Shoujoai ni Bouken: The Adventures of Yuriko

The Story So Far: Yuriko's "first day" of school is over and she's survived,
barely. Day two looms up, however…



Volume 1, Issue 5

"I Enjoy Being a Girl"



Yuriko swung her legs out of the car and lifted herself from the seat. She picked up her book bag, ran her hand down her thigh to smooth out wrinkles and thanked the driver. Shutting the car door, she headed for school.

She turned the corner and past the school gate, a happy bounce in her step despite the bags under her eyes. Yuriko wasn't the kind of woman to let too little sleep get her down. In fact, sometimes too little sleep was a good thing...

The first whistle went by unnoticed, because all the girls were so busy whispering "cuuute." The second, followed by a harsh, "Hey, babe!" made her look up sharply. Her smile faded when she noticed Uto and his cronies leaning on the wall in their accustomed spot.

"Yo, Yuri-chan!" Uto waved facetiously. "Nice gams."

Yuriko looked down at her legs, and back at the boys. She gave them an impudent grin.

Heiji whistled again and said, "Hey, dolly, wanna do me?"

Yuriko tossed her hair out of her eyes and began walking towards the school. Smiling over her shoulder, she blew them a kiss. "You wish, surfer boy."

There was a moment of silence, then loud laughing broke out behind her. A voice called out, "Hey, Yuri-chan…?"

She stopped and looked back again. Togai was standing away from the wall, looking as polite as he could. "Yes?" she asked mildly.

He shuffled his feet a moment or two and asked in a rush, "What's Pyrrhic mean?"

Yuriko laughed and turned away. "Look it up To-kun. Girls love smart guys."

"Yeah?"

Yuriko's laugh was louder than strictly necessary. She ignored both staring boys and whining girls and entered school.

***

Sayaka smiled at Yuriko, as the blonde seated herself. Along with the regulation dress for girls, Yuriko had decided to wear earrings, just as a way of playing the gender mind-fuck for all it was worth. She might even get her nails painted next week - that would look great with the boy's uniform, Yuriko laughed to herself. After all, accessorizing was everything.

Turning to Sayaka, Yuriko inquired how the girl was. Trying her best not to blush, Sayaka said that she was well.

"How are you today, Yuriko-…" the girl hesitated at the honorific, then grinned up at Yuriko, "-chan, today, I suppose?" She laughed at Yuriko's expression.

"Is it really that big a thing?" Yuriko looked down at the skirt she wore.

Sayaka shook her head. "I was only teasing…"

Yuriko looked startled, then smiled. "Whatever you say, sempai."

Now it was Sayaka's turn to look startled. The two women laughed together for a while, until they were called to stand for the teacher.

Abe-sensei looked slight more rumpled that he had the day before. Yuriko guessed that it was habitual look. Poor guy probably went through life slightly bewildered all the time. She stifled a yawn and waited for him to get take attendance.

"Yuriko?" His voice was raised slightly. He looked up, sliding his eyes past Yuriko's face. "Yuriko?'

"Here!" Yuriko called out briskly. She made a little prediction about what would happen, then grinned when everyone acted predictably. First, the teacher looked at her, frowning. She pushed the long hair back from her right temple and smiled at him. He looked startled at the appearance of a strange girl in Yuriko's seat. Realization set in at the same time the general buzz cottoned to the fact that Yuriko was in girl's uniform today. The teacher's eyes tightened slightly, but he turned back to his attendance sheet and duly made a mark.

Yuriko heard a low whistle, and laughed at the boys trying to get a look at her legs without looking like they were looking. How silly they all were. When homeroom was over, she guessed that she had never seen the boys stand *quite* so quickly before. Sayaka caught her eye and they grinned at each other.

Abe-sensei might have been a little cold, but he was nothing compared to Sawako-sensei, her math teacher. Yuriko confided to Sayaka later - her math teacher in high school had been a bastard the first time around, too.

Sawako-sensei made a habit of pinching his lips together, as if he smelled something bad in the room. His piggy little eyes followed her unpleasantly when she stood to do a problem on the board…and he seemed to call on her a lot.

"I can't stand algebra." Yuriko said, when at last they were free of the class. Sayaka nodded understandingly.

"There's a rumor," Sayaka said, a bit hesitantly, "that Sawako-sensei is abusive to students in other ways as well."

Yuriko's eyebrow rose. "Indeed?" She thought that sometimes having a camera crew tagging along for your life wasn't *such* a bad thing. "Like, abuse abuse, or emotional abuse?"

Sayaka shook her head. "I don't know…it's just rumors. But there was an incident last year." She looked around carefully and lowered her voice. "A girl had to stay late and do extra work for him…she was rushed to the hospital and he was suspended for a week."

"Did he hit her or…" Yuriko felt something ominous and threatening on the edge of this conversation.

"We don't know. She never came back to school." Sayaka gestured down a hall. "Shall we eat outside today? It's so beautiful."

Yuriko relaxed her face, which had become tense. "Sure!" She automatically sprang forward to get the door for Sayaka, and bowed slightly as she let the younger woman through. Sayaka laughed at her and Yuriko stood, coloring slightly.

"Sorry. I forget that today I can leave the chivalry behind." Yuriko's voice was self-deprecating.

"So, you're not as complacent about what you wear as you seem, then?" Sayaka asked, then immediately apologized.

The two women sat down at a table outside. Yuriko found herself practically wolfing her lunch. The cameraman and PA had wandered off to have their own meals and Yuriko found herself alone with her new "sempai."

"It's a little more complicated than that," Yuriko said. "Back when I *was* in school, I guess I didn't care much, but then, I had no idea who I was anyway. After I realized that I liked looking good - and that I look better in a tie than a skirt, I just got used to it. Well, that's the simple version, anyway."

Sayaka looked down into her bento box thoughtfully. "Please don't answer this if I'm being rude, but…" she paused while she phrased her sentence carefully, "Why don't you use a family name? Why just 'Yuriko' ?"

Yuriko started to put her hands behind her head, then thought twice about it, when her blouse began to ride up over her midriff. She settled for leaning back. Looking at the girl across from her, Yuriko gave her a wry grin.

"What's with the interview - you get a job with the production company or something?"

Sayaka's eyes widened, and she had the sense to look abashed. "No! It's not that…" her face changed and she leaned forward, asking eagerly, "But that's such a great idea! Would you mind that? Doing an interview for the Writing Club journal?"

"Yeah, I guess that would be okay." Yuriko couldn't see any problem with that.

"So?" Sayaka insisted. Yuriko raised an eyebrow.

"Do you want the goofy answer or the serious one?"

Sayaka considered. "Both. Goofy first."

"Goofy first. Well, hey - it works for Madonna!" Her voice took on a 'television' cadence and Sayaka giggled. "Serious? Well, let's just say that I don't have a family anymore."

"Are they all gone?" Sayaka asked sadly.

"Gone? No. More like I'm the one that's gone."

"Oh," Sayaka said.

"Pretty much." Yuriko finished the last bites of her lunch and closed the box up.

"But…didn't they try and contact you when you became famous?"

Yuriko waggled her eyebrows comically. "Infamous, you mean. And no. To be honest, I think it's better for all of us this way." The bell rang,  announcing the end of lunchtime and Yuriko stood.

"Shall we?" She gestured back towards the school. "Once more into the breach," she commented in English.

"Oh, that's good!" Sayaka said, approvingly. "You ought to use that in class!"

Laughing, they walked back into the school building.



Continued