Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko

The Story So Far: Homeroom has started with a surprise for Yuriko. Her new substitute homeroom teacher turns out to be an American - and an old friend. The redhead is the talk of the school.


Volume 2, Issue 10

"Old Friends"


Morning classes dragged. Yuriko was sure that the clock in her classroom had stopped. When she began to check the time on her watch, she became convinced it was a clock conspiracy. But at last the morning drew to a close and lunchtime approached. When the bell rang, Yuriko was out of her seat and out the door as soon as it was safe to do so. Aya and Sayaka looked after the blonde and giggled to themselves.

Sayaka gave Aya a sly look. "It's awfully nice outside today - why don't we go for a walk after we eat?"

Aya winked in agreement. "You know - I was just thinking that myself."

Yuriko stood in the hall, awaiting Shannon's arrival with ill-concealed impatience. She had a word with Namba as soon as he sauntered out the door, catching her fidgeting on camera. She watched as he stopped taping and suntered off to get a bite to eat. When the redhead at last appeared, Yuriko gave her no time to talk, but took her elbow and firmly guided her outside onto the school grounds.

"Hey!" Shannon protested. "I don't have anything for lunch!"

"You can have some of mine," Yuriko said and sat her "teacher" down at a secluded table behind a few sparse bushes. Yuriko slapped her hands down on the table and looked into the bright blue eyes that smiled up at her. "What," she said at last, "were you thinking?"

Shannon grinned. "Oh come on, Yuri. When did you get to be such a prig?" She brushed her hair back from her face. "Look at you - you make an adorable schoolboy."

Yuriko stared at her friend for a moment, then eased up a little, then a lot. Finally, smiling, she sat herself down across from the American and rooted around in her bag for today's lunch.

Shannon spoke as Yuriko pulled out the box and unwrapped it. "It's just like I said - I met Mariko at the studio, we got to talking and I asked about you. She told me about your new job," Shannon giggled, "and I just *had* to see you for myself." The redhead placed her chin in her hands and batted her eyes at Yuriko. "Will you wear the girl's uniform tomorrow?"

Yuriko finished unwrapping the bento box and pushed it towards Shannon. "Here," she said, handing the woman chopsticks. Shannon took them, and waited, watching the blonde unrepentantly. "Yes." Yuriko said at last, grinning back at Shannon. The redhead mumbled "itadakimasu" and tucked into Yuriko's lunch.

"This is great!" Shannon said after a few bites. "Where did you learn to make such amazing rice balls?"

Yuriko plucked the remainder of a ball out of the redhead's grasp and ate it. "I didn't. Some secret admirer keeps insisting that I need to be fed. Every morning I come to school and there's a lunch in my locker..." she stopped as Shannon's laughter cut her off.

"Oh my god," Shannon gasped in English. "You are too cute for words! Tell me," she leaned forward, "do you get love letters and everything?"

Yuriko shot her a look, but didn't answer. Shannon practically pounded the table as she laughed.

"Mariko wasn't even close. This is all too adorable." Shannon shoved the bento box in Yuriko's direction. "Here, you have to eat too." After watching the blonde take up the chopsticks, Shannon said, "You'll have to take me out to dinner and tell me all about it."

"I can't tonight," Yuriko said around a mouthful of food, "I have...." She stopped and held up a hand. "Don't laugh. I have basketball practice."

Shannon did not laugh, but her eyes sparkled with amusement. She watched the blonde eat for a few moments, then said softly, "It really has been a long time, hasn't it? Over a year since I saw you last, I guess."

Yuriko finished her lunch and nodded. "Last August." She looked into large blue eyes and her face softened. "It's good to see you, Shannon."

"You too Yuriko." Their voices were quiet now, mere whispers in the general murmur of the students at lunch.

"Where are you staying?" Yuriko asked. "At the old place?"

Shannon shook her head. "Actually, I thought," she pursed her lips slightly, "That I could stay with you."

Yuriko jumped. "Me?"

"Well, yes." Shannon's full lips pulled down in a cute pout. "You don't mean to say that I can't?"

Yuriko blinked a few times, not knowing what to say. "Uh, is that appropriate? I mean, you're a teacher, I'm a student..."

Shannon's laughter stopped her midsentence. "Oh, Yuri..." The redhead said, leaning her head back. "You are still so much fun to tease." She brought her head back down and looked Yuriko in the eyes. "I'm at a hotel - a very boring, ugly hotel. *Alone* in a boring hotel. And I am no more a teacher than you are a student."

Yuriko grinned lopsidedly as she thought of a few weeks with the irrepressible American. "When are you free?" she asked.

"Tonight?" Shannon suggested again.

Yuriko sighed. "I have practice tonight. Tomorrow I'm free...."

"I'm not." Shannon said wistfully. "I have an audition with Fuji."

"They need a token American?" Yuriko laughed.

"Apparently." Shannon leaned forward again. "Let's see, then, how about Friday?"

"Nope - I'm booked for an interview."



"No, that won't work, I have a dinner engagement."

The two women sighed. "Sunday?" They spoke simultaneously and grinned at each other.

"We'll have all day then." Yuriko said. Their eyes met and silence fell. Yuriko retraced features she had once known so well - and hoped to relearn. The two women gazed at each other across the table, leaning inwards.

It was a delightful moment, two alone together in a crowd, a profound silence in the midst of a cacophony of voices. So Yuriko wasn't surprised to see Sayaka and Aya casually stroll around the corner, apparently deep in conversation and not at all interested in the two older women.

A quirk appeared at the corner of Shannon's lips. "Friends?" she asked, without turning her head.

Yuriko nodded. "Who else would ruin such a wonderful moment?" She turned away to call to the two girls, who had the presence of mind to appear startled. She gave Shannon a rueful grin, then waved the two over.

"May I introduce you to my friend?" Yuriko gestured towards Shannon, affecting the introduction. "When's she's not my substitute homeroom teacher, she's an actress." She turned towards the bowing girls and introduced them. "This is my sempai, Sayaka, and my tutor, Aya, two women for whom I have nothing but the profoundest respect. Without them both, I'd be failing most of my classes." She smiled as they blushed and denied the compliments - that'd teach them.

Shannon asked the girls to join them. "Your sempai, huh?" Shannon shot Yuriko a half-wink. "You still pick the prettiest ones, I see."

Yuriko almost protested, but would not have been heard over Aya's laughter anyway. Poor Sayaka was reduced to the blushing child she'd been on Yuriko's first day. Yuriko just leaned her head on her hand and apologized for Shannon's behavior. "They don't let her out very often," she reassured the girls.

Shannon apologized, and excused herself. "I think I've caused quite enough chaos for now." She smiled at Yuriko. "I'll see you at practice then."

Yuriko raised an eyebrow, but nodded. "See you then!" The three women waved at the American.

Sayaka, having recovered from the redhead's brusqueness, now turned to Yuriko with huge eyes. "How long is she going to be our teacher, do you think?"

Yuriko shook her head. "I don't know - but I'm hoping Abe-sensei comes back *real* soon." She scrubbed her face with her hands comically.