not me, not now. So please don't."

"But..." Mie pleaded, her eyes filling with tears,

Yuriko loathed herself that moment, knowing that she was about to alienate a fan, a schoolmate, a nice girl, but not seeing any other way to handle it. "I don't love you, Mie-san. I can't love you back. I'm sorry."

Tears began to flow from Mie's eyes as the girl sat up. "Please, don't leave!" She threw her arms around Yuriko's neck, embracing her tightly. Yuriko could feel a hot cheek pressed against her neck, and the trickle of tears. She disentangled herself from the girl and stood.

"Don't. You don't know what you're asking, what you're saying." Yuriko's voice was harsh. "You can't know." She clamped down on the cruelties that made their way to her lips. Turning on her heels she said, "I hope you feel better soon," and walked out of the clinic.

Feeling ill, Yuriko walked down the hallway, not noticing where she was headed. When she found herself facing the front entrance of the school she paused for a moment, then walked outside without a second thought.


Yuriko wandered off the school grounds, her mood as foul as any she had felt in a long time. It wasn't often she had to do that, but every time it left a terrible taste in her mouth. Why couldn't fans be content with what they were given?

She regretted wearing the girl's uniform today; the pockets were inadequate for her needs. She could hardly stuff her hands in them and walk. What they hell did girls do with their hands when they were miserable? She thought back to scenes from her high school days...oh, right, they clutched things. She clenched her fists and kept walking.

On a pedestrian bridge she paused to watch the traffic go by. The noise was soothing, rather like an uneven river of sound. She leaned on the cement rail, and went over the scene in the clinic, wondering if she could have been gentler, or firmer, or... the thoughts wheeled around in her head, dizzying her.

"It never gets any easier, does it?" she murmured to herself, heedless of the people passing by, staring at her.

A hand on her arm drew her attention back to the real world. A middle-aged man, about her height, had clamped his hand around her arm. He squeezed as he talked.

"Shouldn't you be in school?" his voice was insinuating.

Yuriko was disgusted - she jerked her arm out of his grasp, drew herself up to her full height and looked down her nose at him. "No. I'm engaging in an entirely private fetish for wearing sailor suits - you might try it, it's a damn sight less harmful than your schoolgirl fetish." Ignoring the look on the man's face, or the obscenities that sprung from his lips, she began to walk away, her mood even blacker than before. A jerk on her arm spun her around, and the slap across her face paralyzed her with shock

"You little bitch! If you don't come with me, I'll report you to your school. We'll see who has the fetish!" The man's eyes bulged and his lips peeled back in a sneer. Yuriko hauled on her arm, but his grip was strong. She was about to kick him when a voice interrupted.

"Uh, mister...unless you want to be beaten silly, you'd better let go of her." The man spun around, but didn't let go of Yuriko's arm. So startled was she that she forgot to try and free herself.

"What?" the man fumed. "You think you can take me, punk?"

"Well, the four of us should be able to." A second voice came from behind Yuriko, and she turned, this time remembering to recover her arm and step away from the man, who now found himself surrounded by four threatening figures. One swung a bicycle chain nonchalantly, while another held a small, hand-sized tonfa. A third young thug, whose short stocky frame and peering eyes made him seem more threatening than he was, stepped up and pulled Yuriko possessively towards himself.

"Old man, next time you want some afternoon fun, you keep your hands off my girl." The stocky boy faked a move in the man's direction and he jumped. The boy laughed nastily. He nodded to the others. "Go ahead, teach him a lesson." The three advanced on the man, who broke and ran away.

Yuriko watched him run off, and slowly, let herself relax. After a moment, she turned to Uto and slapped him across the chest.

"Idiot! What the hell are you doing out here?"

Uto laughed. "You're welcome, Yuri-chan." He waved his gang back, as they approached. Togai stepped quickly up to Yuriko and asked if she was alright. "He didn't do anything to you, did he?" Togai's concern was really touching and Yuriko said as much.

"No, I'm fine, just having a bad day." She rubbed her temples, then smacked Uto again, this time with a little energy behind it. "Jerk. 'My girl' indeed!"

The gang leader just grinned insolently at her. "Lucky for me you were in drag today, or the guy would've thought I was a fag."

Yuriko grinned at this, then began to laugh. "What an asshole he was. Thanks for the rescue. He was in real danger of me kicking the shit out of him." Her face fell as she thought of why she was playing hooky. To draw attention away from herself, she pointed to Ni-ru, who was tucking the chain into his pocket, and Heiji, who was twirling the tonfa around his fingers. "You guys do the tough act really well. Good thing I'm the only one who knows you're a bunch of pussies."

Ni-ru flashed his gap-toothed grin at her. "Yeah, well girls like "sensitive" guys, don't they?"

"Ugh." Yuriko said emphatically. "I really don't want to talk about girls right now."

Uto's eyebrow rose. "No? Why not?" He paused, reflecting. "It couldn't be that our little Yuri-chan was rejected, was she?" He shot her a squinting glance.

"No!" Yuriko insisted. "No, I had to blow someone off this afternoon."

"Oh," Togai empathized, with no real understanding. "That sucks."

"Yeah." Yuriko looked around at the boys and made a decision. "I owe you one...although I would have been able to handle myself, thank you very about I buy you all a coffee?"

"Beer?" Heiji asked.

"Coffee." Yuriko insisted with a wry grin. "Come on, my treat."

As the five walked off, Yuriko thought to herself that school life was a lot bizarrer this time around than she remembered it.