Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko

The Story So Far: The media have caught wind of Yuriko and Ruriko-sensei's "dates." Paparazzi are a daily fact of life for an idol - but high school teachers don't usually have to deal with this kind of situation.

Volume 3, Issue 18

"Bread and Circuses"

Yuriko bowed deeply as she entered the room and apologized for both the inconvenience and the interruption. When she stood upright once again she took a long look around the room. Behind his desk, the Principal sat stiffly, looking worried. Ruriko-sensei sat just as unhappily, a handkerchief clutched in her hand. The senior teacher, Yuriko thought her name was Oda, stood behind the coach looking displeased. When she caught Yuriko's eyes, she looked as if that displeasure had just increased twofold.

"This is Nishioka Taro, from the PR office at my agency. He's here to help you prepare a statement for the press." Yuriko allowed the agent to introduce himself. As she began to speak once again, Oda interrupted her.

"Statement to the press? That's absurd! Why would we need to do something like that?"

Yuriko addressed herself to the Principal. "I've defused the situation a little, but some of the more tenacious reporters might try to create a scandal out of whole cloth. You're more vulnerable than I am. Taro-san here can assist you with something that will complete bore them to death and make them go away."

The Principal turned a slightly glazed gaze towards the idol. "What about the students? How can we keep them from speaking out of turn?"

Yuriko allowed a small smile to cross her lips. "You can't. Not entirely." She held up a hand to stall interruptions. "But I've arranged for a way to discourage the media from hanging around the school grounds. At least temporarily."

Oda-sensei looked like she was going to explode. "This is horrendous! Principal, I told you that this was a bad idea and now look at what's happened! Allowing this...this...young woman and her ideas into this school..." The teacher practically spluttered with distaste. "And you!" She rounded on Ruriko-sensei with an abusive tone. "To behave in a way so unbecoming! I can barely imagine that you have the nerve to
come in today..."

"Wait a second!" Yuriko said, stepping forward to draw the histrionic Oda-sensei's attention. "Matsumori-sensei hasn't *done* anything."

Oda opened her mouth to answer the blonde, but both Ruriko-sensei and the Principal spoke.

"No, this is all my fault."

"Oda-sensei, maybe you should get us all some tea."

"It is not!" Yuriko addressed the coach. "There's nothing wrong in going out dancing."

"At places like those?" Oda-sensei was building up a good head of righteous steam and wouldn't be denied. "If you're that way, it's one thing, but to corrupt our teachers, and give a bad example to our students. I cannot forgive..."

"Can't forgive?" Yuriko almost laughed in the woman's face. "And who exactly are *you* to dole out forgiveness?"

Oda-sensei gasped. "How *dare* you speak to me in that tone of voice! After what I've read about you - you should beg for some forgiveness."

Ruriko-sensei stood, trying to separate the two combatants, but her efforts were in vain. Yuriko was about to reply when the Principal himself stood. Quietly, but forcefully he said, "Oda-sensei, tea, please."

Oda-sensei gave a curt bow and with a glare at both Ruriko and the idol, she left the room precipitously.

Still standing, the Principal gestured for Yuriko and the coach to take seats. He thanked Taro for coming, then seated himself. "While I do not agree with Oda-sensei, I fully understand her concerns. We don't wish to appear morally questionable here - our school has a good reputation, one that we don't wish to have challenged.

"Be that as it may, I am fully aware that Matsumori-sensei has not done anything untoward in this matter." He nodded at Ruriko. "Nonetheless, this is a serious matter - and we cannot afford to simply ignore it."

Yuriko unclenched her hands. She hadn't realized just how angry Oda-sensei had made her - and how close to losing her temper she'd been. "Of course, you're right." She forced herself to put on a pleasant, conciliatory tone. "I am confident that this will all pass
over in a few days."

"Seventy-five at most." Ruriko-sensei said bitterly. Yuriko wished she could reach over and give the woman's hand a squeeze, but thought it imprudent, so she settled for a reassuring smile.

"I think we should deal with the immediate concerns first." The Principal turned to Taro and included him in the conversation. "I believe this is your area of expertise. The school, of course, would prefer to have its name kept out of the papers."

"Of course," Taro began, "we should consider releasing a statement through the office, rather than a live press conference."

Oda-sensei chose that moment to return. Immediately she rounded on the young man, "But what about those, those, reporters? What are we to do with them? I swear they molested me this morning as I tried to enter the school!"

Oh, sure, Yuriko thought, and carefully did not meet anyone else's eyes.

"I think you'll find that they've all gone by now." Yuriko said. Oda-sensei stepped to the window, smiling at an opportunity to prove the blonde wrong. A moment's glance told her, however, that she was, infuriatingly, quite right.

"How did...."

The Principal interrupted once again. "I think that this is not as awful as you feared, Oda-sensei." He smiled a little at Yuriko, then Ruriko-sensei. "Come sit down and we'll work this out."

The teacher reluctantly seated herself.

The next hour was spent considering options and working out details of the press release until the Principal felt comfortable with the situation. He turned to Oda-sensei with a nod. "Please call a general meeting of the teachers and inform them of our decision. You may read the press statement if you feel it will be of some use. Please tell them to instruct their students not to speak to the press under any circumstances." He rubbed his eyes with one hand. "It won't help, but we have to do it."

Oda-sensei gave one final angry glare towards Yuriko as she took her leave. When the door closed, the blonde found herself letting out a breath she hadn't realized she had been holding.

A second later there was a knock on the door and it opened. Expecting Oda once again, Yuriko faced the door with more than a little impatience. To her surprise, Sawako-sensei entered.

He stood at something like attention, and cleared his throat. "I would like a private word with you, if it isn't too much trouble." His gaze never left the Principal's face. The Principal nodded and looked at the young man and women in his office, who rose and bowed. As they walked past the math teacher, Yuriko looked at the man, but he never spared her a glance.

They were only out of the office for a few minutes, when the door opened and Sawako-sensei exited. The three entered once again to find the Principal standing facing out the window. When he turned, his face had a strange expression.

"Well, that was unusual, to say the least." He turned to Yuriko. "Sawako-sensei came in, apparently, to offer a testimonial to your behavior while attending this school." His voice held more than a little amazement. "I've never heard of Sawako-sensei involving himself
in any of the student's or faculty's affairs. This is a first."

"A testimonial?" Yuriko parroted.

The Principal laughed shortly. "Yes - he wished to inform me that, in his esteemed opinion, you would not intentionally do anything to bring dishonor to this school."

"He said that?" Yuriko was aghast.

"In exactly those words."



Shoujoai ni Bouken, all characters and situations copyright E. Friedman and Yurikon LLC. All Rights Reserved.